UK rabbi to House of Lords: Rise in antisemitism today similar to Holocaust-era
The UK’s House of Lords debated the subject of antisemitism in the country’s politics, with Britain’s former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks describing the rise of antisemitism in Europe today being similar to that of Holocaust-era Europe.
Sacks expressed his shock that when he visited Poland, he found that the Warsaw Ghetto was located in the city center.
“Try to imagine 400,000 Hindus or Sikhs imprisoned within ghetto walls in the middle of London,” Sacks said on Thursday. “Imagine people passing those walls every day, knowing that behind them, thousands were dying or being sent to their deaths, and no one said a word. How did it happen?
“It happened because, in the 19th century – in the heart of emancipated Europe – antisemitism, once dismissed as a primitive prejudice of the Middle Ages, was reborn,” Sacks continued.
Earlier today, I spoke in a @UKHouseofLords debate on worldwide #antisemitism. Here is a video of my remarks in which I argued that a society, or a political party, that tolerates antisemitism or any form of hate, has forfeited all moral credibility. pic.twitter.com/gkZgWn6i8Q
— Rabbi Sacks (@rabbisacks) June 20, 2019
Sacks mentioned the different politicians during the Holocaust who allowed that same medieval antisemitism to prevail. “That is where we are today,” he emphasized. “Within living memory of the Holocaust, antisemitism has returned exactly as it did in the 19th century, just when people had begun to feel that they had finally vanquished the hatreds of the past.
“Today, there is hardly a country in the world, certainly not a single country in Europe, where Jews feel safe,” Sacks declared. “It is hard to emphasize how serious this is, not just for Jews but for our shared humanity.”
For the first time, the issue of Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa was debated in the UK Parliament on 19 June 2019. The hour-long debate in Westminster Hall, secured by MP Theresa Villiers, obtained unanimous approval by all parliamentarians present for Jewish refugees from the MENA to be ‘considered’ by the House. You can read the full HANSARD transcript here.
Participating in the debate were Dr Andrew Murrison, the junior minister in charge of the Middle East at the Foreign Office and Opposition spokeman Fabian Hamilton, nine back-bench members of Parliament from both the main parties (no Liberal Democrat MPS attended), as well as representatives of the Northern Irish DUP and the Scottish Nationalists.
However, in reply to questions from MPs Zac Goldsmith and Matthew Offord, junior minister for the Middle East Dr Andrew Murrison refused to commit the UK government to following the lead of the US Congress and the Canadian Parliament: both had passed a resolution calling for explicit recognition for Jewish refugees. Dr Murrison referred to Security UN Resolution 242 as the template for considering the rights of both refugee populations ‘in the round’. He did not comment on the imbalance in UN resolutions, 172 of which dealt with Palestinian refugees, not one on Jewish refugees.
The minister (pictured above) mentioned ‘examples of countries that have done relatively well in a dismal scene’. “I cite Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan*….as countries where there has been a more benign attitude towards Jewish refugees,” he said.”This must not obscure the general awfulness,” he acknowledged.
Introducing the topic, Ms Villiers said that the 856,000 Jews ethnically cleansed from pre-Islamic communities in Arab countries were the key to understanding the Middle East conflict. She agreed with MPs Andrew Percy (who had relatives of a persecuted Yemenite family in his constituency) and Stephen Crabbe that awareness of the issue was key to debunking the ‘false narrative’ that Israel was a creation of the West and that no Jews had ever lived in the Middle East. She pointed out that a disproportionate amount of airtime was devoted to the Palestinian refugees. Despite the early hardships, the integration of MENA Jews into Israel had been a ‘huge success”, with Mizrahi Jews today a valued part of the fabric of Israeli society as well as in the West.
As Europe grapples with a rising tide of antisemitism, the European Commission held its first-ever “working group” on the matter Thursday.
The meeting, which convened almost 100 representatives of Jewish communities, EU Member States and international organizations, spent a full day discussing security, including risk assessments, building trust and physical protections, EU staffer Johannes Börmann tweeted.
“The Commission is acting together with Member States to counter the rise of Antisemitism, to fight holocaust denial and to guarantee that Jews have the full support of the authorities to keep them safe,” EU Justice commissioner Věra Jourová said in a statement before the session. “The Working Group will help Member States coordinate their actions and fight Antisemitism efficiently together.”
The EU was presented with its first action plan to combat antisemitism in February, when the European Jewish Congress (EJC) called on EU Member States to adopt in full the IHRA Working Definition on Antisemitism.
Days before the US-sponsored Bahrain conference, the White House released its proposal to boost the Palestinian economy by offering a $50 billion aid package that can only be implemented through an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.
The 40-page plan (pdf), which Senior Adviser Jared Kushner will push in Manama next week, rests on three initiatives, according to the document — to “unleash the economic potential” of the Palestinians, “empower the Palestinians to realize their ambitions,” and “enhance Palestinian governance.”
Neither Israelis nor Palestinians will be attending the confab. Palestinians have refused to participate, or engage at all with the Trump administration since it moved the US embassy to Jerusalem. Israeli officials and ministers were not invited.
A senior administration official told The Times of Israel that they wanted the focus of the gathering to be “on the economic aspect, not the political.”
Arab nations such as Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have all said they would participate in the conference.
The plan — formally dubbed “Peace to Prosperity” — said that the economic package, if implemented, would double the Palestinians’ gross domestic product, create more than one million jobs in the territories, reduce Palestinian unemployment to single digits (it was 31 percent in 2018, according to the World Bank), and cut the Palestinian poverty rate by 50%.
Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner on Saturday revealed the long-awaited details of the economic aspect of the US peace plan, saying it would inject $50 billion into struggling economies in the Middle East over the next ten years.
In an interview with the Reuters news agency three days ahead of the Washington-led economic workshop in Bahrain, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law said that over half of the funds ($28 billion) would go toward the West Bank and Gaza Strip while $7.5 billion would go to Jordan, $9 billion to Egypt and $6 billion to Lebanon.
“If you can also get that whole region starting to lift, and if you can get a quicker flow of goods and people in all the different areas that are necessary in industry instead of bullets and munitions and war, then I think that will really lead to a big increase in investment in the area and more jobs and better quality of life and hopefully more peace along with it,” Kushner said.
Separately on Saturday, the White House released its “Peace to Prosperity” economic plan, a 40-page document focusing on detailing initiatives to unleash Palestinian “economic potential,” “empower,” the Palestinian people and “enhance Palestinian governance.”
The Palestinians have strongly opposed the conference and urged Arab states to stay away, arguing it will be placing economic issues ahead of reaching a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
According to the report, fifteen billion of the total $50 invested would come from grants, $25 billion from subsidized loans and roughly $11 billion from private capital.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told Al Jazeera that a Palestinian state is impossible in the current complex political climate.
Friedman said that the upcoming summit in Bahrain, where some parts of US President Donald Trump’s peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians will be revealed, will “jump-start the Palestinian economy,” according to Al Jazeera.
Friedman said that the workshop “is an attempt to jump-start the Palestinian economy. That’s the purpose and that’s the focus: to improve the quality of life of Palestinians.”
Friedman clarified that although representatives from the Palestinian Authority will not be attending, “there will be a significant showing from the Palestinian business community, and we will work with them as best we can.
“I don’t know that the Palestinian Authority is the last word on how to create a better life for the Palestinians,” he continued. “The Palestinians themselves should have a say in that.”
The US ambassador later pointed out that the main goal is to “create momentum” towards peace. “The Palestinians have aspirations that have to be addressed,” he stated. “The Israelis have issues that have to be addressed. This conflict needs to be resolved on a political level. But in order to create momentum… we need a significant improvement in the economy. That is the only way people on both sides will have faith that there is the opportunity for real peace.”
This brings us to the left’s condemnation of Friedman and Greenblatt’s statements. Whereas the Trump administration is systematically rolling back Obama’s radical Middle East policies, whether in relation to Iran or Israel and the Palestinians or the Sunni Arab world writ large, those policies did have a profound and enduring impact on the American and Israeli left.
The Obama administration’s positions has shifted the discourse on the left, in the U.S. and the far left in Israel in relation to Israel and the Palestinians to a starting point that assumes that Israel’s unification of Jerusalem in the aftermath of the 1967 war was illegal and that all Jewish presence in unified Jerusalem, as well as in Judea and Samaria, is similarly illegal.
The Democratic Party’s newfound hostility to Israel, expressed among other things in the refusal of all declared Democratic presidential candidates to attend the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC’s annual convention in Washington in March, and in repeated allegations of racism lobbed at the Israeli government by Democratic White House aspirants, is a direct consequence of Obama’s radical shift against Israel.
It is hard to overstate how radical, and out of step with the basic principles of international law, this position is. It is also hard to overstate how hostile this position is to Israel’s very existence.
The Trump administration may or may not end up unveiling its peace plan. And if that plan is unveiled, the question of whether it will have a lasting impact on the politics of peacemaking in the Middle East will be a function of whether Trump wins reelection or if he is defeated by a Democratic challenger next November.
What is clear enough is that it isn’t the Trump administration that has adopted positions radically out of line with those of previous administrations. Rather, it was the Obama administration that adopted positions hostile to Israel that represented a clear breach with the positions of all of its predecessors – Democratic and Republican.
It is similarly clear that the Obama administration’s radicalism in turn radicalized its supporters in the Democratic Party and in the far left in Israel and worldwide. And as a consequence, the distinction between the two major political parties in the U.S. today on the issue of Israel and the Middle East has never been more pronounced or dangerous for Israel.
US President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy lashed out at the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Friday over its refusal to take part in next week’s American-organized conference in Manama on investment in the Palestinian economy.
“The PA is calling for demonstrations against the Bahrain workshop,” Jason Greenblatt tweeted. “Tells you everything you need to know about their priorities & intentions. Their leadership is happy w/ the status quo & would rather Palestinians suffer than at least explore a different path for a better future.”
The “Peace to Prosperity” summit is set to take place next Tuesday and Wednesday, June 25-26. The event is supposed to mark the kick-off of the Trump administration’s long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative, spearheaded by the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.
The head of the controversial UN agency for Palestinian refugees and their descendants said Friday he hopes donors will be as generous this year as they were last year after the United States cut all funding for the $1.2 billion program for some 5 million Palestinians.
Pierre Krahenbuhl said at a news conference that 42 countries and institutions increased their funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency last year. He called that “unprecedented,” adding that it was also “very remarkable” that every single pledge in 2018 was honored.
He praised the strong mobilization of funds for UNRWA from Europe, the Gulf countries, Asia, the Americas and beyond, adding that “we’re very inspired by that result.”
Krahenbuhl said the agency is pursuing the same appeal for $1.2 billion this year and hopes donors will pledge that amount at a conference Tuesday at UN headquarters.
“History and Allah brought a real opportunity,” a top-ranking Saudi diplomat told Israelis via an interview in Globes on Friday. “The blood conflict had lasted too long. Us Saudis and all Gulf States plus Egypt and Jordan realize that the age of going to war with Israel is over.”
Pointing to “the advantages of normalizing relations,” he argued that “the whole Arab world could benefit from it,” Globes reported.
The Saudi diplomat told Globes that “Israeli technology is very advanced and the Arab world, including those who hate you, looks at Israel in admiration due to this success and hopes to copy it.”
He further stated that despite the understanding among Saudi people that the age of war with Israel needs to end, the kingdom has a deep commitment to the Palestinians.
“Maybe it is hard for them to part with the character of the ever-suffering victim and they don’t believe they could survive without it,” he said, noting that if they accept the American peace plan they will be given “sums they never dreamed of.”
The official slammed Palestinian leadership as “irresponsible” for not even considering the “Deal of the Century,” which will bring $50 billion to their people, he said.
US President Donald Trump’s plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the Deal of the Century, will not pass because it ends the Palestinian cause, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday.
Abbas, who was speaking during a meeting of Fatah leaders in Ramallah, said that the Palestinians will not attend the US-led economic conference in the Bahraini capital of Manama, which is expected to begin on June 25, “because there can be no economic solution before there’s a political solution.”
Abbas’s remarks came as several Palestinian factions called for mass demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to protest against the Bahrain conference. The demonstrations will begin on June 24 and continue until the end of the conference on June 26.
The protests will be held under the banner “The Manama Workshop is Treason.”
The Palestinian ruling Fatah faction on Saturday called on Arabs to stage demonstrations in front of Bahrain embassies in their countries to protest the economic workshop.
Palestinian officials on Saturday denounced the US economic peace plan that was unveiled by the White House as an attempt to bribe the Palestinian people, saying that without addressing Palestinian demands for a state, there could be no progress.
The wide-spread rejection, from the Palestinian Authority, to Hamas and Arab Israeli leaders, echoed the same theme — first end Israel’s occupation and the Palestinians would thrive by themselves.
The Trump administration on Saturday unveiled a $50 billion Palestinian investment and infrastructure proposal intended to be the economic engine to power its much-anticipated but still unreleased Middle East peace plan.
The scheme, which calls for a mix of public and private financing and intends to create at least a million new jobs for Palestinians, was posted to the White House website ahead of a two-day conference in Bahrain that is being held amid heavy skepticism about its viability and outright opposition from the Palestinians.
“First lift the siege of Gaza, stop the Israeli theft of our land, resources and funds, give us our freedom of movement and control over our borders, airspace, territorial waters etc. Then watch us build a vibrant prosperous economy as a free & sovereign people,” tweeted Hanan Ashrawi a longtime aide to PA President Mahmoud Abbas and member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee.
The Palestinian leadership again reiterated their rejection of the proposal and the conference.
The clan of a Palestinian man from Jenin who reportedly agreed to attend Tuesday’s US-led economic workshop in Manama, Bahrain has issued a statement “disowning” him and accusing him of collaboration with Israel.
The man, Mohammed Arif Masad, from the town of Burqin, 5 km. west of Jenin, is reported to have moved to Israel two decades ago after being accused of collaboration with Israeli authorities.
The clan said in its statement that it cut its ties with Masad 20 years ago because he “deviated from the national line and the morals, values and traditions of his family.”
The clan said that Masad represents only himself and pledged its support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO for their “courageous stance against all those who are conspiring [against the Palestinians] by attending suspicious conferences.”
The Palestinian ruling Fatah faction headed by Abbas published the family’s statement and photos of Masad on its official Facebook page.
Masad was suspected of collaboration with Israel during the first Intifada that broke out in 1987 and was forced to flee his town, Palestinian sources in Jenin told The Jerusalem Post. They claimed that the man has since been living in Israel.
Bahrain has allowed journalists from six different media outlets, including The Jerusalem Post, to enter the kingdom to cover the conference, at which the US administration is scheduled to unveil the economic portion of its long-awaited plan for peace in the Middle East.
Bahrain does not have diplomatic ties with Israel.
Several Palestinian media organizations in the Gaza Strip, including the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, strongly condemned Bahrain’s decision to allow Israeli journalists to report on the “suspicious workshop” – a reference to the economic conference, which the Palestinians are boycotting.
The organizations called on Palestinian and Arab journalists to boycott the conference, dubbing it a “blow to the Palestinian people and their national rights.”
Condemning the participation of Israeli journalists, the Palestinian media organizations said the Bahrain conference was being held in the context of promoting normalization between the Arab states and Israel.
They praised the Palestinian Authority leadership for its rejection of the US peace deal and the Bahrain conference, and called for ending divisions among the Palestinians.
Hundreds of Jordanian Islamists marched in the capital on Friday to denounce Washington’s peace plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and demand their government boycott a conference in Bahrain next week that will examine the project.
Emerging from the main Husseini mosque in downtown Amman after Friday prayers, the protesters, among them leaders of the mainstream Islamist movement that organized the march, chanted, “O Trump, O Trump, go away from us. Jordan is steadfast and we will never kneel.”
US President Donald Trump’s long-promised “Deal of the Century” peace plan has hit a political nerve in Jordan, where millions of citizens of Palestinian refugee origin live alongside native Jordanians.
While details of the secret peace plan are still sketchy, Trump’s approach has stirred old fears of any attempt to settle the conflict in a way that would suit Israel but forgo Palestinian rights at Jordan’s expense.
The protesters chanted slogans against Amman’s participation in the US-sponsored workshop in the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain next Tuesday which Washington has billed as an economic overture to its long-delayed peace initiative.
“No to normalization with Israel… down, down with the Bahrain conference,” shouted angry protesters who mixed pro-Islamic chants and anti-Western rhetoric.
1. We need to prepare for our upcoming elections
2. Still kinda exhausted from Pride
3. Need to catch up on The Bachelor
4. Still haven’t forgiven Jared Kushner for those Game of Thrones spoilers
5. Our Ex just moved to Bahrain and we really don’t want to run into her
6. Frankly, John Bolton’s mustache frightens us
8. We hear that Trump isn’t big on holding grudges
9. Still looking for parking
10. What part of “From the River to the Sea” don’t you understand?
US National Security Adviser John Bolton landed in Israel on Saturday ahead of an unprecedented trilateral meeting in Jerusalem of top security officials from the United States, Israel and Russia.
Bolton will discuss regional issues with his counterparts, Meir Ben-Shabbat and Nikolai Patrushev. Iran’s efforts to entrench itself militarily in Syria and the escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington are expected to top the agenda.
Moscow has said it will look out for Iran’s interests at the meeting.
“Iran is in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate government and is actively involved in fighting terrorism. Therefore, of course, we will have to take into account the interests of Iran,” Patrushev said.
Bolton landed Saturday afternoon and is expected to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday morning, the Ynet news site reported.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu hailed the “historic and unprecedented” summit as an important step toward guaranteeing “stability in the Middle East during turbulent times.”
“What is important about this trilateral meeting of the two superpowers in the State of Israel is that it greatly attests to the current international standing of Israel among the nations,” he added.
A Republican lawmaker has formally petitioned the Congressional Press Office to revoke Al Jazeera’s press credentials pending an investigation into the outlet’s ownership, according to a letter obtained by the Free Beacon.
Rep. Jack Bergman (R., Mich.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, petitioned the Capitol Hill press officers earlier this month to immediately suspend “press credentials for the Al Jazeera news network” in light of “recent reports that the sole owner and shareholder of Al Jazeera International is the Emir of the State of Qatar,” according to the letter.
Al Jazeera’s press credentials should be revoked until Congress and the Department of Justice completes an investigation into possible violations of U.S. law by the network, the letter discloses.
Bergman and other lawmakers have argued that the outlet operates at the will of Qatar’s ruling body and should be subject to laws compelling disclosure of these ties with the Department of Justice. Other foreign-owned media outlets such as Russia’s RT had their press credentials revoked in 2017 over similar concerns regarding the dissemination of state-approved propaganda in the U.S.
Congress went even further in recent months to compel foreign government’s to disclose their media ties when they passed a measure requiring outlets like RT and Al Jazeera to register with the Federal Communications Commission, which Al Jazeera has thus far declined to do.
Bergman told the Free Beacon more must be done to ensure that primarily foreign-owned media outlets are not permitted to disseminate state-sanctioned propaganda in the United States.
An operative for the Iranian-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah collected “detailed information” about Toronto’s Pearson airport, according to a report released by Canada’s air safety agency on Tuesday.
Ali Kourani, a member of Hezbollah’s Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO), which is also known as the External Security Organization and 910, served as a sleeper agent based in the United States and visited Pearson seven times to gather sensitive information about security measures at the airport until his arrest in 2017.
The Hezbollah operative also scouted New York’s JFK airport and U.S government facilities, as well as identifying Israelis in the United States who could be targeted by the Iranian-sponsored terrorist group. He passed on the findings of his illicit surveillance activities to terrorist handlers in Lebanon on digital storage devices.
“While living in the United States, Kourani served as an operative of Hezbollah in order to help the foreign terrorist organization prepare for potential future attacks against the United States,” said U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers.
Matthew Levitt, an expert on Hezbollah and a former Treasury official, noted that “most of his activities occurred in the United States, but Hezbollah also sent Kourani to China, where the group had previously procured chemicals used to make bombs of the kind the group built in Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Thailand.”
A 2012 Hezbollah terror attack that targeted a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, killing six and injuring 32, was carried out by IJO.
Eli Lake: The U.S. Has Lots of Options With Iran
That’s significant. While the Trump administration has said publicly that it will take steps to defend U.S. interests, privately it has told Iran’s leaders through emissaries, such as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, that if Iran’s attacks kill an American, there will be a response in kind. That is the scenario U.S. war planners are currently focused on.
It’s not unrealistic; one U.S. national security official told me that Iran has numerous options against U.S. citizens throughout the Middle East and abroad. It could launch more precise rocket and missile attacks at U.S. consulates and embassies in Iraq, direct assaults on U.S. naval vessels or coordinate terror attacks through proxies. But the U.S. is not without options of its own. “It will be bad for us,” this source said, “but it will be bad for them too.”
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and Quds Force, it should be noted, are spread out throughout the Middle East. Not only are senior officers stationed in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon, but there are Iranian military outposts in these countries as well. Since 2017, the U.S. intelligence community has prioritized the mapping of these Iranian forces in the Middle East. Options currently under consideration include strikes on those outposts timed not to result in casualties. A more serious option under consideration: direct lethal strikes on Iranian commanders stationed outside of Iran. As I wrote earlier this week, another kinetic option is strikes on Iranian naval facilities.
And the list of U.S. options is not limited to traditional warfare. Currently, the U.S. limits its cyberoperations to Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, according to U.S. officials. If Iran continues to escalate, the U.S. could attack Iranian military computer networks.
Trump and other senior officials have said there is no eagerness to escalate the conflict with Iran. The strategy now is to “restore deterrence,” as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put it last weekend. Based on his public comments, Trump appears to be hoping that can be done without any loss of Iranian life. The question now is whether Iran’s regime feels the same way.
The United States has requested a closed-door UN Security Council meeting on Iran and the latest developments in the Gulf, diplomats said Friday.
The discussions would touch on both the recent attacks against oil tankers in the Gulf and the Iranian downing of a US spy drone, a diplomat said on condition of anonymity.
Another diplomat told AFP the meeting would take place Monday afternoon.
President Donald Trump said Friday he had planned air strikes on Iranian targets after Tehran shot down a US reconnaissance drone, but opted at the last minute to scrap the operation because it was not a “proportionate” response.
Washington also has accused Iran of responsibility for carrying out attacks on tankers in the congested shipping lanes heading out of the Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz.
Tehran denies any involvement.
Dershowitz characterized Ocasio-Cortez as “a bigoted ignoramus who makes comparisons between what’s going on on the southern border and the Holocaust,” adding, “Let nobody misunderstand what she was saying. When she used the words “concentration camps,” what she meant to invoke was the Holocaust. She didn’t make distinctions between death camps and detention centers, between Dachau and Auschwitz. Even in the concentration camps that may not have been death camps, so many people died because they were forced laborers and everything like that. And of course “Never Again” is the direct invocation of the Holocaust.”
Derhsowitz continued, “By making that comparison, she becomes a Holocaust denier, because what’s she’s saying is, ‘Gee, if all that Hitler did is what Trump is doing on the southern border, then there were no death camps. There were no killing squads. There was no genocide. There was no murder of a million-and-a-half babies. There were no selections where people were picked based on their health and whether they were twins and subjected to the most gruesome form of punishment.’”
Ocasio-Cortez’s subsequent denial that she was invoking the Holocaust with her comments about “concentration camps” amounted to a “nonsense excuse” and an “insult to the intelligence,” determined Dershowitz.
“Then you get Democrats who are prepared to just support anything Democrats say,” noted Dershowitz, highlighting Rep. Jerry Nadler’s (D-NY) expressed support for Ocasio-Cortez’s Holocaust reference. “Look, there are Republicans like that, too, but we’re talking about Democrats, now. The idea that any Democrat — from New York, no less, representing a heavily Jewish district — would defend her for those statements just tells us what’s going on in the world today, and it’s not a good scene.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) said on Friday she does not know why it is controversial for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) to describe immigration detention facilities as concentration camps.
“There are camps, and people are being concentrated. This is very simple. I don’t even know why this is a controversial thing for her to say,” Omar said. “We have to really truthfully speak about what’s taking place, and this is why it’s really important for us to abolish ICE and make sure that we have an agency that is accountable to the people, that is dealing with the situation in a humane way.”
“There’s no way we can allow for kids to be caged in this country and children to be separated from their families, and people being terrorized in their communities. We have to make sure that we are calling it out and I am 100 percent with Alex–,” Omar continued, before the video cut off.
Ocasio-Cortez said earlier this week that President Donald Trump was running an “authoritarian and fascist presidency” and said the detention system for illegal immigrants was akin to concentration camps, adding “never again,” a clear Holocaust reference.
Yad Vashem tweeted at Ocasio-Cortez to learn more about concentration camps.
“.@AOC Concentration camps assured a slave labor supply to help in the Nazi war effort, even as the brutality of life inside the camps helped assure the ultimate goal of ‘extermination through labor.'”
Ocasio-Cortez doubled-down, saying she would not apologize.
“I will never apologize for calling these camps what they are,” she said. “If that makes you uncomfortable, fight the camps – not the nomenclature.”
Jews who tried to seek asylum in British Palestine after the Holocaust were taken to detention camps on Cyprus. They were horrible. Jews were imprisoned & not allowed to leave. 400 Jews died. They were much worse than US detention centers.
THEY WEREN’T CONCENTRATION CAMPS pic.twitter.com/obsVv1qmfM
— American Zionism (@americanzionism) June 21, 2019
The Protestant Church of Germany has canceled an event that was scheduled to feature two hardcore pro-BDS activists, one of whom has ties to fund-raising for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which the EU and the US have designated a terrorist organization.
“We at Church Day have a clear attitude and have therefore asked the @rosaluxstiftung to disinvite the controversial speakers or to cancel the event,” the church tweeted on Thursday. “The foundation has canceled the event planned for Friday.”
Church Day is a Protestant mass event that is being held this year in the city of Dortmund from June 19-23. The tweet was sent to the Church Day’s more than 7,200 followers.
The @rosaluxstiftung is the Twitter feed for the left-wing Rosa Luxemburg Foundation that is affiliated with the The Left Party – a German political party in the Bundestag filled with scores of anti-Israel MPs.
The news website Ruhrbarone first broke the story about the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation hosting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activists; South African Islamic theologian Farid Esack; and Protestant theologian Ulrich Duchrow.
Esack is the chairman of BDS South Africa – a powerful anti-Israel organization – who defended calls to “shoot the Jew” during a protest against a concert by an Israeli musician Daniel Zamir in 2013.
Esack and Durchow were slated to appear at a workshop titled: “Empires of Mammon or Ways of Justice?”
Esack, who claims he propagates “progressive Islam,” said in 2015 that he “would not pray” for Jewish victims murdered by Islamic State terrorists in the attack on the Hypercacher kosher supermarket in Paris.
Esack welcomed his “comrade” plane hijacker Leila Khaled, of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, at a South African fund-raiser in 2015.
In Halbfinger’s piece, he also refers to Hamas’s practice of firing rockets from within civilian neighborhoods in Gaza. As with the rockets, he declined to mention that this, too, is a violation of international law. “Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups have frequently violated the laws of war by firing rockets from within populated areas,” a Human Rights Watch report states.
And the same goes for the two Israeli civilians being held incommunicado by Hamas. The civilians, Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who suffer from serious mental health conditions, are believed to have been seized by Hamas after walking across Israel’s border into Gaza. Hamas’s enforced disappearance of the civilians and the conditions of their detention are also violations of international law. But Halbfinger says nothing.
The New York Times might defend its omissions as it often does: by insisting that it cannot explain everything in every article. But the paper often makes a point of enlightening readers about international law — at least when it comes to controversial Israeli actions. In 15 articles or more over the past half year, the newspaper charged Israel, or quoted others charging Israel, with violating international law on topics ranging from settlements, to discussions of annexation, to Israel’s handling of Gaza border riots, and even to the country’s capture of an infamous Nazi hiding in Argentina.
But despite the launch of hundreds of rockets from Gaza toward Israeli civilians during that same time period, and dozens of Times articles mentioning those rockets, a Nexis search did not find a single article that contextualized those rockets with a reference to international law, illegality, or war crimes. Halbfinger instead described the rocket attacks as merely the fruit of Hamas “impatience.”
One article about Gaza’s illegal rocket fire did mention international law — to relay Hamas’s accusation that Israel is guilty of war crimes.
Reporter Samy Magdy correctly notes that the recently deceased Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammed Morsi, was an “Islamist” who, during his brief tenure as Egypt’s president, monopolized power and tried to “entrench Islamist rule.” But little is said about Morsi and the Brotherhood’s illiberal views.
In a 2010 speech before coming to power, Morsi encouraged Egyptians to “nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred” for Zionists and Jews—and compared the latter to “apes and pigs” in a TV interview that same year. In a Jan. 2013 meeting with seven U.S. Senators, then-President Morsi was asked about these comments and responded by asserting that Jews control American media.
Morsi’s comments are indicative of the worldview of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is steeped in conspiratorial thinking and hatred of Jews, Christians and the many Muslims who don’t share their goal of the establishment of a theocratic, totalitarian state. Regrettably, although Morsi was deposed, his views still find a wide audience and derivatives of the Brotherhood continue to seek power—often while obfuscating on their twisted ideology.
On December 17, 1942, Britain’s foreign secretary, Anthony Eden, rose from his seat in the House of Commons and revealed that the Nazis were now carrying out Hitler’s oft-repeated threat to “exterminate the Jewish people in Europe.” He went on to condemn “this bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination.”
After he had delivered the statement, which had been coordinated with other Allied governments, MPs stood in the chamber and observed a minute’s silence.
By this time, the United Kingd’s public broadcaster, the BBC, had already reported evidence of the mass murder of Jews in Eastern Europe. News of the unfolding horror was also transmitted through its European outlets, such as the BBC Polish Service, to the very scene of the greatest crimes.
But there was a peculiar and troubling exception: the silence of the BBC’s broadcasts to Hungary concerning the fate of the Jews.
That silence was a deliberate policy. It is one, moreover, that remained in place right up to the moment that the Germans, rightly fearing that Hungary’s authoritarian ruler, Admiral Miklós Horthy, was about to abandon his allegiance to the Axis and switch sides, occupied the country 75 years ago this spring.
The position of Hungarian Jews had long been a precarious one. They were subject to a raft of domestic anti-Semitic laws and restrictions – the earliest of which long predated Hitler’s rise to power – and many died after around 50,000 men were conscripted in labor battalions and sent to the eastern front.
Polish first-grade students dressed up as Auschwitz inmates as part of a school- play representing the life of Polish Catholic priest Maximilian Kolbe, Czas Chojnic reported on June 19.
Some of the children were dressed as guards, others were dressed in stripped prison uniforms and all 28 children vowed to be good students in the play, which was performed on June 10.
The children wore the red triangle marking them as Poles, similar to that of the yellow star worn by Jews during the Holocaust.
Some social media users lauded the show, calling it a great educational tool to teach both history and Catholic values; others wondered if having a child point a made-up rifle at his classmates is the best way to teach about Kolbe.
Others objected to the whole thing, saying the harsh topic is inappropriate for such young children and that there’s no reason to connect taking an oath to be a good student with such a tragic story.
Some were even more harsh, calling the show “sick” and saying the parents “should be ashamed.”
Two philanthropists donated more than $4 million to security for Jews in Malmo, Sweden.
Lennart Blecher, who is Jewish, and Dan Olofsson, who is not, decided to donate the total sum to “instill some hope in the Jewish population, so they feel that even if the politicians do not want to do something, there are people who are prepared to stand up for them,” Olofsson told Dagens Nyheter Sunday.
The announcement prompted some criticism about the community’s need for philanthropy to cover its security costs, which the municipality does not fully cover.
“It is unreasonable that a members of the Jewish community should finance basic security arrangements to protect themselves against attacks,” journalist Sofia Nerbrand wrote in an op-ed about the donation published Monday in Dagens Nyheter. “It’s a fundamental task for state and municipality.”
The donation came amid preparations for an international conference on fighting anti-Semitism planned by the government in Malmo and plans to open Holocaust museum in the Swedish city.
This is part of a $2.6m initiative spearheaded by Israel’s Ministry of Social Equality to build an international Oral History archive of Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews sharing their personal stories.
In partnership with Beit Hatfutsot, The Museum of Jewish Peoplehood and Yad Ben Zvi Institute, the project enables individuals anywhere in the world to capture the personal stories of Jews from North Africa and the Middle East and add them to the growing international collection utilizing basic mobile technologies. The user-friendly “Seeing the Voices” Mobile Application guides individuals through the process of the interview from start to finish. Users are provided with a step-by-step guide and questionnaire to conduct and video record testimonies with their phones. Each interview collected with the mobile application is automatically added to Israel’s official database of testimonies and are made available for viewing online.
Since 2018, JIMENA staff have worked with the Israeli team on developing the English version of the application. The stories recorded with the aid of the app will form part of a centralised archive.
Download the app: iPhone; Android
Comedic actor Martin Short praised Israel for its beauty at a gala in Jerusalem on Thursday during his first-ever visit to the Jewish state.
Short, 69, was the emcee at the event where Robert Kraft, owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots, was awarded the Genesis Prize, which honors “individuals for their accomplishments and commitment to Jewish values, inspiring Jews to connect to their heritage and to Israel,” according to the Genesis Prize Foundation.
Before the start of the award ceremony, Short talked about his time in Israel so far, saying, “[It’s] unbelievably beautiful. Really, just everything. You can’t even imagine it unless you’re here. I’ve only spent time in Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv or any other city, but just absolutely spectacular. I mean, you spent your whole life hearing the word Jerusalem and now you’re here.”
The Canadian-American actor also talked about antisemitism, which Kraft announced in his acceptance speech that he would combat with the establishment of a foundation dedicated to tackling Jew-hatred and efforts to delegitimize Israel.
Short said antisemitism should not be joked about. He added, “I think that tragically antisemitism is not on the decline, especially in Europe it’s on the rise and so this must be continuously fought. You know, I’m friends with Steven Spielberg and I went to an early screening of ‘Schindler’s List’ and I said: ‘Steven, why do you feel it’s necessary to make this film right now?’ And he said: ‘Because antisemitism is on the rise in Europe like it never was before.’”
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