How to talk about the Holocaust: Analogize rarely, never appropriate
To talk more effectively about the Holocaust, we need to think better about it, and that starts with the recognition that analogy is at the core of how people understand themselves and the world around them. They see one thing, and it reminds them of something else. They consider similarity and difference. Holding something apart from analogy entirely is a recipe for its irrelevance. Analogical thinking is a Jewish mode of thought, as well. The Maccabees, Queen Esther, the Exodus; all of these travel from antiquity into the present on analogical wings.
However, those who argue that Auschwitz is beyond comparison are correct to warn that analogy is always in danger of sliding into appropriation. Analogy intelligently done is alert to difference as well as similarity and requires the agility to temper the rush to comparison with the sober acknowledgment that there are distinctions that make a difference. Properly executed analogy is attuned not only to slogans and symbols, but to processes and complexity. It is a powerful tool because it is a limited one.
Holocaust appropriation is kidnapping. It is taking another’s pain whole cloth and importing it into a context where it generates more heat than light. It is necessarily shallow, because appropriators are more interested in surfaces than depth and detail. Unlike analogy, which does the hard work of comparison and contrast, appropriation does the easy task of proclaiming sameness. Being ethically sound and intellectually honest demands line drawing, not self-serving erasure. Appropriation picks favorites, obscuring the pain of some to highlight the suffering of others. Its memory is necessarily short and selective. There are those still living who looked “Angel of Death” Josef Mengele in the eye.
The onus must always be on those who invoke the Holocaust to do so justly. There are many kinds of injustice, and the burden of proof lies squarely on those who decide that Jewish suffering is the most apt prism through which to view a current issue. The better part of wisdom likely lies in declining to pursue such analogies, and when they are deployed, wielding them cautiously. Never Again, yes – but not Always and Everywhere. Ocasio-Cortez, use my people’s tragedy to inspire you to pursue justice. But never forget that when you speak, six million are listening.
Shuhada Street is a half-mile long road in the Palestinian city of Hebron in the West Bank. It was once the thriving market center of the city, frequented by Palestinians and Israelis daily. Today, it is a virtual ghost town, largely shut down by the Israeli military for security reasons. It has become central to the Palestinian narrative and the symbol of an alleged Israeli apartheid employed by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the State of Israel.
Why Shuhada Street was closed, how the commercial center of Hebron has moved less than a mile from the now abandoned Shuhada Street and become a thriving market district seldom if ever visited by outsiders, and a place where Jews (not just Israelis, but Jews from any country) are banned is a story seldom told in full. It represents the true story of “apartheid” in Hebron. I visited the city last week and expose the myth of Shuhada Street for the first time here.
The Jewish connection to Hebron dates back almost 4,000 years to when Abraham, the father of Judaism, came to the Land of Israel and settled in the city. Abraham purchased a plot of land, known as the Cave of the Patriarchs, as a burial plot. The site is considered to be the final resting place of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah, the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Jewish religion. It is also said that King David was anointed king in Hebron, and that Hebron was the first capital of Israel until it was moved to Jerusalem.
As a result of this historic significance, Jews have prayed in Hebron since biblical times, and with a few interruptions have lived there continuously. Hebron is considered to be the second holiest city for Jews after Jerusalem.
Hebron has a long and complicated history, having been conquered by many invading peoples, including the Babylonians, Romans, Byzantines, Muslim Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans, Mamelukes, and the British. Following the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, Hebron was captured and occupied by the Jordanian Arab Legion. During the Jordanian occupation, which lasted for 20 years, until 1967, Jews were not permitted to live in the city, nor to visit or pray at the Jewish holy sites in the city. No one complained of “apartheid.”
The manuscript was written between 1675 and 1685, and includes text in Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
Throughout the manuscript we can clearly see several instances in which Newton uses Hebrew script. For example, he analyzes the use of the Hebrew root רצף (rezef) and its modifications רצפה and רצפת (rizpah, rizpat), which can mean “sequence”, “floor” or “flooring”. The Aramaic words תא חזי (ta hezi) and תא שמע (ta shema) also appear in Hebrew script. These Talmudic phrases mean “come and see” and “come and hear”, respectively. All of the Hebrew script appears alongside Latin translations and explanations.
In the left column, near the top of the page, we can see a Hebrew biblical verse, complete with vowel notations: Baruch shem kvod malchuto l’olam va’ed (“Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever”). According to Midrash, when Moses ascended Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments, he heard the angels speak this verse to God.
Also in the left column of the page, we see commentaries from a Spanish Jesuit on the descriptions of the Temple that appear in the Book of Ezekiel.
To Newton, The Temple held significance for three main reasons. First, Newton saw the Jewish Temple as a model of the universe. He believed that the Temple in Jerusalem, and the courtyard surrounding it, was a model of the heliocentric solar system, with the raised altar (located in the center) representing the sun. Second, Newton’s interest in the architecture of the temple was fueled by his belief that the Temple would serve as the “site of revelation” for the apocalypse. In addition, he believed that the Temple would be rebuilt in Jerusalem (with even greater magnificence than the original) at the onset of the Millennial Kingdom – that is, Christ’s reign on earth.
Alan M. Dershowitz: Alan Dershowitz: ‘The New Yorker’ Is Trying to Silence Me
I recently learned, from a source close to The New Yorker magazine, that its editor, David Remnick, has commissioned a hit piece against me for the explicit purpose of silencing my defense of President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the State of Israel. Remnick despises Trump and Netanyahu, and is well known for his strong anti-Israel bias. Remnick explicitly told people that I must be silenced because mine has been the most persuasive voice in favor of what Remnick feels poses a danger to values he holds dear, and that he will use the credibility of The New Yorker to accomplish this goal.
The New Yorker used to be a great literary magazine. I read it for its short stories, profiles of literary figures, film and drama reviews, humorous vignettes, and clever cartoons. But since David Remnick took over as editor, left-wing politics have trumped non-partisan literature. Profiles have become personal attacks on Remnick’s political enemies and hagiographies of his political friends.
Among Remnick’s most persistent enemies are Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump. Ad hominem attacks on the Israeli Prime Minister include mocking his name (“Netanyahoo”) and calling him a “mendacious mouse.” Remnick consistently singles out Israel for condemnation, while ignoring real violations of human rights.
An op-ed in The Jerusalem Post observed:
Under Remnick’s reign, The New Yorker, and particularly Remnick himself, repeatedly and obsessively focuses on what Remnick perceives to be the failings of the State of Israel,” accusing it of “medievalism,” “apartheid,” and “xenophobia.” Its one-sided views have been “posted prominently on the website of ‘Intifada – The Voice of Palestine.’”
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America has characterized Remnick’s writings as “almost frantic agitation” against the Netanyahu government. Israel and/or its leaders are scorned for being “bigoted,” “arrogant,” and “stubborn,” and for displaying “ineptitude” and a penchant for “fantasy.” The Palestinian leaders, on the other hand, are “moderate and constructive.” Remnick’s attacks on President Trump are even more ad hominem, calling him “unhinged,” “chaotic,” “corrupt,” “infantile” and comparing him to Nero.
Some of the questions they could ask include:
1. Do you support the ethnic cleansing of 400,000 Jews from Judea and Samaria even though 20% of the Israeli population within its pre-1967 lines is Arab and Arabs are allowed to live anywhere in Israel?
2. After final Status negotiations, do you believe Jerusalem’s Western Wall should be under Israeli sovereignty (as Bill Clinton stated in his Parameters for Peace) or Palestinian Arab sovereignty (as ruled by Obama when he did not veto UNSC 2334 calling the Western Wall “occupied Palestinian territory”)?
3. If Israel withdraws from Judea and Samaria how would Israel protect itself from Hamas missile attacks. Considering Hamas leadership repeatedly stated they will attack Israel from the West Bank as they do from Gaza if given a chance?
The answers to the questions above would in all probability reveal that Ifnotnow does not care about Jewish holy sites or about Israel’s protection. Ifnotnow wants Israel to commit suicide by making its borders vulnerable to Hamas, it doesn’t even want to protect the Western Wall.
When Ifnotnow members call to “end the occupation” they mean also Jerusalem’s Old City including the Western Wall where Jews were not allowed to pray from 1948 to 1967, the period of the Jordanian occupation, when the Jodanian Arab Legion ethnically cleansed all Jews from Jerusalem’s old city and destroyed dozens of synagogues.
Miller proceeded to highlight specific examples of things that Omar and Ocasio-Cortez have said that have offended many Americans and led to week-long outrage cycles of news coverage.
“You saw the quotes from Representative Omar saying ‘some people did something’ at 9/11. And yes, if you watch it in context, it’s worse,” Miller said. “You saw the quotes from Representative Omar talking about how, ‘oh, well, we talk about al Qaeda in menacing tone — and by the way, she’s giggling throughout this interview, but we don’t talk about the Army in a menacing tone. And, yes, if you watch it in context, which I have, it’s even worse.”
Miller then tore into Ocasio-Cortez for falsely claiming that the U.S. is operating “concentration camps” on the southern border, a remark she made last month where she invoked “Never Again,” a reference to the Holocaust.
“And perhaps the most shocking of all, with the comments made by Representative Ocasio-Cortez saying that our border agents are running concentration camps, and therefore they are Nazis, and therefore, everyone in that audience and you and me and everyone who supports our border patrol are, by extension, Nazis sympathizers,” Miller said. “We support Nazis if we support border agents.”
“As a Jew, as an American Jew, I am profoundly outraged by the comments from Ocasio-Cortez,” Miller continued. “It is a historical smear. It is a sinful comment. It minimizes the death of six million of my Jewish brothers and sisters. It minimizes their suffering and it paints every patriotic law enforcement officer as a war criminal, and those are the comments, Chris, that we need to be focusing on.”
You can’t silence me with your phony political activity arguments. Absurd comments must be corrected so our allies know we don’t run concentration camps at the US border. #USdiplomacy https://t.co/Db5nn9izIx
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) July 21, 2019
— Legal Insurrection (@LegInsurrection) July 22, 2019
The leaflet begins with a history of anti-Semitism and in referring to the Holocaust declares that “Holocaust denial and revisionism are profoundly antisemitic.”
A section on anti-Semitic conspiracy theories denounces the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as “entirely fabricated,” and as being the basis for many conspiracies about Jews.
“Today, some conspiracy theories substitute Israel or Zionists for Jews, presenting Israel as controlling the world’s media and finances,” the leaflet reads. “These theories ascribe to Israel influence on world events far beyond any objective analysis. Likewise blaming Israel’s faults on its Jewish identity, or holding all Jews in the UK and elsewhere responsible for what Israel does is antisemitic.”
In explaining Zionism, anti-Zionism and their relation to anti-Semitism the leaflet states that “Jewish people have the same right to self-determination as any other people.”
Yet “sensitivities” around concepts of Zionism should not mean limiting legitimate criticism of the Israeli state or its policies” or supporting the Palestinian cause.
“But opposition to the Israeli government must never use antisemitic ideas, such as attributing its injustices to Jewish identity, demanding that Jews in Britain or elsewhere answer for its conduct, or comparing Israel to the Nazis,” Labour advises.
“Many Jews view calls for Israel to cease to exist as calls for expulsion or genocide. Arguing for one state with rights for all Israelis and Palestinians is not antisemitic, but calling for the removal of Jews from the region is. Anti-Zionism is not in itself antisemitic and some Jews are not Zionists. Labour is a political home for Zionists and anti-Zionists. Neither Zionism nor anti-Zionism is in itself racism.”
Support for British Labour head Jeremy Corbyn has fallen significantly among party members, many of whom are dissatisfied with his leadership in the face of Brexit and a growing anti-Semitism crisis that has developed under his leadership, a new poll conducted on behalf of the Times of London has found.
According to survey, which was carried out by pollster YouGov, two fifths of Labour members want Corbyn, who has led the party since 2015, to resign before the next general election while fully a quarter demand that he step down immediately.
Over half disapprove of Corbyn’s approach to Brexit and 48 percent have stated that he has handled anti-Semitism either fairly or very badly.
In contrast, 47% of those surveyed believe the leader is dealing with Jew hatred well, or fairly well, with 5% of respondents saying they don’t know.
Seventy percent of the 1,100 Labour members polled agreed that anti-Semitism is a “genuine” problem within the party.
Finally it is clear for all to see: the emperor has no clothes.
As though awoken from a spell, some of the institutions within the orbit of the Party — such as Labour members of the House of the Lords, the GMB Union, staff at the membership department in Newcastle, and even some MPs — have responded to the documentary as one would have expected them to have done years ago: by vehemently calling out the attempts to aid antisemites within the Party and the ill-treatment of staff who were simply trying to do their jobs to prevent illegal discrimination. These actions — welcome though they are — are merely symbolic. The House of Lords, for example, cannot force change.
The stakes could not be higher. We scarcely need to use our imaginations to see how Britain might look for Jews were it governed by the same people and forces as those who have been governing the Labour Party since 2015. Why should we believe that civil servants and officials attempting to apply the law against antisemites would face a different fate than Labour staffers and officials who were sidelined, forced to take sick leave, disciplined, threatened with legal action, sacked or driven to suicidal thoughts because they dared to call out antisemitism? In this context, it is no surprise that a recent survey showed that 40% of British Jews would consider leaving this country in the event that Jeremy Corbyn was elected Prime Minister.
When the Shadow Cabinet meets tomorrow to engage yet again in a show of being seen to object to the racism that has overcome their Labour Party, if history is a guide, then nothing of significance will result. Political fig leaves might be applied, resolutions may be recommended to Party conference months hence, and worthy statements about speeding up processes issued, but the whole country now knows that the emperor is stark naked: Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite, and his Party is infested with antisemitism. The hand-wringing and statements we have seen and heard so many times over the past four years do not count as meaningful action.
These final frames, which show the US president and Israeli prime minister, appear to reinforce Bell’s narrative that charges of antisemitism in the Labour Party since Jeremy Corbyn became leader are unserious, representing merely a cynical effort by those making the claim to smear their political opponents.
In his own pseudo sophisticated way, Bell is echoing the antisemitic rhetoric of those pro-Corbyn fanatics who’ve launched hateful attacks on Jews (including Jewish politicians and public figures) who’ve complained about antisemitism. Ultimately, what Bell is doing is gas-lighting British Jews, dismissing their profound fears about the hatred directed to their community, and lending credibility to bigots who view the entire row as a conspiracy to bring down their beloved leader.
Though we’re glad editors chose not to run the most openly antisemitic cartoons in the series, the fact that Bell, whose visceral contempt for Israel and the values of British Jews is apparent, has been employed by the Guardian for thirty-eight years is an apt symbol of how the once fiercely Zionist and philosemitic institution has, as David Collier phrased it, become “nothing but a poisonous shadow of something that used to resemble a newspaper”.
Over the past several weeks, the Legal Insurrection Foundation has investigated the coalition of anti-Israel groups that organized protests and disruptions at the annual Christians United for Israel (CUFI) summit July 7-9, 2019
Calling their campaign “Rise against Racism”, Counter CUFI followed the traditional modus operandi of intersectional anti-Israel groups, seeking to build an anti-Israel coalition along racial and religious identity lines, portraying Israel as a white supremacist colonialist oppressive enterprise, and lauding themselves as the underdog heroes speaking truth to power.
What is clear is that the endgame for anti-Israel activists is to create a social media narrative that is both hostile to Israel and overstates the impact of the activists. The perception, not the reality, of protests and disruptions is what matters to them, so even when they lose, they feel like they won. That is an important lesson that pro-Israel groups facing protests and disruptions need to understand, and be proactive in opposing.
1. Investigation Into Counter CUFI.
My report on June 30, 2019, Investigation: Anti-Israel groups plan disruption of Christians United for Israel Annual Summit, presented background on the campaign’s four co-sponsoring group and exposed Counter CUFI’s plan to stage a disruption inside the summit. We were the only news outlet to report on the planned disruption inside the venue.
My second post on the Counter CUFI activities, Anti-Israel groups lock down planning for disruption inside Christians United For Israel Summit, recounted my efforts to report on Counter CUFI’s “Nonviolent direct action training and preparation”— and how Counter CUFI organizers expelled me from the public event. (The organizers also expelled another individual from the public, live-streamed panel with Linda Sarsour that evening, despite the fact that he was only sitting and listening quietly. They justified his expulsion by alleging his association with LIF, and forced him to leave by calling the police.)
According to media watchdog CAMERA, the trailer for “Our Boys,” an upcoming series about the murder of Palestinian teen Muhammad Abu Khdeir in 2014, is raising concerns over its portrayal of Israeli society.
Media watchdog organization CAMERA is raising questions about an upcoming HBO series, “Our Boys,” about the brutal murder of a Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir by a Jewish gang in 2014.
“When HBO released the trailer for the series, several news publications promoted the show as a story about the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas operatives just prior to the 2014 Gaza war,” said Andrea Levin, CAMERA’s executive director. “However, the trailer spends less than a minute on the killing of the Israeli boys.”
Levin went on to say that “their murder is depicted with hardly any pathos and seems simply to be the inciting incident for the film’s central drama – finding the Jewish perpetrators of the appalling murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir.”
According to CAMERA film reviewer Ricki Hollander, “Much of the trailer is devoted to scenes of bloodthirsty Israeli Jews screaming for revenge, and these scenes of revenge-bent Israelis are juxtaposed with sympathetic images of Muhammad Abu Khdeir’s heartbroken father. The trailer includes no sympathetic scenes of the Israeli parents whose children were murdered, even though the killings were a national trauma.”
At one point in the trailer, Israel’s security and judicial system, which in reality includes Arab officials, is presented as racist.
Several hundred internationally renowned scholars have signed an anti-BDS appeal to the German government.
“We have just started collecting signatures and the number of supporters is growing every day,” said Wolfgang Bock, head of the German section of “Scholars for Peace in the Middle East” that co-initiated the petition together with the German NGO “Democracy and Information.”
The resolution demands that the German government adopt a legally non-binding motion passed by Germany’s parliament, the “Bundestag” on May 17, rendering BDS antisemitic and calling to withhold from the movement public financial assets and the uses of public facilities. It follows a competing appeal by a rival group of 240 Jewish and Israeli scholars from June that condemned the anti-BDS motion by the Bundestag and called on the German government not to adopt it.
The June resolution denies the antisemitic character of BDS and renders measures against it an infringement of free speech. Challenging that assumption, the current anti-BDS appeal declares that “Statements by scholars, who present BDS as legitimate and peaceful, concern us deeply. For they misjudge the most dangerous form of antisemitism today, which is directed against the State of Israel as the living sign of Jewish life in the present and the only refuge for persecuted Jews.
“By seeking arguments in favor of the political legitimacy of BDS, they promote – quite certainly without intention – antisemitic forces throughout society.”
In addition, the appeal points out that the objectives, methods and arguments promoted by BDS match the internationally recognized definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
A prominent German Jewish historian alleged in a blistering commentary last week that three German MPs are seeking to sabotage a resolution that classifies BDS as an antisemitic campaign.
“A minority of members of the Bundestag coalition and opposition wants to prevent” a “financial implementation of the anti-BDS decision of our elected representatives,” Dr. Michael Wolffsohn wrote in the daily broadsheet Die Welt.
Wolffsohn added that a key point of the anti-BDS resolution is, “This should tighten the purse strings of BDS and its German partners.”
All of the mainstream parties voted in May to pass a resolution against the BDS campaign targeting Israel.
The historian said that the MPs “through public, mainly media pressure, and the budgets committee, seek to delete the removal of these funds” to combat BDS.
Wolffsohn wrote his Welt commentary in response to a Der Spiegel article that alleged two tiny pro-Israel NGOs “control” German foreign policy in the Middle East, and with the aid of money and the Mossad, pressured the Bundestag to pass the anti-BDS resolution. German Jews and politicians slammed the article as propagating an anti-Jewish conspiracy theory.
Daphne Anson: Anti-Israel Shenanegans in (and out of) Steel City
Sheffield, Yorkshire. Famous, once upon a time, for manufacturing cutlery. Not so famous for being the home town of the BBC’s appalling little Israel-bashing squirt Jon Donnison.
Olivia Blake (pictured left, and below holding a Palestinian flag) is Labour councillor for the Walkley, Netherthorpe and Upperthorpe wards in Sheffield.
She’s deputy leader of Sheffield Council and Labour’s candidate for the parliamentary seat of Sheffield Hallam.
She’s on record as saying “I fully support the work of Jeremy Corbyn … to rid our party of antisemitism….”
(Yes, you read that correctly!)
But along with the rest of the Labour-dominated city council she evidently thinks that the council has a mandate over and beyond its obligation to keep roads free of potholes, to ensure rubbish is collected on time, and to collect rates.
For Sheffield Council has made a foray into the realm of foreign policy. Not foreign policy in general, but foreign policy aimed at undermining the State of Israel. And aspiring MP Olivia thinks that’s a really grand idea.
— Ozraeli Dave (((דיויד לנג))) (@Israellycool) July 22, 2019
Remember Dr. Lara Kollab?
Sure you do.
Ohio doctor fired for anti-Semitic tweets, including threats to give Jews “the wrong meds”
Doctor who made anti-Semitic remarks should be suspended …
Antisemitic Medical Student Lara Kollab loses position at another clinic
Lara Kollab was fired from a Cleveland Clinic for tweeting that she would purposely give the wrong medication to Jews. A subsequent residency offer from Kern Medical Center was also withdrawn.
Its not over. According to the Cleveland Jewish News, the Ohio Medical Board has issued a citation to Dr. Lara Kollab that it intends to impose disciplinary action on her, “ranging from limiting her license to permanent suspension as well as the potential for fines”.
The Board, writing to Kollab, concluded that her acts and conduct constituted
” a failure to furnish evidence satisfactory to the board of good moral character as required by Section 4731.291 (A)(1 ), Ohio Revised Code”
Supporters of the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) campaign announced that they are widening the scope of their movement after learning that Palestinians are treated like sh!t across the Middle East and the rest of the world.
“When we were told we had to boycott Israel, we thought that it was because of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza,” one recent convert to the BDS movement explained. “Then we read all about [Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s slaughter of Palestinians at the Yarmouk refugee camp, Iran arming Hamas while it attacks Palestinian civilians, Egypt’s blockade against Gaza, Lebanon’s uber-discrimination against Palestinians, and thought, well I guess we have to boycott these countries too.”
But BDS leaders responded harshly to calls to expands the movement.
“What don’t these worthless w@nkers understand? I couldn’t give a sh!t whether Assad eats Palestinian children for breakfast,” explained vocal BDS proponent and Assad supporter Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd frontman. “We’re only trying to stick it to the Jews. I thought we made that pretty clear.”
In addition, the illustration accompanying the article depicted Rivera standing on the Star of David in the middle of the Israeli flag. He was also atop a baseball mound that had been colored white with a blue fringe, in apparent imitation of a yarmulke, a cap traditionally worn by Jewish males.
Readers were outraged. Some called the article and the image antisemitic.
Tim Alberta, chief political correspondent for Politico magazine, called the article a “flaming hot piece of journalistic garbage” and refused to tweet the link, but tweeted a screen grab of the image.
Breitbart News reached out to the Daily Beast and to Brockway for comment, and received no response.
However, a short time later, the article was changed significantly:
The headline was changed to remove the word “Secret.” The image accompanying the article was removed and replaced with an innocuous photograph of Rivera at Yankees Stadium. The article is now boldly marked “opinion.”
In addition, the word “apartheid” was removed from the text and replaced with “far-right.”
No editors’ note was provided to indicate that changes had been made, to provide explanations, or to offer regrets.
The very long New York Times obituary of Robert Morgenthau, the longtime Manhattan District attorney, manages to omit entirely Morgenthau’s Jewish identity, which was strong.
Morgenthau was the founding chairman of New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage and worked for years to raise money for that museum, plan its design and content, recruit other leaders, and get it up and running. Other than the Police Athletic League (another cherished Morgenthau cause that the Times obituary also strangely omits) it was his main charitable endeavor.
That museum, with its stunning view of the Statue of Liberty, is a memorial to the Holocaust but also emphasizes the Jewish civilization in Europe that was largely destroyed. The museum has emerged as a significant New York landmark and cultural institution. A wing of the museum is named for Morgenthau.
Morgenthau’s commitment on the Holocaust issue extended also to the matter of fine art that had been looted by the Nazis. In 1998, when a Jew’s heirs laid claim to an Egon Schiele painting called “Portrait of Wally” that the Museum of Modern Art was planning to return to Austria, Morgenthau subpoenaed it as evidence. As the chief of Morgenthau’s investigation division, Daniel Castleman, told The Wall Street Journal at the time, “If you’re doing a stolen property case, it helps to have the stolen property.”
The action triggered a complaint letter to Morgenthau from Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, a former Times publisher who was then chairman of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a director of the New York Times Company. The Times obituary entirely omits the “Portrait of Wally” episode, but it was one of Morgenthau’s finest moments.
As long as there have been Jews, there have been two unwavering constants: anti-Semitism and Jewish jokes about anti-Semitism.
Like the one told about the assassination of Czar Alexander of Russia in 1881, when a government official approaches a rabbi and growls, “I assume you know who was behind it.”
The rabbi replies, “I have no idea, but I’m sure the government will blame the Jews and the chimney sweeps.”
Confused, the official asks, “Why the chimney sweeps?”
“Why the Jews?” the rabbi responds.
While philosophers and historians have long debated the persistence of anti-Jewish stereotypes, Jewish comedians have been trying to undermine their peddlers with laughs.
One hilarious and revealing example comes courtesy of Elon Gold, an in-demand comic with a Netflix special and regular gigs on the late night talk shows.
“We Jews are just like everyone else,” Gold said last year on “The Late Late Show With James Corden.” “We all have the three basic human needs: sex, money and food. We just want them in a different order.”
As the audience laughed knowingly, Gold continued, “For the rest of the world, it’s sex, money and food, in that order. But for us, what’s No. 1?” — at which point the entire crowd yelled “Money!”
Without missing a beat, Gold exclaimed, “How DARE you?!” in mock horror, adding sarcastically, “I like how that was in unison, without any reservation or hesitation.”
With a mixture of gifts, bribery and personal charm, Clement Behar, who now lives in Paris,prevent managed to get a number of Egyptian Jews released from jail, and Egypt’s chief rabbi from giving a speech denouncing the Jewish state. Fiona Hastings interviewed the 92-year old for Haaretz (with thanks: Lily):
At the time, Egypt was home to 80,000 Jews who resided there for three millennia, with some immigrating from Europe since the late 19th century. Despite their stature, the country’s Jews were put in a precarious position over their alleged loyalty to Israel. Many of them perceived themselves as more Egyptian than Jewish, and rejected calls by Egypt’s growing ethnonationalist circle to leave. The calls quickly escalated into violence. One infamous incident is the Balfour Day riots, which took place in November 1945. They began as anti-Jewish demonstrations on the 28th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, but quickly turned into altercations in which five Egyptian Jews were killed and hundreds were injured. In 1948, the riots worsened. Hundreds were murdered, Jewish synagogues were burned down and Jewish areas in the country were bombed. Many Jews were jailed, often on suspicion that they had spied for Israel.
This is when Behar’s operation was set in motion. “Every day, officers arrested young Jewish people, and their families came to see me and enlist my help,” he wrote in his memoir. In 1953 the Egpytian Republic was born, and gave rise to a national socialist president – Gamal Abdel Nasser. Egypt was finally freed from the British occupation, but the Jewish community only suffered from these developments. The Pan-Arabist movement continued to grow under Nasser, and Jews were seen as an obstacle to its goal: Uniting all Arab nations into a single state. By 1950, 40 percent of Egyptian Jews fled. “I felt morally obliged to help the Jews,” Behar told Haaretz.
Rafael Pharmaceuticals launched a phase-3 clinical trial on Thursday for pancreatic cancer at eight sites throughout Israel. The primary investigator is Dr. Talia Golan, head of Sheba Medical Center’s Pancreatic Cancer Center.
“It’s exciting to see the growth of cancer metabolism research in the region, following the strides that [CPI-613] has been making in the United States,” Golan said.
CPI-613 is the name of the drug that is being used in the trial.
The trial kicked off at eight hospitals throughout the country, including Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center, Soroka Medical Center, Sheba Medical Center, Rambam Health Care Campus, Laniado Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
Starving cancer cells to death – a decades-old concept that has been repeatedly dismissed – is starting to turn a corner and make strides in cancer treatment. The concept of targeting cancer metabolism – called cell metabolic therapy – is that tumors could be treated by disrupting their source of energy, hindering cancer cells from growing and spreading.
Volvo Cars Tech Fund, the investment arm of Volvo, has backed Israel-based medical AI startup MDGo, incorporated as Endovitech, the former announced Monday. The financial terms of the investment were not disclosed. Calcalist’s Hebrew version first reported on the investment and a planned joint product last month.
Founded in 2017 and based in northern Israeli city Haifa, MDgo developed a system for analyzing injuries incurred by passengers during a car accident using the car’s existing internal sensors and connectivity capabilities. The system automatically sends its report to hospitals and emergency medical services.
MDgo’s technology is currently being piloted by Israel’s national emergency medical service Magen David Adom, and last month, the company announced a partnership with Seoul-headquartered carmaker Hyundai.
Excavating the remains of the Great Synagogue in Vilnius (formerly Vilna), researchers made an unexpected discovery this summer, as Agence France-Presse reports:
The stone plaque was discovered in a cellar below . . . the Great Synagogue of Vilnius, [which was the city’s] major Jewish house of prayer before it was destroyed by [consecutive] Nazi and Soviet regimes. “In 1776 we went up with joy to our land (Erets Yisrael),” reads part of the inscription. It uses [a form of] the Hebrew word [la’alot, meaning to go up, as in the term] aliyah, referring to the immigration of Jews from the diaspora to the land of Israel. . . .
The Vilnius synagogue, dating from the 1630s, was the most important synagogue for Lithuania’s once-vibrant Jewish community. Last year, archaeologists announced they had discovered the synagogue’s bimah, the podium or platform from which the Torah is read. The plaque . . . was discovered later in a cellar beneath the bimah. . . .
The Nazis burned down the synagogue and the remains were later demolished by the Soviet regime that built a kindergarten, later turned into a primary school, on the property.
Israel’s national under-20 basketball team delighted a home crowd on Sunday by defending its title and winning the FIBA European Championships for a second year in a row, beating Spain 92:84 in Tel Aviv, where the tournament is being hosted.
Deni Avdija, who led Israel’s scoring in the tournament, put in 23 points for the Blue and Whites to help them to victory.
The youth squad has now been in the finals for three consecutive years, with 2018 marking the first time it ever won the championship, held that year in Germany. In 2017 the team made it to the finals but were beaten by Greece.
The Israeli team secured its spot in this year’s championship with its 81-70 victory over France on Saturday.
Spain, which had gone undefeated until the final, beat Germany 80-62 to punch its ticket to the title game.
The final was held at the Shlomo Group Arena in Tel Aviv an attended by a crowd of over 3,000.
Israel’s U20 basketball team are champions of Europe! Waiting to see you at Beit HaNasi in Jerusalem with the trophy again this year! #FIBAU20Europe @TherealIBBA @FIBA @sport5il pic.twitter.com/unx67a33qD
— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) July 21, 2019
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