Alan Dershowitz: Liberals have a special obligation to condemn bigotry of the Left
Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz said Sunday that liberals had a special obligation to condemn bigotry on the left side of the political spectrum, just as President Trump did for those on the right who claim to speak on his behalf.
“I don’t want to make moral equivalence,” Dershowitz told AM 970’s John Catsimatidis, responding to a question about the Charlottesville violence and the ensuing national conversation around race relations and Confederate monuments. “But having said that, that doesn’t give a pass to the people on the hard left, who are themselves engaged in violence and also some bigotry of their own.”
He continued, saying Confederate statues needed to be put in context — for example, in a museum — rather than simply being destroyed.
Turning to the Russian probe, Dershowitz said that special counsel Robert Mueller was endangering democracy because the investigation could criminalize politics.
“The idea of trying to create crimes just because we disagree with (President Trump) politically and target him really endangers democracy,” Dershowitz said. “We should only be using the criminal justice system against obvious crimes, crimes that are not stretched and manufactured to fit a particular person.”
The Black Lives Matter movement blindsided its Jewish supporters with the recent unveiling of its social and political policy agenda, a far-left manifesto that strays well beyond police brutality and accuses Israel of “genocide” and “apartheid.”
“The U.S. justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people,” said the platform’s “Invest-Divest” policy brief.
Through foreign aid to Israel, which the platform describes as an “apartheid state,” Americans are made “complicit in the abuses committed by the Israeli government,” the brief says.
The strong anti-Israel language stunned liberal Jews, many of whom have expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement’s protests against shootings by police of unarmed black men.
“It is a real tragedy that Black Lives Matter — which has done so much good in raising awareness of police abuses — has now moved away from its central mission and has declared war against the nation state of the Jewish people,” said Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz in a Friday column in The Boston Globe.
He called on the Movement for Black Lives coalition to rescind the anti-Israel component of the platform, issued Aug. 1 and backed by 67 groups, including Color of Change, which is funded by top Democratic Party donors George Soros and the Center for American Progress.
After withering and justified criticism for calling some of the protesters at a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville “some very fine people,” US President Donald Trump has a unique opportunity to re-establish his moral credibility as a leader through an eloquent condemnation of racism, neo-Nazism and white supremacy. He should devote an entire address to a complete and utter condemnation of racism and bigotry and reaffirm the American and biblical proclamation of all people being created equally in the image of God. It is in this spirit that I suggest the following:
My fellow Americans.
Last weekend we witnessed one of the truly shameful episodes in modern American history. A group of white nationalists and racists tried to emulate Hitler’s torchlight parade of January 1933 upon becoming chancellor of Germany, right here in America. The torchlight parade of Hitler’s followers and SS marked the beginning of the darkest period in the history of humankind.
That any American group would seek to copy that procession to make a political statement demonstrates that hatred and bigotry continue to flourish not just far away in Europe but here in the United States. But events only cascaded from there, with the demonstrations turning violent and an innocent and courageous woman, Heather Heyer, who had a reputation for fighting injustice, losing her life when a hate-filled racist assailant rammed his car into a crowd of counter-demonstrators.
I am the first American president to have Jewish children. My daughter Ivanka was not born Jewish. Rather, she chose to become a Jew. This was a decision that I supported fully and although I am not Jewish myself I put on a kosher Jewish wedding for her and her husband who is now my senior adviser in the White House. Since then, I have watched my Jewish grandchildren celebrating Hanukka and Passover and I have personally witnessed the richness of Jewish life. Millions of parents were robbed of the opportunity to watch children grow up and millions of children were denied the opportunity to be hugged and loved by parents because of the white supremacist cancer known as Nazism that was allowed to grow unchecked in Europe.
Let me be clear: I will never allow bigotry of any kind to flourish in the United States.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the famed Nazi-hunter and Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, warned that a rising tide of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe is being largely ignored, even as white supremacist rallies in the West draw extensive coverage.
“The neo-Nazi demonstrations in the US definitely raise the level of fear among blacks and Jews, but practically speaking, they [American neo-Nazis] do not pose a threat, statistically speaking. Of course it is horrible to see swastika flags, but that’s a problem in the world’s biggest democracy, which has freedom of speech.”
“In smaller countries, however, like Lithuania or Latvia, the government’s ability to act against [neo-Nazis] is limited, and [in Eastern Europe] there is really a serious threat to the Jewish community.”
Even Israeli leaders, Zuroff said, seem to show disproportionate focus on demonstrations by white supremacists in the West, while all but ignoring the far more dangerous growth of neo-Nazism in Eastern Europe.
“It seems that these [Israeli] politicians who were quick to speak with the media in response to what happened in [Charlottesville] perhaps did so in order to get themselves a headline; but I would really expect them to respond to similar incidents that have already happened in Eastern European countries, yet in those cases there is Israeli silence.”
The person US President Donald Trump chose to lead federal family-planning programs once referred to a defender of Holocaust deniers as a “national treasure.”
Teresa Manning, Trump’s pick for deputy assistant secretary for population affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services is known for her history as a fierce anti-abortion activist and former lobbyist with the National Right to Life Committee.
She also has a history defending and praising Joe Sobran, a former columnist and editor for the conservative magazine National Review until its then editor William Buckley fired him for writings he considered “contextually anti-Semitic.”
Mother Jones was first to report Manning’s history with Sobran, who died in 2010.
During a January 2003 event promoting her book “Back to The Drawing Board: The Future of the Pro-Life Movement,” Manning introduced Sobran, who was a speaker, and said of him: “He has been called ‘the finest columnist of his generation’ as well as a national treasure.’ I wholeheartedly agree with both statements.”
In fact, it was Pat Buchanan, who himself has doubted the death toll of the Holocaust and who the Anti-Defamation League has called “an unrepentant bigot,” who was responsible for the former quote.
Additionally, Sobran had in the past blamed US policies, particularly regarding its anti-terrorism measures after the September 11 attacks, as being “dictated by the Jewish-Zionist powers that be in the United States.”
“What began as a war on terror is morphing into a war to crush Israel’s enemies. And naturally so,” he said. “The 9/11 attacks would never have occurred except for the US Government’s Middle East policies, which are pretty much dictated by the Jewish-Zionist powers that be in the United Staes. The Zionists boast privately of their power, but they don’t want the gentiles talking about it. Readers of Orwell will recognize the principle of Doublethink.”
Manning did not respond to a request for comment.
The Argentine newspaper Clarín revealed Friday that investigators had found a bizarre drug cocktail of the tranquilizers clonazepam and ketamine in the blood of Alberto Nisman, a top prosecutor found shot dead the night before testifying to Iranian meddling in Argentina’s government.
Nisman was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head on January 18, 2015, in his apartment, the night before he was to testify to Congress that his research suggested that then-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner agreed to help the Iranian authors of the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) evade justice in exchange for favorable oil prices from that country. The AMIA bombing was the deadliest terrorist attack in the Western Hemisphere before September 11, 2001, killing 85 people.
Kirchner’s legal team initially ruled the death a suicide. President Mauricio Macri launched a new investigation, using a new legal team, following his succession of Kirchner that has found evidence Nisman’s death was a homicide.
Clarín reported last week that the new toxicology findings suggest that Nisman had either tried to use a nearly unprecedented mix of drugs—clonazepam is a tranquilizer typically prescribed to help with anxiety, while ketamine is a veterinary anesthetic sometimes illicitly used by humans for recreation—recreationally and killed himself, or someone drugged Nisman in order to kill him without a struggle. While initial toxicology tests had found the clonazepam, commonly prescribed enough to not raise suspicions, the discovery of ketamine creates many new legal questions.
Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince said that he “woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn’t be allowed on the internet” following his company’s decision to terminate service for neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer last week.
However, in 2015, Prince defended himself after facing pressure to rescind service to ISIS-affiliated sites.
“Individuals have decided that there is content they disagree with but the right way to deal with this is to follow the established law enforcement procedures,” Prince proclaimed after a hacking collective provided Cloudflare with a list of ISIS-related websites. “There is no society on Earth that tolerates mob rule because the mob is fickle.”
“We’re the plumbers of the internet… We make the pipes work but it’s not right for us to inspect what is or isn’t going through the pipes,” he continued. “If companies like ours or ISPs (internet service providers) start censoring there would be an uproar. It would lead us down a path of internet censors and controls akin to a country like China.”
According to the IB Times, Google and GoDaddy were also revealed to be providing service to pro-ISIS websites in 2015.
Based on Prof. Elman’s prior reporting, it appears that the allegations of harassment and threats from Lumish and the others holding vigil will be contested. It is significant that the Court already found that the allegations were insufficient for an ex parte TRO.
Faith Meltzer, one of the protestors, pushed back against the narrative that the bakery is being protested because Assil is Palestinian-American, or that the protesters have been violent. Meltzer wrote in Berkleyside, The vigils at Reem’s Bakery are not about Israelis vs Palestinians, but about a symbol offensive to many:
I’ve participated in several vigils at Reem’s Bakery in Oakland, and would like to take this opportunity to clear up some inaccuracies in Carol Sanders’ August 11 opinion piece.
The vigils at Reem’s Bakery in Oakland are not about Israelis vs. Palestinians. They are not about Jews vs. Muslims, or even about the left vs. the right….
Rolling vigils have been held at Reem’s for several weeks, protesting a mural that features a convicted terrorist, Rasmea Odeh…. Two young men, Leon Kanner and Edward Joffee, were killed and nine others injured in the attacks….
Participants in the vigils at Reem’s include animal justice advocates, a local labor leader, LGBTQ activists and a former Bernie Sanders delegate, hardly the “right wing” brigade described by Sanders in her op-ed.
At the July 8 vigil a wheelchair bound participant and a 78-year-old survivor of the Warsaw ghetto were viciously attacked by patrons and employees of Reem’s. They were not “blocking the entrances.” They were standing silently with signs that stated, “Honor the Victims. Not their Killer.” Police reports were filed. This incident was documented in the local Jewish paper, The J Weekly, and by photos and videos taken by bystanders at the scene. The attackers strutted around with the signs they ripped out of people’s hands.
Reem’s has repeatedly used the Oakland Police Department to silence the voices of those in peaceful protest. At the August 8 vigil, two squad cars and four police officers were dispatched to deal with seven protesters in an effort to deprive them not only of their right to free assembly, but their right to free expression….
The case also raises serious constitutional and free speech issues, as the bakery owner seeks to punish protest, to halt or move continued protest, and a prior restraint of speech.
We will continue to follow the case.
In an online op-ed for the Adelaide Advertiser on Friday 11 August, AIJAC guest Dr Eran Lerman congratulated the South Australian Legislative Council for rightly calling for a negotiated outcome between Israel and the Palestinian Authority prior to a Palestinian state being recognised.
Presumably in response to this, Australian Friends of Palestine Association executive officer Mike Khizam had his own piece published on the Advertiser’s website on Monday 14 August.
While Dr Lerman used nuance and reason to make his point, Khizam relied on anti-Israel canards, missing context and blatant mistruths to press his own misinformed views.
There is much wrong with the piece, but I will focus on a few key issues:
Last Sunday afternoon, the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) and the United Israel Appeal (UIA) held a public event at a local Jewish School hall
Rabbi Shalom White, from Perth’s Chabad congregation, attended the AIJAC/UIA event, together with his children.
As they approached the venue and saw about ten protesters at a Boycott (“BDS”) rally, chanting “free, free Palestine…” and holding placards reading “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea”. They stopped to take a selfie with the rally as background.
When the Rabbi and his children arrived at the entrance to the venue, with the BDS rally on the opposite side of the street, the BDS rallyists shouted “Shame on you: child murderers!”
The Rabbi responded: “My children go to this school. They must be protected by these same guards you see here, because of the possibility of a terrorist attack targeting Jewish children. Are their lives worth less than Arab children’s lives?”
BDS rally: “YES! You brought it on yourselves…”
Rabbi White: “Are you saying that my child’s life is not worth anything?”
BDS: “Shame on you, child murderers!”
The Swiss foreign ministry announced that it suspended funds and support for the Ramallah-based Palestininian NGO Human Rights International Humanitarian Law Secretariat because the organization failed to slash ties to terrorism, according to a Sunday report from the paper SonntagsZeitung.
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, the president of the Jerusalem-based NGO-Monitor, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday, “This is an important first step in NGO funding accountability by the Swiss Foreign Ministry, and reflects the recent legislation on this issue. In halting payment to WATC [Women Affairs Technical Committee] , the Swiss follow similar moves by Denmark and Holland. The radical Palestinian NGO is one of many funded by these countries through the Ramallah-based Human Rights Secretariat, with an annual budget of $4 million.”
He added, “A number of the recipients are affiliated with the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) terror organization. Having now frozen WATC funding, the question is whether the Swiss Federal Government will seriously re-examine participation in the very problematic Secretariat mechanism, and in other frameworks that misuse tax money under the facade of human rights and peace. “
The Human Rights International Humanitarian Law Secretariat provides funds to the WATC, which named a youth center after a Palestinian terrorist. Critics of the Human Rights International Humanitarian Law Secretariat say it glorifies Palestinian terrorism.
Last weekend, approximately 150 progressive activists attended the annual SlutWalk Chicago. Billed as a rally in support of women and to end “sexual violence and the social codes of shame, silence, and blame,” the event at times seemed more like an anti-Israel rally, with women’s rights serving as a mere opening act.
Controversy surrounding SlutWalk Chicago began long before the first speaker grabbed the megaphone.
In June, three Jewish women were ejected from the Chicago Dyke March for carrying LGBTQ Pride flags featuring a Star of David. Organizers declared the Dyke March to be an anti-Zionist event, and removed the Jewish activists even though they did not display anything advocating for Israel. In solidarity with the Dyke March decision, SlutWalk Chicago originally banned the Star of David from their event. They later reversed that decision, stating: “Bring symbols of your respective faiths, if that is what you choose to do. Bring symbols of resistance, but leave symbols of nationalism and oppression at home.”
According to attorney Amanda Berman, Jews and supporters of Israel have found themselves unwelcome in some elements of the progressive movement.
“In the progressive Jewish community, it’s been very difficult to participate in progressive activism as a proud Jew and proud Zionist. We’ve been unwelcome for quite some time,” Berman told the Haym Salomon Center. “This year has been especially challenging, considering the Women’s March, support for BDS and this notion that Zionists can’t be feminists and Zionists can’t be progressive. Meanwhile, we are excluded based on our innate characteristics.”
The Government Press Office held a hearing for Al Jazeera’s Israeli-Arab reporter Elias Karram.
The GPO revoked Karram’s press credentials last week after an interview surfaced in which the Al Jazeera Jerusalem bureau chief said that journalists like himself sided with the Palestinians as part of their “resistance” to Israel. The hearing was essentially about whether to reinstate his accreditation.
Karam said in an interview to the Muslim Brotherhood television channel Dar Al-Iman in May 2016 that “as a Palestinian journalist who is in an occupied area or a conflict area, journalistic work is an integral part of the resistance and of political and educational action.
“A journalist fulfills his role in the resistance through his pen, voice or camera, because he is part of this nation and is resisting in his unique way,” he added.
At Monday’s hearing, Karram told the GPO that “the resistance he spoke about was not a violent one, adding that he denounces the use of violence.”
There is no dispute over the hardships that Gazans are enduring as a result of chronic electricity outages. It is difficult not to feel sympathy with LA Times opinion piece writer Abier Almasri as she describes life in Gaza with only limited electricity.
However, Almasri states:
To Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, Gazans are pawns in a shameful quest for political domination. As the occupying power, Israel bears responsibility under international law to facilitate normal life for the people of Gaza. Hamas exercises internal control and is responsible for protecting our rights. The Palestinian Authority oversees millions in donor funds and should also protect our rights, including paying for vital services.
As Almasri well knows, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and is not “occupying” it. Moreover, Almasri fails to mention anywhere in her article the major reason for the lack of “normal life” in Gaza: Hamas terror.
Hamas has made every effort over the years to ensure that Israelis, and not only those living in border communities, cannot live normal lives free from the threat of terrorism, rockets, mortars, attack tunnels, and kidnappings.
This is the reason that Israel has to maintain security protocols that affect the lives of Gazans. Were Hamas to give up its Jew-killing desires, there would simply be no reason for Israel to secure its borders against terror.
Australia’s national news service defended its decision to broadcast a graphic showing a map of the Middle East that included Palestine but not Israel.
Shown during an Aug. 17 segment on ABC News Australia, the map illustrated a story about how laws in 11 Muslim-majority countries and the Palestinian territories treat rape victims.
“The story was about the repealing of a law in Lebanon that allowed rapists to escape punishment if they married their victims,” a senior executive for the Australian Broadcasting Corp. told JTA. “The map showed other countries where this law had already been repealed (in the blue) and countries where campaigners are actively trying to have it repealed (in the yellow).”
Israel, the executive explained, never had the law to begin with, so it was not included. Had it been included, the spokesman suggested, the criticism might have been even more intense.
“In context, I wonder if including Israel in the map might have attracted more warranted criticism … The story had nothing at all to do with it,” the spokesman said. “We have commented on the story to the Daily Mail and they’ve amended the story.”
Then, in the very next breath – and as though it were comparable to murders, terrorism, death threats and violence over cartoons deemed offensive by some Muslims – Rowson went straight on to the topic of entirely non-violent criticism from a particular group.
Rowson: “A few years ago I just stopped doing cartoons about Israel because I was fed up of every time I did a cartoon about Israel getting literally thousands of emails accusing me of being a worst anti-Semite than Hitler, which is just not true. But everybody will use this excuse of being offended to shut up the person they’re engaged in an argument with.”
While Martin Rowson is rightly protective of his own freedom to ‘speak truth to power’ (as long as it’s not Muslim power), he is obviously less keen on the idea of anyone else criticising the power that he holds as a widely published cartoonist influencing public opinion. In the past Rowson has accused “the Israel lobby” of using antisemitism (i.e. the Livingstone Formulation) to try to silence his “criticism of their brutally oppressive colonialism”.
This is a Martin Rowson cartoon from July 2006 relating to the second Lebanon war that began when Hizballah conducted a cross-border raid and fired missiles at Israeli civilian communities:
Max Pearson, however, had nothing to tell listeners about Rowson’s trite, monochrome, one-sided Israel-related cartoons or why some people might find them objectionable. Instead – immediately after Rowson’s remarks about “getting…emails” he said:
Pearson: “So almost by definition – going back to my original point – the political cartoon is dangerous.”
Rowson: “Yeah. It’s meant to be dangerous. It’s a sort of point of licence to anarchy.”
Pearson closed by thanking the “esteemed cartoonist” and BBC World Service audiences went away with the impression that indignant e-mails carry the same weight and importance as the terrorist murders of cartoonists who drew Mohammed.
An Austrian soccer fan has been given an 18-month prison sentence for a Hitler salute during a match, falling foul of the country’s tough laws against Nazi glorification.
The unemployed 39-year-old from top-flight Rapid Vienna’s “ultra” wing of hardline fans was spotted performing the banned gesture during a match in August 2016 and sentenced in Vienna on Monday.
“I didn’t really give it much thought. But it clearly wasn’t a good idea,” the skinhead told the court, saying he had had “a few beers and spritzers” before the game.
Similar convictions are relatively common but usually the sentences are suspended. In this case, however, than man had a previous conviction for wishing Hitler happy birthday on Facebook in 2013.
Rapid Vienna is Austria’s most successful club with 32 league titles but its hardcore “ultra” supporters have a reputation for hooliganism and anti-Semitism.
The Swiss Federal Assembly is to vote on whether to ban the import of kosher meat into the country, with the head of the country’s Jewish community describing such a move as a huge blow to religious freedom.
The bill, which was introduced to the Swiss parliament in June, would make it illegal to bring in any meat slaughtered in what the law would deem to be an inhumane fashion. This would include both kosher and halal meat, where the animal is still conscious at the point of slaughter. A date for the vote has not yet been scheduled.
According to the Tages Anzeiger newspaper, there has been strong opposition to the bill – not due to any perceived racist overtones, but rather because it would also ban foie gras, goose liver pâté, which is popular in Switzerland.
Herbert Winter, president of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities, said the bill would “be a massive limitation on the religious freedoms of Jews” in Switzerland. According to figures from the European Jewish Congress, the country’s Jewish community is around 18,000.
IsraellyCool: Synagogue Pisher Charged. Spoiler: He’s Not A Neo Nazi
The perpetrator of this hate crime against a synagogue has turned himself in – probably because his ugly mug was all over social media and his identity revealed due to Internet sleuths.
But call me a cynic.
This gives new meaning to the expression, “caught with your pants down.”
Days after Philadelphia Police reported that an unidentified man had been caught on surveillance footage urinating on a synagogue, the suspect has been identified as Sheidali Dzhalilov.
According to authorities, the 23-year-old was charged with a slew of crimes, including ethnic intimidation, indecent exposure, institutional vandalism and open lewdness.
Philadelphia Police Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum told ABC 6 the department was almost certain the attack was rooted in anti-Semitism.
Yes, thanks for that Sherlock.
Here’s something else they won’t say, but is obvious: he is not antisemitic because he is a Neo Nazi or KKK member.
Nope, I am willing to bet Mr Sheidali Dzhalilov learns his antisemitism from another place entirely.
Unless you want to claim he is only an “anti-Zionist.”
Holocaust monument defaced in Bulgarian town
A monument put up by Jews in Bulgaria to thank the town of Vidin for preventing the deportation of its Jews during the Holocaust was vandalized over the weekend.
The Thanksgiving Monument, erected in 2003, was spray-painted with the words “Allah,” “Palestine,” “Hamas,” and the Islamic star and crescent moon symbol, the Shalom Organization of Jewish in Bulgaria said in a Facebook post on Monday.
The organization posted photos of the vandalism, which occurred on Saturday, on its Facebook page.
The mayor of the Vidin municipality, Ognyan Tsenkov, called the vandalism an “outrageous and unacceptable” act, the Shalom Organization said in its post. He reportedly ordered that the monument be cleaned immediately.
A collection of 18th century Jewish items was seized from archaeology smugglers by Egyptian authorities late last week in a joint operation between the Hurghada Ports Authority and the Egyptian Ports Antiquities Unit of the Ministry of Antiquities.
The smugglers attempted to move six Jewish artifacts via the Red Sea resort city of Hurghada. According to a report in AhramOnline, Ahmed Al-Rawi, head of the Central Administration of Seized Antiquities Unit at the antiquities ministry, said the seized loot was discovered in the possession of a Saudi citizen. Al-Rawi said the finds were authenticated in accordance with law 117/1983.
Included in the trove was a cane with a handle carved in stone which depicts a bearded man wearing a yarmulke.
Additionally, five stone reliefs engraved with texts written in Hebrew and other Jewish decorative elements were discovered, according to a Facebook post from the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.
An additional find in the seized collection was a 29-page Hebrew book described by the Egyptians as “the commandments of Judas Iscariot,” one of the 12 disciples of Jesus. This item was not dated to the 18th century and its typeface points to a much more modern provenance.
Royal Dutch Shell is reportedly seeking to purchase natural gas from Israel and Cyprus, and to deliver the gas to Egypt.
Shell is currently in private discussions to purchase natural gas from Israel’s Leviathan offshore field, which will be combined with output from Cyprus’s Aphrodite field and pumped to a plant in Egypt, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.
Gas deliveries to Egypt would be channeled through a Shell plant pipeline located on the country’s Mediterranean coast.
The Israeli and Cypriot offshore gas fields, together with Egypt’s large Zohr field, could see the region become a hub for natural gas production in Europe’s backyard.
In April, government ministers from Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and the European Union signed a joint statement agreeing to collaboratively develop the world’s longest gas pipeline, running undersea between Israel and Italy.
The agreement boosted Israel’s position as “a significant player in the international energy economy,” Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said at the time.
A letter from Albert Einstein to his best friend in which he criticises Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Nazi Germany is to be sold at auction.
One of a series of letters from the Nobel Prize winning physicist to Michele Besso in 1938, it outlines how Einstein thought Chamberlain – then British prime minister – was “naïve” to think Hitler would turn his attentions away from the UK.
Due to be sold by Los Angeles-based Nate D. Sanders Auctions, its covers Einstein’s reactions to world news in the days after Chamberlain returned from Germany with an undertaking from Hitler not to attack, declaring “peace in our time”.
To Besso, who together with Einstein was helping save European Jews, the genius wrote: “You have confidence in the British and even Chamberlain? O sancta simplicitas …!” The Latin phrase translates as ‘Oh holy innocence’ or ‘naiveté.
Of Churchill’s predecessor, who had just signed the Munich Agreement allowing Nazi Germany to annex Czechoslovakia, Einstein wrote: “Hoping that Hitler might let off steam by attacking Russia, he sacrifices Eastern Europe. But we will come to see once more that shrewdness does not win in the long term.”
In a café in Jerusalem’s Cinema City complex, over plates of Israeli breakfast, shakshuka and a communal bowl of fries, a group of seven young Taiwanese volunteers share their experiences during their time in Israel and recount with humor the similarities and differences between the two cultures.
“I still remember Independence Day, there was supposed to be a celebration party in Gilo Park, and originally they told me it started at 8 o’clock and I was there until 9, maybe a little later, and they finally started and I thought, ‘Okay, this kind of reminds me of home,’” recounts Cindy, with a lighthearted chuckle, a volunteer who has been spending the past five months at the Gilo branch of ILAN, the Israel foundation for handicapped children.
Cindy then adds: “Transportation is really different here; when you cross the street, the cars stop.”
She along with six other volunteers are taking time off from their studies or their current careers to explore Israel and to serve some of its most needy citizens, working with organizations like ILAN, the Israeli society for autistic children ALUT, and Elwyn, which is an organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities.
Both Israeli and Taiwanese cultures put a strong emphasis on the family and when asked about how their families took the news that their children would be spending an extended period of time in the Middle East, one volunteer explained: “Our parents tried to stop us from coming, but I take a lot of pictures and send them so they feel better about me being here.” This comment was met with emphatic head nods and hand-overmouth laughter from the rest of the group.
Legendary singer Billy Joel appeared onstage for an encore during his monthly concert at Madison Square Garden wearing a yellow Star of David on his jacket.
Photos of Joel wearing the yellow star began appearing on Facebook shortly after Monday night’s concert. At least one tweet bore the hashtag #Charlottesville. Other tweets called Joel “a true hero,” and his decision to wear the star “Epic and brave.” A tweet read: “So dope seeing Billy Joel live and seeing him take a stand to the hate in our country. Wearing the star of david is a huge statement.”
Another tweet took issue with Joel’s statement. “What is Billy Joel protesting? A president with part Jewish kids? The fact that Muslim immigrants in the US tend to be anti-semitic? WHAT!?” The tweet was in response to another which said “Ok, so Billy Joel has lost his mind.”
Joel’s parents are Jewish but he was not brought up religious. He has been described as a secular Jew and an atheist.
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