December 4, 2020

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11/05 Links Pt2: The Guardian newspaper goes full Electronic Intifada; Trump’s legacy is guaranteed regardless of election outcome; Israel’s Bobsled Athletes Aim to Go Where No Israeli Has Gone Before

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2020/11/1105-links-pt2-guardian-newspaper-goes.html

From Ian:

David Collier: The Guardian newspaper goes full Electronic Intifada

The Guardian just ran an article that could have been penned by activists at the propaganda rag Electronic Intifada. The piece heartbreakingly describes 41 children who have been left homeless by the Israeli army after their ‘village’ was razed.

The article tells us that 73 villagers lost their homes and that this is the ‘largest demolition in the past decade’. There are post demolition pictures of a bed (and a cot for good measure) lying homeless in the desert along with footage of villagers ‘rifling through their wrecked belongings’ as the ‘first rains’ fall. The Guardian piece quickly went viral, receiving 1000s of shares in just a few hours. And with every propaganda piece that only tells part of the story and dehumanises Israel, comes the vile responses. There is a clear correlation. Lies about Israel – a demonisation of the Jewish state – logically creates hate against Zionists.

This is not about whether you agree with Israeli policy vis-a-vis the Beduin in the Jordan Valley or not. It is about newspapers having a duty to tell the truth. The Guardian knowingly pushed out an anti-Israel propaganda piece.

The Guardian and Khirbet HumsaThe village name is given as ‘Khirbet Humsa’. There is even a link to a B’tselem video inside the article that shows vehicles on a road approaching with menace – before the footage swiftly cuts to an after image of a bed and some other objects lying around after the destruction. What there isn’t – is an image of the village itself being destroyed. Why doesn’t the B’tselem video show it?

Exercise 1 – Google “Khirbet Humsa” and click on images. You soon realise why nobody is showing images of the village prior to the demolition. There aren’t any. You’ll be lucky to see pictures of a tent. And publishing images of a couple of tents would greatly reduce the impact of the propaganda story. Which raises a question. In researching this story, the journalist Oliver Holmes MUST have looked for images of the village. Yet sorely lacking from the article is ANY suggestion, this village is no more than a few make-shift tents.

If you do a quick historic search of ‘Khirbet Humsa’, you soon realise this small gathering of tents has been a politicised battleground for decades. There is nothing on this ‘village’ at all – outside of the context of this conflict. It is a fairly basic conclusion that the Guardian reporter MUST have done this ABC research. Yet his article holds back all this information from the reader.

Trump raised the bar on Israel

Should Biden enter the Oval Office, US ties with Israel will undoubtedly shift in a heartbeat. Biden will, of course, first be required to deal with domestic issues, first and foremost the coronavirus. On the international front, too, there are other more pressing issues to contend with, chief among them, tensions with China. Yet sooner or later, the Middle East will be on the table. Biden may have a soft spot for us, but he will aspire to reach a new agreement with Iran on the nuclear issue. He won’t, however, necessarily succeed given that the ayatollahs in Tehran are not exactly thrilled with the changes he hopes to make to the original agreement.

But with or without these amendments, Israel will likely find itself once again in a contrarian positions, and then, simple as that, our first confrontation with Washington is upon us. The next unavoidable disputes will concern the Palestinian issue. In order to please the anti-Israel wing of his party, Biden will walk rescind many of the steps Trump carried out as president. The PLO office in Washington will reopen, the funds for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees will be reinstated, and perhaps a US consulate will be opened in east Jerusalem. There will also likely be a demand to halt construction in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. After all, it was Biden who caused an uproar over a negligible statutory approval of a construction project in the capital’s east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo. The bottom line is that should the Democrats take control of both the White House and the Senate, Israel will once again be walking on eggshells with the US.

The long-established principle of not arguing in public with Israel will likely change under Biden. Too many on the Democratic side are too blind to see how the sanctification of the alliance between Washington and Jerusalem has done only good for one of the most volatile regions in the world. On the grounds of working toward peace, the radical wing of the party, as in the days of former President Barack Obama, will push Israel into a corner. But we’ve been there before, and this will most definitely not bring peace; if anything, it will likely bring war. Of course, we will be spared these conflicts should Trump somehow succeed in ensuring himself a second term in office. In this case, we should expect to see the continuation of the intimate alliance between the two countries. It is highly likely that there will be more peace accords to come and that the United States, together with Israel, will continue to exert heavy pressure on Iran. Of one thing we can be certain, Trump has raised the bar on US-Israel ties so high, it would be difficult for any successor to outdo him.

Trump’s legacy is guaranteed regardless of election outcome

During the US election campaign, President Donald Trump boasted the fact that he moved the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognized Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, the peace agreements he brokered between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, and Bahrain – and at least five other deals that are in the works, according to the US administration.

Trump was also planning to endorse sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, but to realize that he had to have been elected for another term in office.

This is why, as an Israeli, one can be concerned about the results at this point, or at least contemplate what could have been achieved by the US and Israel during a second Trump term. This does not mean to imply that former Vice President Joe Biden is anti-Israel – not at all. But a pro-Israel president like Trump, one who has made his support for the Jewish state such an essential and prominent component of his legacy, has never before walked the halls of the White House.

Even if Trump is defeated, the legacy he carved out in his four years in office is guaranteed. The Republicans will make sure to preserve his achievements and the United States will make sure to hold on to the assets he procured for it, some of which are very important to Israel, too.

I no longer identify as ‘pro-Israel,’ and neither should you – opinion

Just like “pro-life” and “pro-guns,” the term “pro-Israel” suggests that something is up for debate. That “something” is Israel’s very existence. By identifying under the label of “pro-Israel,” we have legitimized, albeit subconsciously, the idea that calling for the dismantling of the world’s only Jewish state is perfectly fine. It’s not, and the language needs to change to reflect that.

As a religious Jew who wears a kippah and tzitzit, I stand out at university. It should come as no surprise, then, that I receive questions about Israel. What never ceases to amaze me, however, is that the question is always a variation of “what do you think of Israel” or “are you pro-Israel.” My question to them is: Why? Why are they not asking for my opinion on Israel’s settlement policies, or the situation in Gaza or the fact that the prime minister is on trial for corruption charges?

One could suggest that there is exceptional ignorance vis-à-vis Israel, and students lack the knowledge or confidence to raise specific issues. Whilst this is certainly true, I believe it has far more to do with our use of the “pro-Israel” label than students’ knowledge – or lack thereof – of the region. Lack of understanding of the political situation in the US does not prevent students from picking on US President Donald Trump for specific issues. Yet when conversation turns to Israel, time and again, it concerns Israel in its entirety. It behooves us to change the direction of that conversation, and we can start by changing our language.

Terms such as “pro-guns” and “pro-life” make perfect sense. They split us into distinct groups – those who oppose gun laws as strict as those in Australia, and those who oppose abortion. Not only is it the very issue itself that is up for debate, but there are legitimate positions on both sides.

So why should I accept the same language for Israel? By carrying the “pro-Israel” label, I bring Israel’s very existence into the same category as abortion and gun control. I’ve never met someone who is pro-America, pro-England or pro-Norway. Why? Because their legitimacy and right to exist are never questioned; that would be ludicrous. Yet since I was 12, I’ve placed that label on Israel.

HonestReporting CEO Interviewed on Popular Israeli Talk Show

Daniel Pomerantz on Wednesday was invited to discuss the US elections on the popular Israeli talk show “Ofira and Berkovich.” The discussion centered on why the tabulation of votes was taking longer than normal and how the results could impact on Israel.

Netanyahu: Israel-Africa relations are of utmost importance

Israel puts a major effort into bolstering ties with African countries, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a meeting with Malawi Foreign Minister Eisenhower Mkaka on Thursday.

“I was in Africa five times as prime minister,” Netanyahu said. “For 20 years before that, there were no visits [by Israeli prime ministers]. Therefore, you understand that I view relations with African countries, including yours, as having great importance.”

Netanyahu pointed out that Israel recently established diplomatic relations with Sudan and Chad, and said it is part of his efforts to expand Israel’s ties in Africa.

The prime minister thanked Mkaka for announcing earlier this week that Malawi would open an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. Should Malawi open its embassy in Jerusalem by next summer, as planned, it will be the first African country to do so since the 1970s, when Ivory Coast, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Kenya closed their embassies in the capital following the Yom Kippur War.

Netanyahu also said he expects increased cooperation between Israel and Malawi in the areas of agriculture, health and cybersecurity. “We welcome you and Malawi as friends. We always had excellent relations,” Netanyahu told Mkaka.

Wave of Media Errors, Corrections Follows Malawi Announcement on Jerusalem Embassy

Malawi’s announcement this week that it will open an embassy in Jerusalem prompted a series of media errors, many of which were subsequently corrected in response to CAMERA’s activity. The most common error was that Malawi will be the first African nation to open an embassy in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital.

While there are currently no other African embassies in Jerusalem, other African nations in the past did have their Israel embassies in Jerusalem.

In 2018, Haaretz had previously reported on African embassies located in Jerusalem until after the Yom Kippur War in 1973:

In fact, there was a period in Israel’s short history when [Guatemala] was one of at least 16 states that had their ambassadors stationed in the city.

Three of them were African nations — Ivory Coast, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Kenya. . . .

So how did Jerusalem go from hosting 16 embassies to zero? The first blow occurred after the Yom Kippur War, when Ivory Coast, Zaire and Kenya all severed relations with Israel following a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Algiers in September 1973.

But, according to an Israeli National Yearbook for the Jewish year of 5729 (which started in September 1968) there had been 10, not three, African nations with embassies in Jerusalem at the time (pages 145-151). They included the Ivory Coast, whose ambassador also represented Niger, Benin (formerly Dahomey) and Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Zaire), Congo-Brazzaville, Madagascar (Malagasy republic), Liberia, Gabon and the Central African Republic.

Ivory Coast re-introduced its embassy to Jerusalem for a brief period of several months in 1986.

Reuters was particularly forthright in correcting its report which had erred: “Malawi said on Tuesday it will open a full embassy to Israel in Jerusalem, becoming the first African nation to do so in the contested city” (“Malawi says it will open Israel embassy in Jerusalem“).

In response to communication from CAMERA, editors amended the text to accurately refer to Malawi “becoming the first African nation in decades.” Moreover, Reuters commendably appended the following correction to the bottom of the article, adhering to the highest level of journalistic accountability and transparency: “The story corrects to say that Malawi would be the first African country to open an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem in decades, not the first ever.”

The Politics of Exile

For UK Jewry, this was an intolerable situation. Those worst affected, naturally, were those whose personal identity, cultural background and, perhaps, career path, were bound up with the Labour party and movement. Suddenly finding themselves politically homeless, Labourites in exile were, naturally, the most passionate about their opposition to Corbyn. They found support across the Jewish community, however, because Corbynism’s grip on the party was felt no less as an affront by swing voters and Jews who had no intention of voting Labour under any leader. Put simply, if one of the two big parties is off-limit to Jews that means Jews are not a properly integrated part of British society. In the words of BoD President Marie Van Der Zyl, ‘it is an absolute travesty, that antisemitism should be an issue which British Jews feel they need to take into account at the ballot box, often over and above their broader social and economic views.’

For Charedim, by contrast, an electoral contest between the oheiv yisroel party and sonei yisroel party wasn’t an intolerable psychological assault, it was actually pretty cool. In Boris Johnson’s entire campaign, he can hardly have had a better greeting than from the Charedi bochurim who practically mobbed him handing out doughnuts at Grodzinski’s. For most UK Jews, the election result was a moment of bittersweet relief, partly because many felt they had had to trade-in their opposition to Brexit for stopping Corbyn, but, more fundamentally, because they felt that an election of that sort shouldn’t have happened in the first place: Jews should choose who to vote for based on their personal opinions about generic political issues, never as Jews per se. Charedim had no such qualms about being a bloc vote. We have a team, and our team won big; let’s have a kiddush.

This fundamentally different way of looking at UK politics continues today. For UK Jewry as a whole, the real victory was not Boris Johnson’s landslide, but the subsequent victory of Labour’s anti-Corbyn faction. Charedim, for the most part, however, are much less interested in the ongoing news, beyond a healthy schadenfreude in Corbyn’s travails.

Of course, none of what I have written means that the Charedi mindset is right and that of Anglo Jewry is wrong. What I think is important, however, is that we all appreciate the very deep differences in the way Charedim and other UK Jews look on themselves as both Jews and citizens of the UK, differences which have very little to do with formal denominational lines.

Outside analysis of Charedi politics is typically nonsense, and often venomous, but it is true that Charedim view the world very differently from the way most Jews do. As we become too big to stand in the shadows, it’s important that others understand where we are coming from, and that we can articulate it too.

There are 45,000 reasons for Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension: one for each Jewish voter to abandon Labour

Labour’s anti-Semitism problem is the story of a forgotten people: the estimated 60,000 British Jews who voted for Labour in 2015, most of whom did not do so in 2019.

Jeremy Corbyn’s allies are fond of pointing out that even in the epochal defeat of 2019, he polled more votes than Ed Miliband in 2015 and did better still than Gordon Brown in 2010. The vagaries of the first-past-the-post system and the changing nature of Labour support meant that in 2019 a greater vote share than 2010 or 2015 yielded a Labour defeat of a scale not seen since 1935. This is true, and Corbyn’s electoral success, particularly in 2017, cannot simply be wished away or ignored.

But neither can the fact that in elections in which the Labour Party was gaining votes, if not seats, it was losing votes among British Jews.

Many of the explanations Labour has given as to why its support among British Jews slumped from 22 per cent in 2015 to 6 per cent in 2019 – according to a series of Survation polls for the Jewish Chronicle – are themselves rooted in anti-Semitism. One is to see the row as a proxy for Labour’s position on the Israel-Palestine conflict. That ignores the reality that the party’s stance had not changed from the pro-Palestine attitude adopted by Ed Miliband.

Another is to pin the loss of Jewish voters on the community’s growing affluence. Aside from alluding to the anti-Semitic stereotype that all Jews are rich, this fails to pass the credibility test. Corbyn’s central electoral success was in appealing to affluent voters who had hitherto been inclined to give Labour a miss, in seats such as Canterbury and Kensington, both of which he won from the Conservatives in 2017.

The United Kingdom’s Jewish community, which voted to remain in the European Union by a two-to-one margin, is largely concentrated in England’s great cities, London in particular. It strongly resembles the group of voters that Corbyn’s Labour won over most effectively.

CAMERA Webinar Antisemitism After Corbyn

On Oct. 29, CAMERA hosted a live webinar, titled ‘Antisemitism After Corbyn’, featuring CAMERA UK co-editor Adam Levick and moderated by former CAMERA Campus Associate Tamara Berens.

The webinar explores the EHRC report on Labour antisemitism, the question of whether Labour’s new leader, Keir Starmer, is truly committed to reforming the party, and the broader issues of how BDS, media bias and radical intellectual currents will continue to impact British Jews.

British Jews Urge Labour Leader Keir Starmer to Maintain Effort to Root Out Antisemitism

British Jewish leaders met on Wednesday with Labour leader Keir Starmer, declaring their support for his ongoing efforts to eradicate antisemitism from the party’s ranks.

“We thanked Keir Starmer and the Labour Party for their firm and constructive response to the damning verdict delivered by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) last week,” a statement from the delegation stated.

In a much-anticipated report published last week, the EHRC — a government body — determined that the Labour Party under its previous leader Jeremy Corbyn was responsible for illegal antisemitic harassment and discrimination.

Corbyn, who came from Labour’s far left, was suspended from the party after claiming that the report had “dramatically overstated” the level of antisemitism during his five years as leader “for political reasons.”

The delegation expressed “disgust” with Corbyn’s reaction, contrasting it with Starmer’s response.

The statement asserted: “If the Labour Party is to show zero tolerance to antisemitism, there can be no unity with antisemites or their enablers. Indeed, the EHRC rightly dismissed such political considerations as being inappropriate for an issue in which Labour has moral and legal responsibilities.”

When a Teacher Made His Students Debate Hitler’s Final Solution

In 2017 in Oswego, New York, during a college-level English class at the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation, a teacher asked his students to imagine being one of the Nazis at Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin, where they discussed the implementation of the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.”

He asked his students to argue for, or against, the Final Solution.

Two of the students, Archer Shurtliff and Jordan April, spoke out and pointed out the tastelessness of the assignment.

Shurtliff told Oswego County News Now, he understood where the assignment was coming from but he found it unacceptable: “You can play the devil’s advocate, but you can’t be the devil.”

New York Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, when first asked about it, claimed that it was an exercise in “critical thinking.”

But Shurtliff and April took their fight to the media and to the Anti-Defamation League – and eventually, they won. Elia agreed to make sure the assignment was never given again in New York State.

BBC R4 fails to disclose relevant affiliations of producer of Rabin assassination programme

Events hidden by Freedland from audience view include Netanyahu’s signing of the 1998 Wye River Memorandum and the 1997 Hebron Agreement which obligated Israel to further territorial withdrawals, Ariel Sharon’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of Samaria, Ehud Olmert’s 2008 peace offer which was rejected by Mahmoud Abbas, the 2009/10 building freeze and the 2013/14 negotiations – both under a Netanyahu government.

Jonathan Freedland’s agenda in this programme is amply clear and – given his past record – hardly surprising. He seeks to persuade BBC audiences that the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin – and that alone – destroyed the chances of “a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians” and a ‘transformed’ Middle East. He firmly places the blame for both the assassination and the failure to reach any agreement to this day with one political camp in Israel, while airbrushing the decisions made by the Palestinian leadership and absolving it of all agency and responsibility.

Freedland’s politicisation of the topic of Rabin’s murder would have been more comprehensible to BBC Radio 4 audiences had they been informed (in accordance with BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality) of his “particular viewpoints” on Israeli politics and had they been told that the named producer of the programme and founder of the credited production company Tuning Fork Productions – Freedland’s wife Sarah Peters – is listed as a trustee for the UK branch of the New Israel Fund – an organisation with a very specific political agenda vis-à-vis Israel.

Clearly the failure to provide audiences with that relevant information concerning the affiliations of the producer of this programme about Israel compromises BBC impartiality.

Israeli, Portuguese researchers to collaborate on plastic-busting bacteria

BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), has signed a research collaboration agreement with Portugal’s ECOIBÉRIA to develop and identify bacteria that can help biodegrade and recycle plastic waste.

The collaboration will be based on the research of teams headed by Prof. Ariel Kushmaro and Prof. Alex Sivan at the Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology and the Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering at BGU.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the most used polymer in the world, with multiple applications in the textile industry as well as in food and beverage packaging. It is estimated that about 56 million tons of PET are produced yearly worldwide, mostly as single-use packaging material. Intense efforts are thus being made to boost the recycling and reuse of PET-based plastic materials, deemed to be non-biodegradable because of the highly stable atomic makeup of the polymer.

Kushmaro and Sivan and their teams have discovered several species of bacteria that are able to biodegrade polyethylene.

Based on their findings, the research collaboration project will study the biodegradation of PET by previously identified bacteria as well as new ones, and seek to develop an efficient biodegradation process of PET.

“Plastic-containing products is one of the biggest environmental challenges facing modern society, and degradation and recycling of plastic are one crucial strategy for dealing with the environmental impact of PET,” said Kushmaro in a statement.

NASA is an unlikely winner of the Abraham Accords – opinion

When Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed their landmark Abraham Accords a few weeks ago, many were surprised to find a seemingly random reference to outer space buried in the annex of their deal.

Indeed, the two countries committed to the peaceful use of outer space and mutually beneficial space cooperation. Even before the two nations signed the agreement, reporter Amichai Stein of Kan News confirmed that Israel and the UAE were discussing plans to launch astronauts and satellites as part of a joint space initiative.

While many Israelis and Emiratis undoubtedly cheered the news, one of the biggest winners of Israeli-Emirati space cooperation is the United States.

Despite staggering growth in the space industry, the international community has been slow to develop norms of operation in space. For example, there is still no major global agreement on space debris mitigation, anti-satellite weapons, or lunar commercialization. As NASA prepares to send astronauts to the lunar surface in 2024, it has emphasized the latter through the Artemis Accords, a set of principles to guide international actions on the Moon. In mid-October, NASA announced the first eight countries to sign the agreement, which included the UAE.

Whether or not the Artemis Accords will succeed in setting lunar exploration norms depends on how much buy-in they generate from other spacefaring nations. There are only a handful of countries – the United States, Russia, China, India, Japan, Israel and various European states – that have attempted or are planning Moon missions this decade. However, the list expanded in September when the UAE announced it is planning missions to the Moon. By partnering with Israel, a nation that has attempted a Moon mission and is planning another, the UAE stands to gain technical and scientific knowledge that may improve its odds of a successful lunar expedition.

Tel Aviv University Students to Send Nanosatellite Into Space

Nanosatellites are quickly becoming a preferred method to launch objects into space due to their miniature size and relatively low cost to produce. Tel Aviv University also gravitated toward the goal, by designing and constructing its own satellite which will be launched into space soon.

The TAU-SAT1 satellite is of the CubeSat variety, which is no bigger than a shoebox. It was the first satellite designed by the school’s new Nanosatellite Center, and involved collaboration between various departments, including the Faculties of Engineering and Exact Sciences along with the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences. TAU-SAT1 has a long mission ahead: first it will undergo pre-flight testing at the Japanese Space Agency, then it will be shipped to the United States where it will “hitch” a ride on a NASA and Northrop Grumman spacecraft filled with supplies that are bound for the International Space Station (ISS) in early 2021. When it reaches the ISS, TAU-SAT1 will be deployed into a low-earth orbit, some 400 km (250 miles) above our planet

The nanosatellite will measure cosmic radiation — which is emitted from the sun and distant celestial objects, such as galaxies — and can potentially harm astronauts and damage other satellites. It will also conduct various other experiments in space.

“We know that there are high-energy particles moving through space that originate from cosmic radiation,” said Dr. Meir Ariel, director of the Nanosatellite Center. “Our scientific task is to monitor this radiation, and to measure the flux of these particles and their products. Space is a hostile environment, not only for humans, but also for electronic systems. When these particles hit astronauts or electronic equipment in space, they can cause significant damage. The scientific information collected by our satellite will make it possible to design means of protection for astronauts and space systems.” He added that the satellite will conduct other experiments as well, some of which were developed by the Space Environment Department at Israel’s Soreq Nuclear Research Center.

Israel’s Bobsled Athletes Aim to Go Where No Israeli Has Gone Before

Adam “AJ” Edelman’s first skeleton race representing the Israel Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation was a disaster.

The former ice-hockey goalie and speed skater was a novice at this winter sliding sport when he agreed to compete in the North American Cup in Park City, Utah, in November 2014. He’d only begun training on his 23rd birthday the previous March and the opportunity came up suddenly.

“I had no equipment, not even a jacket, so I went to Walmart and picked up a blue fleece and drew a Star of David on it with a Sharpie. It looked really bad and the race director said it was an embarrassment,” Edelman tells ISRAEL21c.

So he competed in borrowed gear: a Panamanian uniform, an Italian helmet, and mismatched shoes from an Australian athlete, Heath Spence, who would later hold Edelman’s sled at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The Utah race “was dismal. I finished more than 18 seconds behind the victor, and I broke some ribs,” Edelman recalls.

When Jews Sought Refuge after World War II

As David Nasaw recounts in The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War, after World War II the Allied authorities initially maintained that it was wrong to differentiate Jews from other displaced people. Instead, displaced persons were to be sorted out on a “nationality basis,” which meant that a Polish Jew who had survived the death camps might share quarters with someone who had guarded a camp in Poland.

Many Polish Jews did try to return home, only to be greeted with violence from neighbors who, in some cases, had taken possession of their houses. On July 4, 1946, in the town of Kielce, some 40 Jewish survivors were killed in a pogrom: “stoned to death, beaten to death, thrown from windows, shot, bayoneted,” Nasaw reports.

When it came to resettling the refugees, the prospect of increased Jewish immigration to Palestine, which President Truman endorsed, exasperated the British who still controlled the region. Yet there was no mobilization to bring Jewish refugees into the UK. In the U.S., too, the number of Jews admitted during the first years after the war was achingly small.

At the same time, the British gave sanctuary to thousands from the Baltic states to address labor shortages in agriculture and industry. This hit a snag when a doctor in London noticed that many of the Latvian men had their blood types tattooed under their left arms, revealing them to have been members of the S.S. When British miners refused to work with the Baltic men whose S.S. tattoos they had spotted, the National Coal Board recommended that they not be given jobs “where they might have to remove their shirts.”

In late 1946, Jewish groups in the U.S. pushed Congress to pass legislation to accept 400,000 D.P.s, estimating that based on the proportion of Jews in the D.P. camps, a good 100,000 would be Jews. But senators who didn’t want to let Jews in added language excluding the Jews who had fled the Polish pogroms. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish Eastern Europeans arrived in the U.S. with little real examination of their wartime records.



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