Tuesday, January 27, 2015

From Ian:

Dwindling group of survivors to mark Auschwitz 70 years on
A decade ago, 1,500 Holocaust survivors traveled to Auschwitz to mark the 60th anniversary of the death camp’s liberation. On Tuesday, for the 70th anniversary, organizers are expecting 300, the youngest in their 70s.
“In 10 years there might be just one,” said Zygmunt Shipper, an 85-year-old survivor who will attend the event in southern Poland to pay homage to the millions killed by the Third Reich. In recent years, Shipper has been traveling around Britain to share his story with school groups, hoping to reach as many people as he can while he has the strength.
“The children cry, and I tell them to talk to their parents and brothers and sisters and ask them ‘Why do we do it and why do we hate?'” he said. “We mustn’t forget what happened.”
But as the world moves inevitably closer to a post-survivor era, some Jewish leaders fear that people are already starting to forget. And they warn that the anti-Semitic hatred and violence that are on the rise, particularly in Europe, could partly be linked to fading memories of the Holocaust.
Douglas Murray: Adolf Eichmann hoped his ‘Arab friends’ would continue his battle against the Jews
Over Christmas I finally got around to reading Eichmann Before Jerusalem by Bettina Stangneth. I cannot recommend this book – newly translated from the German – highly enough. It challenges and indeed changes nearly all received wisdom about the leading figure behind the genocide of European Jews during World War II.
Of course for years after the war there were rumours that Eichmann had fled to an Arab country. He might have had a better time there. Other Nazis certainly did, including Alois Brunner – Eichmann’s ‘best man’ – who settled in Damascus after the war and who is now believed to have died in Syria as recently as 2010. Eichmann’s Argentina years were certainly filled with frustration and rage. What is most interesting is how mentally caught he remained even before he was captured, principally by the impossible conundrum of how to persuade the world to accept what he had done and simultaneously boast about his role in the worst genocide in history.
There is much more to say about this book. But I do urge people to read it. Not least for the way in which Stangneth sums up the problem with the only strain of Nazi history which really remains strong to this day. ‘Eichmann refused to do penance and longed for applause. But first and foremost, of course, he hoped his “Arab friends” would continue his battle against the Jews who were always the “principal war criminals” and “principal aggressors.” He hadn’t managed to complete his task of “total annihilation,” but the Muslims could still complete it for him.’
Pat Condell: A special kind of hate (h/t dabney)


Israeli Army Pummels Targets in Syria in Response to Cross-border Rocket Attack
The Israeli army fired an artillery barrage at the source of several rockets fired from Syria Tuesday afternoon, which struck Israeli locations near Mt. Hermon in the northern Golan Heights, the IDF said in a statement to reporters.
The army said it fired 20 artillery shells in response to the attack, and identified hits.
“At least two rockets hit the Golan Heights in northern Israel. IDF responded with artillery towards the positions that launched the attack. The IDF has evacuated and closed Mt. Hermon for visitors,” the statement read.
There were no immediate reports of injury or damage to areas near several kibbutzim and Druze villages in the area, although police evacuated the Neve Ativ resort at the foot of the tourist and skiing center, and closed roads in the area, according to Army Radio.
There were about 1,000 visitors at the skiing center when the attack occurred.
The army instructed residents of Majdal Shams, Buq’ata, Mas’ade, Ein Qiniyye, El Rom, Neve Ativ and Nimrod to remain in bomb shelters until an all clear was given.



Report: IDF Digging Trenches Along the Syrian Border
The IDF has begun digging trenches along the border with Syria, Walla! News reports Monday night, amid fears of real escalation between Israel and Islamists in neighboring Syria and Lebanon.
The mechanical engineering company of the IDF's Northern Command has employed tractors and borders to dig the trenches, a source told the news site, amid specific concerns regarding terrorist infiltrations by car via border crossings.
"The trenches are being dug along vulnerable spots on the border, after a thorough analysis [of the risks], to prevent free traffic in the area and reduce infiltration," the military source stated. Outposts near the Syrian border are not far from rebel positions from the Al-Nusra Front and the Free Syrian Army, who patrol the border regularly in cars and motorcycles.
In addition, Western diplomatic officials said that Israel has imparted to Lebanon a stronger warning than before, emphasizing that Jerusalem will respond to any attack on Israel or Israeli institutions anywhere in the world.
IDF Places Concrete Blocks Along Northern Israeli Roads to Foil Snipers
The Israel Defense Forces has placed concrete blocks along border roads in northern Israel to protect drivers and passengers from possible sniper fire in retaliation for the recent airstrike that killed Hezbollah terrorists and an Iranian general in Syria, Israel Hayom reported.
Suspicious movement on Sunday evening caused Israeli officials to block off roads in northern Israel’s Yesha-Adi area and to summon local rapid-response teams. Shortly after the alert went out, it became clear that there was no security incident. Nevertheless, the IDF is maintaining an expanded presence along the northern border in light of threats by Hezbollah and Iran to avenge the reported Israeli airstrike.
The IDF has deployed additional infantry and artillery units along the border with Lebanon, the Israeli Air Force has moved to a high alert level, and Iron Dome anti-missile batteries have been deployed in northern Israel.
JPost Editorial: Anti-Semitism – then and now
The world commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Tuesday, January 27 – which also marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
At Auschwitz, about 300 survivors of the concentration camp, along with thousands of others, will participate in a commemoration ceremony.
In Prague, a two-day conference that will include a ceremony at the site of a concentration camp at Terezin was organized by the European Jewish Congress.
While the atrocities of the Holocaust took place seven decades ago, the dangers of murderously violent anti-Semitism are hardly a thing of the past.
As recent events in France have tragically proven, hatred of Jews remains a force so powerful that the future vitality and continuity of Jewish communities throughout Europe has been questioned, even in places where levels of anti-Semitism are relatively low, such as Britain
European Jewish leader: Islamic extremists are the new Nazis
European Jewish Congress president Moshe Kantor compared Islamic extremism to Nazism during a panel at the residence of the president of the Czech Republic in Prague on Monday, ahead of the 70th anniversary of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“Yes, in certain vital aspects jihadism is very close to Nazism,” Kantor said. “One could say that they are two facets of the same evil.”
Kantor made it clear he was not blaming all Muslims. “Ninety-nine percent of Muslims are normal law-abiding people who never think of persecution, pogroms or murders.”
Nevertheless, he went on to say that “radical Islam is the force to blame. The features of this phenomenon are well known: arrogance, unshakable belief in your own righteousness, contempt for other faiths, creeds and ideals.”
Kantor made his comments as part of the “Let My People Live” conference that seeks to propose pan-European measures – including legislation – that would fight hate speech, incitement, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.
A blueprint to combat anti-Semitism in Europe
To this end, following extensive consultations with Jewish communities in Europe, who are at the front line of global anti-Semitism today, The Israeli- Jewish Congress (IJC) proposes the following 10-point blueprint for combating anti-Semitism Europe. An earlier version of this Blueprint was first presented at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Global Forum on Combatting Anti-Semitism in May 2013 and has been updated since following further meetings with Jewish leaders and officials from Europe and Israel, also taking into account various international developments since that period.
1. First, it must be stressed that anti-Semitism is not just a “Jewish problem,” but a human problem. As the former UK chief rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks once said: “A civilization or country that has no room for Jews has no room for humanity.” Anti-Semites might start with the Jews, but their hate extends to other minority groups as well.
2. Europe must have a comprehensive and binding definition of anti-Semitism.
In this regard, it was most unfortunate that in November 2013, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), the central European body charged with combating anti-Semitism, removed its own working definition of anti-Semitism.
Importantly, the FRA definition also included calls for the delegitimization of Israel as a form of anti-Semitism. This full definition of anti-Semitism should immediately be reinstated as law in Europe. Without defining what it is we are trying to combat, how can we ever defeat it?
“Those who deny Auschwitz would be ready to remake it”
A few years before his death, Levi left us an important warning – “Those who deny Auschwitz would be ready to remake it.” The survivors of the Holocaust prophesised that there would be a sustained campaign to trivialise and relativise the Final Solution. Some of their contemporaries also understood this. The Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe (and future US President), General Eisenhower, ordered that every inhabitant of the town of Gotha be made to visit the nearby camps of Ohrdruf and Buchenwald, so that the German people could see the truth for themselves and never hide from it. The original witnesses knew that the scourge of antisemitism was ultimately ineradicable and that it would go hand in hand with the trivialising of the Holocaust. The experience of the past seventy years has regrettably shown us that they were right.
Hard core Holocaust denial – including those disputing the existence of gas chambers or the substantive numbers of those killed – belongs to a small network of cranks, losers and conspiracy theorists, at least outside the Middle East where such views remain mainstream. The Irvings, Faurissons and Dukes of this world look to the Middle East’s national socialists and theocrats for a committed audience. Arab, Turkish and Persian media overflows with examples of Holocaust denial and antisemitism that would have Joseph Goebbels weeping out of jealousy. You can imagine what they are really thinking; “We deny the last Holocaust happened, but we sure as hell won’t cry when the second does!”
Auschwitz 70th anniversary: Drone footage shows scale of camp


Chloe Valdary: Zionism: The Realization of ‘Never Again’
On one cool Sabbath afternoon, an elderly lady sat at lunch surrounded by many who were waiting in line to shake her hand. They wanted to tell her how much she meant to them, how much her message had touched them. When she graced the podium in Shul only a few hours earlier, she spoke of how *it* was happening again. She spoke of how Jews were coming under attack in France, Israel, Argentina, and elsewhere. She spoke of how we needed to stick together, to be strong, to hold each other up. I reflected on her words and glanced out the window of the Shul. A guard kept watch at all times during the service. A police car was parked across the street to ensure our safety.
Today, we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz; yet there are guards outside the places of worship where Jews congregate. Today we remember the tattooed arms, the lamp shades made out of human flesh, and the gas chambers; yet there are debates on the BBC on whether or not we should “lay the Holocaust to rest,” as though our memorialization were some science project we should have grown tired of dealing with. Today we think back to the time when Jews were forced to wear yellow badges of ignominy and we proclaim, “Never Again.”
“Never Again.” But a dozen Jews were stabbed on a bus in Tel Aviv last week.
“Never Again.” But Jews who were peacefully praying in their synagogue in Israel were butchered last year.
“Never Again.” but an 11-year-old girl was wounded in a firebomb attack last year, when a Palestinian Arab attempted to lynch her and her father.
In Poland, Spielberg raises alarm on growing anti-Semitism
Film director Steven Spielberg told a group of Holocaust survivors on Monday that Jews are again facing the “perennial demons of intolerance” from anti-Semites who are provoking hate crimes and trying to strip survivors of their identity.
His warning came in a speech to dozens of Auschwitz survivors the evening before official commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the Soviet army’s liberation of the death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.
About 300 survivors will gather with leaders from around the world Tuesday to remember the 1.1 million people killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau and the millions of others killed in the Holocaust. Leaders expected include the presidents of Germany and Austria, while the United States is sending a delegation led by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who is an Orthodox Jew. Lew’s family left Poland before World War II.
Spielberg, the Oscar-winning director of the 1993 Holocaust film “Schindler’s List,” was introduced by an 81-year-old survivor, Paula Lebovics, who praised him as “a man who has given us a voice in history.”
Heavy snows delay official UN Holocaust commemoration
Organizers said the official marking of International Holocaust Remembrance Day at UN headquarters in Manhattan, including a speech by Israeli president Reuven Rivlin, would move to Wednesday, as gale-force winds were expected to bring 1-3 feet of snow to the northeast US.
Rivlin was originally scheduled to speak Tuesday along with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Yad Vashem head Avner Shalev and others to mark 70 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.
But by Monday afternoon, the UN announced it was shutting down its Turtle Bay headquarters until Wednesday at least, as snow, blowing sideways, moved into the region.
Rivlin Urges UN Chief to Act Firmly Against Anti-Semitism
The President stressed the importance of Holocaust commemoration and said, “Understanding the lessons of the past, is so important for our ability to face the challenges of today, in the Middle East and across the world. Religious hatred is on the rise, the poison of fundamentalism and terrorism has left no corner of the globe immune, and the need to fight this threat is a primary international interest. I want to thank the Secretary General, for all he is doing to help combat extremism and terror, and for his efforts to help find a solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Ban Ki-moon thanked Rivlin for his warm response to the invitation, and for coming to speak at the special assembly on Holocaust commemoration. He explained to the President how he was deeply impacted by a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau which he made around a year ago.
“It terrified me to see the horror with my own eyes, and I have no doubt that the visit made me even more committed to the fight for human rights,” said the UN chief.
The President and the Secretary-General discussed the importance of the rehabilitation of Gaza, and the various investigations being held into events around Operation Protective Edge.
“The IDF is the most ethical army in the world,” the President told the Secretary-General. “Our soldiers are our children, and I have no doubt that we know how to investigate every event which took place during a conflict that was forced upon us, and to draw every necessary conclusion – there is no force in Israel stronger than the law.”
Ban responded by saying, “I appreciate your thoughtful and considered voice, even in complicated days, and I want to take this opportunity to express my deep horror upon hearing of the terror attack in Tel Aviv.”
Holocaust survivors worried on Auschwitz anniversary: Europe is forgetting about the whole thing
Survivors of the Holocaust visited the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz on Monday, a day ahead of ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of its liberation.
Those gathered in front of the gate with the inscription "Work sets you free", offering a false promise of freedom, are some of the last people left alive to tell their story.
At a ceremony attended by heads of state on Tuesday, they will be delivering the speeches, but today they remain bitter that their voice is not heard.
"Some of the people still saying that it (the Holocaust) never happened. I'm here to tell the world it happened. And I'm strong enough, and I'm a victor. And the world has to learn from it and to live in peace," said survivor from Canada, Mordechai Ronen.
He and almost 300 others have come to revisit the horrors of Auschwitz with one goal in mind - to keep its memory alive.
Samuel Beller from the USA kept silent about what he saw in Auschwitz for forty years, until he learned of an attempt to trivialize the Holocaust.
Where Holocaust survivors gather to live out their days
Taken together, this little cluster of quaint, shady buildings in a residential corner of Tel Aviv represents an outstanding compilation of Holocaust memory. Now, 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz and as the world commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day this week, Reuth’s Tel Aviv campus is one of the densest concentrations of Holocaust survivors in the world. Just across the road, at Reut’s Beit Jenny Breuer, a senior living home that offers nursing care, catered meals, and a chock-full calendar of lectures, games and social events, about half of the residents are also Holocaust survivors. Deeper on the same campus, in the geriatric unit of the sprawling Reuth Medical Center, some 20 percent of patients in hospital beds are also World War II survivors.
“I really love it here. It’s quiet, it’s clean. I am satisfied, thank God,” says Weiss.
He has lived in the same tiny unit for 37 years, paying a nominal fee of a few hundred shekels a month for rent and cooking most of his own meals on a compact two-burner stove that sits in his entryway. Today, he is warming up leftovers of tomato soup that he cooked two days ago. It’s delicious, he says. Come see the black-and-white framed photographs of his glory days on the stage, he adds. The staff at Reuth, he says with a grin, is the best in the world.


Merkel: Threats, attacks against Jews in Germany ‘disgrace’
Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday it was a “disgrace” that Jews in Germany faced insults, threats or violence, as she marked 70 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.
Merkel joined survivors of the former camp, created by Nazi Germany in southern Poland, for a somber and moving event in the German capital ahead of Tuesday’s anniversary.
Auschwitz is a “warning” of what people can do to each other, Merkel said, adding that the camp — the site of the largest single number of murders committed during World War II — had been an “atrocious departure” in the course of history.
She said more than 100,000 Jews have today made Germany their home, but that it was “unfortunately not without cause” that some feared insult or assault.
“It’s a disgrace that people in Germany are abused, threatened or attacked when they indicate somehow they are Jewish or when they side with the State of Israel,” she said, to applause.
Merkel said the fact that synagogues and Jewish institutions had to be guarded by police was like a “stain on our country.”
70 years later, Hitchcock’s Holocaust footage airs
A Holocaust documentary about unreleased Alfred Hitchcock footage of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps aired in 15 countries Monday, as part of the international Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorations.
HBO’s “Night Will Fall” includes harrowing footage captured by the legendary filmmaker, who recorded the grim scene that met Allied troops at Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and Auschwitz in the spring of 1945.
Initially, Hitchcock together with media baron Sidney Bernstein were commissioned by the British government to make “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey,” a documentary that was intended to show Germans the horrors of Nazi brutality.
However, Cold War politics prompted Britain to bury the project, and the documentary was never finished. The decision was made because British officials were concerned that the film would alienate Germany, a strategic political ally in post-WWII Europe.
The shelved footage — five finished reels and 100 unedited compilation reels — has been stored at the London Imperial War Museum archives for the last 70 years.
Sir Ben Kingsley: Europe Did Not Grieve the Holocaust
Award-winning veteran actor and story teller Sir Ben Kingsley was among the dignitaries at the first day of the Let My People Live Forum in Prague, and used the opportunity to explain why in his view Europe has failed to fully come to terms with the crimes of the holocaust.
Noting that his own role in several holocaust-related films, Kingsley said he felt "privileged as an actor to have my costume embellished.. dare I say... signified, dignified, possibly humiliated, sadly, with the yellow star on three occasions. And it is because of that... the great Jewish diaspora and Israel itself has allowed me to be a witness, a story teller, a voice."
He said he felt an acute sense of "gratitude and awareness of the profound responsibility I do have as an actor and a storyteller in bringing the Shoah, the Holocaust to the minds of young people who knew nothing about it," and urged the world to be "vigorously persistent in telling the story of grief-stricken Europe."
One of the greatest tragedies, he insisted, was the fact that in his view "Europe did not grieve in 1945. It moved on. It found another enemy, it found other issues.
"The first step in healing is for us to collectively grieve - we have missed that crucial step."
As a result, he warned, "we are in terrible danger, because of missing the step of grieving, of sliding back."
Sir Ben Kingsley: Europe Did Not Grieve the Holocaust


Holocaust sans antisemitism? Guardian editorial on Auschwitz liberation follows familiar pattern
First, note the gratuitous swipe at Israel.
Though they acknowledge that “a people who came close to extinction cannot be blamed for not wanting to put their fate ever again in other hands”, editors nonetheless can’t resist accusing unnamed Israeli leaders of “exploiting” the Holocaust. They also legitimize the narrative which sees in Israel’s very creation an undeserved “punishment” of Palestinians for Europe’s sins – omitting the Palestinian leadership’s own extensive collusion with the Nazis.
In the fifth paragraph, editors, in vaguely referring to “recent Jewish insecurities”, note the attack on Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, but – quite curiously – not the subsequent murder of four Jews at the Hyper Cacher Kosher Supermarket. This small omission in one particular paragraph represents a larger one within the full 720 word editorial: the absence, in any context, of the word “antisemitism”.
Though editors are narrowly right that the nature of human evil displayed by the perpetrators of the Holocaust may be unknowable, we certainly do know that antisemitism is what inspired the organized effort by Nazis and their willing executioners to exterminate Europe’s Jews.
Though elsewhere on the pages of the Guardian, their editors and contributors have indeed taken note of the exodus of Jews from France and elsewhere in the wake of a very well-documented uptick in antisemitic incidents, their latest editorial seemed determined not to view Holocaust commemoration through the lens of a specific racist legacy, but within the framework of the fight against an amorphous ‘intolerance’.
An editorial about the Holocaust which omits mentioning antisemitism seems to us akin to a US newspaper publishing an editorial about American slavery without contextualizing the black struggle against white racism.
EU Speakers Vow Zero Tolerance for Anti-Semitism - Except Turkey
The Roundtable of Speakers of Parliament in the European Union expressed “grave concern” Tuesday about the rise in anti-Semitism witnessed in Europe.
“We, the gathered here today in Prague for the 70th commemoration ceremony of the Holocaust,” said the group, “express our grave concern about the rise in verbal, digital and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism and hate crimes, predominantly in Europe, and worldwide, directed toward Jewish individuals and communities, institutions and religious facilities.”
“Anti-Semitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity and is often used to blame them for 'why things go wrong'; It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms, social networks, demonstrations and actions,” the Forum continued. “Anti-Semitism employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits. Contemporary examples of anti-Semitism in public life include the distortion or denial of the Holocaust with the intention of hurting Jews around the world and the State of Israel.
The Roundtable "recommended, therefore, the establishment of an inter-Parliamentarian Working Group to draft legal proposals strengthening tolerance and combating various forms of hatred and incitement to hatred, in the spirit of this Declaration."
The speakers called on the President of the European Parliament to make a call for such a meeting.
Only the Parliamentary Speaker of Turkey refused to sign the declaration.
Turkish Capital Hosts Holocaust Ceremony for First Time
Turkey will host a ceremony to commemorate Holocaust victims in its capital for the first time in a sign of solidarity with the Jewish community, an official said.
"The ceremony will take place in Ankara for the first time, with the presence of parliament speaker," the official told AFP.
Holocaust International Remembrance Day was first marked in Turkey in 2011 and since then ceremonies had been held in Istanbul
But this year, the government has shifted the venue to Ankara and has made its presence visible at international platforms.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu travelled to Auschwitz to participate in an international ceremony, and the speaker of parliament Cemil Cicek attended a Holocaust forum in the Czech capital Prague.
"It is a duty of humanity to remember the Holocaust, one of the biggest crimes in history, and to teach future generations about it so as to ensure this kind of offense will never be experienced again," the prime minister's office said in a statement.
"Our country is taking all necessary steps to prevent such crimes from recurring."
Ryan Bellerose: None Is Too Many
On the night before the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, I spent the day in court with some friends watching the sentencing of a 17-year-old who attacked a Jewish family this summer at a pro-Hamas Gaza rally.
The day before the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Jews who were marked for death for the crime of being Jewish, and we haven’t learned a goddamn thing. I am sitting here with my head in my hands wondering how we ended up here, in a country I love but do not like very much right now.
During World War II, our Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King famously stated “None is too many” when requested to allow for the immigration of Jews escaping the Holocaust. Several notable Canadians spoke up on behalf of the Jews, but to no avail because in the end, the people in power hated Jews and refused to help them. The Jew hatred in Canada was subtle; the Prime minister had bought up all the land near his home so that no Jews could move in close to him. When begged to allow 1000 Jewish orphans to immigrate to Canada, Mackenzie King refused. They died.
Now in 2015, I sat in court and watched as a 17-year-old was given probation and 30-hours community service after assaulting a young Jewish girl and her family, WHILE ON PROBATION FOR AN ILLEGAL WEAPONS CHARGE. There is no possible way that this is justice; a group of over 30 people crossed the street and attacked a family of 6 and a young man that was with them. This was no “escalation of violence between groups” as the “agreed statement of facts” between the prosecution and defense suggested. It was a lynching – a mob attacking a family, a Jewish family. But today in Canada, we would not see justice, we would see that same attitude towards Jews that Mackenzie King displayed, indifference to their suffering and outright bigotry.
Teen gets probation for assaulting Jewish woman during pro-Palestinian protesters' attack on rally
Sucker punching a Jewish woman during a rally in which pro-Palestinian protesters attacked a group of Israel supporters has landed a city teen probation.
Youth Court Judge Richard O’Gorman on Monday agreed with Crown prosecutor Carla MacPhail the teen should be under court-imposed restrictions for one year.
Among the conditions of the teenager’s probation is that he complete 30 hours of community service.
He must also write a letter of apology to his victim, Samantha Hamilton, whom he punched as she raced to assist her brother, Shane, who was also being assaulted.
O’Gorman said the offender, who was 16 at the time of the incident last July 18, was deserving of legal sanction.
“We cherish our freedoms and they must be protected,” he told the teen.
“Your assault on Ms. Hamilton was unwarranted regardless of the high emotions.”
Photos reveal rising anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany in 1935
Eighty years ago, two Jewish journalists sent a Dutch photographer to document anti-Semitism in Third Reich and expose true face of Nazi party to the world, but international media didn't print photos.
Eighty years ago, a Dutch photographer went into Nazi Germany to collect evidence of the raging anti-Semitism in the country, sent by Jewish journalists who were hoping to alert the world to the situation in the Third Reich, before it was too late.
The photographer crossed Germany on a motorcycle in 1935 and documented signs along the way, all with one unified message: "Jews are not wanted here."
The Dutch motorcyclist photographed 22 signs along the road connecting the border town of Bad Bentheim to the capital Berlin, some 500 kilometers away. He found them on the sides of the road, in entrances to villages and in front of picturesque houses.
But the photos, which were distributed to media organizations all over the world - including in the Land of Israel - did not produce the desired reaction.
Jewish Leaders Express Mixed Feelings on New Greek Government
Jewish leaders have expressed both hope and concern over the outcome of the Greek election on Sunday, in which the radical left-wing Syriza party won 149 parliament seats and 36.3 percent of the vote.
Syriza officials have called for the end of Israel’s “brutality against Palestinians,” and Panos Kammenos—the leader of the right-wing Independent Greeks (ANEL) party, with whom Syriza formed a majority coalition—garnered accusations of anti-Semitism last December for claiming that Greek Jews do not pay taxes. Golden Dawn, an extreme-right neo-Nazi party, placed third in results that polls suggested were driven largely by voters’ economic concerns.
The Greek Jewish community consists of about 5,000 people out of the country’s total population of 11.2 million, according to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. The community has experienced rising anti-Semitic sentiment that is correlated with both the country’s economic crisis as well as escalations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict such as last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
B’nai Brith International told JNS.org in a statement that the group is concerned by some “past statements about Israel made by [Syriza] party leaders,” but hopes “that the relationship with Israel, which had been building over the past decade in many fields, will be unaffected by the outcome.”
Hamas hails Greek far-left Syriza faction for election victory, opposition to 'Israeli crimes'
The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on Tuesday congratulated the head of Greece's far-left Syriza coalition for his election victory on Sunday.
Alexis Tsipras, the new prime minister, was hailed by Hamas for his opposition to "Israeli crimes, aggression, and siege on Gaza," according to the Ma'an news agency.
After two years of waiting in the wings, Tsipras and his Syriza party stormed to power in Sunday's snap election on a wave of anger against German-backed austerity that has driven up poverty and pushed unemployment over 25 percent.
Syriza’s ranks include an array of leftists ranging from Marxists to Greens.
Rivlin meets parents of American IDF soldiers killed in Gaza
President Reuven Rivlin on Monday met with the families of American IDF lone soldiers who were slain in last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip.
Rivlin and his wife, who were in New York City to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the United Nations, met with Evie and Stuart Steinberg, parents of Sgt. Max Steinberg, and Rachel and David Adir, parents of Lt. Liran Adir, two of the 66 soldiers killed in the 50-day conflict.
“The citizens of the State of Israel, and the Jewish people as a whole, owe you a debt which can never be repaid. You have lost what was most precious to you,” Rivlin told the parents. “You have endured the unthinkable, the loss of a child. We share in your grief, we share in your pain, and indeed, we share in your pride, that your dear children were dedicated to defending the Jewish people, and the Jewish homeland.”
Steinberg, 24, a southern California native who was spurred to immigrate to Israel by a Birthright Israel trip three years ago, was killed in a Hamas attack on his armored personnel carrier. Adir, 31, an armored corps officer, was killed by mortar fire near the border with the Gaza Strip.
Adherence to the “armed struggle” still prominent in Abbas' Fatah party
On a poster showing an olive branch, a white dove, a rifle and a bullet, Chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party stated that it has not "thrown down the rifle." :
"Fatah - We have not taken up the olive branch in order to throw down the rifle. We have taken up the olive branch in order to give the land of the olive trees its identity back. Let all those who lose their way know that Fatah will remain the beacon of the [Palestinian] cause."[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page," Jan. 21, 2015]
To further legitimize its continued commitment to the armed struggle, Fatah quoted Mahmoud Abbas in another Facebook post, showing that he is an advocate of armed struggle:
Text on poster of Abbas: "I am not one to surrender. When Fatah launched the armed struggle, we were nine members. Four of us supported the armed struggle, and four opposed it. My vote tipped the scales in favor of the armed struggle. But everything in its time."
"Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine" [sic]

[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page," Jan. 16 and 22, 2015]
Khaled Abu Toameh: Abbas' decision to cut salaries of Dahlan supporters causes revolt within Fatah
Hamas warned on Monday that it wouldn’t allow the Gaza Strip to slide into anarchy and lawlessness.
The warning came amid growing tensions among members of the rival Fatah faction. The tensions erupted after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas decided to cut off salaries of more than 200 Fatah officials and activists suspected of being affiliated with his political rival, Mohamed Dahlan.
The tensions in Fatah spilled into violence over the past week as Dahlan’s supporters attacked Abbas loyalists on a number of occasions.
“Hamas won’t allow the Fatah infighting to lead to anarchy and lawlessness,” said Hamas official Salah Bardaweel. He also denied charges that Hamas was “agitating” tensions between the two rival parties.
Bardaweel’s remarks came in response to a statement by Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh, who claimed that Hamas was responsible for the current dispute between Abbas and Dahlan loyalists.
Amid Oil Price Drop, Hezbollah To Hold Bake Sale (satire)
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah told an assembly of followers yesterday that the movement would hold a bake sale on the fourth of February. The event will take place in the schoolyard of the Imad Mughniyah Primary School in the Dahiyeh neighborhood, between the hours of 4 and 6 pm. Nasrallah invited the wives, mothers, and daughters of school personnel and students to prepare at least four items each of baked goods to sell that day, with the proceeds going to help support the Resistance and its ongoing operations against the Islamic State, The Nusra Front, the Free Syrian Army, Israel, and the movement’s own rivals within Lebanon.
“Brothers and sisters, it is the sacred duty of all Muslims to raise funds for Allah’s own fight,” Nasrallah told his followers. “Allah needs your cakes, your biscuits, your cookies, your tortes, your pies, your chiffons, and your whatever those things are with the pastry dough rolled around a sweet filling. Rugelach? Something like that.”
The upcoming bake sale will be Hezbollah’s first. In 2006 the organization held a rummage sale to help clear space for an anticipated batch of rockets from Iran, but that event proved only a mixed success at best, since the storage depots were inconveniently scattered throughout Beirut in various residential buildings. This time, say the organizers, the single venue will make managing the sale easier, and bring in more potential customers.
Several details of the bake sale remain to be finalized. Among the unresolved questions is how much support from the movement itself is appropriate for the event. While one faction in the leadership thinks the community-building aspect of the sale should remain its primary focus, a small but powerful and vocal minority believes profit trumps those concerns. As such, they are arguing that the sale should also have a booth or two selling some of the drugs that the movement grows in the Bekaa Valley instead of allocating them directly for export.


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