Friday, October 09, 2020

From Ian:

President Reuven Rivlin: The people of Israel will defeat coronavirus
On Friday, everything starts fresh. Will we also be able to? Yes, yes, my dear ladies and gentlemen, completely anew. On the morning of Simchat Torah, we will read the 54th and final weekly Torah portion, V'Zot HaBerachah ("and this is the blessing"), immediately after which we will read the beginning of the Torah -- Bereshit ("Genesis").

We must also take the deepest of breaths, inhale the new air, and try starting fresh. To shake off the fatigue of the recent period, the lockdown, and rally together in the common cause of fighting the pandemic. We are well aware that our existence, as a nation and culture, also hinges on the deep-rooted ties to our traditions, historical heritage, the path of our forefathers, and the vision of the prophets.

The Simchat Torah holiday is a reminder that the bond between the people of Israel and the Torah -- the simple yet profound, honest joy of a people's connection to their most fundamental values – cannot be broken. This year, we cannot rejoice with the Torah as in years past. Instead of dancing in our crowded, happy circles, with our children on our shoulders, we will have to pray in limited gatherings in accordance with the directives meant to save our lives. It is very sad, but to ensure that next year we can return to dancing with our loved ones and Torah scrolls, I know we have no other choice.

If we don't fight together, shoulder to shoulder, in the battle for the public's wellbeing, we will fail. We must celebrate the holiday in adherence to the safety protocols, in the spirit of mutual guarantee for our fellow man, in solemn prayer that this scourge will be driven from our land.

Defining Antisemitism as a Jewish Problem Is a Lose-Lose Proposition
Radical groups — the radical left, the radical right, radical Muslims, and the radical African-Americans who champion Louis Farrakhan — are spearheading efforts to erode the core principles that make our country exceptional. The Islamo-leftist alliance, in particular, is gaining momentum. While many Jewish and other civil rights organizations singularly focus on far-right white nationalists as the main generators of extremism, the Islamo-leftist alliance parades in public as a social justice cause while infiltrating and undermining our communities and institutions. Collectively, these radical groups reject the Judeo-Christian values that have supported the foundation of our country and protected all minority communities in America, including Jews.

Proponents of the Islamo-leftist alliance seek to undermine the structures and institutions that keep our country open, democratic, and healthy, including the family unit, businesses, communities, religious institutions, impartial media, law enforcement, the military, and the courts. Increasing antisemitic attacks and the public display of hatred are trial runs for what is to come from these radical movements. For years, Jews have been at the receiving end of this hatred. If we are truly ready to overcome it, we must stop playing the victim and start fighting this head-on together with other Americans.

We will lose as Jews and as Americans if we continue accepting our prescribed role as the sacrificial canary in the coal mine, hoping that others may recognize the danger after it has already consumed us whole. Instead, we need to be eagles looking to the horizon, detecting threats far before they grievously harm us and our country. There are practical actions we must take to go on the offensive against antisemitism. They include (1) investigating and exposing the radical movements that fuel the spread of this hatred by identifying their networks, money trails, and agendas; (2) increasing knowledge-sharing capabilities that inform the American people about the threats and empower them to act; (3) holding the media accountable to the standards of a fair and free press; and (4) supporting legislation that curbs the influence of the hate movements in our institutions.

Presenting antisemitism as a Jewish problem has been a lose-lose proposition because it has not spurred anyone to take meaningful action against it. Rather than griping about the problem, it is now time for all Americans to fight against this hatred and racism and for Jews to stand at the forefront of this fight. Our history and increasingly dangerous reality show that the inalienable rights afforded by the Constitution cannot be taken for granted. We need to fight for our safety and security today so that tomorrow we and future generations can continue living freely and proudly. We must fly into the future as brave eagles and free America from the dangers of antisemitism and the extremism it represents.
Who First Said Anti-Zionism Isn’t Antisemitism?
Roosevelt noted the Arabs underestimated the Jews and overestimated their own capabilities. “They thought they could do a job on Israel in a very short time with comparatively little effort, and they told their peoples that too, which was about the worst mistake of all.”

Fighting was still going on when he spoke, so he concluded by arguing that the only way to bring peace to Palestine was for the United States “to declare that any further fighting or any further infringement of a truce or an armistice in Palestine would result in a firm embargo by the United States on any kind of shipments, including specifically dollars, to whichever side started the violation.” Though he said this should apply to both sides, his chief concern was what the Arabists saw as Israeli aggression.

During the Q&A, Roosevelt argued the press had a pro-Zionist bias because newspapers were dependent on advertising from department stores, which “are in the hands of people who may not be Zionists themselves, but they are subject to very strong pressure from the Zionists.” He added that some publishers were susceptible to “a kind of friendly insistence that they not allow anything to appear in their papers which could encourage antisemitism.”

Ironically, he followed up this antisemitic trope about Jewish control of the media with the conclusion that “one of the most dangerous elements in this situation … has been the way in which the Zionists have identified antisemitism with anti-Zionism.” Roosevelt argued, “Sooner or later there is bound to develop in this country strong anti-Zionism. There is no strong reason why that should mean antisemitism, but the Zionists are making it all the more likely by their insistence that if you are an anti-Zionist you are an antisemitist.”

According to Roosevelt, not only is it unreasonable to suggest that anti-Zionism is antisemitism, but doing so provokes antisemitism.

Roosevelt may not have been the first to make the argument, but he certainly was not the last. Today, a universal dodge employed by antisemites is their insistence that they have nothing against Jews, only the state of the Jews, and that seeking the destruction of that state — anti-Zionism — is not antisemitism.

Jonathan S. Tobin: Why are Cuomo and de Blasio singling out Orthodox Jews?
According to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, cracking down on Hassidic neighborhoods in Brooklyn that he termed "COVID clusters" and imposing new lockdown restrictions on them is just a matter of following Jewish law. Explaining his decision to implement new measures pinpointing specific ZIP codes in the borough, he noted that he is motivated by the principle that, "In Jewish teaching, one of the most precious principles is to save a life."

Cuomo was right about the concept of pikuach nefesh, which obligates Jews to violate laws with but a few exceptions in order to preserve life. That's a message some have not gotten during the course of the last several months as – whether out of frustration, ignorance or perverse stubbornness – they resisted rules about face masks or bans on gatherings of large numbers of people. The spectacle of Orthodox Jews taking to the streets this week in closely packed crowds, eschewing masks (and in one case, even burning the coverings) to protest Cuomo's new edicts cannot be defended.

Yet it's equally fair to ask questions that were raised by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in singling out Jews by name as the sole source of COVID scofflaws. It's also reasonable to ask by what logic, let alone scientific principle, are they making decisions that mandate the closing of religious institutions while allowing other secular activities to go on unhindered?

Just as important, why have Cuomo and de Blasio, as well as so many other local and state leaders around the nation, treated religious activities and protests against these restrictions as inherently illegitimate and illegal while turning a blind eye towards the mass protests and violence in the streets that have taken place under the banner of the Black Lives Matter movement?

Seen from that perspective, the anger of the haredim who have been resisting COVID restrictions can be understood, if not excused, as a natural reaction to hypocritical policies and a troubling willingness to make the easily identifiable Orthodox Jewish community the scapegoats for the pandemic.
Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief: Singling Out of New York Orthodox Jews Is ‘Damaging’ and ‘Counterproductive’
The singling out of Orthodox Jews by New York state and city officials amid the coronavirus pandemic is “damaging” and “counterproductive,” the editor-in-chief of The Algemeiner said during a Wednesday appearance on i24 News.

“The idea that there is this focus in the press conferences and in public statements on the Orthodox Jewish community, even if there are legitimate issues to be addressed there, just highlights really opportunities for antisemitism and for those groups to be targeted and for the Orthodox Jewish community to be seen really as a scapegoat over here, and we’ve seen that translate on the streets of New York already,” Dovid Efune told “The Rundown” host Calev Ben-David.

New York Times Flunks Again in Coverage of Jews and Coronavirus
A Times news article headlined “Backlash Grows in Orthodox Jewish Areas Over Virus Crackdown by Cuomo” carries a correction: “An earlier version of this article misstated the title of Simcha Felder. He is a state senator, not a state assemblyman.”

The Times news article describes the protesters against Cuomo and de Blasio as a “angry” and a “mob,” terms the Times has largely avoided using to refer to Black Lives Matter protesters, whom the newspaper has repeatedly described as “mostly peaceful.”

Three paragraphs of the Times article report “the anger was not limited to the Orthodox Jewish community. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, which has 1.5 million followers and 210 churches in Brooklyn and Queens, said it was taken by surprise by the governor’s announcement. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn condemned the new rules as ‘outrageous’ in a statement on Tuesday night.”

“The religious freedom of our parishioners is being unjustly attacked,” DiMarzio is quoted as saying.

One wonders why the Catholics are three paragraphs in the middle of a long story and headline about the Jews, rather than the Jews being three paragraphs in the middle of a long story and headline about the Catholics. Maybe the idea of Catholics as spreaders of disease just doesn’t resonant as much for New York Times editors? As a libel against Jews, though, it has a long, sordid history at the Times, of which this is just the latest sad chapter.
Agudath Israel sues NY’s Cuomo for imposing virus restrictions on holy days
Agudath Israel of America, an umbrella body for ultra-Orthodox Jews, has sued New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in federal court for pandemic restrictions on religious gatherings that the group says are discriminatory coming just ahead of three important holy days.

The lawsuit filed Thursday at the US District Court in Brooklyn seeks a restraining order on restrictions Cuomo announced on Tuesday, a declaration that Cuomo’s order is unconstitutional, and legal costs.

“Forty-eight hours before the onset of these holidays, Defendant Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order that singles out and discriminates against all houses of worship — and synagogues in particular — by imposing occupancy and gathering restrictions that make it impossible for Orthodox Jews to comply with both their religious obligations and the Order,” said the lawsuit.

The lawsuit notes that New Yorkers must comply with the order beginning no later than Friday, which is when Hoshanah Rabbah falls, and which is followed by Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. The order will be in place for two weeks.

“These holidays each have special prayers and rituals that are incorporated into worship services,” the lawsuit says. “Orthodox Jews will gather at their synagogues for collective prayer, Torah readings, remembrances of deceased loved ones, and other rituals.”

NY Dem Organized for Group That Protested Terror Leader’s Death
A New York Democrat previously organized for a far-left group that protested against the killing of Iranian general and designated terrorist Qassem Soleimani.

Dana Balter, Democratic nominee for the state's 24th Congressional District, became a "leading voice" for the Central New York Solidarity Coalition. In January 2020, the coalition protested against the assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps general Soleimani, who was killed in a January drone strike.

The group is committed to "protecting all Central New Yorkers from the dangers of the Trump-Pence-Ryan administration's policies, appointees, and rhetoric," according to its website. The group's mission came to include defending the IRGC, which the Trump administration designated as a terrorist organization in 2019. It attracted more than 125 protesters, who chanted, "Iran is not our enemy, war is not the answer."

Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops and coalition forces, with thousands more injured. At the time of his death, Soleimani was actively planning to attack American diplomats and military installations alike in the Iraqi-Iranian region. Iraq war veteran Robert Bartlett, who received a Purple Heart after being wounded by a roadside bomb, told the Washington Free Beacon that Balter's association is concerning.

"She's basically a traitor, simple as that," Bartlett said. "I want [voters] to know that if they vote her in, they're voting for ‘death to America,' because that's what Iranians chant."
Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar Released 'Free Palestine' Music Video in 2012
The Kickstarter project, now defunct, offered incentives for donations. At the $50 level, for instance, the project offered a “‘Peace in Palestine’ t-shirt, a signed CD, and a personal thank you letter from the Palestinian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway, His Excellency Yasser Najjar.” The project ultimately raised $75 before being canceled.

Yasser Najjar is Campa-Najjar’s father. His grandfather, Muhammad Yousef al-Najjar, was a Palestinian terrorist involved in the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, in 1972. He was killed in a raid by Israeli special forces in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1973.

Campa-Najjar, a Christian of Mexican and Palestinian descent, has disavowed his paternal grandfather’s beliefs and actions, though he called him a “legend” in a 2015 Instagram post. He changed his name in 2018 to add his mother’s maiden name.

The 50th district is an open seat following the resignation of former Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance laws. Campa-Najjar narrowly lost to Hunter in 2018.
Corbyn chief of staff boasted of attempts to force out MPs who stood up against antisemitism
Jeremy Corbyn’s former chief of staff boasted about her involvement in attempts to force out MPs and union officials who had stood up against antisemitism, the JC can reveal.

A series of damning phone messages shown to this newspaper confirm that Karie Murphy admitted being personally involved in moves to “trigger” the deselection of the MPs who quit Labour in February last year citing Mr Corbyn’s failure over antisemitism.

After seven Labour MPs quit the party in February 2019 - including Luciana Berger, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes and Chuka Umunna - Ms Murphy wrote: “F**king idiots. All the work I did to trigger them and they leave before I had the pleasure.”

In another WhatsApp message, Ms Murphy, who was in charge of Labour’s 2019 General Election campaign, also admitted involvement in a successful move to have a union official who had previously called for the party to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism removed as chair of the party’s equalities body, the National Executive Committee (NEC).

After Keith Birch of the Unison union was replaced on the NEC by a left-wing representative, Ms Murphy wrote on January 30 last year: “We took out Keith so Unison are p***ed.

“He has been a c**t for years.”

On Wednesday afternoon Labour confirmed they had launched an investigation into Ms Murphy's messages.

A party spokesperson said:"Labour takes all complaints extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken."

Foodbenders, Accused of Antisemitism, Launches New Crowdfunding Campaign
Canadian media take note, after having her previous fundraisers removed by GoFundMe for violating the sites terms of service, Kimberly Hawkins, Owner of Foodbenders, has found a new platform in LaunchGood, a platform which describes itself as “Crowdfunding Incredible Muslims Worldwide”, to host her latest “Foodbenders Legal Defence Fundraiser” which seeks to raise $100,000 to support her “legal defence fund”.

The latest Foodbenders’ “legal defence fundraiser” is being billed as a campaign to “Help us stop Bill 168 from becoming law that silences Palestinian resistance by confusing antisemitism with legitimate criticism of Israel and Zionism!”

Over the past few months, Foodbenders has received a lot of media attention for a number of antisemitic statements and posts its owner had been making, specifically one which barred Zionists (Jews) from her store. As a result of her disgusting statements, many major businesses which had contracts with the establishment, including UBER Eats, Doordash and Square, terminated their services with Foodbenders. Furthermore, many politicians including the Prime Minister of Canada, the Premier of Ontario and the Mayor of Toronto condemned the antisemitism being spewed by the establishment.

Kimberly Hawkins, the creator of the campaign and again owner of Foodbenders, the beneficiary of the fundraiser, is currently under investigation by the City of Toronto for violating its by-laws in regard to using a licensed business to “discriminate against a member of the public [on grounds of] race, colour, or creed.” [By-law No. 574-2000]
Florida school rehires principal who refused to say the Holocaust happened
A US principal in Florida who told a parent he “can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event” will be rehired after a vote Wednesday night by the school board that fired him.

William Latson made the comments to a parent in 2018 and was later removed from the Boca Raton high school where he had been principal. Last October, the school board voted 5-2 to fire him, citing not just the comments but Latson’s refusal to answer questions about them.

Latson sued, saying he had been wrongfully terminated, and in August, a judge concluded that he should have been reprimanded but not fired.

The board voted Wednesday night to rehire him rather than face a protracted and costly legal battle. He’ll be given an administrative job, rather than one with students, and will receive $152,000 in back pay, according to the Palm Beach Post.

The board was divided 4-3, with the only Jewish board member arguing strenuously against Latson’s rehiring. “If we rehire Dr. Latson, it is going be a stain on this school district that will never go away,” Karen Brill said during the meeting.

Palm Beach County is heavily Jewish, and Spanish River Community High School, which Latson led, has many Jewish students. In an email to a parent who asked about the school’s Holocaust education curriculum, he wrote, “I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in the position to do so as a school district employee. You have your thoughts, but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs.”

NYU Student Reaches Landmark Settlement with University in Campus Anti-Semitism Lawsuit
Adela complained to the NYU administration, pointing out that Jewish students felt physically threatened on campus, and asked for the university’s help in mitigating hostile anti-Israel behavior.

But as Adela explained, while NYU’s administrators disciplined the two students who had burned the flag and committed assault, they did not address SJP or JVP’s behavior as a whole. They also reportedly instructed Adela “not to post on social media” and to “lower” her “own presence and the presence of my community…”

So, when the university administration even gave SJP the 2019 President’s Service Award—bestowed “to recognize students and student organizations that have positively impacted the NYU community through significant contributions to either community service and civic engagement or student leadership and campus programming”—Adela had had enough. A few weeks before she was due to graduate, Adela filed a Title VI complaint against NYU, prompting the Department of Education (DoE) to launch an investigation into anti-Semitism at the school.

Mere months later, Adela climbed on stage and stood confidently behind a podium at the 2019 annual Israeli American Council conference. In a strong, clear voice, she described her experiences with anti-Semitism at NYU, and the university administration’s failures to protect its Jewish students. Standing alongside her on stage was President Trump.

Only a few days after Adela’s speech, the president signed a landmark executive order including Jewish students as a protected class under Title IV. Crucially, the EO also defined anti-Semitism according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) classification, which includes bigoted anti-Israel behaviors common to groups involved in campaigns to boycott or demonize Israel.

Now, Adela’s determination has paid off. Earlier this week, Adela’s lawyers at the Brandeis Center issued a press release explaining the settlement they reached with NYU:

Swastika Found at Columbia University Just Days After Anti-Israel Vote
A swastika was found at Columbia University just one week after students voted to pass an anti-Israel referendum calling on the school to divest from Israel.

Jewish students discovered the swastika on the steps of Columbia's Low Library on Oct. 7, a mere nine days after the referendum passed. The motion had been pushed by Columbia University Apartheid Divest, a group that claims Israel is an apartheid state.

Pro-Israel student leader Ofir Dayan told the Washington Free Beacon that the swastika reflected the normalization of anti-Semitism at Columbia. "Passing the referendum [was] a dangerous precedent and it is a shame that the Columbia community did not listen when Jewish and pro-Israel students warned that passing it would cause a rise in anti-Semitism on campus," Dayan said. "I hope, but based on the past [am] doubtful, that the administration will track and punish the racist bigots responsible for the swastika."

This is the second swastika found on campus property this year: In February, the symbol was painted on the 16th floor of a residential dormitory.

Brian Cohen, a spokesman for the university's Hillel center, told the Free Beacon that growing anti-Semitism reinforces the importance of Jewish student groups. "Incidents like this are too common on campus, and around the city, country, and world," Cohen said. "Columbia Hillel remains committed to advocating for the physical and emotional safety and security of Jewish students on campus."

NY Times Recasts Nazis, Collaborator, as Anti-Zionists
What could make the newspaper whitewash all of this, and recast the partnership between the Nazis and al-Husseini as strictly anti-Zionist? The New York Times has an Israel problem; it has an antisemitism problem; and it has a problem reporting forthrightly on Palestinian antisemitism and anti-Jewish violence — extending, apparently, even to leaders who supported and eagerly collaborated with the Nazis.

That is apparently why the paper made a point of signaling to readers that the Saudi Prince’s criticism of past Palestinian decision-making is invalid, and that al-Husseini wasn’t antisemitic.

It’s telling, for example, that the newspaper characterized Bandar bin Sultan’s criticism as “a rambling and selective history,” when that same newspaper had previously described a conspiratorial, error-filled, and anti-Jewish rant by current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as nothing worse than a “lengthy history lecture.” What makes a history “rambling and selective,” then, is neither bloviation nor inaccuracy. It is the focus of that history. You can fabricate Jewish history all you want. Just don’t shine too hard a light on Palestinian leaders.

Again and again, in fact, New York Times journalists have engaged in advocacy journalism to protect Palestinian decision-makers from criticism. In 2014, after a Palestinian terrorist slaughtered Jews who were praying in a Jerusalem synagogue, editors inexplicably cut from their story on the incident any reference to US Secretary of State John Kerry blaming the massacre on Palestinian incitement. (Kerry’s damning condemnation, in fact, was replaced by a Palestinian accusation that Israel is guilty of incitement.) Last year, a passage explaining that Islamic Jihad is “listed as a terrorist organization by many countries” — an accurate and relevant piece of context — likewise mysteriously disappeared from a Times article.
Graffiti tributes to Halle Yom Kippur victims defaced with swastikas
Graffiti tributes to mark one year since a deadly anti-Semitic attack in the German city of Halle have been sprayed over with swastikas, police said on Friday.

A left-wing group called Antifa Halle had sprayed stencil images with the names of the two victims of the October 2019 attack in various locations across the city on Sunday night, according to a report in the Bild daily.

But some of the images with the inscription “Never forget — Kevin and Jana” were smeared with red swastikas on Thursday night, the eve of the anniversary of the Halle attack, the report said.

An investigation has been launched and work has begun to remove the swastikas, police told AFP.

The attack targeting a synagogue in Halle on October 9, 2019 came during Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, and was one of the worst acts of anti-Semitic violence in Germany’s post-war history.

A neo-Nazi suspect, 28-year-old Stephan Balliet, is currently on trial for the attack and has told the court it was “not a mistake.”
White supremacist who called for attacks on Pittsburgh Jews released from prison
A white supremacist who called for violence against Pittsburgh’s Jews has been released from prison.

Hardy Lloyd, who has served repeated stints in prison, is a well-known extremist in the Pittsburgh area. He was released on October 6, after serving a sentence of more than a year for violating his probation by inciting violence on social media.

According to local media reports, Lloyd opposed a 2019 local ban on assault weapons as well as a European free speech law. He had posted, “Anyone who supports such laws must be targeted, and their families murdered. Lone Wolves GET BUSY.”

He then wrote, “Target: Jew Hill,” appearing to reference Squirrel Hill, the city’s historically Jewish neighborhood. According to the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, Lloyd is a former Squirrel Hill resident.

Lloyd’s release comes as the Squirrel Hill community prepares to mark the passage of two years since the synagogue shooting there on October 27, 2018. But Shawn Brokos, the local Jewish federation’s head of security, said she was not aware of Lloyd posing a present threat to the community.

“I’m not worried,” Brokos told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “I think the timing is certainly unfortunate because it’s a difficult time in the Pittsburgh Jewish community, whether it’s direct or indirect trauma, because of the Tree of Life shooting.”
Vienna mayor who was Hitler’s role model becomes magnet for statue protests
A statue of an anti-Semitic former mayor of Vienna who inspired Hitler has become the focus of competing left- and right-wing protests, with anti-racist activists mounting a “shame vigil” around the monument.

The likeness of Karl Lueger, on a prime spot on Vienna’s imposing Ringstrasse Boulevard, has been defaced several times in recent months with graffiti reading “Schande” (“Shame”).

Galvanized by protests around historical monuments elsewhere in the world and the Black Lives Matter movement, an artists’ collective took matters a step further and fixed two sets of concrete, gold-painted letters spelling “Schande” to the statue’s plinth on Sunday night.

The collective then set up a “shame vigil” at the site to prevent the city from removing the words. Karl Lueger circa 1897 (Public Domain)

Jewish and Muslim youth organizations, feminists and left-wing groups are also taking turns manning the vigil.

However, a group of men described by Austrian media as far-right activists removed the gold letters with a hammer and chisel on Monday.

The police then cordoned off the statue.
Henry Ford II: Not a Chip Off the Old Block
The story of Henry Ford’s grandson and namesake was very different. During World War II, young Henry (nicknamed “Hank the Deuce”) was a young naval officer in the Pacific. In 1943, when his father Edsel died, his grandfather resumed command of the company, despite showing signs of senility. Only in 1945 did Henry Ford II become president.

Among his first acts was to hire the younger generation of executives, the “Whiz Kids,” including Robert McNamara, who turned Ford Motor around. He alone healed Ford’s relationship with the Jews.

In 1949, when the Truman White House received a fleet of Lincoln limousines, the last produced went to Chaim Weizmann, whom Ford II met during the Israeli president’s tour of the US. In 1950, Hank the Deuce made a $50,000 contribution to the United Jewish Appeal’s Christian Committee Campaign for Israel. Around the time of the Six-Day War in 1967, Ford II without fanfare gave his friend, oil executive Max Fisher, a hand-written note with a $100,000 check for the Israel Emergency Fund.

Ford built his first-ever assembly plant in Israel. In 1968, the first Ford Escorts came off the Nazareth assembly line. The plant soon was assembling Ford trucks and buses for sale to Israel’s African market. Henry Ford II visited Israel in 1972, feted by Prime Minister Golda Meir.

Maintaining his business with the Jewish state after 1973, he refused to give in to boycott threats, despite losses across the Arab world. Ford defied the boycott while companies like Pepsi Cola, with heavy Jewish investment, capitulated. During the Yom Kippur War, when a Jewish engineer told him that Israel needed tank carriers, the Deuce supplied them at a critical juncture.

Billy Ford, executive chairman of the Ford Motor Company and Henry Ford’s great-grandson, visited Israel in 2019 to inaugurate the new Ford Research Center in Tel Aviv. Earlier, he appointed Mark Fields, a Jew, to be Ford’s Chief Operating Officer.

Information on Henry Ford II came from — and can be read in — Henry: A Life of Henry Ford II by Walter Hayes.
Recognizing Jewish Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust
Oeuvre de secours aux enfants (OSE), the Jewish children’s welfare organization, was founded in Russia in 1912 by a group of young doctors committed to offering sanitary protection and health benefits to poor Jews. The organization moved in 1917 to Berlin where Albert Einstein was its honorary president. In 1933, it moved to Paris, and in 1940, once again to escape the Nazis, it moved to Montpellier in the non-occupied south of France.

With its 280 official employees, OSE became the principal Jewish organization concerned with the welfare of foreign Jews in French internment camps. In November 1941, there were more than 28,000 internees in these camps, roughly 5,000 of whom were children under the age of 18. The camps were entirely run and staffed by the French. With help from non-Jewish organizations, such as the Quakers and the Red Cross, OSE social workers fed, clothed, and raised the morale of these detainees, 3,000 of whom would die of malnutrition and disease over the course of the war.

As of August 1942, when children were being deported even from the non-occupied zone, the primary goal of OSE became to illegally evacuate the children from the camps and, with the help of their Christian allies, to place them in non-Jewish homes, farms, and institutions, or smuggle them out of the country.

To accomplish this work, a 33-year-old engineer named Georges Garel (né Grigori Garfinkel) left his role in the Resistance to form the Garel Network, the first entirely clandestine network for rescuing Jewish children in the still-unoccupied zone. With headquarters in Lyon, over the next 12 months, thanks to about three dozen workers—most of whom were Jewish women employed by the OSE—the Garel Network would hide over 1,600 Jewish children in various parts of France.

What happened in France took place in every occupied country. Thousands of Jews, many of them very young, labored individually and in Jewish and non-Jewish organizations to save their endangered brethren. Many could have fled but chose to remain in order to rescue others. With great heroism, they employed subterfuge, forgery of documents, smuggling, concealment, and escape into foreign countries such as Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, and Turkey. Together with their non-Jewish companions, these courageous persons rescued between 150,000 and 300,000 persons who might otherwise have perished.

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