Thursday, January 03, 2019

From Ian:

Israeli study: 1/4 of Jews killed in Holocaust murdered in 100 days in 1942
A new Israeli study claims that almost a quarter of the Jews murdered in the Holocaust were killed during 100 days in 1942, making it the period with the highest killing rate in the 20th century.

The killings between August and October 1942 included Jews murdered in the Auschwitz extermination camp, in Ukraine and as part of the infamous Operation Reinhard — an intense mass-slaughter campaign carried out by Nazi Germany between March 1942 and November 1943 in death camps Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor (that operation alone eventually killed some 1.7 million Polish Jews).

Prof. Lewi Stone of Tel Aviv University made the claim in a study published Wednesday in the Science Advances academic journal, based on his analysis of German train deportation data to the three death camps compiled in the 1980s by Holocaust historian Yitzhak Arad.

The kill and death rate during Operation Reinhard has been “poorly quantified in the past,” Stone contended, noting that most records of the killings were destroyed by the Nazis.

The average death rate of almost 15,000 per day during the “extreme phase of hyperintense killing” — which began after the fuhrer Adolf Hitler ordered the operations “sped up” — is almost three times higher than previous estimations.

Stone argued that the murder rate decreased in November 1942 because “there were relatively few Jews left” in the Nazi-controlled areas in and around occupied Poland, “so the rate of the killing likely subsided because of the difficulty of rounding up victims.”
How Hitler’s ‘fake news’ assault on America came perilously close to succeeding
Not only was president Franklin Roosevelt a war monger and closeted Jew, his real name was Rosenfeld. The war in Poland and Russia was entirely the fault of England, and the American press was bent on bringing the country into war against peaceful Germany. These allegations, according to a new book titled “Hitler’s American Friends,” were some of the key German propaganda messages spread by Nazi spies in the US during the late 1930s and into World War II.

Written by Bradley W. Hart and published in October, the book details Hitler’s “classic disinformation campaign” against the US, along with incidents of “outright espionage.”

“Hitler’s American Friends” is divided into chapters named after the Religious Right, the Businessmen, the Bund, and other groups from which the Nazis drew support. While some of the Nazi supporters are well remembered — such as Father Charles Coughlin and his anti-Jewish radio tirades — the affinity of many “ordinary” Americans for Hitler’s New Germany was largely forgotten after the war, according to Hart.

Hitler was aware of support for National Socialism in the US, and this was the basis for his campaign. An alliance with America was unlikely, but German agents could — at the very least — work to confuse the American public about their government, the press, and other democratic institutions. Throughout the 1930s, Nazi spies operated on Capitol Hill, from church pulpits, and in front of massive crowds at rallies.

In 1937, Congress was compelled to enact the Foreign Agents Registration Act because so many Nazi spies had been caught seeking “to subvert the American democratic system,” wrote Hart. The foresight of the act’s authors helped ensure the American public wasn’t fed pro-Nazi “fake news” during the first two years of Germany’s “war of annihilation” in Europe, before Hitler declared war on the US after Pearl Harbor.

“The American political system survived a series of major existential threats at a moment when the fate of the free world hung in the balance,” wrote Hart, a professor at California State University. With what he describes as “courageous” stands taken by American leaders, “Hitler’s friends never stood much of a chance,” he wrote.
Gil Troy: I called out Alice Walker’s Jew-hatred again, and she confirmed it – again
While it’s legitimate to debate universalism versus particularism, equating an oppressed group with its cruelest killers is evil. Can you imagine calling a mean African-American boss an “overseer” or “plantation owner?” What about calling an abusive wife a “rapist?” I had to override my moral auto-correct even to write these terrible thoughts – which shows how Walker’s meanness replicates and infects like thought cancer cells.

Talk about a big lie. The Nazis pursued a race-based, master-race-oriented, strategy of genocide that shrank European Jewry from 9.5 million in 1933 to 3.5 million in 1950. Zionism is a rival nationalist movement to Palestinian nationalism – no Israeli laws define anyone by race, color or blood. Meanwhile, the Palestinian population grew from 1.1 million in 1947 to between six and seven million in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza today. Palestinian propagandists exaggerate those numbers at their convenience, sometimes overcounting how many have lived, sometimes, how many have died.

Walker and Cohen are free to criticize Israel or Zionism. But Nazifying all Zionists – who simply believe that the Jews are a people, with ties to their ancestral homeland, and have rights to establish a state on that homeland – is so ugly, so categorical, it indicts the abuser not the abused – and her academic enabler.

America is afflicted with a president who leads by abuse, polluting our politics by escalating rhetorically and demonizing those who dare disagree with him. It’s pathological: he cannot see how his vicious counterattacks usually prove his rivals’ points. Watching writers and academics mimic such misanthropy is depressing.

Cohen writes: “By reading the poem you can judge for yourself.” Absolutely! HNN’s editor, Rick Shenkman, cleverly entitled this indefensible defense: “In her own words.”

Fortunately, most HNN respondents judged for themselves: “Professor Cohen, you have proven the counterpoint, not your point,” one person wrote. Another added: “Was this SERIOUSLY an attempt to prove she ISN’T a Jew hater?”

Alice Walker damaged Alice Walker’s reputation in her own words, more than any critic could. Like the president she loathes, encased in the oh-you’re-so-wonderful celebrity bubble since the 1970s, she lost touch with reality. Meantime, Cohen seems equally imprisoned: in the loony Left’s Israel-can-do-no-right-but-we-its-critics-can-do-no-wrong bubble.



Tony Greenstein Writes in Book Defending Atzmon
Despite constantly attacking Gilad Atzmon and supposedly seeing him as an antisemite Tony Greenstein has been publicising a book defending him and even contributed a passage to the publication.

Both Greenstein and Atzmon are regularly called antisemitic for the way they discuss Jews and Jewish issues.

Greenstein calls Atzmon antisemitic though rejects the term when applied to himself.

The Antisemitism Wars has been published by Karl Sabbagh and consists mainly of open source documents available online.

The only parts of the book that appear to be original are four essays, one of which was contributed by Greenstein. The veteran activist wrote that upon Corbyn’s election as leader of the Labour Party
“alarm bells must have been ringing all the way from CIA HQ in Langley Virginia to the Israel military’s HQ in Kirya, Tel Aviv” adding “Democracy has its limits and those limits had been reached with Corbyn’s election”

The theme of an international conspiracy to have Greenstein removed from the Labour Party continues through about 20 pages:
“The sheer volume of articles and propaganda relating to Labour’s ‘antisemitism’ strongly suggest that there is a certain level of co-ordination behind what is happening. From 1965 to 1975 the CIA ran its own news service in this and other countries” and then “We can be sure that the intelligence agencies have been up to their ears in supplying journalists with fake copy.”

Greenstein mounts a defence of Hamas and Hezbollah saying:
“What he could and should have said was what he [Corbyn] has previously said, namely that Hamas and Hezbollah were not ‘terrorist’ organisations but groups that represented their own people. He could also have compared these groups to the ANC who had also been called terrorists by Thatcher and Reagan.”
Sohrab Ahmari: Why Taki’s views disgust me
It takes egregious ignorance of New York’s cultural and media landscape to suppose that the Grey Lady shows special solicitude for the Hasidim. Yes, the Times has a worldview, and that worldview is universalistic liberalism, lately tinged by “woke” progressivism. Orthodox Catholicism isn’t popular in the newsroom, to put it mildly. But anyone who thinks Times reporting reflects Jewish chauvinism hasn’t been reading the paper’s coverage of Israel, which is unremittingly and often unfairly critical.

Then, too, Taki acknowledges in his own column that “my friend” Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, a conservative Catholic philanthropist, was the subject of “a surprisingly” positive write-up in the Times recently, “written by one Jason Horowitz.” That smirking “one” might be the most intolerable aspect of the whole column. Then again, this is a writer who routinely refers to Big Apple as the “Big Bagel” and who doesn’t bother to disguise his anti-Gospel bigotry when it comes to other groups.

And even if the Times pays disproportionate attention to Catholic scandals — a premise I reject, given that Catholicism is the largest Christian denomination — we Catholics should welcome the light that secular outlets shed on the Church’s dark corners. And by all means, Catholic reporters and editors should try to surpass the Times and similar outlets for fair, rigorous, deeply reported journalism that examines goings-on inside the Church (while examining the secular world with the eyes of the Church).

There is a venerable tradition in English journalism of indulging interesting weirdos, who, their crankery notwithstanding, offer fresh angles and sparkling prose. But Taki offers neither. He isn’t even an interesting weirdo, and I look forward to not seeing his byline in the Herald’s pages again.
NGO Monitor: NGO Monitor Podcast: "Human Rights & Hot Coffee"
On NGO Monitor’s “Human Rights and Hot Coffee” podcast, we discuss Israeli current events through the lens of human rights, international law, humanitarian aid, and international relations.

Episode 7: War Crime. Violation of International Law. Laws of Armed Conflict. These are phrases we hear often regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict. What do they mean? When do these terms apply?
Jewish Group Calls for Sanctions Against Ohio Doctor Who Threatened to Give Jews ‘Wrong Meds’
The Simon Wiesenthal Center — a Jewish human rights group — applauded the Cleveland Clinic on Wednesday for doing “the right thing,” and encouraged authorities to “immediately revoke” Kollab’s medical license.

“[This] person remains a menace to the community-at-large and has made a mockery of the Hippocratic Oath through her hatred,” Wiesenthal officials Rabbi Marvin Hier and Rabbi Abraham Cooper said in a statement. “To protect the public, her Medical License should be revoked.”

“We urge authorities to investigate if her threats could be prosecuted,” they continued.

Kollab has also been disavowed by her alma mater Touro College, which has Jewish roots and a large Jewish student body.

In a statement shared on social media on Monday, the school said it was “appalled” by Kollab’s comments and “shocked that one of our graduates would voice statements that are antithetical to Touro and to the physicians’ Hippocratic Oath.”

“The mission of Touro College is to educate, perpetuate and enrich the historic Jewish tradition of tolerance and dignity,” the statement added.
BDS Charade: United Church of Christ’s ‘Divestment’ from Israel
It was a charade — nearly every last word of it.

A few years ago, the United Church of Christ (UCC), a mainline Protestant denomination in the US that regularly condemns Israel while remaining virtually silent about jihadist violence against Christians in places like Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Nigeria, said it was going to put its money where its mouth was by divesting from Israel. But it hasn’t happened.

Four calendar years after enacting a divestment resolution that called on church entities to refrain from owning stock in companies that do business with Israel’s defense establishment, the denomination’s pension fund is still invested in blacklisted stocks.

Here’s the rundown:
In 2015, the UCC’s General Synod voted — with great fanfare — to divest itself from companies doing business with Israel. In a resolution that passed with 80 percent support, the General Synod accused Israel of, among other things, subjecting Palestinians in Gaza “to military attacks using deadly force beyond that necessary for Israel’s acknowledged need for self-defense.” (General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, contradicted this assessment soon after Operation Protective Edge came to an end in 2014, declaring that Israel went to “extraordinary lengths” to avoid civilian casualties during its fight with Hamas. But attendees at the UCC General Synod decided they knew better, and concluded otherwise.)

The same resolution called on UCC church bodies — including the UCC’s Pension Boards — to sell their stocks in companies “profiting from or complicit in human rights violations arising from the occupation of Palestinian Territories by the state of Israel.” The resolution cited companies by name — Caterpillar, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, G4S, and Veolia Environmental. “We are calling and urging all UCC-related entities to stop bringing wood to the fire of this conflict of human rights,” said Rev. Richard Edens, a supporter of the divestment resolution at the UCC’s 2015 Synod.

The vote generated a lot of publicity for the denomination, but it didn’t have the impact its supporters said it was going to. The denomination’s $3.2 billion retirement fund is still invested in three of the companies named by the resolution — Caterpillar ($1.7 million), Hewlett-Packard ($437,000), and Motorola ($342,000). The numbers aren’t huge, but the fact is UCC’s Pension Boards own stock that the denomination’s General Synod explicitly blacklisted for profiting from Israeli’s purported misdeeds in the West Bank.
Reviewing BBC reporting on the BDS campaign in 2018
Once again on no occasion throughout 2018 were audiences told in the BBC’s own words that the BDS campaign is opposed to Jews having the basic human right to self-determination in their own country and that denial of Israel’s right to exist is considered – including by the UN Secretary General and according to the definition adopted by the UK government – to be a form of antisemitism.

That obviously hinders the ability of audiences to put the BDS campaign’s claim to be a non-racist human rights organisation into its appropriate context and affects their view of criticism of the campaign from other sources.

The fact that on two occasions in 2018 we saw the BBC News website telling readers that “Israel says the BDS movement opposes the country’s very existence and is motivated by anti-Semitism” does not mean that the story has been reported accurately and impartially.
Sky News Arabia video refers to Palestinian terrorist as a “political prisoner”
Two of those prisoners highlighted, Nael Barghouthi and Kareem Younes, were presented respectively as the “longest serving political prisoner in the world” (in prison for 39 years) and the “longest serving Palestinian prisoner” (in prison for 35 years.)

However, the piece failed to mention the crimes of Barghouthi and Younes – an omission that could leave the impression their punishments were excessive – or, in the case of Barghouthi, that he was imprisoned merely for expressing his “political” beliefs. The truth is that both prisoners were convicted of murder.

- Barghouthi was convicted in the killing of Israeli bus driver Mordechai Yekuel in 1978, rendering the characterisation of him as a “political prisoner” absurd.
- Younes was convicted in the kidnapping and killing of Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg in 1980.

Another problem is the video’s presentation of Younes as a prisoner of “the Occupation”. We’re told that Younes “enters his 36th year in the Occupation’s prisons”.

First, Younes is an Arab citizen of Israel, not a West Bank Palestinian. And, he murdered Bromberg at a location within the Green Line. So, in what possible sense can he be referred to as a prisoner of “the occupation”? Evidently, according to Sky News Arabia, even Arab citizens of Israel are being “occupied” – representing the adoption of the radical terminology associated with terrorist groups, like Hamas, who view any Jewish presence in the region as an illegal “occupation”.
BBC News website coverage of Gaza Strip missile fire in 2018
BBC audiences did not see any reporting on that incident which was the twenty-second separate bout of rocket and/or mortar fire from the Gaza Strip in 2018.

The number of attacks launched from the Gaza Strip in 2018 was the highest for four years with over a thousand projectiles fired into Israeli territory. Visitors to the BBC News English language website saw mentions or coverage of just 45% of the incidents and those getting their news from the BBC’s Arabic language website saw even less.

Nevertheless, that marks an improvement in comparison to 2017 when BBC News website audiences saw coverage of a mere 14% of missile attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip and Sinai sectors. In 2016 just one attack (6.7% of the total) was covered by the BBC News website and in late 2014 and throughout 2015 the majority of attacks launched from the Gaza Strip were not reported in English.

It is of course extremely difficult to imagine that if terrorists had fired over a thousand rockets and mortars on twenty-two separate occasions in twelve months at British citizens, the BBC would have failed to report 55% of those incidents. Despite the improvement we see the continuation of an editorial policy which results in audiences and BBC journalists alike being unable fully understand events and their context when Israel is obliged to respond to rising terrorism.
Jewish Groups Welcome Paris Restaurant’s Suspension of Staff Photographed Making Antisemitic ‘Quenelle’ Salute
Jewish groups are welcoming the move by a famous Paris restaurant to suspend staff members who were recently photographed making a notorious antisemitic gesture.

The incident in question — detailed in a Haaretz report — occurred at Le Train Bleu, located in the French capital’s Gare de Lyon train station.

The controversy arose after a picture began circulating on social media of Le Train Bleu employees smiling as they engaged in a “quenelle” salute – which was created and popularized by the antisemitic French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala.

Shortly after the scandal erupted, the company that owns Le Train Bleu issued a condemnation and announced the suspension of the involved staff members until an investigation was completed.

On Wednesday, the World Jewish Congress — joined by the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) — expressed “appreciation” for the restaurant’s action.
Israeli-Born Rap Pioneer in Germany Explains How Antisemitism Drove Him From Music Scene He Helped Create
An Israeli-born pioneer of rap music in Germany has announced that he is quitting the local hip-hop scene he helped to foster, citing rising antisemitic sentiment as the reason.

In an interview published in the New Year edition of Lyrics, a Swiss magazine dedicated to Europe’s thriving hip-hop culture, Berlin-based rapper and TV presenter Ben Salomo said his repeated encounters with antisemitic lyrics and anti-Jewish hatred among his fellow rappers had forced him to leave the scene with “a heavy heart.”

“These incidents were the nails in the coffin of my passion,” Salomo — who was born in the Israeli city of Rehovot in 1977 as Jonathan Kalmanovich — told the magazine.

In the interview, Salomo discussed moving to Berlin with his family at the age of four, explaining that he had first experienced antisemitism at school, both from immigrant Turkish and Arab youths as well as native Germans. His discovery of hip-hop — which first emerged among African-American musicians in New York City’s Bronx borough in the late 1970s — was liberating, as the scene “was a home for everyone,” he said.

“No matter what skin color, nationality or religion — you were welcome,” Salomo said. “Hip-hop was a counter-concept to the exclusion that I had experienced in everyday life so far.”
Egypt to preserve 'unique' Jewish cemeteries
Following an announcement that it was spending 71 million dollars to preserve religious sites, the Egyptian government appears to be extending its scope to cover Jewish cemeteries. Egyptian Streets has the story (with thanks: Boruch):
According to local media outlets, the Ministry of Antiquities is preparing to officially register three Jewish cemeteries in the ministry’s records.
The news, which is to be carried out by a central committee, was announced by Mohamed Mahran, chairman of the Central Department of Jewish Antiquities at the Ministry of Antiquities.

Mahran stated that rare and unique cemeteries belonging to Jewish figures and rabbis woud be registered, namely three in Alexandria’s Shatebi and Azarita areas. Moreover, the central committee has been preparing a report of unique monuments pertaining to the Jewish heritage, including the cemeteries.

For years, the state of preservation of Egypt’s Jewish cemeteries has been lamented on social media. Pictures and videos of Jewish cemeteries filled with garbage or being disturbed by the construction of roads sparked outrage and incited authorities to take more action in preserving the culturally significant sites.
Friends of Zion Museum honors pro-Israel American pastor
Dr. Jack Graham, the Pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, was honored at the Friends of Zion Museum for his support of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. For decades, Graham has conveyed a pro-Israel message to millions of Christians from Prestonwood Baptist as well as through serving as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest American Protestant denomination with over 16 million members.

The pastor is currently leading a Holy Land tour for congregants from the church, home to over 45,000 members, many of whom visit Israel annually with him and his wife. Graham, his family and congregants toured Friends of Zion's state-of-the-art museum, which features seven exhibitions including: interactive characters, 3D technology, touch screens, and surround sound. The FOZ Museum tells the heroic stories of the non-Jews who have assisted the Jewish people throughout the Zionist movement, as well as during critical times like the Holocaust.

After their tour, Graham was honored for his support of Israel and the Jewish people. The pastor stated that he was “excited by all the technology and deeply moved by [Friends of Zion’s] inspiring message of celebrating a unique perspective of Zionism. My congregants were inspired as well. Thank you, Dr. Mike Evans – the Friends of Zion Museum: it is a must see for all visitors to Israel!”

In addition to serving as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Graham is a member of President Donald Trump’s "Faith Initiative" advisory board and hosts the show PowerPoint, which is seen by millions on a weekly basis. He also served as honorary chairman of the 2015 National Day of Prayer.

Evans, founder of the Friends of Zion Museum, explained that “the alliance between the State of Israel and these amazing Christian Zionists is an unstoppable partnership. The Friends of Zion Museum is educating and activating these defenders of Israel and the promise. I also want to thank Dr. Jack Graham for his support of Israel and bringing thousands of Christians to learn about Zionism.”
Nikki Haley resets Twitter account, keeps Jerusalem photo
As of January 1, former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was required to wipe clean her personal Twitter account and start fresh.

While she didn't keep her 1.7 million Twitter followers, she did keep her old Twitter banner: a photo of her and a group of religious young women taken during a trip to Jerusalem in June 2017. That November, Haley made the image her "banner" photo on both Twitter and Facebook, and has kept them that way ever since.

Haley was sworn in as the UN ambassador in January 2017, and announced in October that she would be resigning, effective December 31, 2018. Until the end of 2018, Haley had been using one Twitter account to conduct both official and unofficial business. That move had been criticized by officials in the past for blurring the lines between business and personal. In June 2017, according to Politico, Haley was forced by The Office of Special Counsel to delete a tweet endorsing a congressional candidate, which is not allowed from an official State Department account. Haley's decision to not create a separate UN account led her to have to start fresh upon exiting the role.

"Due to State Dept rules that were changed by the outgoing administration, I have had to clear my personal Twitter account that I have had for years," she tweeted in her first missive from the reset account. "The followers, the history, the pictures, and all other content. Please refollow and retweet this to your friends. Here’s to 2019!"


A New Film Tells the Story of the Heroic Poet-Turned-Guerrilla Avraham Sutzkever
Born in a Russian shtetl in 1913, the great Yiddish poet Avraham Sutzkever was among the thousands of Jews confined to the Vilna ghetto by the Nazis in 1941. There he was involved in a massive effort to preserve Jewish books and documents, as well as in the underground resistance; in 1943 he escaped to the forests to join the partisans. After the war he emigrated to Israel, via the Soviet Union, and continued to write poetry until his death in 2010 while devoting enormous energy to preserving Yiddish literary culture. The recent documentary film Black Honey tells his life story. In her review, Dara Horn describes two of its most poignant moments:

In 1948, Sutzkever sought funding for [his Yiddish literary journal, Di goldene keyt] from the Histadrut, the central labor union that at the time held Israel’s greatest political clout. [In the film, the Israeli Yiddish scholar Avraham] Novershtern recounts how, in the midst of Israel’s war for independence, Sutzkever came to petition Yosef Sprinzak, the head of the Histadrut, about supporting his Yiddish journal—without realizing that Sprinzak’s son had fallen in battle only days before. It is at this point that Novershtern cries onscreen.

I don’t pretend to know exactly why this story was so resonant for Novershtern, though in a country where nearly everyone’s children serve in the military, one can guess. But there is a deeper emotional significance to this incident in Sutzkever’s life, and in the life of the people of Israel, that is in perfect keeping with Novershtern’s emotions. At that moment Sutzkever and Sprinzak had something profound in common: they were both fathers of martyrs, both struggling to build something that could somehow redeem, however slightly, those horrific losses. Sprinzak’s boy died fighting to save Sutzkever’s daughters, and he succeeded; in that sense he was not merely a martyr but a superhero. Sutzkever’s [son, murdered by the Nazis as an infant] could only become a poem. His father was fighting for that poem. Sprinzak said yes.

[Another] moment of tears in the film comes from the Harvard professor emerita Ruth R. Wisse, though hers are suppressed enough to be plausibly deniable. She describes an encounter with Sutzkever at a conference when she was a young woman, honored to have the opportunity for casual conversation with the literary giant. All went well, she recalls, until she asked him an innocent question about a detail in a story he was recounting from the war. Sutzkever roared at her, “Vos veystu fun di tsapeldike rukzek?” “What do you know of the quivering knapsacks?” Wisse then explains what he meant: Jewish mothers in the ghetto, left with no options, smuggled their living infants out of their homes in order to abandon them to die. . . .

What do we know, indeed, of the tsapeldike rukzek? Thankfully, nothing—and one of the foundational purposes of the state of Israel is the assurance that this knowledge can be safely forgotten.
StandWithUs: Georges Loinger
Honoring Georges Loinger, a French hero who survived a war camp and used his ingenuity and athletic abilities to rescue at least 350 children. He passed away at Age 108. May his memory be a blessing.




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