Friday, April 09, 2021

From Ian:

The future of Holocaust remembrance
One way to enhance Holocaust knowledge is to provide a personal connection. In Holocaust education, this is often accomplished through firsthand testimonies of survivors who experienced persecution, roundups, ghettos, deportations and concentration camps. Seeing and hearing Holocaust survivors share their stories of survival creates a personal connection to those events for students, making the information easier to identify with.

Sadly, we are losing the last generation of survivors. And for this generation of students, simply learning about the camps, crematoria and death trains may not be enough to conceptualize such overwhelming horrors. In truth, survivors do not visit schools and relive the darkest moment of their lives simply to provide a history lesson. Rather, they are insistent on sharing their testimony with students so that something even remotely like the Holocaust does not happen again. Their goal in visiting with students and teachers is to show them how the thoughts and words impact the world around them. Ideas and words lead to actions, which can have unimaginable and devastating effects.

This week, a survivor-led, digital campaign was launched by the Claims Conference. #ItStartedWithWords was created to show through survivor testimony that the horrific events of the Holocaust didn’t come out of nowhere; it started with words. The campaign will post weekly videos of survivors from across the world reflecting on those moments that led up to the Holocaust—a period of time when racist ideology, transmitted in person and through the media, turned longtime neighbors, teachers, classmates and colleagues into dangerous foes when words of hate were transformed into acts of unprecedented violence.

The importance of this campaign is how it highlights not the actual roundups, deportations and mass murders, but rather, the words of an extreme xenophobic ideology, utterances of hate, racism and intolerance that preceded the Holocaust.

It is difficult to conceive how one would react if forced to flee one’s home and community with just the clothes on one’s back, running to escape murderous predators. It may be hard to imagine the rounding up of tens of thousands of people in the town centers to have them systematically sent to their deaths. It is nigh on impossible to visualize a gas chamber with a line of people going in and a stack of bodies coming out. But it is certainly our present-day reality seeing people hurling odious epithets at others and treating them as sub-human, unworthy of basic human rights, due only to their culture, religion, sexual preference or color of their skin.

These moments—moments of hate, xenophobia and racism—could be the beginnings of larger atrocities we just cannot imagine. Teaching tolerance and acceptance in our schools, and how the words we use matter greatly, will help pave the way to a better history that we have not yet created. This is the Holocaust education that must be the future of our remembrance.
He killed a Nazi guard, fled ghetto with fake identities and joined the UK army
It was the moment that undoubtedly saved Chaim Herszman’s life. In February 1940, the 13-year-old stabbed and fatally wounded a Nazi guard in the Lodz Ghetto who he believed was about to shoot his younger brother.

Herszman fled the ghetto, leaving behind a family he would never see again — and commenced an epic three-year-journey across Nazi-occupied Europe which eventually took him to the safety of Britain. Over its course, he assumed multiple identities, stowed away on a German troop train and, while being sheltered in the heart of the Third Reich by a member of the Wehrmacht, wandered the streets of Berlin dressed in a Hitler Youth uniform.

After the war, Herszman, who changed his name to Henry Carr shortly before the British army dispatched him to take part in the liberation of Europe, married an Irish Catholic. But, in an extraordinary twist, Herszman was secretly baptized and hid that he was Jewish for nearly a decade. The deception began to unravel in 1958 when his only surviving brother traveled from Israel to visit the family in their home in Leeds in the north of England.

Herszman’s incredible escape from the Nazis has been revealed for the first time in “Escape From the Ghetto,” a recently-published book by his son John Carr.

“It is a remarkable story,” Carr writes. “A story of tenacious, quick-witted determination to live, of defeating enormous odds, often in novel ways. But then any and every story of a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust borders on the miraculous.”

Herszman died in 1995, but the book is “based entirely on my dad’s recollections of what happened to him,” Carr told The Times of Israel in an interview. “Over the years he told me and my wife the same story pretty much consistently.”
The Forger From Berne
In their massive effort, Ładoś, Eiss, Rokicki, Silberschein and others often rescued or tried to save people they did not even know, like Yehiel Feiner, the writer better known as Yehiel De-Nur or Ka-Tsetnik 135633; Itzhak Katzenelson, the Polish Jewish poet; Hanna “Hanneli” Goslar, the best friend of Anne Frank; and the latter’s Polish counterpart, teenage diarist Rutka Laskier. Among those who survived, one may find the future chief rabbi of Amsterdam, Aron Schuster, and the Bluzhover Rebbe, Yisroel Spira. At least one survivor died in the Israeli War of Independence, and at least two in the Polish guerrilla war against the Communist regime.

Passports were also forged for Lelio Valobra and Enrico Luzzato, Jewish Holocaust rescuers from Italy, as well as for Fanny Schwab and other leaders of the French Œuvre de secours aux enfants. Frumka Płotnicka and the brothers Kożuch decided not to rescue themselves with their papers, but died in the short-lived uprising in the Będzin Ghetto. Yitzchak Zuckermann, Cywia Lubetkin, and Tosia Altmann, fighters in the Jewish Combat Organization in Poland, probably never learned about the existence of their documents.

Initially the Polish diplomats involved in the scheme believed Jews bearing foreign passports would be spared and interned instead of murdered. But when, by 1944, it was clear that the Nazis did not always honor the documents, Ładoś then supported Vaad Hatzalah in its attempts to bribe Heinrich Himmler and obtain the liberation of the 300,000 Jews still alive in the Reich. We have found several cables documenting the details of the subsequent attempt to bribe the Nazis, as Ładoś permitted the Sternbuchs to freely use the Polish diplomatic pouch.

Ładoś rarely spoke about his lifesaving operation. He promised to tell the whole story in his memoirs, but passed away in December 1963 without finishing them. His subordinates were equally silent. During the war, Agudath wrote a letter to the Polish government in London thanking its Bernese diplomats for having saved many hundreds of people. For the Polish government-in-exile, the existence of the scheme was not a big secret, as two consecutive foreign ministers and at least one prime minister demanded that Ładoś “organize” passports for individual Jewish figures, and the entire network of Polish embassies and consulates intervened both in many Latin American capitals and in Washington to obtain recognition of the Ładoś forgeries.

Yet the Agudath letter was immediately classified—it was January 1945, the operation was still ongoing, and the lives of passport holders were still in danger. We found this paper, attesting to the partnership between the Polish Legation and Jewish organizations, only after 72 years.

In 2019, Rokicki was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem; recognition for Ładoś and Ryniewicz remains undecided. All six members of the Ładoś group were posthumously decorated by the president of Poland two years ago. The gravestone of Konstanty Rokicki was restored in 2018.

Heinz Lichtenstern passed away in 1992 in Switzerland after having lived in Brazil, the United States, and the Netherlands. He never knew that he had been saved by the Polish government, which nurtured a secretive and lifesaving collaboration between Jews and Poles. (h/t MtTB)

Rise of Online ‘Communities of Hate’ Presents New Challenges for World Jewry, Says Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief
The rise in digital manifestations of antisemitism during 2020 — detailed in a new report from Tel Aviv University, which also showed a dip in acts of physical and verbal aggression towards Jews — underlined the evolving challenges faced by Jewish communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, argued Algemeiner editor-in-chief Dovid Efune during a Wednesday interview with i24 News.

“We’re seeing what I would call a significant decline in violent incidents, but basically a rise in any other form of antisemitism that doesn’t involve physical contact. And in that sense these are hardly consoling figures,” said Efune.

The annual antisemitism report published by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center, in cooperation with the European Jewish Congress (EJC), also found that that while “the total worldwide number of violent antisemitic events decreased from 456 (2019) to 371 (2020) … a 20 percent increase was observed in desecrations of synagogues, graveyards and Holocaust memorials (which were closed or unguarded due to the lockdown and therefore easy prey for antisemitic vandalism).”

“Since, obviously, the world has been on lockdown, the fact that you can still have 371 violent incidents while every society across the planet is closed is really startling,” Efune said in the interview.

“Seeing the rise in basically all forms of antisemitism, all expressions of antisemitism that are available to people during the lockdown climate really reinforces that this is a challenge that hasn’t gone anywhere this year,” he continued. “And certainly there are greater and more serious threats that we’ve got to look in the eye and face strongly.”

The report also analyzed content circulating on the dark web — online spaces that hide the identity of the user — and found that “while in the open networks about 70 percent of the antisemitic messages deal with new antisemitism, and about a quarter express classic antisemitism, this ratio is reversed in the darknet: about 70 percent manifest classic antisemitism and only about 20 percent display new antisemitism.”

Efune commented that the rise of digital spaces where antisemitic individuals could gather has changed how online hatred spreads.

Holocaust survivors use social media to show how words ‘stoke the fires of hate’
After the success of a social media campaign last year using the messages of survivors to pressure Facebook to ban posts that deny or distort the Holocaust, Taylor said it made sense to seek their help again.

“The Holocaust didn’t come out of nowhere,” he said. “Before Jews were driven out of their schools, their jobs, their homes, before the synagogues, shops and businesses were destroyed and before there were ghettos and camps and cattle cars, words were used to stoke the fires of hate.”

“And who can draw that line from dangerous words to horrific acts better than those who lived through the depths of human depravity?” A man looks at the wreckage of a Jewish shop in Berlin on November 10, 1938, in the aftermath of Kristallnacht. (AP Photo)

For Zoltak, the escalation from words to deeds came rapidly after the invading Nazi army occupied his town east of Warsaw in mid-1941.

The Nazis rapidly implemented anti-Semitic laws that they had already instituted in the western part of Poland they occupied two years previously, and forced Zoltak’s parents into slave labor, he said.

A year later, the Germans forced all of the town’s Jews — about half the population of 15,000 — into a ghetto segregated from the rest of the town, subject to strict regulations and kept on restricted food rations.

Three months later, the Nazis liquidated the ghetto, transporting its residents to the Treblinka death camp or killing them along the way.

Zoltak was one of the few lucky ones, managing to escape with his parents into a nearby forest, hiding in and around the area until the next spring when they were taken in by a Catholic family in a nearby farm and sheltered for the duration of the war.

After the war, he returned to his town and learned that all but 70 of its 7,000 Jews had been killed, including all of his classmates and his father’s entire family.

“It’s sometimes hard to understand,” he said. “We’re not actually dealing with numbers, they were humans who had a name, who had families.”

One-On-One with Israeli Actress, Activist and Author Noa Tishby - Full Interview

'May Prince Philip's memory be a blessing' - Israel expresses condolences
A Greek prince, Philip married the queen in 1947, and had been by her side throughout her 69-year reign.

"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss," the statement by the Royal Family read.

Philip spent four weeks in hospital earlier this year for treatment for an infection to have a heart procedure, but returned to Windsor in early March. He was admitted to the King Edward VII's Hospital on Feb. 16 after he felt unwell, to receive treatment for an unspecified, but not COVID-19-related, infection.

Philip’s four sisters each married German nobles, at least three of whom became Nazis. But Philip, educated in Britain, joined the allied war effort. As an adult, he showed little patience for Nazi collaborators; he was instrumental in making a pariah of his wife’s uncle Edward, who after abdicating the throne dallied with Nazi Germany.

Philip over the years spoke multiple times at Jewish and pro-Israel events.

The prince, who had a passion for environmental preservation, spoke multiple times at Jewish National Fund events and lent his royal sponsorship to other Jewish events. He came under attack in the 1960s for speaking to pro-Israel groups, and, famously impervious to criticism, ignored the attacks.

Philip’s support for Jewish and pro-Israel causes ran deep. His mother, Princess Alice of Greece, sheltered a Jewish family during the Holocaust and is recognized as one of fewer than 30,000 “righteous among the nations” by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum.

When Prince Philip, honoring his mother, became the 1st UK royal to visit Israel
Prince Philip flew into Ben Gurion Airport in October 1994 in a private plane, with his older sister, Princess Sophie. He was welcomed by Israel’s education minister, Amnon Rubinstein, and was hosted during the trip by then-president Ezer Weizman.

At Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum, Philip planted a maple tree in memory of his mother, who was married to Prince Andrew of Greece and helped shelter three members of the family of a late Greek-Jewish politician in her palace in Athens.

The Gestapo was suspicious of Alice, even questioning her, but the princess, who was deaf, pretended not to understand their questions. She hid the Cohen family members for 13 months during the Nazi occupation of Greece. Alice later became a nun.

On his visit, Philip met with members of the Cohen family his mother had hidden.

“The Holocaust was the most horrific event in all Jewish history, and it will remain in the memory of all future generations,” Philip said at the time.

“It is, therefore, a very generous gesture that also remembered here are the many millions of non-Jews, like my mother, who shared in your pain and anguish and did what they could in small ways to alleviate the horror.”

“God brings everything we do to judgment,” the prince wrote in the visitors’ book at Yad Vashem.

Cultural Trends and Jewish Academics Give New Lifeline to Antisemitism
The recent struggle to remove antisemitic and anti-Israel content from a California ethnic studies curriculum demonstrated the formidable challenge posed by the academic doctrines of Critical Race Theory and “intersectionality.”

To the extent that Israel is depicted as a white colonial occupation project and the pro-Palestinian cause as a proxy for racial equity in the United States, the Jewish state will be stigmatized and Jewish individuals and institutions will suffer.

The fight to overhaul earlier drafts of the California curriculum opened a window into the difficulty of the Jewish predicament.

Jews are frequently portrayed as part of the privileged dominant class, while their status as targeted victims is often ignored Israel is seen as a European, colonial outpost, while the fact that most of its Jewish population is descended from communities that lived for centuries in the Arab and Muslim world before their expulsion from those countries, is hopelessly obscured.

In other words, Jews are losing further control of the public narrative about them. This point is underscored by the incursion of antisemitic violence into racial justice protests in the US and Europe. The death of George Floyd was followed by attacks on synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses in a number of cities, most recently three Israeli restaurants in Portland, Oregon, in January. The frequent appearance of the slogan “Free Palestine” in graffiti on Jewish targets showed the popular tendency to register discontent with the Jewish state by harming Jews in the Diaspora. An anti-racism rally in Place de la Republique, in Paris, featured signs with directives such as “Stop collaboration with Israeli State terrorism” as the crowd chanted “dirty Jews.”

Enter into this demoralizing picture two new proposed definitions of antisemitism, one offered by Jewish academics on behalf of the Nexus Task Force; the second, titled the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism, presented by a group of progressive Jews under the aegis of the Van Leer Institute. Both documents profess to serve the cause of confronting antisemitism by identifying its contemporary manifestations — unless, of course, those manifestations take the form of anti-Israel demagoguery.

Why would Jewish critics of Israel feel the need to offer these re-imagined definitions of antisemitism?
US Antisemitism Watchdog Opposes Ethnic Studies Course Requirement in California Assembly Hearing
A Jewish organization that concentrates on fighting antisemitism in schools and academia told a California Assembly hearing on making a controversial ethnic studies curriculum a requirement for graduation could “incite hatred and division among all students,” and particularly against Jewish students.

The Education Committee hearing was held to consider bill AB 101, which “requires students, commencing with the graduating class of 2029-30, to complete a one semester course in ethnic studies, as specified, in order to receive a high school diploma,” according to the committee agenda.

It would also require an ethnic studies course be offered for grades nine through twelve.

The course would be based on the state’s recently approved Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, which has already undergone several revisions in response to Jewish groups’ concerns about antisemitic content.

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, director the AMCHA Initiative, told the Wednesday hearing that the problems with the curriculum have not been solved.

“Despite four revisions, the approved ethnic studies curriculum remains firmly rooted in Critical Ethnic Studies, a narrow conceptualization of the field that is politically- and activist-driven,” she said. “As an organization that investigates campus antisemitism, we have witnessed how courses based on Critical Ethnic Studies incite hatred and division among all students.

“In addition, filtered through the lens of Critical Ethnic Studies, Jews are viewed as ‘racially privileged oppressors,’” she added. “And at a time when anti-Jewish hostility and violence has reached unprecedented levels, indoctrinating students to view Jews in this way is tantamount to putting an even larger target on their backs.”
Randi Weingarten Knows Nothing about Jewish Values
Randi Weingarten is the president of the powerful American Federation of Teachers, a nationwide teachers’ union. When Jewish Telegraphic Agency recently asked her if she had a specific message for American Jews who have criticized her stance on school openings – which she often lies is a right-wing grievance – she answered like so:
American Jews are now part of the ownership class. What I hear when I hear that question is that those who are in the ownership class now want to take that ladder of opportunity away from those who do not have it.

Weingarten’s rhetoric immediately reminded me of Karl Marx’s anti-Semitic diatribe, “On the Jewish Question,” where the infamous crackpot argued that the “secret” of the Jew is to accumulate wealth for “practical need,” “self-interest,” and “huckstering.”

Weingarten combines two contemporary progressive doctrines, class and race struggle, to level her smear. There is not a single person who has even a mild acquaintance with American Jewry that would believe they are trying to take away “the ladder of opportunity” from others.

This brand of anti-Semitic rhetoric has been a growing feature within the progressive Left – which spends its days seeking out minor, often imaginary, thoughtcrimes. These are almost always rationalized and ignored. The fact is that not a single conservative would survive in public life after contending that the Jewish “ownership class” is working to stop the advancement of the less fortunate.

It’s one thing to regurgitate Marx’s theories on Jews, but unbelievably, she tries to create the impression that her ancient smear is actually a “Jewish value” itself.
2016: Jewish head of teachers union defends Keith Ellison
Ellison’s criticism of Israel has brought tension among Jewish groups, which intensified last week with the publication of a 2010 recording in which the lawmaker said that American foreign policy is “governed” by Israeli interests.

Ellison has come under fire from Jewish groups for his sharp criticism of Israel in his youth, which was spent as an activist with the Nation of Islam, whose leader Louis Farrakhan has a long history of making anti-Semitic statements, and for defending some black nationalists who had hostile relationships with the Jewish community.

He has distanced himself from his earlier activism, but the release of the 2010 recording threatened to undo improved ties with the Jewish community.

American-Israeli Haim Saban, a major Democratic donor, said Ellison’s positions, statements and voting record showed that “he’s clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual,” and said his election as DNC chairman would be a “disaster for the relationship between Jews and the party.”

Anti-Defamation League National Director Jonathan Greenblatt, who had previously praised Ellison, called the congressman’s remarks “deeply disturbing and disqualifying.”

But others, like Weingarten, urged caution.
University of Miami Hillel to Host Virtual Event With Basketball Player Meyers Leonard Who Said Antisemitic Slur
The Hillel at the University of Miami has organized a Zoom event for April 13 with Meyers Leonard, the former Miami Heat basketball player who came under fire in March for using an antisemitic slur.

UM Hillel partnered with the Jewish Community Relations Council for the virtual event, titled “From Heat to Healing.” The question-and-answer discussion with Leonard, 29, will be led by Matthew Hiltzik, a communications executive and producer of the Holocaust documentary film “Paperclips.” The event is intended for a student audience only.

Igor Alterman, CEO of UM Hillel, told The Algemeiner on Thursday, “When Meyer Leonard’s comments surfaced, they hurt all of us, especially those who call Miami their home. Since the incident, Meyers showed signs of remorse and acknowledged the harm of his actions, based largely on his ignorance as it comes to the Jewish community. Hillel’s mission is to engage and educate. We felt that giving our students the opportunity to talk to Meyers directly … would create a unique space for our students and Meyers to grow, heal, and commit to fighting antisemitism in all its forms and manifestations.”

Leonard was at the center of controversy in March after shouting “you f***ing k*ke b***h” while playing the video game “Call of Duty,” during a broadcast for public viewing on the streaming platform Twitch. Shortly afterward he was fined and suspended from the Miami Heat “indefinitely,” and then traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who waived him shortly after the trade deadline. The team said at the time, “Leonard will not be reporting to Oklahoma City and will not be an active member of the organization.”

Meyers, who also lost a number of sponsorships, has apologized for his remarks and said he was “committed to properly seeking out people who can help educate me about this type of hate.”
Antisemitic Fliers Posted at University of North Florida During Passover
Antisemitic fliers were posted on the office doors and classrooms of Jewish professors at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville during Passover, reported The Florida Times-Union.

Jules Gerstein, 19, who founded the school’s Jewish Student Union, said fliers with QR codes that led to an antisemitic radio station were discovered in the social sciences building on March 29. “Multiple” professors who had the fliers posted on their doors were Jewish, according to the Jewish Student Union.

The campus Chabad center said the codes “led to antisemitic and white supremacy material.” It added that university police have identified the perpetrator, and the student is “actively being investigated by the university and being assessed for disciplinary action.”

Administrative spokeswoman Amanda Ennis said “the university was made aware of the incident and initiated an immediate investigation. The person responsible has been identified, and it was determined that there is no additional threat to the campus community.”

Student-privacy laws prevent the school from releasing any additional information about the perpetrator, she added.
Miscommunication on Indiana Campus Turns Into Finger-Pointing, Harassment of Jewish Students
Butler University in Indiana said Jewish students had nothing to do with the postponement of an event with longtime political activist Angela Davis, despite false accusations circulating on campus targeting the Jewish student body.

The school’s student-run newspaper, The Butler Collegian, published a letter to the editor on March 30 by Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace and the Muslim Student Association, saying that administration “canceled” an April 1 virtual event titled “Joint Struggle and Collective Liberation” with the 77-year-old Davis, an outspoken supporter of the BDS movement against Israel.

The letter claimed that “days before Butler University’s shameless censorship of Dr. Angela Davis, the Student Government Association [SGA] was bombarded by pressure from Zionist students who claimed to oppose Davis’ event because of her support for [the] Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement,” which the groups describe as “a grassroots demand for nonviolent economic pressure against Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestine.”

It added: “Simply put, Butler and others try to silence marginalized voices in order to maintain systems of power and privilege. This is not the first time that Zionists have attempted to deplatform Angela Davis for her supportive stance on Palestine.”

The letter was shared on Facebook by Davis.
Outrage as South African BDS Advocate Tells Students, ‘Hitler Committed No Crime
A prominent South African supporter of the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” campaign that opposes the legitimacy of the State of Israel is under investigation by the University of Cape Town (UCT) for delivering a lecture to students in which he defended Adolf Hitler.

In a pre-recorded lecture shared online with first-year political science students, Lwazi Lushaba — a lecturer at UCT’s Department of Political Studies — asserted: “Hitler committed no crime. All Hitler did was to do to white people what white people had normally reserved for black people.”

Lushaba’s comment — which became public as South Africa’s Jewish community marked Yom Hashoah, the annual day of Holocaust remembrance — was described by a spokesperson for UCT as a matter of “grave concern.”

“We are verifying all the facts,” Elijah Moholola told the TimesLIVE news outlet. “In the meantime, the university is clear that all brutalities of genocide constitute both formal crimes against humanity and ongoing sources of pain. We distance ourselves very strongly from any other view.”

Lushaba is known as a supporter of the academic boycott of the State of Israel who appended his signature to a petition that resulted in the University of Johannesburg breaking ties with Israel’s Ben Gurion University in 2011.

One Jewish student at UCT, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had been deeply disturbed by Lushaba’s apologia for the Nazi dictator.

“Hitler didn’t just persecute Jews. He also persecuted black people, [Roma] and disabled people. Six million people died in the Holocaust and the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day has been a part of my life,” said the student, whose great-grandfather was murdered by the Nazis.
UCU Scotland defends Prof. David Miller over accusations of antisemitism and rejects International Definition of Antisemitism
The University and College Union (UCU) Scotland has defended Prof. David Miller over recent inflammatory comments that he has made.

Prof. Miller, a Professor of Political Sociology, has a history of peddling conspiracy theories relating to Jewish students, and the UCU statement was prompted by his latest outburst, when he asserted that “Zionism is racism”, declared his objective “to end Zionism as a functioning ideology of the world” and accused the Bristol University Jewish Society of being part of a worldwide Zionist conspiracy, adding that it is “fundamental to Zionism to encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism”. At the same online event, Prof. Miller also observed that the Jewish Society and the Union of Jewish Students are Zionist, thereby implying that Jewish students (and the wider Jewish community) inherently “encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism”.

He also portrayed the International Definition of Antisemitism as an attack on free speech and accused the Israeli Government of engaging in an “all-out attack” on the global Left as part of an “attempt by the Israelis to impose their will all over the world”.

In comments reminiscent of the darkest years of the United Nations, Prof. Miller insisted that “Zionism is racism” and asked how “we defeat the ideology of Zionism in practice”, “how is Zionism ended” and about the way “to end Zionism as a functioning ideology of the world”.

In its statement, UCU Scotland showed little regard for the anxieties of the concerned students involved, dismissing them as “Zionist lobby groups”. In addition, UCU Scotland have rejected the widely accepted International Definition of Antisemitism.

UCU has a horrendous reputation in the Jewish community.
Sex Scandal Plagued Oxfam Suspended from Bidding for Taxpayers’ Cash
The British government has suspended Oxfam from bidding for taxpayers’ cash after the charity confirmed it had suspended two staff amidst an investigation into corruption and sexual misconduct in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Oxfam had been receiving around £30 million a year in British taxpayers’ cash until it was revealed in 2018 that charity workers had engaged in the sexual exploitation of vulnerable women in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. Allegations of rape in South Sudan also surfaced that year.

Last week it was revealed that Oxfam was investigating abuse of power, sexual misconduct, and intimidation in the Congo — a month after the government cleared the charity to bid again for public funds after a three-year suspension.

Sources from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told The Times on Thursday that Oxfam would again be temporarily blocked from accessing funds, pending the outcome of the investigation into the allegations related to the charity’s Congo mission.

A spokesman for the FCO told the newspaper: “All organisations bidding for UK aid must meet the high standards of safeguarding required to keep the people they work with safe.

“Given the most recent reports which call into question Oxfam’s ability to meet those standards, we will not consider any new funding to Oxfam until the issues have been resolved.”
Reformers Launch Group Aimed at Challenging Muslim Antisemitism
Antisemitism has become “a pandemic raging for many years” among a large number of Muslims, said interfaith activist Soraya Deen. “Unfortunately though, we have no vaccine that can cure it.”

Deen joined a group of reformist Muslims on Wednesday — the eve of Yom HaShoah — to announce their best effort to develop that cure.

In a webinar launching the Council of Muslims Against Antisemitism (CMAA), author Raheel Raza announced that the organization will be guided by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. The definition already appears on the CMAA website.

Embraced by nearly 30 countries, the IHRA definition includes “Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective,” blaming Jews for actions by the Israeli government, and “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” among the examples of antisemitism. It specifically notes, however, that criticizing the Israeli government as one would criticize any other government is not antisemitic.

CMAA members say their support for Israel’s existence has triggered personal attacks.

“I myself have been called many names the minute I challenge Islamism, political Islam, and Islamists,” said Deen, founder of the Muslim Women Speakers Movement, and co-founder of the San Fernando Valley Interfaith Solidarity Network. “I’m called a Zionist. A Jew lover. And they often say, ‘She’s paid by the Zionists.’ And the blanket indictment is that all Jews are responsible for anything and everything the government of Israel does.”
New York Times Touts Nation of Islam’s Self-Help Approach Following Attack on Capitol
In October 2020, the New York Times ran an op-ed glorifying Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March and failing to provide context about Farrakhan’s antisemitism. In 2017, the paper published a paean to a Nation-of-Islam style bean pie bakery.

Now — with an apparent follower of Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam having launched a violent attack on the US Capitol — the Times is groping its way, comically and ineptly, toward trying to describe the organization accurately to its readers.

An early effort came April 2 in an article the day of the attack headlined, “Suspect in Capitol attack appears to have been a follower of Louis Farrakhan.” Said the Times: “The Nation of Islam is a Black nationalist movement that has advocated African-American self-sufficiency.” Well, that is sure one very kind way to put it, but it lacks crucial context.

By the April 3 print newspaper, the Times had added to the description slightly: “The Nation of Islam is a Black nationalist movement that has advocated African-American self-sufficiency. It has been condemned by the Southern Poverty Law Center for ‘the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders,’ including Mr. Farrakhan.”

That’s a slight improvement, but the Southern Poverty Law Center is notorious for inaccurately smearing even mainstream, reputable figures; for example, a 2017 blog post on the center’s “hate watch” inaccurately described Daniel Pipes as “anti-Muslim activist Daniel Pipes, a man who has spent the better part of three decades vilifying Muslims, and Palestinians in particular.” As Washington Post columnist Mark Thiessen put it in 2018, “The Southern Poverty Law Center has lost all credibility.” So for the Times to ride the Southern Poverty Law Center horse rather than just itself accurately describing the situation, or seeking a more credible source, is a default.
Sky News Arabia legitimises Israel conspiracy theory over Jordan turmoil
Throughout the entire segment, Baissari did not once challenge Madi’s unfounded claims that Israel is somehow behind whatever new hardship the Jordanian regime is currently experiencing – and that this is the view of the Hashemite Kingdom’s government as well (Madi’s use of the pronoun “we” in the beginning of the video is particularly noteworthy in this context). Madi’s sole rationale for raising this wild charge against Israel was the existing “uncomfortable and unstable relations” between the two countries, and both he and his interviewer seemed positive that this pseudo-evidence was sufficient to warrant his uninterrupted live rant on a television channel watched by millions.

Madi’s interview was then uploaded to Sky News Arabia’s YouTube channel, entitled “Badr Madi: I reckon Israel played a role in destabilizing Jordan”.

It bears mentioning that most rumors about Israel’s connection to recent days’ drama in Jordan revolved around a single report from Sunday, published by Ammon news agency’s website only to be retracted from there shortly after.

The report speculated that Israeli Roy Shaposhnik, who reportedly offered his assistance in fleeing the kingdom to the Prince’s family “on a private jet”, was “an ex-Mossad agent”. Shaposhnik, an Israeli living in Europe, later denied any connection to Israel’s intelligence services, although he did confirm that he and the Prince are friends and that Shaposhnik suggested the Prince would send his wife and children over to his place so that they’ll stay somewhere abroad at this difficult time. Nevertheless, this story was not discussed by Madi and Baissari. They also didn’t mention the Israel HaYom report which argued that Israel actually helped King Abdullah against the plotters, by providing him intelligence which led to some arrests.

In fact, other than the principal accusation against Israel, Madi’s speech was awfully lacking in specifics. Over and over, he resorted to evoking nameless “opposition individuals” (without revealing what exactly is it that they oppose), and attributing to them general allegations of “destabilizing” and “penetrating” (without clarifying what concrete things did they say and do).

French City of Neuilly Adopts IHRA Definition to ‘Fight Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism With Strength and Vigor’
The French city of Neuilly-sur-Seine has formally adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, with one council member hailing the decision as proof of its commitment “to fighting antisemitism and anti-Zionism with strength and vigor.”

After the city’s adoption of the IHRA definition at an April 1 meeting, councillor Franck Keller declared on Twitter that Neuilly — located to the west of Paris — was “proud” to be involved in combating the hatred of Jews as well as attacks on Israel’s right to exist.

Another council member, Constance Le Grip, stated that the endorsement of the IHRA definition demonstrated that the city was “even more committed to the fight against antisemitism and for the values ​​of the Republic.”

The Israeli Embassy in France and several Jewish organizations warmly praised the announcement.

“We salute the city of Neuilly for unanimously endorsing the IHRA definition of antisemitism,” the embassy said on its Twitter account. “Thank you for taking action in the fight against antisemitic hatred.”

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) similarly praised Neuilly for “standing up to hatred” in adopting the definition.
Jews in Paris prevent antisemitic knife attack
Jewish residents in Paris chased and apprehended a man whom they suspected of trying to stab three Jews. The man was then handed over to the police.

The incident took place on the evening of 31st March near a synagogue in Sarcelles, a suburb in northern Paris with a large Sephardic Jewish community.

Witnesses say that the man, a 35-year-old from Pakistan, approached three Jewish men, all wearing kippot and therefore visibly Jewish, from behind while carrying a large knife.

Residents caused a commotion in order to alert the Jewish men who all escaped unharmed. The man was then chased and apprehended.

This is only the most recent antisemitic incident which has taken place in France.
Antisemitic graffiti found at home of Pittsburgh’s South Side Bears
Antisemitic graffiti has been discovered in Pittsburgh’s South Side.

The graffiti was scrawled on the side of a concession stand at Quarry Field, home to the South Side Bears, a Pittsburgh youth American football team.

Kevin Alton, President of the South Side Bears, condemned the vandalism, stating: “The South Side is not for hate.”

An investigation has been launched by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said that the city would cover the costs of the clean-up and would commission a mural artist to restore the original mural.

Mayor Peduto said: “We’ll put together the funds in order to be able to improve this entire area, and we’ll send a message to anybody who wants to talk in hate that we’ll come back stronger.”
Jewish cemetery in Aalborg, Denmark vandalised during Pesach
A Jewish cemetery in Aalborg, Denmark was vandalised during the Jewish festival of Passover.

Red paint, baby dolls and antisemitic literature relating to the blood libel conspiracy theory were left outside the cemetery.

Flyers were also deposited directing readers to a website that associated with the Nordic Resistance Movement, a Pan-Nordic neo-Nazi organisation that is proscribed in Finland.

Henri Goldstein, Chairman of Denmark’s Jewish community, said: “Historically, a lot of antisemitism with a physical outcome has started with, among other things, vandalism against cemeteries and Jewish shops.” He added: “The vandalism at the cemetery around Passover is simply as classic antisemitism as it can be. We have seen this for centuries in Europe.”

Security in Denmark has been elevated and the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

Danish politicians have condemned the attack. Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup declared that it was “outrageous and deeply shameful”.

Upcoming TV Series Inspired by Israeli Activist, IDF Officer Who Lost Left Hand in Gaza
A new television series set for development will be inspired by the life of Israeli activist, entrepreneur and former IDF commander Ziv Shilon, Deadline reported on Thursday.

Shilon was serving as a company commander with the IDF’s Givati Brigade when he was badly injured by an explosive device at the Israel-Gaza Strip border in October 2012, which resulted in the loss of his left hand. He underwent 17 surgeries and 11 months of intensive rehab.

He later worked with companies to create products that are more accessible to consumers with limited motor skills, helping Microsoft Xbox develop a gaming remote for players with disabilities. He also founded an international NGO that helps integrate wounded combat soldiers into academia. He is now the co-founder and chief revenue officer of the financial technology company Polli.

The Israeli production and distribution company ADD Content Agency and European media group Mediawan have partnered to co-produce the TV series. It will be co-written by Iranian-French writer Negar Djavadi, and Israeli writers Shahar Segall and Oren Jacobi. Shilon will contribute as a creative consultant.
Commemorating Holocaust, Blinken knocks State Dept.’s WWII failure to save Jews
Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorations are by their nature calls for accountability for atrocities past and present.

Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, used the occasion to take his own department to task for its neglect of Jews during the Nazi era, and to call for action on behalf of the persecuted today.

Blinklen, delivering the keynote address Thursday at the event organized by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, savaged the World War II-era assistant secretary of state, Breckinridge Long, for blocking the entry into the United States of Jews fleeing Nazi Europe, and for lying to Congress about it.

“He had immense power to help those being persecuted,” Blinken said at the event, this year presented virtually because of the coronavirus. “Yet as the Nazis began to systematically round up and execute Jews, Long made it harder and harder for Jews to be granted refuge in the United States.”

Long notoriously also suppressed information from sources overseas describing the Nazi genocide.

Blinken, who has said he was shaped by the story of his stepfather’s Holocaust survival, said Long’s failures were a lesson for US policymakers today, pointing both to attacks on minorities in the United States and the need to speak out for those oppressed abroad.
British Actress Helena Bonham Carter Explores WWII Heroism of Her Grandparents in New Series
British actress Helena Bonham Carter discovered new details about the heroism of two grandparents during World War II in a new four-part docuseries that debuted Sunday on PBS.

In the premiere episode of “My Grandparents’ War,” Bonham Carter, 54, learned about her paternal grandmother — an air raid warden and politician who spoke out against the rise of Hitler and Fascism in the 1930s — and her maternal Jewish grandfather, a Spanish diplomat who save thousands from the Holocaust.

Bonham Carter’s grandmother, liberal politician Violet Bonham Carter, was the daughter of a former prime minister and close friends with former UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill. She helped Jews from across Europe seek refugee in Britain and campaigned against antisemitism, Helena discovered. The British actress, who played Princess Margaret on The Crown for the past two seasons, met a descendant of a family Violet helped escape from Czechoslovakia, and the survivor shared letters between her parents and Violet.

Helena also saw speeches Violet gave in the 1930s — including a speech at the UK’s Royal Albert Hall, in which she voiced solidarity with the Jewish community amid War War II and slammed the British government for not doing more to help Jewish refugees. As a result of her outspokenness, Violet was put on the Gestapo black list to be arrested and executed in the event of a German invasion. Helena also learned that during the Blitz of 1940–41 in London, Violet remained in the city as a volunteer air raid warden when other citizens fled.

On her Jewish mother’s side of the family, Helena’s grandfather, Eduardo Propper de Callejón, was a Spanish diplomat in Paris during WWII who defied government orders and issued exit visits that helped thousands of people escape Nazi-occupied France in 1940. The travel visas allowed people to cross safely into neutral Spain and then make their way to Portugal and, ultimately, the US. He was punishing for defying orders by being sent to an outpost in Morocco.

In 2008, he was recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for his role in saving Jews in the Holocaust.
‘The Only House of Remembrance of the Holocaust by Bullets’: Synagogue Unveiled at Memorial to Babi Yar Massacre in Kiev
A new synagogue in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev honoring the tens of thousands of victims of the Babi Yar massacre was unveiled Thursday as the world marked Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Memorial Day in the Jewish world. The “symbolic” synagogue was built near the site’s ravine slope, where on Yom Kippur eve in 1941, more than 33,000 Jewish men, women and children were shot dead during just two days by the Nazis.

The first Jewish house of prayer at the massacre site will be part of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center (BYHMC), established by a private foundation, which was created in 2016 to build a Holocaust museum in Kiev to collect the historic facts, testimonies and narratives that were silenced for decades and to find names of victims.

“This is a significant event because it demonstrates the ongoing commitment by the Ukrainian government to acknowledge the mass murder which happened on Ukrainian soil so many years ago,” Mark B. Levin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of the National Coalition Supporting Euro-Asian Jewry told The Algemeiner.

The synagogue is part of a wider project to create an interfaith complex to include houses of worship for Jews, Christians and Muslims, since the atrocious massacres at the Babi Yar site — sometimes referred to as Babyn Yar, using the Ukrainian spelling — also saw Ukrainian dissenters, homosexuals, Roma and the mentally-ill suffer the same fate. There is already an Orthodox church near the synagogue, and other prayer spaces will be added in the future. The number of victims murdered at Babi Yar is estimated at around 100,000, making it Europe’s largest mass grave.

“At Babi Yar not only Jews were killed so we will also make space for the prayer of other religions, but it will not undermine the Jewish character of the place,” said Ukraine-born Natan Sharansky, chairman of BYHMC’s supervisory board, in an interview with The Algemeiner. “The synagogue is part of a very big complex which will serve as the only house of remembrance of the Holocaust by bullets.”


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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