Friday, May 28, 2021

From Ian:

Rabbi David Wolpe (NYTs): The Jewish History of Israel Is Over 3,000 Years Old. That’s Why It’s Complicated.
My first visit to Israel was when I was 12 years old. The group was led by my father, a rabbi from Philadelphia. We had been invited to participate in an archaeological dig near the city of Beit Shean, in the country’s north, near the Jordan River Valley. Soon after we arrived, one of my friends happened upon a pottery shard, really an ostracon, a fragment with writing on it. The archaeologist on site said something to him in Hebrew. My father translated: “He said you are the first person to hold that in over 2,000 years.”

Such shocks of antiquity are not rare in Israel. In 1880, archaeologists discovered a Hebrew text carved in stone in a tunnel under Jerusalem. It recounted how workers had chiseled from opposite ends of the ancient city; as they grew closer the sounds of stone cutting grew louder until they met in the middle. The tunnel is believed to be dated from the time of Hezekiah, a king who reigned 715-687 B.C., almost 3,000 years ago and 100 years before the Temple was razed, and Jews were sent into the Babylonian exile. Hezekiah ordered the tunnel’s construction to bring water from outside the city walls into the city. Jerusalem may be a city of sanctity and reverence, but its citizens needed water as much as they did God.

That intersection of the holy and mundane remains. Over the past month of crisis, turmoil, protest and death we have been inevitably captured by the situation of the present. But part of the intractability of the conflict in the Middle East is that the Jewish relationship to Israel did not begin in 1948. Our history here, of both pain and holiness, stretches back dozens of generations.

Our ancient historical markers, scattered throughout this land, are the tactile expression of Jewish memory, and an ancient spiritual yearning. For thousands of years, Jews in the Diaspora would leave a corner of their homes unpainted, to remind themselves that they were not home. They prayed in the direction of Jerusalem. They knew the geography of a land they would never see, often far better than the country in which they lived. They recited prayers for weather — in services during the winter, we yearn for rain or dew — not to help the harvests outside Vilnius or Paris or Fez, but for those in Israel, since we expected at any moment to return.

The Bible depicts an ideal land, one flowing with milk and honey. Yet Israel has always been one thing in dreams and another in the tumult of everyday life. When the five books of the Torah end, the Israelites are still in the wilderness and Moses, our leader out of Egypt, has been denied the promised land. The message is manifest: The perfect place does not yet exist, and you must enter a messy and contested land armed with the vision God has given you. Jews conclude the Passover Seder with “next year in Jerusalem.” Yet if one has the Seder in Jerusalem, the conclusion is not “next year here.” Rather, it is “next year in a rebuilt Jerusalem” — a city that reflects the ideals and aspirations of sages and prophets, one marked with piety and plenty.

For many Jews, that vision is as relevant today as it was in ancient Israel. That means the past, present and future of the land is not just an argument about settlements or structures alone, but also an ideal of a place of safety, a heavenly city on earth, one that we continue to strive and pray for, especially after the violence of these last few weeks.
Melanie Phillips: The murderous doctrine of moral equivalence
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his counterpart, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, visited Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week to offer help in building on the ceasefire with Hamas.

Both Blinken and Raab declared themselves committed to Israel’s security. Both governments have also condemned the antisemitism running rampant in their countries.

These are vapid bromides. For neither the British government nor the Biden administration acknowledges that the war against Israel and the war against the Jewish diaspora form an indivisible line of bigotry, which they themselves unwittingly help maintain.

The tsunami of antisemitism continues to inundate the west. In America, antisemitic acts reportedly rose by 80 percent this month, and in Britain by at least 500 percent. More than 17,000 variations of “Hitler was right” have recently appeared on Twitter.

In Britain, after the actors’ union Equity called on its members to join last Saturday’s anti-Israel march in London at which demonstrators burned Israeli flags and displayed antisemitic slogans, Jewish actors have said they are beginning to hide their Stars of David at auditions.

There are many non-Jews who are as horrified as they are bewildered by this evil that has overtaken their society. It is indeed astounding in its scope and scale.

For it is effectively a takeover of millions of western minds by Soviet-style brainwashing, in which the Palestinian perpetrators of murderous, exterminatory antisemitism are regarded as oppressed and dispossessed while their Israeli victims are labeled Nazi oppressors — and diaspora Jews are accused of backing “pogroms” in “Palestine”.

This madness urgently needs to be fought by those who help make the cultural weather. It’s not enough for politicians to promise support to a Jewish community that’s under siege. They need to call out the broadcasters and newspapers peddling Palestinian propaganda and incitement in the guise of journalism.

They need to tell people that Israel stands for law, justice and human rights while the Palestinians stand for their negation.
Caroline Glick: Google, Amazon, and Israel in the New America
The polarization of opinion on Israel that we are witnessing in American politics between Republicans who support Israel and Democrats who oppose Israel, is an expression of a much larger division within American society. The heartbreaking but undeniable fact is that today you can't talk about "America" as a single political entity.

Today there are two Americas, and they cannot abide by one another. One America – traditional America – loves Israel and America. The other America – the New America – hates Israel and doesn't think much of America, either.

Traditional America believes that the US brought the promise of liberty to the world and that even though it is far from perfect, the United States is the greatest country in human history. In the eyes of the citizens of Traditional America, Israel is a kindred nation and the US's best friend and most valued ally in the Middle East.

New America, in contrast, believes that America was born in the sin of slavery. New Americans insist America will remain evil and an object of scorn at home and abroad so long it refuses to exchange its values of liberty, capitalism, equal opportunity, and patriotism with the values of racialism and equity, socialism, equality of outcomes, and globalization. For New Americans, just as the US was born in the sin of white supremacy so Israel was born in the sin of Zionism. In New America, Israel will have no right to exist so long as it clings to its Jewish national identity, refusing to become a "state of all its citizens."

New America's power isn't limited to its control over the White House and Congress. It also controls much of corporate America. Under the slogan, "Stakeholder Capitalism," corporate conglomerates whose leaders are New Americans use their economic power to advance the political and cultural agendas of New America. We saw stakeholder capitalism at work in March following the Georgia statehouse's passage of a law requiring voters to present identification at polling places. Major League Baseball, Coca Cola, Delta and American Airlines among others announced that they would boycott the state, denying jobs to thousands of Georgians in retaliation.

Silicon Valley is the Ground Zero of Stakeholder Capitalism. Its denizens are the loudest and most powerful proponents of using technological and economic power to advance the political and cultural agendas of New America.

Microsoft and Oracle are appealing the Nimbus tender award. They are basing their appeals on what they describe as technical and other flaws in the tender process. Israel should view their appeals as an opportunity to reverse course.

In light of New America's hostility towards Israel generally, and given the proven power of Google and Amazon employees and their expressed antagonism towards Israel, the Finance Ministry should reconsider the tender award. Technical considerations aside, the decision to grant Google and Amazon- xclusive control over the State of Israel's computer data did not give sufficient weight to all the relevant variables.

Sharansky: Soviet Jewry’s Struggle Can Inspire Fight against anti-Semitism
Human rights icon and former Soviet refusenik Natan Sharansky, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, Malcolm Hoenlein, and Prof. Susannah Heschel, daughter of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, were among the leading figures who participated in a special online symposium marking Jewish American Heritage Month. Speakers emphasized that the Free Soviet Jewry campaign’s successful blending of grassroots activism and political advocacy can be a model in today’s fight against the dangerous growth of antisemitism.

Organized by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), the National Museum of American Jewish History, and the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry, the event highlighted the importance of cross-communal and interfaith partnerships. It also explored how to mobilize a new generation to defeat antisemitism and bigotry. The symposium came following the recent explosion of antisemitic incidents, which has seen Jews targeted both online and physically in the streets of cities and towns in countries across the world.

Natan Sharansky described himself as having been “a typical assimilated Soviet Jew, which meant that there was nothing Jewish in our life,” but that American activists, “this army of students and housewives who defeated the army of the KGB” and US Jewish organizations provided “a bridge, a living connection with world Jewry.” Meanwhile, Malcolm Hoenlein outlined his involvement in the Free Soviet Jewry campaign, saying “we built this grassroots movement, but merged it with the establishment… Soviet Jewry became the vehicle to bring the whole community together,” adding that “young people can learn a lot and be inspired.”

Comparing to today, he said, “We see more and more divisiveness, which has always been the danger to the Jewish community, more than any external danger” and called for more education among the young generation. He said, “we want to have diversity, but there have to be some common values, common purpose, that unites us and enables us to work together.”

Natan Sharansky concurred, saying “When people lose sight that we are one family, with a mutual past and a mutual future, this is where the problems begin.” He added, “the issue that united us is being lost today. Our political polarization is so strong, it is making us blind.”

The event also paid tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King’s support for the Free Soviet Jewry campaign. Prof. Sussanah Heschel recalled her father, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s relationship with Dr. King. She said, “My father spoke out, and Dr. King spoke out for Russian Jewry. Their voices were so important. Dr. King brought support for the free Soviet Jewry movement… and made it so clear that freedom for one is freedom for all, we all have to live in freedom and justice.”
Jewish author Gad Saad stares down the growing tide of antisemitism
Gad Saad won’t forget the day a young classmate announced he wanted to grow up to be a Jew killer.

“It’s not as though he didn’t know I was Jewish,” Saad told the Magazine by phone. “He felt it was totally reasonable to say that. The kids started laughing. There was no consequence for him. The teacher said nothing. I remember it vividly decades later. He’s seared in the deep recesses of my mind.”

Saad, author of the fascinating book, The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense, is one of the most popular Jewish professors in the world with 346.6 thousand followers on Twitter and 22 million views on his YouTube channel, “The Saad Truth.” He gained even more prominence after appearing on Joe Rogan’s podcast several times.

The 56-year-old remembers that as a boy living though the Lebanese Civil War, he could tell by the sound of ammunition fired if he needed to dive under the bed for safety. Saad, a behavioral scientist, psychologist and professor of marketing and consumer behavior at Canada’s Concordia University, recalled that hired Palestinian militiamen brought him and his family to a car that took them to the airport and one man asked him if he wanted to hold a machine gun.

Only when the plane’s pilot announced they were out of Lebanese airspace did his mother say he could show his Magen David necklace. The family would later settle in Montreal.
Rise in antisemitism dispels the myth of American Jewish exceptionalism
SEVERAL DAYS ago, I received a forceful letter from a fierce longtime activist who expressed her dismay and anger that the leaders of organized Jewish communities in North America were not reacting. Aside from a statement of outrage and concern here and there, she noted, they seemed to be doing nothing. She quite rightly rang the bell, urging some form of immediate, strong, unified response, both to reassure terrified Jews and to demonstrate Jewish strength.

It was an impressive list of recipients to whom the letter was sent, each one in a position to effect change, and not a single person has responded.

It’s eerily reminiscent of the disbelief and confusion that permeated Germany throughout the 1930s, and in Europe beyond. As then Histadrut activist Golda Meir observed in her travels in Europe during those years, there was a surreal disconnect between the extreme and quite widespread persecution of Jews already and the seeming impossibility to extricate them. Anyone paying attention, she noted repeatedly, could see that things would only get worse.

Attending the Evian Conference in Switzerland in July 1938, Meir listened as one country after another expressed compassion for Jews and disgust for Nazi Germany but, alas, each one refused to find a way to adjust their restrictive administrative emigration quotas to offer refuge to the doomed.

Interviewed many years later, Meir stated plainly, the tragic truth we all know today: “I realized then that a world that is not necessarily antisemitic – because Hitler was denounced at the conference and there was considerable pro-Jewish sentiment – could stand by and see others who were weaker victimized.” (Noted in Lioness, by Francine Klagsbrun.)

And the German observers at Evian returned home triumphant, reporting that they could do whatever they wanted with the Jews.

Ironically, those Jews who felt most “protected” and least vulnerable? German Jews. So many had fought for the Fatherland in WWI, were highly regarded and accomplished in their society. And yet, in the end, antisemitism spared none.
Jewish Americans see our worst nightmare unfolding
The rise of far-left Democrats such as Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez testify to why American Jews are increasingly worried.

What American Jews need to see now is the Democratic Party’s leadership confronting "the Squad" for its consistent antisemitism. We also need to see law enforcement aggressively investigate hate crimes committed against Jews. Most important, we need to know that this round of incitement against America’s Jews will be the last one.

Because there is a war being waged on Jews, not only on the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv but also in London, Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles, and New York.

While Jews in Israel were victim to Hamas rocket attacks during the recent 11-day conflict, Jews in cities worldwide have been victim to harassment and violent assaults by Palestinian-supporting mobs. During previous conflicts in Israel, we witnessed this intimidation of Jews in European cities. The fact that American Jews are now finding ourselves targeted is a newly horrific phenomenon. One that begs the question: What has changed to bring this brand of Jew-hatred to American shores?

In New York City, a caravan of cars draped in Palestinian flags drove through the heavily Jewish Diamond District last week, verbally harassing passersby and throwing fireworks into crowds. In a separate incident last week, a Jewish man wearing a yarmulke in Times Square was attacked by a mob and left hospitalized. A suspect, Waseem Awawdeh, has been arrested in that case.
‘I will not stand aloof … ’
As I stood by myself against 100 pro-Palestinian activists in Teaneck, N.J., one passage from the book of Obadiah kept playing over and over in my head. “On the day that you stood aloof, on the day that strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them.” The activists had gathered on the grounds of the municipal building to stand in solidarity with their kinsman in Gaza and the West Bank. The time for the gathering was set for Saturday afternoon as many Jews of Teaneck were enjoying their Sabbath rest. Having witnessed such gatherings devolve into roving gangs of Palestinians harassing Jews, I chose to go to Teaneck to stand with the Jews.

As a Christian, my willingness to go stand alone for Israel—to be called a fool, mocked and laughed at—is rooted in my reading of scripture. I find the passages like the one from Obadiah to be a warning for my fellow Christians to not be like the Edomites. This passage is not the only warning about callous indifference towards Israel and the Jews. The New Testament describes Gentiles as believers who are like a wild olive shoot that is grafted into the olive tree root in Israel. In his warning against pride, the writer notes, “It is not you who supports the root, the root supports you.”

This passage and more help shape my Christian theology, where Israel and the Jewish people are key to God’s redemptive plan for humanity. I recognize that most Jews, and a good number of Christians for that matter, do not understand or support the special bond between Christians and Jews. There is a long history of animus between Christians and Jews that is not overcome by a few kind acts.

Nevertheless, the shift in Christian support for Israel in the last 70 years—timed to the establishment of modern-day Israel—is remarkable.
Risch introduces resolution focusing on international antisemitism
Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a resolution on Thursday condemning global antisemitism, stressing incidents of antisemitism outside the United States and accusing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and anti-Israel activists of fueling antisemitism around the world.

“While anti-Semitism is on a rise across the world, the recent violence between Israel and Hamas has led to an increase in attacks against Jewish communities,” Risch said in a statement. “This violence is further fueled by support here in the United States for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), a global Palestinian-led effort to promote boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel. The BDS movement is dangerous and contributes to the rise of anti-Semitism.”

The resolution notes “a particularly high rate of antisemitic attacks” in Europe, and enumerates a series of incidents around the world, including an assault on Rabbi Rafi Goodwin in London; pro-Palestinian protests in Canada that have involved antisemitic slurs and violence against pro-Israel protesters; protests in Spain that featured Israeli flags defaced with swastikas; threats and attacks on Jewish organizations in Germany; and vandalism of a Jewish community building in Argentina.

The resolution condemns the BDS movement and ties anti-Israel sentiment to growing antisemitism globally.

“The rise of anti-Israel groups and voices in the United States has contributed to increased anti-Semitism in, and outside, the United States,” the resolution reads. “This rhetoric has fueled support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement which represents a financial, political, and economic manifestation of anti-Semitism against Israel.”
The Intelligentsia's Craven Silence in the Face of Anti-Semitism Is Unforgivable
So here is my question to you well-credentialed influencers of thought, you shapers of opinion: What do I do? What do I tell my kids? My bookish almost 16 year old is exploring her Jewish identity. She attends her grandparents' synagogue on Friday evenings via Zoom because it gives her peace and comfort. Sometimes she wears a Star of David necklace. Should I tell her not to wear it?

Because judging from your silence, it seems like the answer is yes.

I can almost hear you thinking, What an overreaction! How ridiculous! But that is part of the problem. You would never tell an African-American what is racism, or a Muslim what is Islamophobia. You enlightened members of the intelligentsia would never dare tell a woman what is misogyny. But so many of you feel it is important to lecture Jews what we should and should not fear.

It must be OK, you tell yourselves, because there are Jews—the "good Jews"—who tell you it's all our fault. Not in so many words, but that is what they mean. After all, we're Zionists. So we must deserve what's been coming to us.

You betray your fundamental misunderstanding of how many Jews think of our place in this world, our very lives. Our place is fraught. Our lives can be taken. We can be erased.

You're proving that right now with your silence.

We are hemmed in and up at night over people braying for our blood and their cultural enablers. They exist on both the Right and the Left, but you would prefer to focus on the former.

You have turned your eyes from a monster and chosen to remain silent because it's off-brand to assail those who attack us. This is a betrayal not just of Jews, but of every other value you claim to represent.

I am not going to call you out by name, but I know who you are and if I now know one thing it is this: You have no character. It's something I'll never be able to forget.

See you around town.

Culture Secretary calls on Facebook to adopt International Definition of Antisemitism and condemns recent surge of antisemitic incidents
The Culture Secretary has called on Facebook to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism and condemned the recent surge of antisemitic incidents in Britain.

Speaking at Bevis Marks, the oldest synagogue in Britain, about the Definition, Oliver Dowden said: “There may be some practicalities about exactly how [social media giants] incorporate it, but the essence of the International Definition [of Antisemitism] I want them to adopt, just as the Government has committed to that.”

Mr Dowden added: “If companies fail to comply with the legislation, they will face fines of up to ten percent of their global revenue. But I’ve set out the overall direction I want them to go in and I don’t see why they can’t get on with it now.

“Ultimately, as the fallback, we will have it [in law] and we’ll look at how we incorporate the [D]efinition into the online harms legislation.”

The Culture Secretary also condemned the recent surge of antisemitism in Britain, stating: “I have lots of shuls in my constituency, not least in Bushey, Borehamwood and Radlett, and I think the community is feeling vulnerable and deeply worried. I have had people contacting me saying they didn’t expect to see these scenes on the streets of London.

“I want to send an absolutely unambiguous message to the Jewish community: that this government is on their side and we will stand absolutely steadfast and resolute in showing zero tolerance for antisemitic abuse, whether it’s in the street or online.

“A Jewish pensioner in Golders Green is a Jewish pensioner and any attacks are antisemitism, pure and simple. It does worry me that there is this kind of conflation with events in Israel. There is no culpability of Jewish people in this country, regardless of one’s views on what is happening in Israel, and it’s really important that we address this.”

67 Anti-Israel Groups, Including Jews, to March on Congress Saturday
The Stand with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and at least 66 other organizations, will join forces in a National March for Palestine in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 29 at 3:00 PM EST (when Jews traditionally sleep off their cholent). The march will start at the Lincoln Memorial and continue to Congress.

The march is a part of the new Sanction Israel campaign, and the marchers will be calling on the Biden administration and Congress to stop giving Israel billions in U.S. tax dollars which it uses to defend itself against thousands of terror rockets launched at its civilian population from the Gaza Strip.

At least two Jewish groups will probably skip the Shabbes nap tomorrow: the Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews for Palestinian Right of Return. You can probably also expect the fine boys and girls of IfNotNow to show up. They all should probably seek a sheltered spot, in case of a spontaneous lightning strike.

Roxana Bendezú, Pax Christi USA Program Director, issued a statement saying, “The cease-fire is not enough. The US needs to stop sending money to the government of Israel that has been displacing people for 73 years.”

I could go on and on. A group calling itself American Muslims for Palestine urged Saturday’s protestors to “go big and bold right now for Palestinian liberation now that a ceasefire has gone into effect,” and vowed “no return to the status quo. It is time for Israeli settler-colonialism, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, military occupation, and blockade to be dismantled now!”

And Faizan Syed, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called the US to end its support of Israel that is “illegally occupying and brutalizing Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.”

I cited all of the above to suggest what the reader already knows: Israel is losing its status as America’s closest and most admired ally. The past decade has seen a dramatic shift in Americans’ views on the Jewish State, and the fact that over the past two years or so groups like BLM and leftwing Democrats have usurped control over public opinion on race relations has also ushered in a new era of popular hostility towards Israel and Jews.
Rutgers University-New Brunswick Chancellor, Provost Apologize After Condemning Uptick In Anti-Semitic Attacks
The email also briefly touched upon the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, but it did not take a position on the issue as it retained a focus was on condemning anti-Semitism.

“We have also been witnesses to the increasing violence between Israeli forces and Hamas in the Middle East leading to the deaths of children and adults and mass displacement of citizens in the Gaza region and the loss of lives in Israel” was the only mention of the conflict.

A day later, Molloy and Conway sent a second email to their students titled “An Apology,” which appears to have come in response to an Instagram post from the university’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter, leading campus organizers of the Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel, which took issue with their condemnations of anti-Semitism.

The email, also obtained by Daily Caller, apologized to the university’s Palestinian Community members and said that the message condemning anti-Semitism “fell short” of their intention to be a “place where all identities can feel validated and supported.”

“In hindsight, it is clear to us that the message failed to communicate support for our Palestinian community members. We sincerely apologize for the hurt that this message has caused,” the message began. (RELATED: Jews Are Literally Being Singled Out And Attacked On The Streets)

“Our diversity must be supported by equity, inclusion, antiracism, and the condemnation of all forms of bigotry and hatred, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia,” it said.

“As we grow in our personal and intuitional understanding, we will take the lesson learned here to heart, and pledge our commitment to doing better. We will work to regain your trust, and make sure that our communications going forward are much more sensitive and balanced,” it concluded.

University of Chicago Student Leaders Condemn Israel in Unsigned Anti-Semitic Letter
Student leaders at the University of Chicago peddled anti-Semitic tropes in a letter condemning Israel after a ceasefire ended a weeks-long conflict set off by the terrorist group Hamas.

In a joint letter with the Students for Justice in Palestine, the incoming Undergraduate Student Government called on May 22 for university officials to divest from Israel and "make accommodations" for Palestinian members of the school community. The unsigned letter states, "From the river to the sea, USG supports a Palestine that is free." Anti-Israel activists use this slogan to call for the wholesale destruction of the Jewish state.

The University of Chicago is the latest American university where student leaders have condemned Israel for defending itself against Hamas. Israeli counterstrikes sparked a wave of anti-Semitic violence in the United States. Police are investigating one assault in New York City, where six men beat and pepper-sprayed a Jew while allegedly spewing anti-Semitic remarks. And a group of men screamed "Free Palestine," "fuck you Jew," "die Jew," and "we're going to rape your wife" at a Jewish family in Miami.

In the letter, student leaders demanded the university suspend study abroad programs in Israel and participate in Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against the Jewish state. BDS is an anti-Semitic movement popular on college campuses and designed to put economic pressure on Israel by cutting ties with the Jewish state's companies.

The letter also included a reading list from the university's chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, whose members have bullied and assaulted Jewish students at several American college campuses.

Students for Justice in Palestine's resource list includes readings from University of Illinois professor Steven Salaita, who tweeted anti-Semitic remarks, and Rutgers University associate professor Noura Erakat, who defended Hamas during its previous skirmishes against Israel.

‘Jews Are Guilty’: Antisemitic Graffiti at Holocaust Museum Stuns Florida’s ‘Sunshine City’
Florida police are investigating a fresh hate crime against the Jewish community, this time involving the vandalism of the Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg with sinister antisemitic graffiti.

A large swastika and the words “Jews are guilty” were daubed in black paint on the museum’s outer wall.

Police officers on patrol in the area were alerted to the offending message in the early hours of Thursday morning. The graffiti was quickly painted over later on Thursday.

“What was particularly chilling is the phrase, ‘the Jews are guilty,'” Elizabeth Gelman — the museum’s executive director — told Fox News. “It’s one of the oldest tropes in history. Seeing it here was heartbreaking.”

Gelman said that the outrage had reinforced the museum’s commitment “to our vital mission to prevent future genocides and educate people about the dangers of antisemitism and other forms of racism and hatred.”

“Clearly, our society still has a long way to go,” she said.

Local politicians also condemned the incident.

“This act of antisemitic hate and bigotry on the walls of Florida’s tribute to the millions of lives lost in the Holocaust is disgusting and reprehensible,” Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) declared in a statement. “These symbols of hate have no place in our Sunshine City, home to so many Holocaust survivors and their descendants. The perpetrators who committed this crime must be apprehended swiftly and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Swastika Stickers Placed on Alaska Jewish Museum and Anchorage Bar
Police in Anchorage are asking for the public’s help after stickers with swastikas were placed on the Alaska Jewish Museum and a local bar.

According to the Anchorage police, the white stickers feature the words “We are everywhere” and include the Nazi symbol in the middle, and were discovered on Wednesday afternoon, first at a bar called “Mad Myrna’s” and later in the day at the Jewish museum.

“There is no place for hate in our community,” the police said, noting that it “takes these matters seriously.”

It noted that as part of its ongoing investigation, they have partnered with the FBI to determine “any potential state and federal violations.”

“If anyone finds a swastika sticker, don’t remove or touch it,” the police also said, urging people to report the finding to them instead.

As of 2017, the Jewish population in Alaska was approximately 5,750.
Two Israelis retell how they battled against attack by pro-Palestinians in New York City
Snir Dayan and Amit Skornik were hoping for a quiet bagel breakfast last week on a typical day in New York City. But instead, a group of pro-Palestinian protestors tried to punch some holes in them close to 52nd Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan in front of Ess-a-Bagel. It was one of several recent attacks against Jews in New York City by Palestinians or Palestinian supporters, but this time, it turned out a bit differently. Dayan, 27, and Skolnik, 26, were trained in Krav Maga, and both served in the Golani Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces.

“New York is the most diverse city in the world, we didn’t think this would happen here,” said Dayan by phone. “If Jews are afraid to walk in the city because they will be attacked, it’s not New York City anymore.”

The friends, who moved from Israel to New York five years ago, said they originally decided to have a quiet protest by showing an Israeli flag. However, when they saw there were about 500 Palestinians on the street, they decided at that point it would be better to just have breakfast.

“We came on a motorcycle, and I told Snir in Hebrew to put the flag in the helmet so it won’t be seen cause they might destroy his bike,” Skornik said by phone.

Dayan said someone must have heard Skornik speak Hebrew and gone to get people from the crowd because after a few seconds, 30 or more people were staring them down, and a few engaged to fight.

“They threw the first punch, and one big guy hit me in the chin,” related Dayan. “I am happy first that they chose to attack people who were capable of defending themselves, and I’m happy I was with Amit, who knows how to defend himself. Had I been with a friend who wasn’t trained, it would have been a much different result.”

Jewish patients and staff targeted in multiple cowardly antisemitic incidents at two London hospitals
Jewish patients and a staffer have been targeted in multiple antisemitic incidents at two London hospitals.

In one incident on Tuesday morning of this week, a staff member allegedly made a cutthroat death-threat gesture towards a Jewish patient, who was attending the Royal Free Hospital for a blood test. The patient reportedly noticed that the practitioner was wearing a Palestinian Authority flag on her jacket and a badge that read “Stop killing our children”.

The patient asked for a different practitioner to administer the test, but as she walked away the staffer “swiped her finger across her throat.” Campaign Against Antisemitism has been in contact with a witness and officials from the hospital.

The hospital is investigating the incident, and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust said in a statement: “We do not tolerate racist or antisemitic behaviour of any kind, from anybody on our premises. The Royal Free London is proud of the rich diversity of the patients that we serve and we are taking these allegations extremely seriously. Although we have not received a formal complaint, we will investigate this matter thoroughly.

“We would urge anybody who experiences racist or antisemitic abuse in any of our hospitals to report it immediately to a member of our security team or to the patient advice and liaison service.”

However, this incident, which was highly publicised on social media, came barely a fortnight after a much less prominent incident at the same department in the same hospital. In that incident, another Jewish patient was also present for a blood test. The tests were being administered by a practitioner of reportedly Pakistani origin. When the Jewish patient came into the room, the practitioner left the room. The patient was reportedly told to wait to be tested, and in the meantime other patients were all being tested before him, including some who arrived later than he had.
Antisemitic incidents persist across North London, despite ceasefire in Israel
Despite the ceasefire in Israel, ‘low-level’ antisemitic incidents that do not get media coverage are persisting in North London.

This week, a man yelled “f***ing Jews, f*** you, free Palestine”” outside Brent Cross Shopping Centre. The incident was reported by Shomrim North West London, the Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol.

Meanwhile, in Stamford Hill, provocative stickers featuring the flag of the Palestinian Authority and the phrase “Free Palestine” continue to be plastered on Jewish homes and businesses.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel” is an example of antisemitism.

These incidents come amid reports of the beating of patrons of a kosher restaurant, harassment of Jews on the street, the hacking of the social media account of a prominent Jewish charity, resignations by Jewish union members, antisemitic incidents at hospitals targeting Jewish patients and staff, and a Jewish school directing pupils to conceal clothing that may identify them as Jewish – all of which have taken place since the ceasefire.

600 Musicians Sign Open Letter Calling on Other Artists to Boycott Israel, Proclaim ‘Solidarity’ With Palestinians
About 600 musicians signed an open letter on Thursday that asked fellow artists to stand with them in boycotting Israel and publicly expressing solidarity with Palestinians.

Some of the biggest names who signed the “#MusiciansforPalestine” letter included The Roots members Questlove and Black Thought, DJ Snake, Roger Waters, Anwar Hadid, Rage Against the Machine, Run the Jewels, and Julian Casablancas of The Strokes.

“In solidarity and empathy, as musicians, we cannot be silent. Today is essential that we stand with Palestine,” the letter began. “We are calling on our peers to publicly assert their solidarity with the Palestinian people. Complicity with Israeli war crimes is found in silence, and today silence is not an option.”

The letter accused Israel of a “brutal Israeli bombardment of a besieged Gaza” during May’s 11-day Israel-Hamas conflict and alleged that Palestinians are being “continuously forced out of their homes” in Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem. It also claimed the Israeli government “operates a settler-colonial project committed to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population.”

Other notable artist signatories included Patti Smith, Cypress Hill, Noname, Talib Kweli, Vic Mensa, and Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene.
How anti-Israel celebs became mouthpieces for terror and poster children for anti-Semites
Since the start of the latest Gaza war nearly two weeks ago, the hashtag #FreePalestine became the new #BlackLivesMatter.

Thousands, if not millions, of users on Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok were sharing images from the fighting in the Hamas-controlled enclave, accompanied by zero context and of course no mention of terrorism or unprecedented barrages of rockets on Israeli civilians.

The mob mentality is thriving on social media, but we all knew that. What we didn't know is that hundreds of celebrities and influencers with millions of followers would be cluelessly jumping on the bandwagon of misinformation in the so-called fight for justice.

Celebrities on the other side of the world with no knowledge of the ins and outs of the complicated geopolitical situation and influencers whose main claim to fame is modelling underwear all jumped at the chance to virtue signal.

Among the main culprits are models Bella and Gigi Hadid, who headline campaigns for Dior, Maybeline, Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs, among many others. If you're not well versed in Gen-Z world, the pair are daughters of Palestinian-American real estate multimillionaire Mohamed Hadid.

Oh, and they also have 42 and 66 million followers on Instagram, respectively. They have done nothing of value besides be born to a wealthy father who taught them to hate Jews, sorry Zionists.

At the start of the violence in Gaza, Bella Hadid published a host of posts on her Instagram account, full of slogans such as "Free Palestine!" and "End the Occupation!"

These posts were very light on specifics as to how one could "Free Palestine" if it is ruled by a terror group hell-bent on destroying "the Zionist entity".

She even posted a video of herself at a Palestinian rally, shouting "from the river to the sea," which is a widely understood call to annihilate the Jewish state.

Judges Allow Challenges to Anti-BDS Laws As Anti-Semitic Violence Sweeps U.S.
Judges across the country are greenlighting challenges to laws aiming to prohibit states from doing business with any organization that boycotts Israel. As the suits move through the courts, they are making clear the legal vulnerabilities of so-called anti-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) laws and how the proponents of those laws might fix them.

The BDS movement encourages businesses to wage economic war on Israel by cutting all ties with the Jewish state. The BDS movement is popular on college campuses and has ties to terrorist groups and various anti-Israel figures. Republicans and Democrats alike have pushed for legislation keeping taxpayer dollars away from businesses affiliated with the movement. But legal challenges to anti-BDS laws are coming amid a wave of anti-Semitic street violence across the United States.

The latest challenge came on May 21 when U.S. District Judge Mark Cohen denied Georgia’s motion to dismiss a First Amendment challenge to its anti-BDS law in a 29-page decision that suggested the statute is unconstitutional. The decision follows similar rulings in Arizona, Kansas, Texas, and the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

A majority of states have laws forbidding public contracting with entities that boycott Israel. Pro-Palestinian groups say those laws are unconstitutional because they punish people or businesses on the basis of their political expression. The states counter that they are not regulating speech but discriminatory conduct.

The courts have keyed in on two different problems with anti-BDS statutes. First, these laws can raise First Amendment issues when applied against certain parties, such as individual entrepreneurs or small businesses, for whom the speech-conduct distinction is fuzzy. Second, some of them include vague or overbroad definitions of "boycott." Proponents of anti-BDS legislation say both concerns are unfounded. Some states have already taken steps to fix their laws and head off future challenges.

The Georgia case offers a classic example of the First Amendment tripwire. The plaintiff is Abby Martin, a leftwing activist and filmmaker invited to keynote a conference at Georgia Southern University. Administrators extended a contract offering her an honorarium and other perks. Pursuant to state law, the contract included an anti-BDS provision. Martin sued.

In the May 21 decision, Cohen said Martin’s lawsuit can go forward because she had plausibly shown Georgia’s law violates the First Amendment.
UCSB Students Defeat a Discriminatory Divestment Resolution
StandWithUs congratulates students at UC Santa Barbara for defeating a discriminatory divestment resolution. The resolution was part of the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks the elimination of Israel. On the the morning of May 27, 2021, the Associated Students of UC Santa Barbara (ASUCSB) Senate defeated the legislation with a vote of 12 in favor, 13 against, and 0 abstaining.

“We are incredibly proud of all the UCSB students who came together and defeated divestment for the seventh time since 2013,” said Max Samarov, a UCSB alum and the Executive Director of Research & Strategy at StandWithUs. “With comments such as 'Israel is an illegitimate state,' supporters of BDS at UCSB made clear that they are part of the problem. We commend the majority of senators who stood on the right side of history and rejected this campaign of hate."

This vote ensured that the voices of UCSB students would not be used to promote the BDS movement. The purpose of BDS is not to protest Israeli policy, but to isolate Israel until it collapses as a Jewish and democratic state. Furthermore, BDS dehumanizes Israelis and actively harms peace efforts by opposing Israeli-Palestinian cooperation. This was evident in multiple comments made by BDS supporters during the ASUCSB Senate meeting, including "Israel is an illegitimate state," and "Israel is not a real state... F*** Israel."

StandWithUs applauds Santa Barbara Hillel, Students Supporting Israel, and all UCSB students who stood up for their community in the face of hate. We will continue to work with ICC, Hillel International, and all of our partners to empower student activism at UCSB and beyond.
Massachusetts city adopts resolution critical of Israel; BDS measure falls short
For the second time in two years, the City Council of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has rejected an effort to formally discourage municipal contracts with Hewlett-Packard and other companies that do business with Israel.

After 10 hours of impassioned public comments on the measure, widely viewed by both advocates and critics as intended to advance the movement to boycott Israel, the council adopted a substitute measure that commits to reviewing all city contracts for ties to companies that “perpetuate violations of international human rights laws.” That measure recognizes destructive attacks by the Israeli government against Palestinians while also affirming Israel’s right to exist and defend itself.

The council also unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the Palestinian Children and Families Act in Congress, which seeks to prevent Israel from using US taxpayer funds to support alleged infractions against Palestinians.

“I heard the conviction that we must do something for justice for Palestinians, and I heard the fear of Jews with experience of antisemitism right here in our city,” said Cambridge City Council member Patricia Nolan, who proposed the substitute measure at the council meeting Tuesday night. “We are hoping this is something that can bring us all together.”

University and College Union lists International Definition of Antisemitism on list of potential threats, prompting outrage from Jewish groups
The University and College Union (UCU) has listed the International Definition of Antisemitism on a list of potential threats, prompting outrage from Jewish groups.

In a survey created by UCU, one question asked: “In your experience, what are the biggest current threats to or restrictions on academic freedom?”

Among a list of answers, which also included “censorship” and “no platforming”, “Imposition of IHRA definition and examples of antisemitism” was a possible option, referencing the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Last month, UCU Scotland defended Prof. David Miller over recent inflammatory comments that he had made, which included his assertion that “Zionism is racism”, a declaration of his objective “to end Zionism as a functioning ideology of the world” and accusing 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”.

UCU has also been at the forefront of efforts to oppose or revoke adoption of the Definition at British campuses.
Israeli Media Call on Facebook, Twitter to Stop Incitement Against Reporters
The top 14 media outlets in Israel have demanded that Facebook and Twitter take action in curbing the increase in online threats and incitement to violence against journalists, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The group of Israeli TV stations, newspapers, radio stations and news websites said in emailed letters from their lawyer, Noga Rubinstein, to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his Twitter counterpart Jack Dorsey that threats and hate speech targeting reporters have been on a rise recently, especially during the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

“These media groups … all share a sense of urgency regarding the level of danger posed by these tweets and posts and the need for all concerned to take a decisive action in this matter,” wrote Rubinstein.

The letters cited tweets and Facebook posts that encouraged physically harming Israeli journalists. In some cases, reporters were labeled as traitors or enemies of the state to help justify violence against them; the incitement resulted in deliberate attacks on members of the press while they were reporting, the letters stated.

Rubinstein called on Facebook and Twitter to monitor what is being uploaded onto their platforms and “take appropriate and decisive steps to remove the posts, and do whatever else is necessary in order to prevent the incitement from spreading and intensifying.”
HonestReporting Forces Al Jazeera to Pull Deceptive Tweet, Rephrase Misleading Headline
It’s not exactly insider information that Qatar’s Al Jazeera is an unreliable news source. Its American subsidiary, Al Jazeera America, was ditched in 2016 after viewers saw through its old-fashioned Arab nationalist and strong pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias.

So, to anyone familiar with the organization’s clearly anti-Western and anti-Israel bent, the wording of a recent tweet should not have come as a surprise.
“50 Jewish settlers, backed by heavily armed Israeli police, storm Al-Aqsa compound in East Jerusalem.” The text was pulled directly from the headline of an article on the Al Jazeera website, with the link included at the end of the tweet.

Of course, no such thing had happened.

HonestReporting swiftly reacted, issuing a tweet of its own, mocking Al Jazeera’s propagandistic post, “translating” into real terms what had actually transpired: 50 Jews peacefully visited Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, and were escorted by police for their own protection.
Louisiana House Passes Bill to Increase Holocaust Education in High Schools
The Louisiana House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday night that would require public schools to teach students about the Holocaust and World War II throughout all four years of high school.

House Bill 416 won approval in a 66-32 vote and will now face the Senate, reported The Advocate.

Rep. Valarie Hodges (R-Denham Springs), the bill’s sponsor, said the legislation is necessary because “millennials and Generation Zs” are undereducated about the Holocaust, what Auschwitz was, and that 6 million Jews died from Nazi persecution.

She explained that instead of learning about World War II and the Holocaust only in one semester, high school students should study the topics over the course of four years “so that when they graduate high school they have a thorough understanding of what the Holocaust was.”

“There are some things that are so important we cannot ignore it,” said Hodges.

Rep. Ted James (D-Baton Rouge), chairman of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, proposed an amendment to the bill that would have high school students also learn about significant historical figures in African-American history.
Man punched on Austrian train for asking passengers to stop denying Holocaust
A train passenger in Austria asked a couple of fellow passengers to stop denying the Holocaust and engaging in antisemitic rhetoric about Jews and Israel.

It didn’t go well: One of the passengers punched him in the face.

The incident happened on May 21 near Amstetten, a city located 70 miles east of Vienna, the Heute newspaper reported Wednesday.

The alleged assailant, whom witnesses said looked Middle Eastern, was speaking about Israel to a fellow passenger, who also looked Middle Eastern and was wearing a kaffiyeh, an Arab headdress that in Europe is also called a “Palestinian shawl” and is commonly worn at pro-Palestinian events.

According to the Heute report, the conversation, which was replete with antisemitic statements, veered into Holocaust denial, which is illegal in Austria. The 32-year-old victim, who was not named, asked the other men to stop making antisemitic remarks but was ignored.

Before exiting the train, one of the passengers hit the victim three times in the face, wounding his lip. Police are looking for the two men, who left the train after the assault.
Israeli breakthrough COVID treatment gets approval for advanced trial
A coronavirus treatment touted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “miracle drug” earlier this year has been approved by the Health Ministry for an advanced Phase II/III trial, according to the hospital in which it was developed.

Prof. Nadir Arber of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center told The Jerusalem Post that his EXO-CD24 COVID-19 treatment will soon launch a double-blind placebo trial in which around 150 patients in moderate or serious condition will be treated with the medication.

Because the level of COVID-19 in Israel is extremely low, Sourasky will partner with other medical centers throughout the country, Arber said, and will likely extend the trial to other countries.

For instance, Georgia, which has been reporting between 500 and 1,000 new daily cases according to the World ‘O Meter website, has agreed to carry out a trial, once it receives authorization from the European Medicines Agency.

In addition, a spokesperson for Sourasky who confirmed the report and Arber said that the hospital is in dialogue with India, Brazil, Portugal, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic about getting approval to run trials there, too.

“I was in Georgia last week, and they are very eager to do it,” Arber told the Post.
Giro d’Italia riders to donate prize money to cable car crash victims
The prize money from Friday’s 19th stage of the Giro d’Italia bike race will be donated to the victims of the cable car accident on Mount Mottarone that cost 14 lives, the professional cyclists’ association (CPA) announced.

The route for the stage had already been changed so the peloton would not ride up the mountain, where the tragedy last weekend left 5-year-old Israeli Eitan Biran as the sole survivor among the 15 people on board.

“The riders unanimously decided to donate all the cash prizes of today’s stage to little Eitan and to the families affected by this terrible tragedy,” said the CPA.

Biran’s parents were killed in the crash, along with his 2-year-old brother and great-grandparents.

The accident happened about 100 meters from the last altitude station of the cable car to the top of Mount Mottarone.
Film reviewMan’s best friend is hero in ‘family’ Holocaust film told through dog’s eyes
Cross “Lassie Come Home” with the Holocaust, and you get “Shepherd: The Story of a Jewish Dog,” a film opening nationwide in the United States on May 28.

Defying conventional classification, “Shepherd” is a scripted movie about a boy and his dog geared to a general viewing audience (ages 11 and up). But with the genocide of 6 million of Europe’s Jews as its backdrop, it’s as much — if not more — about providing edification than viewing pleasure.

“The statistics about so few young people knowing what Auschwitz was are really troubling. It is our responsibility to keep [Holocaust] stories alive in any way we can,” said the film’s writer and director Lynn Roth in explaining the rationale for this family film about the Holocaust.

In an interview with The Times of Israel from her home in Los Angeles, Roth said she identified her way for conveying Holocaust history to younger generations back in 2007. She was teaching a master class in filmmaking, and an Israeli student introduced her to Israeli author Asher Kravitz’s then-newly published novel, “The Jewish Dog.” (It was published in English translation in 2015.)

“I was totally wowed by its unique perspective,” said Roth, who determinedly read through the original Hebrew version with help from her late mother, who was raised in British Mandate Palestine before immigrating to the US in the 1940s.
Eilat Mazar, one of Israel’s founders
Eilat Mazar, one of Israel’s greatest archaeologists, passed away this week at age 64. Though born a decade after the Jewish state was established, Mazar is seen by those privileged to know her as being among the country’s founders because she had that rare and unmistakable character of the generation of leaders who brought the state into being against all odds. She was driven by an instinctive love for the Land of Israel, felt deeply connected to the Bible without being traditionally religious, and embraced archaeology, with its alluring combination of the spiritual and the earthly. Like Israel’s “Greatest Generation,” Eilat was supremely confident and touchingly modest, naturally charming and exasperatingly stubborn, totally committed to the national cause but even more devoted to her family, and undoubtedly crazy — in a good way, in the best way, what we Israelis refer to with admiration as a meshuga l’davar, someone who will do whatever it takes to achieve an impossible dream — not just once, but as a way of life.

Eilat made everyone who worked with her feel like partners in making history and inspired them to rise to the occasion — often to their own astonishment and against their better, or at least their more sober, judgment. There are countless examples, but I’ll share here only one, the utterly improbable origins of what might be Eilat’s greatest professional accomplishment: a monumental excavation in Jerusalem’s City of David that unearthed a structure many of her peers now believe to be the palace of the biblical King David.

I first heard Eilat speak about her dream of discovering David’s palace in 2004, when we were colleagues at the Shalem Center, a Jerusalem-based research institute where she was carrying out pioneering (and at times dangerous) work documenting the walls of the Temple Mount, Jerusalem’s holiest site. It was Eilat’s turn to present in our weekly seminar on Jewish history, and while using maps and pictures to guide us through the majesty of ancient Jerusalem, she pointed to a spot on a map and said, casually but with conviction, “This is where I believe King David’s palace stood” — and immediately moved to her next point. I found this nonchalant statement strangely electrifying and so I abused my privilege as chair to interrupt by asking what led her to be so sure.
‘We Are All Jews Here’
U.S. Army Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds, one of five American Righteous Among the Nations, never spoke about the 200 Jews he saved

As of Jan. 1, 2020, there were 27,712 persons named Righteous Among the Nations (Righteous Gentiles) by Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. All of them are non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. Five of them are American.

In 1994, Varian Fry was the first American named to the list. A New York City native and Harvard graduate with a degree in classics, Fry had volunteered with the Emergency Rescue Committee to go to France to help rescue victims of Nazism. Planning on staying for a month, he arrived in Marseille in August 1940 with $3,000 and a list of 200 Jews he hoped to save. Soon, however, he understood the enormity of his task and judged it “criminally irresponsible” to return home. He stayed until he was forcibly expelled from France 13 months later “for having protected Jews and anti-Nazis.” Fighting the Vichy regime and the U.S. State Department, which tried repeatedly to have him sent home, Fry carried a gun, arranged smugglings into Spain, obtained foreign passports and visas, hired a forger, and with a small staff saved over 2,000 refugees. Mainly interested in writers, artists, and intellectuals, this passionate anti-fascist rescued Marcel Duchamp, Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz, Max Ernst, Hannah Arendt, Max Ophüls, Arthur Koestler, André Breton, and several other surrealist artists.

Martha and Waitstill Sharp were named Righteous Among the Nations in 2005. Waitstill was a minister in the Unitarian Church in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and his wife, Martha, was a noted social worker. They agreed to go to Prague in February 1939 to help members of the Unitarian Church in Czechoslovakia. Once there, they helped smuggle Jews out of the country that had been taken over by the Nazis the month after their arrival. They experienced dangerous encounters with Nazi police but managed to return safely to the United States in August. Once again, however, in late spring 1940, they returned to Europe to help rescue Jewish people from France where they worked with Varian Fry, Hiram Bingham IV, and others smuggling Jews, many of them children, into Spain and Portugal.

Lois Gunden, named “Righteous” in 2013, also rescued Jews in France. Born and raised in Goshen, Indiana, Gunden went to France in October 1941, at the age of 26, to work with the Mennonite Central Committee. Fluent in French, she headed the Ville St. Christophe Children’s Refugee Convalescent Home in Canet Plage in the south of France. It was a 20-room mansion that housed 60 children, mostly those of Spanish refugees from Franco’s Spain and Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe being held in the nearby Rivesaltes internment camp. Gunden continued to run this safe haven for refugee children even after November 1942 when the Germans occupied the entire country. She managed to hide many Jewish children in the home and save them from deportation to Drancy and then Auschwitz. In January 1943, she was detained as an “enemy alien” and transported to Germany. In March 1944, she was released in a prisoner exchange.

On Memorial Day 2021, 76 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, let’s remember the heroics of Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds, the fifth American Righteous Gentile and the only one to have saved the lives of American Jews.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 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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