Friday, October 01, 2021

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The false accusation of "Israel apartheid"
In a speech to the United Nations last week, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas not only stated that “Israel is an occupying power, practising apartheid and ethnic cleansing,” but also made no fewer than five further references to Israeli “apartheid”.

Two years ago, a report by Dan Diker and Adam Shay for the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs revealed that the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel was not, as was widely believed, a network of local grassroots human-rights groups advocating BDS to establish a peaceful Palestinian state next to Israel.

It was instead run by the PA in Ramallah to direct, mobilise and co-ordinate global political warfare campaigns with the goal of isolating, delegitimising and ultimately dismantling the State of Israel. The current “Israel apartheid” chorus is almost certainly the product of the latest such campaign.

The “apartheid” libel is a potent weapon because it is unlike claims that Israel is practising genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians that are demonstrably fatuous (the number of Palestinian Arabs has at least tripled since Israel’s creation).

By contrast, the “Israel apartheid” smear triggers emotions of deep anger and disgust among the shallow and ignorant, whose knowledge of Israel is entirely drawn from malicious propaganda that misrepresents the defensive measures of the Jewish state as racist aggression but which they believe as unchallengeable truth.

South African apartheid was a system as unique as it was evil. The “Israel apartheid” libel is an evil that once again singles out the Jews for a unique level of persecution.
FDR's secret plea to Hitler
President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a secret plea to Adolf Hitler in the summer of 1936, according to newly-uncovered documents.

It wasn’t a plea to curtail Germany’s military buildup.

It wasn’t a plea to Hitler to stop intervening on behalf of the fascists in the Spanish civil war.

And it certainly wasn’t a protest against the brutal Nazi persecution of German Jews.

No, the issue that was so urgent to FDR that he sent a secret communication to Hitler was his request that the Führer meet with three American oil industry executives—two of them Roosevelt’s personal friends—who were on their way to Germany.

The documents about Roosevelt’s request came to light when they were recently put up for sale by a Maryland auction house. They begin with a “very urgent” message to Berlin from the German ambassador in Washington, Hans Luther, on August 21, 1936.

The ambassador reported that President Roosevelt had requested, through his senior aide Stephen Early, that Hitler grant an audience to Kenneth R. Kingsbury, president of Standard Oil of California; James A. Moffett, former head of FDR’s Federal Housing Administration and now vice president of Standard Oil of New Jersey; and Torkild Rieber, chairman of Texaco.

“In view of Roosevelt’s personal interest,” Ambassador Luther wrote, “I very strongly recommend that his request should be granted.” In a second message a few days later, Luther reported that Early had again emphasized “the great importance Roosevelt attaches to Moffett being introduced to the Führer.”

Ultimately, FDR’s request ran aground because of a scheduling conflict—the oil executives were going to be in Germany during one of the busiest periods in Hitler’s schedule, the preparations for the annual Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg. But that didn’t stop the three oil executives from engaging in significant commerce with the Third Reich.

Assistant Attorney General Thurman Arnold testified to a Senate committee in 1942 that at Hitler’s request, Standard Oil had obstructed the development of synthetic rubber in the United States, and instead provided the rubber technology to the Nazis. The revelations were so damning that then-senator Harry Truman accused the oil company of “treason.”
New Carter Bio Repeats Carter’s Old anti-Israel Lies
In fact, Bird gets this exactly wrong because he ignores or is unaware of the key evidence regarding Begin, Carter and settlements.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Camp David Accords, the Carter Center on Sept.17, 2003 held a symposium in Washington, DC. Participants included Mr. Carter, Samuel Lewis, who had been the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, William Quandt, who had been a staffer on the National Security Council, and Aharon Barak, who had been Israel’s Attorney General. Ambassador Lewis brought up the question of the settlement freeze, and Barak stated that he was in the relevant meeting, had been the only one taking notes, and that his notes showed that Begin had agreed only to a three month freeze. Off camera Carter is heard to state, “I don’t dispute that.” William Quandt then added that while he had not been in the meeting, Cyrus Vance, who had been, told him immediately afterwards that Begin had agreed to a three month freeze, but they hoped to get it lengthened the next day. Neither Carter, nor Barak, nor Quandt indicated that Begin had ever agreed to extend the freeze. Here’s the sequence from the symposium:

So, confronted with the evidence in 2003 Jimmy Carter admitted that Begin had agreed to only a three month settlement freeze – “I don’t dispute that” – but numerous times before and after, and now for Kai Bird’s book, Carter revives his false charge that Begin violated a promise to impose an open-ended settlement freeze.

Why would Carter keep lying about this? While there can be no question about Carter’s anti-Israel animus, his hostility towards Begin borders on the pathological. As Bird recounts, this included telling a senior aide that he had “coldness in my heart towards” the Israeli leader (p 326), telling his wife Roslyn that Begin was a “psycho,” (p 343) and accusing Begin of “trying to welsh on the deal.” (p 355).


My Word: Going through the anti-Israel motions
I was taken back in time this week. I was also taken aback. In the BC era, Before Corona, I visited the UK at the end of 2018 as a guest speaker at the Limmud conference taking place in Birmingham. It seems strange now to think of a massive gathering – some 2,000 people from more than 40 countries – taking place without masks and corona regulations. The novel coronavirus was still unheard of, a nightmare that didn’t exist outside dystopian movies for the average Limmud participant.

The panels were on a broad variety of subjects but one topic dominated the gathering – antisemitism and the British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn. COVID-19 was not known, but the spirit of ancient hatred of antisemitism was alive and kicking – in the gut.

Several attendees told me that they had rescinded their membership in the Labour Party, some of them after decades, particularly following revelations of Corbyn’s social media support for a mural with antisemitic tropes. There were speakers who warned against panic, but I didn’t meet anyone who completely dismissed the fears of growing antisemitism.

But that was meant to be a thing of the past. Several top Labour figures resigned; Corbyn was ousted; and the party revamped under Sir Keir Starmer promising a new uncompromising stand on antisemitism in its various manifestations. No more photos of party figures like Corbyn laying wreaths at the graves of Palestinian terrorists associated with the Munich Olympic Massacre or calling Hamas and Hezbollah “friends.”

The Labour Party Conference held this week in Brighton was meant to be a celebration of the new approach. On Sunday, the party introduced an independent process for handling complaints of antisemitism. Starmer proudly told party activists: “We have closed the door this evening to antisemitism in the Labour Party. We’ve turned our back on the dark chapter.”

Well, that door might have made a slamming noise, but it didn’t stay shut for long. Corbyn’s allies saw a window of opportunity and created enough of a cold blast to blow the door wide open again.

In a classic move, antisemitism was replaced by anti-Israel hatred: No problem with the Jews, just with the one and only Jewish state.
Ridley Road star Eddie Marsan: ‘Young people need to know what antisemitism is’
It’s the Swinging Sixties in London’s East End, and far-right fascism is on the rise.

Enter Vivien Epstein, a young Jewish hairdresser from Manchester who finds herself embroiled in an undercover movement against racism, after following her lover, Jack Morris, to the capital.

This sets the scene for a new four-part BBC thriller called Ridley Road, written by Sarah Solemani and based on the book of the same name by British author Jo Bloom.

It’s a vivid, romantic, and inspiring series, which marks rising star Aggi O’Casey’s first television role (she plays Vivien) and also features Rory Kinnear, Eddie Marsan, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Tamzin Outhwaite and Tom Varey.

The thrilling drama is inspired by real events; Jack (played by Varey) is a member of the 62 Group – a militant coalition of Jewish men formed in 1962, largely in response to the National Socialist Movement established by Colin Jordan (played by Kinnear).

Londoner Marsan, 53, plays cab driver Soly, the leader of the 62 Group. The Ray Donovan star says he watched documentaries and read books ahead of taking up his latest role, but he also already had a deeper understanding of the drama’s context from his childhood.

“My father was raised on Cable Street and I come from the East End of London,” he says. “So, I am very aware of the history of normal people taking on fascists in the East End. It’s the proudest part of our history, I think.”

He continues: “I grew up with men like Soly; tough, Jewish, working-class men.


David Miller sacked by Bristol
David Miller has been dismissed by the University of Bristol.

In a statement today, the university said, “a disciplinary hearing found Professor Miller did not meet the standards of behaviour we expect from our staff and the University has concluded that Professor Miller’s employment should be terminated with immediate effect.

They university said a report from an independent QC “considered the important issue of academic freedom of expression” and found that Prof Miller’s comments “did not constitute unlawful speech.”

The statement added: “Professor Miller has a right of internal appeal which he may choose to exercise and nothing in this statement should be taken to prejudge that prospective process. On that basis, the University does not intend to make any further public comment at this time.”

The Union of Jewish Students and Bristol JSoc said they were "delighted" at the news.

In a joint statement, they said it had been over two years since the Jewish community, "raised their heads and their voices in protest at the harrassment, targeting, and vicious diatribe shared by Professor Miller with his students."

The Jewish Leadership Council welcomed the news, condemming the academic's "well documented treatment of Jewish students."

They congratulated Bristol's Jewish student bodies for working "tirelessly" to reach this point.


David Miller fired from University of Bristol one month after CAA commenced lawsuit against the University on behalf of brave Jewish students and amid pressure from Jewish community disgusted by his antisemitic conspiracies
David Miller, an academic obsessed with anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, has been fired by the University of Bristol one month after Campaign Against Antisemitism commenced a lawsuit on behalf of current students against the institution.

Our legal case against the University concerned alleged unlawful harassment on the basis of Jewish ethnicity and Judaism, amounting to breaches of the Equality Act 2010, as well as breaches of contract. We launched pre-action proceedings in late August and the University swiftly realised that it was putting itself in legal jeopardy by sustaining Prof. Miller’s employment at the institution.

A number of brave students at the University stepped forward to act as complainants in the litigation. We also wish to thank Asserson Law Offices, led by senior partner Trevor Asserson, and barristers Derek Spitz of One Essex Court and Benjamin Gray of Littleton Chambers.

Having failed to act over Prof. Miller since his comments in February, in a statement released today by the University, it said that “following a full investigation”, Prof. Miller is “no longer employed by the University of Bristol,” explaining that “We have a duty of care to all students and the wider University community, in addition to a need to apply our own codes of conduct consistently and with integrity.” The statement admitted that “Prof. Miller did not meet the standards of behaviour we expect from our staff” and that accordingly, “the University has concluded that Professor Miller’s employment should be terminated with immediate effect.”
York University Student Union Criticized for Tapping Pro-BDS Jewish Group to Hold Antisemitism Training
The undergraduate student union at York University has faced pushback for turning to a group supporting a boycott of Israel to hold an antisemitism training session planned for last Tuesday, the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret.

The York Federation of Students (YSF) — which represents over 53,000 undergraduate students at the Ontario, Canada research university — had asked the school’s Hillel for candidates who could provide antisemitism training, the Canadian Jewish News (CJN) reported.

The union reportedly first selected Yavilah McCoy, an African-American Jew and CEO of Dimensions Inc., a Boston-based diversity consultancy, for the session. But YSF later tapped Independent Jewish Voices of Canada (IJV) — a group that describes itself as the “first national Jewish organization to endorse the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.”

Jay Solomon, Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer of Hillel Ontario, said that Hillel York had been calling on the YFS to address “systemic antisemitism” in its operations for over a decade.

“Unfortunately, after requesting a list of suitable educators from Hillel York, it came to our attention that the YFS was pursuing an educational session on antisemitism with a group that is entirely unrepresentative of mainstream Jewish voices,” he told The Algemeiner on Thursday.

“The actions of the YFS are clear,” Solomon continued. “They seek to control the way antisemitism is explained to justify their own problematic behavior. The exclusion of representative voices from such an important process would be inexcusable in the context of any other marginalized community.”
The German ‘anti-Semitism commissioner’ who enables BDS, Jew-hatred and Iran
Baden-Württemberg is embroiled in a series of anti-Semitism scandals: The German state’s commissioner tasked with combating anti-Semitism, Michael Blume, has failed to take action against funding for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting the Jewish state and has refused to urge the city of Freiburg to end its partnership with the genocidally anti-Semitic Iranian regime.

If Baden-Württemberg and Freiburg are serious about combating anti-Semitism, the state should immediately fire Blume, close the pro-BDS Palestine Committee Stuttgart’s bank account, and terminate Freiburg’s twin city partnership with Iran’s regime in Isfahan. Freiburg is the only city in Germany that has a city partnership with the Iranian regime.

One of the most powerful of BDS entities, the Palestine Committee Stuttgart, is based in the capital of Baden-Württemberg and maintains an account with the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW), a state-backed bank. The committee hosted an international conference that brought together a who’s who of the BDS campaign, with over 300 participants.

Blume’s contention suggesting that banks cannot close accounts of BDS groups is demonstrably false. The following German banks have terminated accounts for BDS groups for support of terrorism or of anti-Semitism, or both: Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Deutsche Postbank, DAB Bank Munich and Die Bank für Sozialwirtschaft.

Under German law incitement against Jews is illicit. The Bundestag passed a resolution in 2019 defining BDS as anti-Semitic. It is worth noting that the Bank für Sozialwirtschaft terminated the account of the pro-BDS extremist entity Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East following the implementation of the anti-BDS resolution.

This writer’s investigative series led to the closure of more than 20 BDS accounts in such countries as France, Germany, Austria, the US, Ireland, and the UK due to violations of anti-discrimination laws against Israel, incitement targeting Jews, and terrorism links.

The city of Stuttgart and the state government together own nearly half of the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg. Sadly, Baden-Württemberg’s governor, Winfried Kretschmann of the Green party, and interior minister, Thomas Strobl of the Christian Democratic Union, have shown no appetite to end the state’s tolerance of BDS and Blume’s anti-Semitic and anti-Israel activity on social media and in his articles.
HonestReporting Marks 21 Years Since the ‘Photo that Started it All’ (VIDEO)
HonestReporting is marking 21 years of monitoring anti-Israel media bias, a remarkable journey launched by the “Photo that Started it All.”

On September 30, 2000, Associated Press, The New York Times and other major media outlets published a photo of a bloodied youth standing near an Israeli border policeman.

The caption identified the victim as a Palestinian, although the truth quickly surfaced: The person in question was actually Tuvia Grossman, a Jewish student from Chicago. The Israeli security officer was trying to protect him after he and two friends were pulled from their taxi by a mob in an Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem and severely beaten and stabbed.

The public outcry over the picture became a symbol in the struggle to ensure that Israel receives the fair news coverage that every nation deserves.

More than two decades later, this remains HonestReporting’s core mission.


The Washington Post’s Opinion Page Calls Out Antisemitism
Jews comprised 57.5% of victims of all religious bias hate crimes in the United States in 2020, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yet, many U.S. news outlets have failed to provide adequate coverage of the rising danger of antisemitism. Indeed, as CAMERA has documented, some in the media have actively contributed to the problem, engaging in antisemitic tropes, offering apologetics for antisemites—and, at times, even publishing them.

Accordingly, the Washington Post’s decision to publish not one, but two, opinion pieces in the same week calling out antisemitism is not just welcomed—it’s much needed.

On Sept. 23, 2021, Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen authored the bluntly titled, “When you vote to let terrorists kill Jews, that is antisemitism.” Thiessen didn’t pull any punches while describing the efforts of a handful of members of Congress to block funding for the Iron Dome, the U.S.-funded defense system that blocks missiles and rockets fired into Israel.

Thiessen quoted Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), who noted that the Iron Dome “is a purely defensive system,” which “protects civilians when hundreds of rockets are shot at population centers.” Iron Dome, Slotkin tweeted, “is used to protect our bases abroad, in addition to Israeli civilians in their homes.”

But the truth about Iron Dome was obfuscated in the misleading statements of the small coterie who sought to block its funding. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), for example, tweeted, “Here’s an idea: don’t sell arms to anyone who violates human rights.”

The decision by Omar and others to oppose funding Iron Dome is particularly malicious, Thiessen observed. As recently as May 2021, Gaza-based terrorist groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) fired 4,369 rockets at Israel. Many of the rockets missed their targets, and as CAMERA’s Alex Safian has documented, many fell short and killed or wounded Gazans.
BBC double standards on terrorism create headlines not fit for purpose
Regular readers are no doubt aware of the BBC’s double standards on language when reporting terrorism but even usually used euphemisms such as ‘militants’ and ‘gunmen’ were not appropriately employed in these two headlines in order to help audiences understand the circumstances in which those people were killed. Moreover that headline was not improved even after the report was updated to include Hamas’ acknowledgement of three of the five. By the time that update was made, it was also known that one of those killed was a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The first part of the relatively short report provides scant details of the story, with the aim of the operation to arrest wanted members of a Hamas terror cell planning imminent attacks in Israeli cities described as follows:
“The Israeli army said the operation was against Hamas militants about to carry out attacks…”

The report fails to inform BBC audiences that several arrests were made and weapons and ammunition seized during the operations in five locations.

The second half of the report begins by telling readers that:
“Correspondents say there has long been concern in Israel that Hamas, which runs Gaza, could also challenge its rival the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.”

That concern is of course by no means limited to Israel and is no less disquieting to the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority. Nevertheless, the BBC’s Jerusalem correspondent Tom Bateman found it appropriate to amplify spurious and opportunistic PA talking points on Twitter.
Telegraph fails to amend article suggesting IDF killed innocent teen
We complained to Telegraph editors, but they’ve thus far failed to update an article falsely suggesting that the IDF killed an innocent Palestinian teen “on his way to school”. The allegation, based on an unsubstantiated claim by the teen’s uncle, appears in the strap line of the Sept. 26 article reporting on an IDF raid on a Hamas cell that was reportedly planning a massive Jerusalem terror attack.

Though the article doesn’t dispute that four of those killed in overnight raids were indeed “militants”, it chose to promote the narrative advanced by the teen’s uncle about the fifth Palestinian killed – citing it in both the strap line and here in the opening sentence:
Israeli troops killed five Palestinians, reportedly including a teenager on his way to school, during raids on what the army said were Hamas cells in the West Bank this weekend, marking the worst hostilities since the Gaza war in May.

Later, the report adds:
But one of the Palestinians killed was a 16-year-old walking to school when he was shot, according to his uncle.

We tweeted the Telegraph journalist, who responded by noting that that allegation was based on initial accounts from Reuters – again based solely on comments by the teen’s relative. We tweeted back to inform the journalist that even according to the radical, pro-Palestinian NGO ‘DCI-Palestine’, in a tweet that same day, the teen was killed after firing at Israeli soldiers – which of course contradicts the uncle’s account.
Chabad of Poway Shooter Sentenced to Life in Prison, Plus 137 Years
A former nursing student responsible for the 2019 deadly shooting at Chabad of Poway, Calif., was sentenced on Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 137 years to life, in San Diego County Superior Court.

John Earnest’s sentence was given under the terms of his plea deal, reported San Diego’s CBS News 8. The 22-year-old pleaded guilty on July 20 to murder and attempted murder charges for the shooting. He also pleaded guilty to arson for setting fire to the Dar-ul-Arqam Mosque in Escondido, Calif., on March 24, 2019.

Earnest shot an assault rifle inside Chabad of Poway during Passover services on April 27, 2019, killing 60-year-old Lori Gilbert Kaye, a longtime congregant at Chabad. Two others were injured in the antisemitic attack and the synagogue’s rabbi, Yisroel Goldstein, lost a finger in the shooting.

State prosecutors originally wanted to seek the death penalty against Earnest but that pursuit was dropped after the plea deal was made, according to CBS News 8. In the plea deal, Earnest admitted to hate crime allegations.

In an open letter published online, Earnest talked about a need to protect the “European race.” He also wrote, “I can only kill so many Jews” and “I only wish I killed more.”
16-Year-Old Suspected of Assaulting Jewish Victim at Antisemitism Vigil in Germany, Plays Jew Hater in Holocaust Movie
Police have identified a 16-year-old boy in an alleged assault on a 60-year-old Jewish man earlier this month at a vigil in support of Israel and against antisemitism, which took place in the city of Hamburg.

The suspect, named in reports as Aram A., is apparently under contract with an acting agency and has a role in a movie about a family of Holocaust survivors called “Evolution,” which premiered at the International Cannes Film Festival in France this year, German daily Bild Zeitung reported Thursday. In the movie, Aram A. plays the role of “Ali,” who bullies a Jewish student called “Jonas” at a school in Berlin and also gets violent towards his classmates.

Aram A. is being investigated for causing bodily harm to a participant of the vigil “Hamburg for Israel and against antisemitism,” which took place on Sept. 18 near the central train station in Hamburg. The identified perpetrator was part of a group allegedly yelling antisemitic and anti-Israel slogans at the organizers of the gathering, including “f**k Israel, free Palestine.”

When several of the participants in the vigil approached the offender and asked him to stop, he punched the 60-year-old victim in the face with his fist, causing a fracture of his cheek and nasal bones. The perpetrator — along with his companions, who are thought to have fled on rental e-scooters — managed to escape despite an immediate chase by several police cars. Following the attack, the victim was treated at a hospital for six days.
Jewish Groups Angered by Belgian Court’s Decision Upholding Ban on Kosher Slaughter
Jewish advocacy groups were dismayed, if not surprised, by the decision of Belgium’s Constitutional Court on Thursday to uphold a ban on shechita — the Jewish method of slaughtering animals for kosher consumption.

The court issued a ruling affirming the legality of the Belgian ban, originally imposed in 2017, bolstered by the decision of the European Union’s highest court last December to permit EU member states to ban the slaughtering of animals without pre-stunning, despite the requirements of both Jewish and Muslim religious law on this matter.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) made its determination after Belgium’s Constitutional Court referred a lawsuit, filed by the Belgian Federation of Jewish Organizations (CCOJB), to determine whether the bans were lawful.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER), said that while his group was “disappointed with today’s judgement, we are certainly not surprised as it upholds the status quo in Belgium.”

Goldschmidt added that the court ruling “confirms the ban religious slaughter and brings Belgium into line with those few other countries whose bans on shechita date from the Nazi era.”

In one of the earliest legislative acts of the Nazi regime in Germany, a ban was imposed on the slaughter of animals without pre-stunning in April 1933. Nazi propaganda films routinely depicted shechita as the barbaric practice of an alien people.

Other Jewish organizations issued similar condemnations of the Belgian court’s decision.
Anchorage mayor: Anti-maskers’ use of yellow stars as symbol is ‘credit’ to Jews
The mayor of Alaska’s largest city apologized Thursday for his comments supporting some residents’ use of Holocaust imagery to liken a proposed citywide mask mandate to the oppression of Jewish people in Nazi Germany.

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has said he staunchly opposes the proposal and initially defended the use of yellow Stars of David worn by other critics this week at heated public hearings. Such imagery has been used by opponents of mask and vaccine mandates across the US, drawing condemnation from the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish organizations.

The proposal before the Anchorage Assembly would require people to wear masks in indoor public spaces and outdoors at large events. If approved as written, businesses and building owners would be required to deny entry to people not wearing masks, though there are exceptions for small children and some others.

It comes as Alaska experiences a spike in coronavirus cases. The state has seen a 42% increase in newly confirmed COVID-19 cases over last week, officials said, and its largest hospital has declared crisis standards that allow the overwhelmed facility to modify its normal levels of care.

The mask proposal has provoked a strong response.


‘Downton Abbey’ actress ‘maid’ for film on Holocaust survivor trauma in 1960s UK
A beautifully rendered, understated short film screening internationally until October 3 through the Manhattan Short Festival demonstrates how Holocaust trauma is passed down through generations and expresses itself in the smallest of domestic details.

“Ganef” (Yiddish for thief), written and directed by Mark Rosenblatt, brings viewers back to 1962, into the well-to-do suburban London home of a young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Hirth, and their six-year-old daughter Ruthie. The family has a maid named Lynn (played by Downton Abbey actress Sophie McShera) who cleans the home and keeps an eye on the little girl.

It all seems quite normal until Mrs. Hirth comes home from clothes shopping, opens the front door just a crack and hands her bags to Ruthie, who has come to greet her.

“Take these bags and run as fast as you can to my room. Quick, don’t let anyone see you. Go, go, go,” she instructs her young daughter.

Shortly thereafter, upstairs in the bedroom, Ruthie asks her mother, “Why can’t Lynn see the bags?”

“Because,” answers Mrs. Hirth in her German-accented English. “People don’t need to see what they don’t need to see.”
Dani Dayan: 80 years since Babi Yar: We must never forget
When my father was 6 months old, my grandparents put him in a burlap sack and smuggled him out of Ukraine as they fled the pogroms of 1921. Their destination was Poland, which they considered a relatively safe haven. To make sure he stayed quiet and did not draw unwanted attention, they put a cloth on his mouth, fearing any sound that emerged from the sack could result in immediate death. They prayed that he would make it, and to their great relief, he did.

Thanks to their determination to survive I am alive to tell their story, and that of Europe’s Jews.

Several weeks ago, at the 100th anniversary of their escape, I became chairman of the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center and a great responsibility was placed on my shoulders. Having served as Israel’s consul-general in New York for four years, I could easily cross international borders and enjoyed diplomatic immunity, unlike many European Jews in the early part of the 20th century, who had to hide their Jewish roots. I felt privileged because of this freedom, feeling emotional every time I saw the words “State of Israel” and the menorah—Israel’s national emblem—on my passport and in my heart.

The difference between my border-crossing experience and the story of my father and his parents is nothing short of amazing. This is just one example of the transformation that the Jewish people have undergone since those days. During the Holocaust, the world descended into the darkest abyss it has ever known, as millions of Jews were murdered systematically. I consider myself one of the lucky Jews who were born because their family managed to escape before these tragic events. The Holocaust is part of our collective Jewish experience, and even though Yad Vashem belongs to the Jewish people, it bears great significance to all of humankind.

The 80th anniversary of the Babi Yar massacre is marked this week. The event, in which Nazis and Ukrainian collaborators murdered 33,771 Jews, took place on Sept. 29-30, 1941, on the eve of Yom Kippur. As if that atrocity was not bad enough, for many years Nazis and then Soviets added insult to injury by actively trying to destroy any evidence that could attest to these horrors.
Statement by Professor Irwin Cotler on the Anniversary of Babi Yar
Yesterday and today mark the 80th anniversary of the mass murder of 33,771 in Babi Yar on Yom Kippur on September 28th and 29th 1941. This horrific mass atrocity in just two days in September 1941, targeting the Jews of Kiev, Ukraine was carried out by the Einsatzgruppen, the brutal Nazi killing squads responsible for the mass murder of 2 million Jews in Eastern Europe.

Babi Yar is a poignant and painful reminder of my dual responsibilities as Special Envoy for Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism domestically and internationally.

In the matter of preserving Holocaust remembrance, Babi Yar is a reminder of the danger of forgetting and the imperative of remembrance - le devoir de memoir; of the dangers of indifference and inaction in the face of mass atrocity and genocide; of the Holocaust as a paradigm for radical evil as antisemitism is a paradigm for radical hate - with Babi Yar the expression of both.

80 years later, Babi Yar is a reminder of our individual and collective responsibilities to remember, to bear witness, to shatter walls of indifference, to prevent and act against antisemitism and mass atrocity - lest we be complicit by our silence.
Newly Revealed Photos From 1966 Show Early Efforts to Document Babi Yar Massacre
Rare photos that have resurfaced ahead of the 80th anniversary of the Babi Yar massacre show early efforts by activists in the 1960s to identify bones and human remains at the site where close to 35,000 Jews were murdered in just two days.

Between September 29-30, 1941, Nazis and their collaborators murdered tens of thousands of Jews at the Babi Yar ravine just outside of Kyiv. Despite it being one of the largest single massacres of the Holocaust, the site and the event went largely ignored for decades and were overshadowed by the atrocities in the concentration camps — which were often better documented. Throughout the remaining years of World War II, more than 100,000 people were ultimately killed at the ravine.

In 1966, on the 25th anniversary of the massacre, a group of activists began to work to identify the tens of thousands of human remains left at Babi Yar and to officially memorialize all those who were killed there, the National Library of Israel said.

The efforts of those early activists were documented by Joseph Schneider, a Holocaust survivor and anti-Soviet dissident. The photographs taken by Schneider in 1966 were found in the Emmanuel (Amik) Diamant Archive, which was turned over to the library’s Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, and they are now being made public for the first time.

According to the library, the activists hung an unofficial memorial sign at the site for the first time in 1966. Photographs from the archive show men and women standing amid piles of bones at the site as they worked to memorialize the forgotten murdered men, women and children. Efforts to create an official memorial at the site where not allowed to begin in earnest until after the collapse of the Soviet Union.


80 years after Babi Yar, lawyer seeks trial for last living alleged perpetrator
Eighty years ago, a ravine in the north of what is now Ukraine’s capital city turned into a bloodbath as Nazis, aided by local collaborators, shot tens of thousands of Jews to death.

For two days at the end of September 1941, Ukrainian collaborators brought more than 33,000 Jews to the hills of Kyiv’s Babi Yar ravine, where soldiers in Adolf Hitler’s army executed group after group of defenseless victims — children, as well as women and men of all ages.

The victims were shot with machine guns into pits. After none remained standing, the perpetrators would jump into the pit with their victims to finish off the dying and those pretending to be dead. Then the bodies were buried and a new group of victims brought to stand atop the fresh, thin layer of earth covering their brethren.

The 80th anniversary of the massacre, the first mass shooting in what is known today as the “Holocaust of bullets,” is eliciting a wave of commemorations, including a ceremony in Israel to honor a survivor and a memorial coin in Ukraine, where Nazi collaborators are increasingly being celebrated alongside their victims.

It is also reinvigorating a German lawyer’s mission to bring to justice a man he says may be the last Babi Yar perpetrator alive, a 99-year-old German man named Herbert Waller.











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