Thursday, January 27, 2022

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: Holocaust Remembrance Day proves everyone loves dead Jews
Despite Erdan's triumph, the United Nations has not really undergone any sort of transformation when it comes to antisemitism. As Professor Anne Bayefsky has written in a series of columns published in JNS in the last month, the world body has just embarked on an open-ended inquiry aimed at demonizing the Jewish state. While others have celebrated symbolic resolutions about Holocaust denial, the UN bureaucracy has set in motion a program that is building on the legacy of the 2001 Durban conference, where antisemitism was allowed to run riot.

Indeed, the widespread acceptance of the same "apartheid state" lie about Israel that was popularized by the forces that staged Durban is stunning proof that a generation of Holocaust education has done little to deter or prevent contemporary antisemitism when it operates under the guise of anti-Zionism.

Just as important, the proliferation of Holocaust education that seeks to universalize its lessons has had the opposite effect that one might have hoped. Rather than teaching people to respect Jewish rights or to understand how antisemitism has always been an essentially political form of hatred, this universalizing has both drained the Holocaust of its specific content and made it a metaphor for anything people consider awful.

It's not an accident that Holocaust analogies have proliferated in recent years. Right-wingers analogize it to COVID vaccine mandates they dislike, and left-wingers use it to demonize political figures they abhor, like former President Donald Trump (something that Jewish groups have been particularly guilty of doing). This is happening not because there's not enough Holocaust education, but because there is too much of the wrong kind that is imparting misleading lessons that give rise to the promiscuous use of it as a political argument.

Indeed, one of the most telling signs of the failure of efforts by the Jewish community on the issue is how individuals and groups that are themselves guilty of seeking to delegitimize Jews and Israel in ways that clearly fit the IHRA definition of antisemitism have no shame about proclaiming themselves opposed to it. That people like Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), political activist Linda Sarsour and their allies at the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), as well as a host of other groups that support the antisemitic BDS movement against Israel, are all ready to declare their opposition to hatred for Jews and devotion to the memory of the Holocaust tells you all you need to know about how meaningless such talk has become in 2022.

The words we'll hear spoken on Jan. 27 are, to be sure, better than the open Jew-hatred we hear from Iran and others who deny the Holocaust while plotting a new one. However, the only real measure of opposition to antisemitism is how willing you are to stand in solidarity with the rights of live Jews, not whether you think the Nazis were bad. So long as the increase in antisemitism is keeping pace with sympathy for dead Jews, Holocaust Memorial Day is simply a means for those who are indifferent or hostile to Jewish survival to virtue signal. As such, it may be doing more harm than good.
Clifford May: How 'Never again' became 'never mind'
In other words, Iran's rulers deny the genocide of Europe's Jewish communities in the 20th century while threatening a 21st-century genocide of the only viable and thriving Jewish community in the Middle East. Inscribed on Iranian missiles: "Israel must be wiped from the face of the earth."

Since Iran's rulers claim to be leaders of the Muslim world, you might expect them – unlike Mr. Palihapitiya – to care about the Uyghurs. But they do not. The most plausible explanation: They have a revolutionary commitment to "Death to America!" and they are counting on China's rulers to help them pursue that goal.

On his podcast, Mr. Palihapitiya said he was "not even sure that China is a dictatorship," and that "at the end of the day, I don't think that I have the moral absolutism to judge China."

Elaborating on why he thinks Uyghur lives don't matter, he said he was more concerned with supply chain issues, climate change, the incarceration rate for men of color in the United States, and America's "crippled" healthcare system.

"If you want to talk about the human rights of people, I think we have a responsibility to take care of our own backyard first," he added.

There were Americas in the last century who took that view. Had they prevailed, World War II would have had a different outcome.

Is it not curious that the ideology espoused back then by far-right isolationists is being echoed now by elite figures on the fashionably woke left? And is it not a sad commentary on our times that, for so many people, "Never again!" has become "Never mind"?
Qanta Ahmed: History Lessons: America’s New Antisemitism Begins with Cultural Erasure of American Jews
Jews are facing antisemitism from three directions.

First, from the Far Right, neo-Nazis, White Supremacists and ultra-nationalists form a brand of antisemitism that gets widespread coverage in the liberal media.

But antisemitism also comes from the Left, with rising woke neo-orthodoxy driving some Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts to erase Jews as minorities. The Heritage Foundation recently published the Diversity Delusion report on DEI officers in America’s premiere academic institutions, detailing extraordinary levels of antisemitism expressed by leading DEI officers at the nation’s leading universities.

Because of fears of being labeled Islamophobic, the vehicle of Islamist antisemitism is in play. Islamism, masquerading as the great monotheism of Islam, is an artificial 20th-century totalitarian ideology that steals the language and metaphors of Islam but holds at its core a cosmic enmity with all matters pertaining to Jewry, Judaism, Zionism and Israel.

This fanaticism drove “Lady Al Qaedah” to whom the Colleyville hostage taker referred. Bizarrely, due to the deterrent of Islamophobia, media referred to her as a “Pakistani neuroscientist” rather than federally convicted terrorist.

While the family of the Colleyville terrorist has said he was mentally disturbed, and the FBI has since corrected its initial denial that antisemitism was a motive in the act, there is no denying the iconic symbol of religious Jews at worship as a target of lethal antisemitism.

The hostage taker’s targeting of Jews at worship, his desire to speak to and seek the release of one of the most iconic female jihadist terrorists ever convicted, and his articulated desire to meet his death suggest he was exposed to, and indoctrinated by, jihadist ideology, which appeals to the disenfranchised.

As if all that weren’t bad enough, the pandemic has become a vehicle for digital antisemitism for some who claim vaccination and virus conspiracy theories, suggesting that the pandemic is part of a “Jewish plot,” with vaccination developments enriching Jews.

Digital antisemitism is rapidly gaining new adherents. Recent reports reveal all nine major social media platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, not only carry antisemitism but rapidly propagate it.

Antisemitism is traveling at speeds not seen in recent years and mutating at a rapid rate. The attempt to erase Jews is repeating itself. Sadly, we have seen this movie before.

The Death Marches: The Final Spasm of the Nazi Genocide
On Jan. 18, 1945—just 10 days before the Red Army liberated Auschwitz—the SS sent 56,000 prisoners on a series of death marches. The evacuations became part of a cascading mudslide of mayhem and murder that killed as many as 250,000 concentration camp inmates and POWS in the last four months of the war. Unlike the Nazi extermination program itself, this outcome was not planned or premeditated. Rather, it was largely the result of murderous inertia, bureaucratic bungling, and confusion. The Auschwitz prisoners followed a number of routes, all of them through one of Europe’s severest winters ever recorded. This is the story of one march by one camp: Blechhammer, the largest exclusively Jewish slave labor camp in the Auschwitz system, and the second largest subcamp overall. All quotes are from published testimonials, memoirs, news reports, and personal interviews.

This much the nearly 4,000 Haflinge, “detainees,” of Blechhammer knew: The Red Army’s winter offensive was crushing the German defenders along the entire 558-mile front.

Now rumors ricocheted like shrapnel throughout the camp … that the Germans were panicked and packing and would abandon the camp and its prisoners to the Russians … or, yes, the Germans were indeed packing, but the SS had wired the barracks with dynamite, intending to blow everyone up before they quit … or, no, trains were being readied to evacuate everyone to labor camps deeper into Germany.

A withdrawal on foot was largely discounted because it was winter, snowing heavily with temperatures sinking to minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. To walk any distance in this weather would be insane. “After all,” this thinking went, “they still need us.”

Haftling 179020 knew better. Sigmund Walder worked as an electrician alongside British POWs at the Blechhammer North refinery’s central control station. They had warned him their officers were preparing for just such a forced march, distributing extra winter clothing and food rations, courtesy of the Canadian Red Cross.
The Custodians of Survivors’ Stories
For the past 30 years, Holocaust survivors have spoken at schools in four Australian states—Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia—educating students with their powerful personal stories as part of B’nai B’rith Courage to Care. The Victoria branch alone has 30 survivors who share their testimony at over 100 schools, reaching over 10,000 children between 12 and 18 years of age each year.

Judy Kolt is one of those survivors who regularly retells her story to school children at the programs run by Courage to Care. Now well into her 80s, she became involved with the organization around seven years ago, after the death of her husband, Hymie. “Courage to Care interested me because they teach that hate starts with just words. I think it is important to teach young people not to have prejudice against anyone, because it can lead to horrible things,” she said. “I find it extremely rewarding, I get some really good questions and the students really appreciate hearing my story.”

When asked whether it is difficult for her to repeat her Holocaust experiences over and over again to so many different groups, Kolt emphasized the long-term trauma many survivors endure: “I relive the Holocaust every night. Whether I talk to children or not, I relive it. It’s actually a relief to pass it on to people.”

Like Kolt, almost all the survivors currently working with Courage to Care were children themselves during the Holocaust. But even this cohort is now in their 80s, which leaves Courage to Care facing an important question: How can they continue sharing firsthand testimonies in schools, when the remaining Holocaust survivors are reaching such advanced ages?
Why Drawing Comparisons of Israel to the Nazis Is Anti-Semitic
Comparing Israeli policy towards Palestinians with Nazi policy regarding Jews is an example of Holocaust inversion, where reality is inverted (the Israelis are cast as the "new" Nazis and the Palestinians as the "new" Jews), and an inversion of morality (the Holocaust is presented as a moral lesson for, or even a moral indictment of, "the Jews").

Any alleged wrongdoings on Israel's part cannot be compared to the systematic attempt to annihilate European Jewry.

The Palestinian population has grown by all metrics, and is projected to continue doing so.

To compare this to the murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust is preposterous.

Professors walk back statements on anti-Semitism, CRT influence on media reporting
On Jan. 20, one University of Pittsburgh professor claimed that "anti-Semitism is White supremacy" in reference to the Colleyville, Texas, synagogue taken hostage this month by a man of Pakistani origin.

“We need to remember at all times that anti-Semitism is White supremacy, is White supremacy," law professor David Harris said at “Vigilantism and White Supremacy: The Power of the Courts to Defend and Disrupt,” a virtual event hosted by the university.

The event used the Critical Race Theory framework to examine three court cases decided in November 2021.

"Antisemitism is white supremacy because of its use in what is called replacement theory, or the Great Replacement," Harris said. "For many white supremacists, Jews are the powerful hidden forces who are using the government, institutions, the media, etc., to bring Black and Brown people, immigrants, etc., to the country to replace the white population."

Campus Reform reached out to the professor to ask how he would characterize anti-Semitic attacks when the perpetrator is not White, such as the case in Colleyville, Texas.

"Perhaps it would have been better to say, 'antisemitism is part and parcel of white supremacy,'" Harris stated.

Moderated by Tomar Pierson-Brown, the event opened with the University of Pittsburgh associate dean for equity and inclusivity excellence saying, “Our topic today encompasses specifically, the outcomes in three court decisions issued in November of 2021. The trial involving the 2017 Charlottesville rally organizers, the criminal trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, and the criminal trial of the three men charged in relation to the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.”

Campus Reform Pierson-Brown to comment on the event's inclusivity when the panel did not include conservative viewpoints.
‘Education Is the Vaccine Against Antisemitism’: UK Minister Holds Summit With Jewish Groups
One day ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the UK’s Department of Education hosted a virtual forum on antisemitism in education.

Attended by prominent Jewish communal groups including the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Community Security Trust (CST), the University of Jewish Chaplaincy, and the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), the summit was convened on Wednesday by Secretary of Education Nadhim Zahawi to address last year’s 59% rise in antisemitic incidents on college campuses.

“Education is the vaccine against antisemitism,” Zahawi said ahead of the event. “No Jewish students or staff members should be subjected to antisemitic abuse, and by working together we will send out a clear message that antisemitism — like other forms of racism — will never be tolerated in our classrooms or campuses.”

The ministry discussed improving data reporting on antisemitic incidents at universities and urged those schools which had not yet adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism to do so.

“It’s no coincidence that this Antisemitism Summit was held the day before Holocaust Memorial Day,” said Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman after the summit concluded. “The Summit provided a great opportunity to hear more about some of the great work that is going on in this area and the recognition and understanding of the pain and damage that antisemitism is doing to Jewish students and Jewish staff on campuses around the UK.”
FIFA Called on to Enforce Anti-Discrimination Rules After Soccer Players, Officials Display Anti-Israel Behavior
A number of soccer players and officials breached multiple FIFA regulations by displaying anti-Israel behavior during and following last month’s FIFA competitions in Doha, Qatar, the UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) advocacy group has charged.

“If these incidents are allowed to pass without the sanction that is available, and required, within the FIFA regulations, then in future all obligations on players and associations in FIFA governing documents will ring hollow and invite transgression,” said Sam Green, director of the British pro-Israel legal organization.

In a letter to Fatma Samoura, secretary general of the international soccer governing body, UKLFI listed five examples of what it described as “discrimination” in which players and officials violated FIFA standards during the Arab Legends vs. World Legends match and the FIFA Arab Cup in December 2021.

On Dec. 17, three Algerian soccer players boycotted the World Legends match because the opposing team’s coach, Avram Grant, is Israeli. At the same match, players from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Qatar scribbled out the Israeli flag from their uniform shirts, which displayed the flags of all 211 FIFA member states.

The Syrian Olympic Committee and the General Sports Federation Organization then expelled Syrian athlete Firas Al-Khatib on Dec. 20 also for competing against the team coached by Grant.
‘River to Sea’ chanting is a police matter, says Zahawi
Universities should alert the police whenever student protesters chant the Hamas rallying cry: “From the river to the sea”, the Education Secretary has said.

Speaking to the JC after he hosted an antisemitism summit on Wednesday, Nadhim Zahawi said universities should get tough following the government’s proscription of Hamas in its entirety.

The chant is frequently heard at pro-Palestinian rallies, despite it being widely understood as a call for the destruction of Israel.

Under the government’s ban, supporting any arm of the Hamas terrorist network is a criminal offence.

“Any form of antisemitism or prejudice promoting the murder of Jewish people is in my book antisemitic and therefore you should act on that,” he said.

“This is a proscribed organisation and they should be reported to the police.”

Mr Zahawi told vice chancellors attending the summit that adoption of the international definition of antisemitism was “essential not optional”.

Lunch Break is Over
Standing up for your community is not something that should come with terms and conditions.

This is something I wrote to myself and had no intentions of publishing. I was deeply frustrated with my experience and the rhetoric that was dominating the Jewish sphere of Twitter. Today, I learned that the main character of this post has been hired by none other than the ADL. So here it is, my thoughts on the matter.

“Whiteness protected you from the worst antisemitism had to offer”- was tweeted recently. I think that one sentence demonstrates how much ignorance and hate has seeped into the woke crowd. From the Christian antisemitism of the Middle Ages, to blood libels, Black Death conspiracies, Well Poisoning riots, the Strasbourg massacre, exclusion from land ownership, Court Jews, racial antisemitism, the Hep-Hep riots, Dreyfus Affair, Pogroms, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and of course, the Holocaust to today, whiteness has not served us well.

Including Jews in the modern concept of whiteness, isn’t a mere observation of conditional passing, or privilege. It cuts far deeper into the Jewish psyche of that fragile balance of our history, our sense of belonging in diaspora, and our continuous forced nomadic nature. We are living between racial hate lunch breaks. You don’t get to scold us because we got to sit down for a minute.
TikTok to direct users to reliable information about Holocaust
TikTok announced a raft of new features intended to reduce the spread of misinformation about the Holocaust shared on the platform and to direct users to trustworthy sources about the subject.

Beginning Thursday, a banner will pop up when users search for Holocaust-related terms and direct them to, a website run by the World Jewish Congress and UNESCO to offer information about Holocaust history. A link to the website will also pop up for users viewing hashtags related to the Holocaust like #Holocaust and #HolocaustSurvivor.

The new features were announced on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is marked on the day that Auschwitz was liberated. The social media platform, which features short videos, has pledged to crack down on hate speech shared on the platform in the past and has worked with the Anti-Defamation League to develop protocols for determining hate speech.

“Hateful behavior of any kind is incompatible with our values and the inclusive environment we are building at TikTok. We condemn antisemitism in all its forms and deploy a combination of technologies and moderation teams to remove antisemitic content and accounts from our platform, including Holocaust denial or any other form of hate speech directed at the Jewish community,” the company said in an announcement.

TikTok and other social media platforms have long been criticized for allowing Holocaust denial and antisemitism to spread unchecked on their platforms. Some Jewish content creators have also complained about being banned or censored from the platform for posting videos that educate about Judaism or antisemitism by algorithms that can’t tell the difference between actual antisemitism and education meant to prevent it.
Tennessee school board removes iconic Holocaust novel from curriculum
A Tennessee school board voted unanimously to remove “Maus,” Art Spiegelman’s book about his father’s Holocaust experience, from its curriculum after board members raised objections about curse words, nude drawings, and “not wise or healthy” content within it.

Spiegelman, who won a 1992 Pulitzer Prize for the book, told CNBC that the decision was “Orwellian” and said he doubted that the McMinn County school board’s decision to stop teaching his book had only to do with his choice of words. Maus "shows them killing kids"

During a board meeting on Jan. 10, educators explained that “Maus” was an “anchor text” for McMinn County’s eighth-grade English language arts instruction, making it the centerpiece for a months-long study of the Holocaust.

Mike Cochran, one of the district’s 10 board members, said he didn’t object to students learning about Holocaust history. But he questioned why “Maus” was an appropriate choice because it includes profanity and a drawing of the author’s mother naked. (Like the other Jews in the book, the author’s mother is rendered as a mouse.)

Janine di Giovanni Veteran Correspondent Has Bias Despite Experience
With “Generation Gaza: The Young Have Pride Despite Privations,” Janine di Giovanni proves that neither age nor time spent in the field dictates journalistic mastery. Antipathy can be a much more compelling influence. Thus, the veteran war correspondent’s lengthy piece in Vanity Fair yesterday is studded with basic factual errors. Her suspicion of the Jewish state’s right to exist, exposed by a few revealing words, was apparently the driving force shaping the piece, overriding decades of experience in the profession.

By way of introduction, di Giovanni fabricates: “After Israeli police tried to expel longtime Arab residents from East Jerusalem . . . ” Because of the Supreme Court’s May 9 move to delay any decision on eviction, the Israeli police did not try to expel residents. Therefore, her claim about a police effort to evict is sheer invention. (In fact, to this day police have not tried to evict the families; in November, the residents were offered and rejected a compromise which would have secured their ongoing residence for the next 15 years.)

Second, di Giovanni falsely reports about Hamas’ initiation of rocket attacks in May 2021: “Soon, Hamas and the group Palestine Islamic Jihad sent cascades of rockets onto Israeli settlements, the first major escalation since 2014.” (Emphasis added.)

Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched rockets at cities and communities within Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries, that is, within Israel itself, and not at settlements, as di Giovanni reported.
We Need to Protect Jews, Just in Case
Preparing for such a moment has become a part of the modern rabbinate. Indeed, on my first day as a newly ordained rabbi in a New Jersey pulpit in 1988, I was taken on the traditional tour of my new spiritual home. Along with all the usual highlights, I was shown the location of panic buttons installed in various places, “just in case.”

Over the next 30 years, and especially after 9/11, the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in 2018, and the attack at Chabad House in Poway, California, in 2019, “just in case” came to include active shooter training, situational awareness and security audits with local, state and federal law enforcement.

“Just in case” meant uniformed security at the door, local police in the parking lot, and plainclothes security in the sanctuary. And “just in case” included becoming a grant writer so my synagogues could install electronic door locks, hardened entry doors, security lighting, video surveillance, blast-proof window coatings, and truck-stopping bollards. A security consultant even suggested my lectern be lined with Kevlar, “just in case.”

And it is not just rabbis who have had to adjust to this new normal in the face of the scourge of rising antisemitism. Sadly, so, too, have our congregants and even our children. On Saturday night, after the hostages in Texas escaped, my daughter tweeted, “it’s why at Jewish summer camp, we practiced lockdown drills and had to know where we would be able to hide the kids across camp if someone armed made it onto camp.”

This is Jewish life in America in 2022.
On Holocaust Memorial Day let’s commit to ridding football of antisemitism
If you have visited Stamford Bridge over the past years, you may well have spotted a 12-metre-tall mural, hanging high on the West Stand wall. Painted by the British-Israeli street artist Solomon Souza, it depicts three footballers: Julius Hirsch and Árpád Weisz, Jewish players murdered at Auschwitz, and Ron Jones, an English POW and Auschwitz survivor.

Today, on the 77th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, the world commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day. We honour Hirsch, Weisz and the millions of people who were brutally murdered, alongside the millions of others targeted and killed by the Nazis and their collaborators.

Holocaust survivors walk with others through the main gate of the former Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a stark reminder of where hate and antisemitism can lead if not countered. Worryingly, this year’s commemoration efforts on 27 January will take place against a backdrop of rising antisemitism and Holocaust distortion all over the world.

The world of football is not immune to this trend. Antisemitic chants can still be heard from football stands across Europe. Over the past year, incidents have been recorded of Jewish fans being abused. Nazi salutes have been used at football matches, and antisemitic slurs continue to plague football-related discussions online.

Because understanding the history of the Holocaust plays a vital role in changing attitudes, Chelsea have partnered with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) to honour the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, and to shine light upon this dark history and its impact on the world of football.
January 6 rioter who wore ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirt pleads guilty
A Virginia man who wore a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt at the U.S. Capitol during last year’s riot pleaded guilty on Wednesday to joining the mob of people who stormed the building.

Photographs of Robert Keith Packer wearing the sweatshirt with the antisemitic message went viral after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

The words “Camp Auschwitz” were above an image of a human skull. Packer’s sweatshirt also bore the phrase “Work Brings Freedom,” a rough translation of the German words above the entrance gate to Auschwitz, the concentration camp in Poland where Nazis killed more than 1 million men, women and children, most of them Jews.

Packer, 57, of Newport News, Virginia, pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment. US District Judge Carl Nichols is scheduled to sentence him on April 7.

FBI agents arrested Packer a week after the riot. He remains free pending his sentencing hearing.
2 ultra-Orthodox Jewish men assaulted on London street, 18-year-old arrested
An 18-year-old was arrested in north London after video showed a passerby assaulting two men in ultra-Orthodox garb on a sidewalk in the city.

In the video, the attacker can be seen continuously punching the two men until they are knocked down.

The pair required medical treatment but were released from a hospital hours later.

The Shomrim organization, which released the video, helped police track down the alleged assailant, according to the Jewish Chronicle.

The attack, which took place in the Stamford Hill neighborhood of London on Wednesday night, is being probed as a hate crime.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted that he was “appalled” by video of the incident, and thanked police “for making a swift arrest.”

Italian Police Apprehend Teenage Girls Behind Brutal Antisemitic Attack on 12-Year-Old Jewish Boy
A 12-year-old Italian Jewish boy has been the target of a vicious antisemitic attack in a municipal park by two older teenagers who subjected him to a stream of insults.

The boy, named as “Marco,” was chatting with friends last Sunday in the park in the town of Campiglia Marittima, near Livorno in Tuscany, where he lives with his parents. Two 15-year-old girls approached him and told him to be quiet, before calling him a “dirty Jew.” The assailants then spat at the boy and proceeded to assault him with punches and kicks. They also told him that he would “die in the ovens” — a reference to the gas chambers used to exterminate Jewish inmates of Nazi concentration camps.

Local police have since apprehended the two teenagers, dubbed “antisemitic bullies” in the local press, who will now face charges in the Juvenile Court in Florence.

Interviewed by local media outlets, the boy’s father highlighted that no-one came to the defense of his son.

“Nobody in that public park where the attack took place said anything, nobody defended my son,” the father said. “I can’t explain what happened, I only know that my son was terrified and will never forget what happened.”

His son had come “home in tears, his clothes were marked with spit,” the father continued. “He immediately ran to the sink to clean his jacket and sweatshirt. He was desperate. An unbearable humiliation. I had the feeling of having returned to the terrible years of the [wartime fascist regime’s] racial laws.”

Vittorio Mosserio, the head of the Jewish community in Livorno, said that the attack had been particularly shocking coming a few days before international Holocaust Memorial Day on Jan. 27.
Video game honoring Hitler launched shortly before Holocaust Day
Days before the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Romantic Room gaming company launched a 4-euro game titled "Sex with Hitler" on the popular Steam digital distribution service.

It is a combination of a shooting and pornographic game, in which the user assumes the role of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, who at the end of World War II fights for his life and has relations with women, with the führer being portrayed as a powerful and muscular figure.

The description of the game – written in poor English – says, "Sex with Hitler is a unique blend of visual novel and top-down shooter.You will fight in the fields of World War II and meet with five unique heroines, among whom you will find both friends and enemies."

The game has been reviewed over 400 times, with most users leaving positive feedback. Nevertheless, some pointed out that the program was unprofessional, clearly made by an amateur, and filled with grammar mistakes.

Steam, which is part of the Valve Corporation, was not immediately available for comment.

Similarly, the Fursan al-Aqsa: The Knights of the Al-Aqsa Mosque video game is expected to launch soon, in which users – "Palestinian fighters" – will be tasked with killing Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

Ice Age humans in Israel lived the good life while contemporaries starved — study
Ancient humans living on the Sea of Galilee’s shores in northern Israel thrived during the last Ice Age, while most of their contemporaries around the world nearly starved, according to new research by Israeli archaeologists.

Researchers from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University came to the conclusion by analyzing plant and animal remains found at an ancient village on the lake. The community’s well-preserved remains showed its ancient habitants ate a rich and varied diet, despite global food scarcity, they said.

Hunter-gatherers lived in brush huts at the site, known as Ohalo II, toward the end of the most recent Ice Age around 23,000 years ago. The site was a prime location, with fresh water and a broad range of animals and plants to eat.

During that Ice Age, known as the Last Glacial Maximum, massive ice sheets covered much of North America, northern Europe and Asia. Frigid temperatures caused severe environmental impacts worldwide, including drought, desertification and a drop in sea levels.

Thousands of years ago, the site was quickly flooded and buried by silt, resulting in well-preserved remains that give researchers a window into camp life during the era.
Unpacked: The Rise and Fall of Jews in the Ottoman Empire | The Jewish Story
Fleeing the massacres and forced conversions of Christian Europe in the Middle Ages, tens of thousands of Jews found a new safe haven in the Ottoman Empire. For the next few centuries, the Muslim-run empire became home for Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews alike. Though relegated to second-class citizens called “dhimmis,” Jews brought with them useful skills in medicine, finance and trade, and flourished.

However, over time the Ottoman Empire began to crumble. Once more, the Jews faced antisemitism and suffered from poverty and violence. By the end of the 19th century, it was clear that the safe haven of the Ottoman Empire was no longer safe. Over the first half of the 20th century, the empire had collapsed and Jews fled to Israel, America and France in the hopes of finding the safety and prosperity they had had in the Muslim world.

Jews in the UAE prepare to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day
The UAE will host Holocaust Memorial Day with prayers and survivors’ testimonies on Thursday, Dr Elie Abadie, the Emirates' senior rabbi in residence said.

The occasion, which falls on January 27 and will also be marked in Bahrain, represents a step forward towards peaceful co-existence among multi-faith societies in the Gulf.

“It is emotional, sometimes you have to pinch yourself, to make sure if it’s real and if it’s really happening, and of course it’s real,” Rabbi Abadie told The National.

Rabbi Abadie said the memorial is “a testimony to the welcoming view of the authorities here in the UAE and Bahrain, to the pledge of tolerance and coexistence in their region”.

It follows a historic resolution signed in September 2020 by the UAE and Bahraini leaders to formally establish ties with Israel.

The Abraham Accords were seen as one of the most significant breakthroughs in the Middle East peace process, which had been stalled for years. They opened the door for diplomatic, trade, travel and business ties between signatory countries.

Rabbi Abadie, who took the post on November 1, 2020, said special memorial prayers for those who were killed and survived will take place at the forthcoming service.

“On the religious side we have prayers and we have commemoration tomorrow night at the Crossroads of the Civilisation Museum in Dubai, where a ceremony will take place with speeches and the lighting of candles,” he said.
Bahrain's Jews to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day at revamped synagogue
Bahrain's Jewish community will come together on Friday to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“It is a day to remember the six million Jews and millions of other people who perished during the Holocaust,” the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC) told The National. "It's also a day to show appreciation to non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust."

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked every year on January 27. The Nazis and their allies murdered around six million Jews, as well as others, in German-occupied Europe.

Bahrain will mark the event a day later over a zoom call to connect the Jewish community in the island kingdom with friends across the world.

Amb Dani Dayan, chairman of Yad Vashem, will speak at the gathering.

Elena Gaon, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, will light the Shabbat candles and Rosalyn Ben Guigui, the granddaughter of survivors, will read the English translation of the Torah portion, the organisers said.

More than a million people, most of them Jews, were killed at Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied southern Poland, which was liberated by Soviet troops on January 27, 1945. The vast majority were gassed to death.

‘Coming back home’
For Bahraini Jews, this year’s commemoration holds special significance nearly two years since their island kingdom, alongside the UAE, signed the historic Abraham Accords with Israel to establish diplomatic ties.

Prince Charles meets Holocaust survivors as he unveils portraits of those who escaped Nazi regime and hails their 'powerful lived experience'
Prince Charles has hailed seven portraits of some of the nation's last remaining Holocaust survivors a 'powerful testament' to their lived experience.

The Prince of Wales, 73, commissioned the paintings of the elderly men and women, to be displayed inside Buckingham Palace, to stand as a lasting reminder of the horrors of the Nazi regime.

The Duke of Cornwall was joined by Camilla, 74, as the images were unveiled at the Queen's Gallery in London and was moved after meeting Auschwitz survivor Lily Ebert.

The 98-year-old, whose portrait will hang along six others in the gallery, showed the Prince her concentration camp tattoo and a golden pendant she hid from camp guards in her shoe then later in her daily bread ration.

Lily was on one of the last trains carrying Hungarian Jews to enter Auschwitz in 1944, enduring months at Birkenau before being transported to Altenburg, a sub-camp of Buchenwald.

She made headlines last year when, with the help of her great-grandson Dov, she was reunited with the American soldier who penned her a heartfelt note on a German banknote after she was liberated from a Nazi Death March in 1945.

She told the prince during the event held on Monday: 'Meeting you, it is for everyone who lost their lives,' and Charles replied: 'But it is a greater privilege for me,' and touched her shoulder.

In the foreword for a catalogue accompanying the exhibition, Charles wrote we are all 'responsible for one another, for our collective history'.

'Commemoration of the Holocaust is the duty of every person, nation across the globe'

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