Friday, January 28, 2022

From Ian:

Rabbi Marvin Hier and Rabbi Abraham Cooper: As world marks Holocaust remembrance day, Hitler's vision lives on
Never again should anyone confuse an advanced education with morality. Some of Germany’s most educated enthusiastically followed Hitler; today there are too many educated people prepared to forge strategies legitimizing crimes in the name of a greater good. Never again should leaders turn a blind eye to today’s evils unleashed against innocents in China or Iran with the hope that somehow catering to tyrants will work out for the best. That didn’t work for Neville Chamberlain and it won’t work now.

Germany will always have special obligations linked to Wannsee: First and foremost. It must never harm Jews.

In word and deed, Germany in 2022 must be guided by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism. Today’s Germany should take all necessary measures to hold accountable all perpetrators and purveyors of anti-Semitism at home.

It must take the public lead against all Holocaust denial and distortion, on social media and in the halls of power and diplomacy.

Nowhere is such a commitment as needed and sorely lacking as when it comes to Germany’s continuous pursuit of economic gain in Iran.

That is the only way to explain Berlin’s deafening silence as Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Khamenei, and his human-rights-crushing regime pursue Holocaust denial as state policy and Iran’s top leadership threatens to destroy Israel – home to over 6 million living, thriving Jews.

The German president can put an end to Iran’s Holocaust denial by inviting the ayatollah and his new president to visit Wannsee along with Dachau, Buchenwald, or Sachsenhausen concentration camps.

We Jews and, we believe, millions of Germans have learned the hard way that words have consequences, and that we must take tyrants at their word.

We can only pray that Germany’s new leaders along with the U.S., UK, and France will pause in these days between January 20 and January 27 to study the Wannsee Protocol. It might just save humankind from the next “unthinkable” catastrophe.
Global antisemitism meets most criteria for stages of genocide
On Jan. 27, we commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, honoring the six million Jews killed in the Nazi genocide, as well as the millions of other victims persecuted in that era. This remembrance will be meaningless, however, if we do not seriously consider the growing threat faced by world Jewry today. To understand the seriousness of this threat, consider how it measures under Genocide Watch founder Dr. Gregory Stanton's canonical classification of the ten stages of genocide.

The first stage, classification, refers to the division of people into "us" versus "them." This phenomenon is now widespread on American college campuses. Known to anti-Israel activists as "anti-normalization," it can be seen, for example, in the 2018 pledge by more than 50 New York University student groups to boycott pro-Israel student groups on campus, as well as national pro-Israel organizations. The ongoing effort is aimed at pushing Jewish students "beyond the pale" unless they join forces with groups that make war against Jewish identity. To address this early-stage activity, we must strengthen institutions that can inculcate universalistic Western values, such as equal respect and civil discourse.

The second stage, symbolization, can be seen in Proud Boys' apparel emblazoned with "6MWE," which stands for "six million wasn't enough." It is also seen in alt-right use of parentheses, such as the triple parentheses used on neo-Nazi sites to indicate Jewish ancestry. On such sites, I have seen triple parentheses placed around my own head, suggesting something like a marksman's bullseye. However, it is most often seen in swastikas used to communicate hate. It is high time for the US Education Department to address higher education's massive under-reporting of swastikas under the Clery Act.

We see the third stage, discrimination when Jewish, pro-Israel students are forced out of student government positions. In recent years, the Brandeis Center has successfully defended Jewish students against such discrimination at Tufts University and the University of Southern California. Stronger civil-rights enforcement is needed, starting with the codification of the federal Executive Order on Combating Antisemitism.

The fourth stage, dehumanization, is seen when antisemites treat Jews as animals or as demons. In 2010, Egypt's then-President Mohamed Morsi called Jews the "sons of apes and pigs." Such dehumanizing insults are a common feature of Muslim antisemitism. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan exemplified this demonization when he called Judaism the "synagogue of Satan." Dehumanization, in both forms, should be taken seriously and condemned vigorously.

Meir Y. Soloveichik: Christopher Hitchens Wasn’t Great
Meanwhile, as his life came to a close, Hitchens’s criticisms of Israel grew more and more vile. In 2010, he published an infamous article in Slate titled “Israel’s Shabbos Goy,” wherein he asserted that America’s support for Israel embodied the “old concept of the shabbos goy—the non-Jew who is paid a trifling fee to turn out the lights or turn on the stove, or whatever else is needful to get around the more annoying regulations of the Sabbath.” As Kerstein notes, this sentence combines all sorts of anti-Semitic talking points in a single go. It is, if you a will, a demagogic literary triple lutz. It fuses a classical trope according to which Jews are pharisaic charlatans with the more modern stereotype of Jews as dishonest, and tops it all off with the contemporary progressive assault on the Jewish state.

This execrable essay points to an interesting aspect of Hitchens’s legacy and life. Why would a man who inveighed with such passion about the War on Terror continue to write in such a putrid way about the very country that was on that war’s front lines? I am not certain of the answer, but I do have a guess. What drove Hitchens above all was his hatred of faith; he began God Is Not Great by explaining, “I have been writing this book my whole life.” Perhaps the one fact that Hitchens was never able to explain, the best piece of evidence for the existence of God that would not go away, was Israel itself.

Thousands of years ago, Jewish scripture claimed that Abraham’s family would affect the world far beyond its numbers, that there was one land linked to its destiny, that this tiny people would experience exile, that it would survive all efforts to destroy it and would one day return from around the world. Then the most unexpected event of all occurred: It all came true. How does Hitchens explain that? What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed; but the evidence was there, right in front of his face. If Israel, despite its mistakes and flaws, truly was the beacon of freedom in the very War on Terror he was now supporting, then his insipid atheism was under threat. And so Israel had to be assaulted, with all Hitchens’s eloquence, even if it required the mustering of anti-Semitic tropes whose history he understood all too well.

In reading the many tributes that were written 10 years ago and today, it is obvious that Hitchens was a loyal friend, filled with joie de vivre, and a man of many talents. Watching his last interviews, it is painful to see someone who so clearly relished life battling against the dying of the light. But in my pastoral experience, I have seen many die too young, men and women who filled their lives with love and friendship without devoting so much of their time on earth to hateful and irresponsible invective. So 10 years later, I will not celebrate a man who attacked all I hold dear in so shallow, callous, and deceitful a manner. And because I am unwilling to dismiss the evidence that anti-religious dictatorship has provided us, I believe that freedom in the West is made more secure when Hitchens’s writings about religion are exposed for the scurrilous, ignorant assertions that they are.

The Tikvah Podcast: Mitch Silber on Securing America’s Jewish Communities
Last week, a British jihadist entered a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas and held four of its members hostage. In mid-October of last year, a woman emptied a container of gasoline and set it on fire in front of the Yeshiva of Flatbush in Brooklyn while shouting anti-Semitic obscenities. That followed an attack on Shlomo Noginsky, a rabbi in Boston who this past July was stabbed eight times outside of a Jewish day school. Roughly five weeks before that, someone emptied a bag of feces in front of the Chabad of South Broward in Florida while shouting “Jews should die.” Whether individuals or institutions are being targeted, whether they’re in New York or Texas, anti-Semitism is on the rise in America, and Jews are called to be more vigilant than in years past.

This week’s podcast guest knows a thing or two about vigilance. Mitch Silber is the former director of intelligence analysis at the New York Police Department, where he oversaw research, collection, and analysis for the department’s Intelligence Division. Now, he’s the executive director of the Community Security Initiative, a small team dedicated to securing the Jewish institutions of New York from anti-Semitic violence. In conversation with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver, he explains why this initiative came about and what it takes to protect Jews, in New York and around the country, from the anti-Semitic threats that have become all too common in America.
MEMRI: French Tunisian Imam Hassen Chalghoumi In Emotional Interview: Since My 2005 Call To Respect The Memory Of The Holocaust, My Family Has Lived Under Threat From Islamists; We Have Been Assaulted, Received Death Threats – I Wear A Bulletproof Vest To The Mosque
French Tunisian Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, the President of the Conference of Imams, said in a January 13, 2022 interview on a show called "Ca Commence Aujourd'hui" on France 2 TV that ever since he advocated respect for Holocaust commemoration in 2005, he and his family have been living under constant threat from Islamists. He said that he receives death threats, that his wife and daughter have been assaulted, that his house has been ransacked, that his car has been torched, that he often wears a bulletproof vest when he goes to the mosque, for fear of being stabbed, and that terrorist organizations including the Islamic State, Hizbullah, and Hamas have issued fatwas against him. As he explained that his home address is no longer under the name Chalghoumi and that his family have changed their last name, he got choked up and began crying. He said: "We will never give up. But when it affects my family, it becomes difficult."

"[In 2005] I Made A Solemn Appeal To Respect The Memory Of The Holocaust [And] The Consequences Of Racism, Hatred, Antisemitism... Two Days Later, They Ransacked My House; I Started To Receive Death Threats"

Host: "When did you start receiving death threats?"

Hassen Chalghoumi: "It was in 2005, at the Holocaust Memorial. I made a solemn appeal to respect the memory of the Holocaust, to also think about what people did to their fellow human beings, the consequences of racism, hatred, antisemitism... But unfortunately, my words were misunderstood. Two days later, they ransacked my house. I started to receive death threats in the name of a cause that has nothing to do with [my words] – the Palestinian cause, in the name of an ideology of hatred, perhaps against Israeli policy, or out of actual antisemitism... And then I received anonymous calls and letters. In 2009, they torched my car, and they attacked my house."

Host: "How did you react to those threats and attacks?"

Chalghoumi: "At one point, I spoke to my dear wife, who is a French citizen, who attended a [French state] school, like my children. I said to her: Either I continue or I stop. She said: 'No, don't stop. Continue.'"

Host: "Have you ever considered giving up in order to protect [your family]?"

Chalghoumi: "No. Although the consequences have reached my home. I cannot say that all this remains outside my home, because it doesn't. The Internet, the social media, the threats. They assaulted my wife in a market. They spat on her. They even asked her to divorce me. [They said:] 'He's not a Muslim!' This is our daily life. My children also [suffer]. The school, and all the rest... I eventually consulted [my wife], and she said to me: 'I support you. I am behind you.' At some point, everything changed and there was no longer such a thing as daily life. From 2009-2010, it became difficult to go to the cinema with my kids, to restaurants with them...

Israeli embassy responds furiously to Guardian journalist’s ‘sportswashing’ accusation
The spokesman of the Israeli embassy has claimed an article about Israel using sport to ‘launder… crimes’ was ‘dangerous’

The Israeli Embassy spokesman has launched a blistering attack on claims by a leading journalist that the Jewish state was “sportswashing” its reputation.

In a letter to the Guardian, Ohad Zemet took aim at an article written for the paper by sports writer Jonathan Liew and said it was “high time” that Israel “was treated the same as any other country in the world”.

It followed an article by Mr. Liew in which he claimed the new Israeli pro-cycling team was part of a concerted effort to gloss over Israel’s “crimes”.

Mr. Liew wrote: “When we refer to sportswashing, the attempt by nation-states to sanitise their reputations and launder their crimes, there is a certain kind of country we’re usually thinking of. We have no problem linking the manifold abuses of Qatar or Saudi Arabia or China to their investment in sport. And yet there appears to be a certain squeamishness about referring to Israel in similar terms, even though its aims are even more explicitly stated, its crimes well documented by human rights groups.”

In response, Mr Zemet took issues with the journalist’s claims Israel was using sport as a “tool of repression”.

“I wonder what Bibars Natcho, the Muslim captain of the Israeli football team, would think about this statement, or the Sports in Service of Peace programme which enables Israeli and Palestinian children to play together to promote coexistence, and who participated in the Argentina-Uruguay match,” he wrote.
California School District Adopts ‘Liberated’ Ethnic Studies Program Marked by ‘Extreme Anti-Israel’ Bias
Rossman-Benjamin went as far as to call the ethnic studies requirement “state-sponsored antisemitism … because the state is mandating that every student take a course that, because of this Liberated group, portrays Jews and Israel in antisemitic ways.”

Unlike “multicultural studies” programs, which the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Institute said on its website “covers all marginalized communities equally,” ethnic studies “centers the radicalized experiences, intellectual traditions, cultural and ancestral knowledge of liberation struggles … ,” asserted the group.

Further, they posit that while a multicultural curriculum “focuses on inclusive or diverse cultural perspectives on any given topic,” ethnic studies “focuses on the historical and lived experiences of Blacks, Chicanx-Latinax, Asian and Pacific Islanders (including Palestinians and other Arab Americans), Native American and other radicalized communities of color.”

Their curriculum includes a section called “Preparing to Teach Palestine: A Toolkit” and includes links to articles such as “The ADL Is Not an Ally: A Primer,” “Together We Rise: Palestine as a Model of Resistance,” and “The Business of Backlash: The Attack on the Palestinian Movement and Other Movements for Justice,” which is from a group called the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.

For its part, the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, which includes 18 members of the state’s house and senate, put out a statement saying it is “closely monitoring the situation and deeply troubled by the district’s decision to contract with providers who have demonstrated bias against the Jewish community. We are also shocked at reports that the district refused to meaningfully engage with the Jewish community prior to the vote.

“Our caucus will continue to support our community partners and will take all necessary steps to ensure that any curriculum adopted by the district is consistent with state law, which unequivocally forbids any material that could promote ‘any bias, bigotry or discrimination’ against the Jewish community.”

That, Rossman-Benjamin said, is too little, too late. She warns that other states may soon be dealing with the same issues, in particular Massachusetts, where a “anti-racism, equity and justice in education” bill is making its way through the state legislature.

“This is like déjà vu,” she said. “You have to look at the way things are lining up in Massachusetts to ring the alarm bell. This is going to play out just like it is in California, and you need to stop it when you can because we didn’t stop it when we could.”
Roughly One-Third of Teens in Canada, US Think Holocaust is ‘Exaggerated or Fabricated’
Nearly 33 percent of students in elementary and high schools in the United States and Canada who participated in a new survey said they weren’t sure if the Holocaust happened, or if it did, they thought it was “exaggerated or fabricated.”

Almost 3,600 North American students from grades six through 12 participated in the study commissioned by the Ontario-based organization Liberation75, though 78.6 percent of the respondents were Canadian. The findings of the survey were released on Wednesday, one day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The survey also showed that 54 percent of students knew how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust and 92 percent of the students wanted to know more about the Holocaust. Meanwhile, 40 percent of students surveyed pointed out that social media was where they learned about the Holocaust.

“I think that the study is so important in an age of misinformation and disinformation,” said Alexis Lerner from Western University, who led the study. “When students aren’t getting Holocaust information and genocide information in the schools, they’re not getting fact-based information. And so they’re turning to these alternative sources of information.”

No Canadian province or territory requires Holocaust education as part of their secondary school curricula. In the United States, 22 states mandate Holocaust education in secondary schools, according to Liberation75.

Mexican History Teacher Dismissed for Assigning Nazi Salutes in Class, Dressing Up as Hitler
A history teacher at a preparatory school in Mexico is no longer with the institution after reports emerged that she dressed up as Adolf Hitler in the classroom and reenacted shootings of Jews with a water gun, the school told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.

On Sunday, posted on Twitter images and video of the conduct of Tec de Monterrey- Ciudad Juárez teacher Ana Luisa Nevárez, which it claimed also included assigning students to make a doll of Hitler and directing them to pose for a class photo in which they pantomimed a Nazi salute.

The group said it was contacted by a student and that “Jewish students’ complaints were ignored by both Nevárez & administrators.”

A spokesperson for Tec de Monterrey told The Algemeiner on Wednesday that as of Monday, Nevarez was “no longer part of our institution, in adherence to our institutional values.”

“At Tec de Monterrey, we forcefully reject any expression that threatens the dignity of people,” he said. “All of us who are part of the Tec community are responsible for following the institution’s principles at all times, even when exercising academic freedom, and for promoting a safe and respectful environment.”
Unilever fires 1,500 workers, splits ice-cream from food division
The multinational firm Unilever, which owns Ben & Jerry’s, announced on Tuesday that in the wake of severe losses, it will fire 1,500 workers around the world and split off its ice-cream division from its food division.

The move follows Ben & Jerry’s decision to break its contract with its Israeli licensee, who refused to stop selling the company’s ice-cream in Judea and Samaria.

The U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Colorado and Arizona have decided to remove investments from their pension funds in Unilever because the company was found to violate anti-BDS laws that passed in those states.

“Unilever continues to run away from its responsibility as a parent company,” said Avi Zinger, director-general of Ben & Jerry’s Israel, the Israeli licensee. “Instead of taking responsibility and canceling the boycott, Unilever prefers to put its head in the sand and ignore the fact that it is solely in charge of all the companies it owns, including Ben & Jerry’s worldwide.”

Zinger said that Ben & Jerry’s Israel would continue to struggle against the banning of sales in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and will use all tools at its disposal to persuade Unilever to assume the necessary responsibility.
MEMRI: To Combat Holocaust Denial And Online Hate, Congress Should Set Its Sights On San Francisco-Based Internet Archive
Each year on January 27 the world marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Yet, even as we commemorate the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, where nearly 1 million Jews perished, Holocaust denial continues to spread like an epidemic across the internet – including on the San Francisco-based Internet Archive. The Archive describes itself as a "digital library…providing 'Universal Access to All Knowledge,'" but it also serves as an easy-to-access platform for the content of white supremacists, antisemites and Holocaust deniers. Searching the word "Holocaust" on the Internet Archive, for example, yields results with titles like "What Holocaust – 6 million my [expletive]", "A Holocaust Inquiry by Dr David Duke", and "The Jewish Holocaust Is A Jewish HollowHoax" – some of these appearing on the very first page of results.

Exactly one year ago, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) released a report detailing how the Internet Archive enables neo-Nazis and white supremacists to spread their messages of hate, incitement to violence and Holocaust denial by allowing users to post and then easily share such content. We hoped that exposing this rampant online hate, especially on a day of Holocaust remembrance, would lead to action. But, one year on, absolutely nothing has changed. The Internet Archive remains a powerful vehicle for spreading antisemitic conspiracy theories and the outlandish idea that the Holocaust never happened.

It is time to compel the Internet Archive to change. We call on Congress, particularly those Congressional leaders from the Bay Area, to take action to hold the Internet Archive accountable for its role in spreading antisemitic and racist hate, as well as Holocaust denial – as Congress has done with other major tech companies. This move would be especially welcome following the adoption of a historic UN resolution condemning Holocaust denial and distortion and calling on countries to take action to combat it.

Despite its lofty sounding mission, the Internet Archive, which receives both private and public funding, including from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation, does not function like an academic database, providing historical context for its content. Rather, it makes freely available everything from Nazi-era propaganda to the manifestos of mass killers who have inspired copycat attacks, text and videos from prominent neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers, and handbooks for carrying out attacks against Jews and others (see a compilation of examples here). An email address is the only information required to post this content, which can be easily shared and is fodder for recruiting extremists to the cause of white supremacy.

The Internet Archive does have ways to alert its users about debunked content when it wants to – it announced in 2020 that it would annotate "false and misleading information" in its "Wayback Machine" and indicate whether an item had passed muster with a fact-checking organization. The findings of MEMRI's 2021 report were shared with the director of the Wayback Machine, Mark Graham, at his request. However, despite receiving clear evidence of the virulent and violent content being posted and shared, Graham responded simply by saying that there were "difficult ethical and other decisions to consider around running an online library". In other words, the Internet Archive would not take any steps on its own initiative to either annotate, flag or remove the flood of hateful content that it currently hosts.
The New York Times ‘Gets’ It Wrong Again
A week after publishing a correction acknowledging error in describing the Jewish divorce document known as a get, the New York Times has again made what appears to be an error in writing about the issue.

The January 16 correction had said: “An article last Sunday about the billionaire Ronald O. Perelman referred imprecisely to a get. It is a written document obtained from a Jewish rabbinical court that grants permission to divorce; it is not a religious tradition by which men leave their wives without leaving the faith.”

The January 24 New York Times obituary of Sheldon Silver, a former speaker of the New York State Assembly, includes this sentence: “Early political victories reflected his legislative savvy and his religious faith: An Orthodox Jew, he sponsored a 1983 law that abolished religious barriers to remarriage for Jewish women — who required a “get,” or Jewish divorce decree, from their husbands — in opposition to traditional Jewish law.”

It’s a typically convoluted, difficult-to-parse Times sentence. Increasingly, as I mentioned the other day in identifying another case of a misplaced modifying phrase, the Times has gotten to the point where it’s sometimes hard to tell whether the problems stem from bias or just incompetence. What does the phrase “in opposition to traditional Jewish law” modify? The get requirement? The 1983 law? Silver’s sponsorship of it? The women?
Barnes & Noble removes ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ from its website
Following a social media outcry, Barnes & Noble has removed “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion“ from its website.

Twitter users began tweeting on Jan. 25 about an online listing on the booksellers’ site, which had been offering the famously fabricated antisemitic text for $24.95. The retailer said in a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the book was fed automatically to the website from “standard industry databases” and that the company took “prompt action to remove” the title.

Twitter users also objected to the description of the book on the site, which summarized at length the book’s fictional description of a Jewish plan for global domination and suggested that its authenticity is still an open question. The description justified its sale as “an interesting book which deserves to be studied in the same way the ‘War of the Worlds’ radio broadcast duped many thousands…. We neither support nor deny its message, we simply make it available for those who wish a copy.”

“Like what is even this synopsis?” responded Rachel Kaplan, a San Diego-based writer, on Twitter. “We neither support nor deny it’s message what??”

“Nothing like watching major corporations distributing long-discredited antisemitic forgeries for profit,” tweeted Jeremy Burton, executive director of the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council.
BBC Sport’s minimalist portrayal of Wiley’s antisemitism
Wiley was first banned in 2020 by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and later YouTube following an antisemitic tirade (see page 33 here).

He was indeed “dropped by his management company” in July 2020 but contrary to the BBC’s ‘minimalist’ portrayal, his record of antisemitic social media posts and statements was not confined to an “outburst two years ago”. Just last month, after he posted antisemitic material on new accounts, he was again kicked off Instagram and Twitter.

The day after BBC Sport published this report, Wiley was once again suspended from Twitter following a series of offensive Tweets on another new account.

The BBC’s failure to report clearly and adequately on Wiley’s unambiguous and ongoing antisemitism deprives readers of essential context and reduces their ability to understand not only why the photograph taken in Dubai raised objection but also the significance of the apologies from Rashford and Lingard.
Selling hate, antisemitism for profit is reprehensible - opinion
Leading scholars focus on the period between the summer of 1941 and early 1942 for such a decision, with the January 1942 Wannsee Conference seen as a meeting that primarily discussed the logistics of the policy that had already been adopted. Since there is no document that explicitly states when the decision to annihilate the Jews came about, there is room for interpretation of the available evidence.

An intriguing interpretation and analysis has been put forth by Christoph Diekmann, the leading scholar regarding the Holocaust in Lithuania and a researcher of Nazi anti-Jewish policies and actions in general. Diekmann explained his analysis to me over lunch at a symposium in Jerusalem several years ago. He places the decision to embark on the “Final Solution” shortly after the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany in June 1941.

He believes that the very first signals that the invasion was not going according to plan led Hitler to the decision. This was because Hitler believed in Jewish power and that Jews had brought about Germany’s downfall in World War I, and he wanted to be sure they would not do the same in the war that was underway against the Soviet Union. His solution, according to Diekmann, was to embark on the annihilation of the Jews.

If Diekmann’s analysis is correct, then the Protocols are even more of a direct warrant for genocide than Norman Cohn understood them to be over 50 years ago.

It is a fundamental and thorny discussion whether hateful material like the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion should be completely banned from the Internet – whether for sale or for downloading – or remain available under certain conditions, such as being clearly tagged as antisemitic and false material.

But one thing is clear: It is reprehensible that such material should be marketed and be a source for profits. On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, it behooves us to emphatically state that making money on a book like the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, which underpins the crime of the Holocaust, is itself a crime against decency.
NYC Subway Passengers Ignore Antisemitic Attack on Jewish Woman
A young Jewish woman from Crown Heights was the victim of a rage-filled attack on the New York City subway in Brooklyn on Wednesday.

The incident occurred on the Brooklyn-bound Number 2 train, when the 23-year-old woman was attacked by a black man who got on the train at the Franklin Avenue stop.

The man entered the car at the beginning of the train, and proceeded to shout at the woman, who is visibly Jewish.

The attacker got close up into the victim’s face and shouted, “You little Jewish girl, get the [expletive] off the train, you little Jewish [expletive],” repeatedly at the victim, her family members told COLlive.

He also threatened the woman, saying, “you little Jewish girl better get off this train before I hurt you,” her family members related.

The attacker is described as a black male, in his mid 20’s with a thin build, about 6 feet tall. He was wearing black jeans, a red sweater, black jacket, ski mask and black sneakers.

The terrified woman fled from the train, and was extremely shaken by the attack, witnesses said. They added that equally shocking was the indifference of fellow passengers who remained silent and didn’t intervene.
Everton fan banned from games for three years after antisemitic chants at Spurs fans
An Everton fan has been banned from attending football matches for three years after he took part in antisemitic chants that were aimed at Spurs fans.

Michael Campbell, of Aigburth Road, Liverpool, was reported to stewards and police following his actions at the match held at Goodison Park on 7th November.

This led to an investigation being conducted by Merseyside Police and Everton which then resulted in Mr Campbell’s arrest and subsequent charges. He then received the Football Banning Order for three years at South Sefton Magistrates Court in Bootle and was told to pay a fine and court costs at the hearing on 20th January.

Detective Inspector Steven O’Neill, of Merseyside Police, said: “Hate crime in all its forms simply will not be tolerated and I hope this result sends a clear message that anyone found to commit hate crime offences anywhere on Merseyside will be brought to justice.

“Campbell will now have a criminal record and the consequences of this in the future could prove to be significant. The professional response of Everton Football Club stewards meant that he was quickly identified and arrested.”

He added: “We know that the overwhelming majority of supporters attending matches are well behaved and would share our revulsion at these appalling chants. However, when the behaviour of fans is unacceptable we will always work with clubs to identify those people and put them before the courts.”

Holocaust Survivor Decries ‘Abuse’ of Yellow Star at COVID Protests
Centenarian Holocaust survivor Margot Friedlaender urged the young generation on Thursday to always remember the Nazi genocide and denounced the use by some anti-COVID vaccination protesters of the yellow star Jews were forced to wear.

“Today, I see the memory of what happened being abused for political reasons, sometimes even derided and trampled all over,” she told EU lawmakers in Brussels at a ceremony marking the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

“Incredulous, I had to watch at the age of 100 years how symbols of our exclusion by the Nazis, such as the so-called ‘Judenstern,’ are shamelessly used on the open street by the new enemies of democracy, to present themselves — whilst living in the middle of a democracy — as victims,” Friedlaender added.

She was referring to some demonstrators at anti-vaccination protests who have pinned yellow star badges to their clothes, reminiscent of the cloth badges the Nazis forced Jews to wear to mark them as outsiders.

A report published by the Israeli government on Thursday said such protesters were stoking global antisemitism.

Friedlaender’s mother and brother were killed in Auschwitz. She herself survived the concentration camp Theresienstadt in what is Czech Republic today, the only one in her family to survive the Holocaust, when the Nazis killed 6 million Jews during World War Two.
Meet the 15-year-old Druze boy who helps Holocaust survivors use tech
Salman Kablan, a 15-year-old Druze Arab teen, along with friends from the ORT Arad high school they all attend, started an initiative to help the Holocaust survivors in their city learn how to use computers.

Salman, whose family are the only ethnic Druze Arabs in their city of Arad, says he already knew a few elderly people – some of whom are Holocaust survivors – in his neighborhood. “I would visit them and check on them. I felt their pain and that I had to do something for them.”

Salman, along with friends, partnered with the Connected (Mehubarim) project to visit a pair of Holocaust survivors every week, helping them use online tools create a Facebook page, use software to record their family tree, and listen to their personal stories from the time of the Holocaust.

“I am 88 years old and I have only recently begun to understand what to do with the computer. They explain to me how to sign up for Facebook or to order products. They also help me build a family tree on the computer because I had a very large family,” says Michael Rubinczek, an Arad resident from Leningrad, Russia, in modern-day Saint Petersburg.
Actress Learns of Family Ties to Holocaust for the First Time in New Episode of Genealogy Series
Actress, producer and writer Pamela Adlon first discovered she had family members who were murdered in the Holocaust in Tuesday’s episode of the PBS genealogy show “Finding Your Roots.”

The writer, director and star of the FX television series “Better Things” was born in New York to a Jewish father from Boston, writer-producer Don Segall, and a British mother who converted to Judaism. She knew little of the paternal side of her family, but during this week’s episode of the show, Adlon found out that her great-grandparents were born in areas of the former Soviet Union that are now Ukraine, and that their native language was Yiddish.

In 1941, when Nazi Germany invaded Ukraine, then part of the USSR, and began efforts to exterminate its Jewish population, one of Adlon’s great-grand aunts, Clara Berman, was living there with her Ukrainian husband and two children.

After the Nazi invasion, Berman’s husband was called on for military duty, but before he left, he took his wife and two children to stay with his mother in a village outside of Kiev. No one but Berman’s mother-in-law knew she and her two young children were Jewish. Yet when German troops came to the town, Berman mother-in-law turned over her and her two kids to Nazi forces.

Adlon, who voiced characters on the animated series’ “King of the Hill” and “Big Mouth,” was shocked by the revelation and said, “Oh she told on them! She narced on their Jewishness. Wow! Why?”

According to a family friend, Berman, at the age of 27, and her two children — a 3-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old — were among the roughly 33,000 people who were massacred by Nazis in large ravine in the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine.
Biden references Colleyville in Holocaust Remembrance Day statement
US President Joe Biden referenced Colleyville and Charlottesville in his statement marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday.

"Today, and every day, we have a moral obligation to honor the victims, learn from the survivors, pay tribute to the rescuers, and carry forth the lessons of last century’s most heinous crime," said Biden. "From the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, to a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, we are continually and painfully reminded that hate doesn’t go away; it only hides."

The president stressed the need to teach accurately about the Holocaust and to push back against attempts to ignore, deny, distort, and revise history, making reference to a US co-sponsored United Nations resolution to combat Holocaust denial.

Last week, the UN General Assembly vowed to combat Holocaust denial and approved a resolution that defined the phenomenon as antisemitism and provided tools to preserve the memory of the Nazi’s six million Jewish victims.

‘Shema Yisrael’ Pendants Found in Archaeological Digs at Sobibor Death Camp
Three pendants inscribed with the “Shema Yisrael” prayer and depictions of Moses and the Ten Commandments have been discovered in archaeological excavations in the Sobibor extermination camp over the past decade, the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed on Thursday.

The findings, made by Wojciech Mazurek from Poland, Yoram Haimi from the IAA and Ivar Schute from Holland, with the assistance of local residents, were made public on Thursday to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The metal pendants, each of which differs from the others, are from Lviv in Ukraine, Poland and the Czech Republic, according to researchers.

“The personal and human aspect of the discovery of these pendants is chilling,” said IAA Director Eli Eskozido. “They represent a thread running between generations of Jews — actually a thick thread, thousands of years old, of prayer and faith. This moving discovery reminds us once again of the importance of settlement in our land and our obligation to reveal the past, to know it and to learn from it.”

One pendant was found in the archaeological excavations in the remains of the building where victims were undressed before being led to the gas chambers. A second was discovered in the area where victims were undressed in Camp II. The final piece was discovered next to a mass grave.
‘The Jews Have Not Surrendered’: Austria Apologizes for Nazi Crimes as Lapid Honors Grandfather Killed at Mauthausen Camp
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer on Thursday apologized on behalf of the Republic to Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid for the crimes committed at the Nazis’ Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.

Lapid, whose grandfather Bela Lampel perished in Mauthausen, attended the commemoration ceremony to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“I apologize on behalf of the Republic of Austria for the crimes committed here. I apologize that your grandfather was murdered here,” Nehammer said during his speech.

Speaking at the ceremony, Lapid recounted the story of his grandfather, who was picked up by the SS from his home in March 1944 in presence of his wife and Lapid’s father, Tommy Lapid, and never returned.

“When he arrived here, he was no longer a dad, he was no longer a person. He was a number,” Lapid said. “I came here today to remind the world that Bela Lampel was not a number. He was my grandfather. He loved his beautiful wife. He went to football matches with his child. He loved to have an omelet at the coffee shop next to his home.”

According to the records at Mauthausen, Lampel died in April 1945, just a few weeks before Nazi Germany surrendered.
Exhibit on false identities shows terror of Jews who hid from Nazis in plain sight
Henry Birnbaum never imagined that his grandfather’s ability to forge ink stamps on identity papers would eventually save him during the Holocaust.

Growing up in Antwerp, Belgium, Birnbaum led a religiously observant life with friends from Zionist youth groups. During the war, Birnbaum’s mother and aunt relied on false papers “doctored” by the boy’s grandfather that listed them as non-Jewish — including when Nazi officers attempted to arrest the family as Jews on two occasions.

“Once again, with two elderly, sick people in bed and the two children hiding terrified underneath, [Birnbaum’s mother and aunt] managed to convince the Germans, and they left empty-handed,” recounts a new exhibition at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial and museum, entitled, “Remember Your New Name: Surviving the Holocaust under a False Identity.”

Birnbaum, who survived the war in Belgium by hiding, is one of 14 survivors featured in the online exhibition released to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.

“Each of the stories is unique, but the common thread of the absolute terror of being found out to be Jewish is something that runs through all the stories,” said Amanda Smulowitz, a Yad Vashem researcher and the daughter of Birnbaum, who died last year.

“Remember Your New Name” is the newest of 150 online exhibitions in six languages curated by Yad Vashem. Artifacts in the permanent collection help bring the narratives to life, including this exhibition’s use of forged documents and the personal belongings of survivors.
The Jewish commando who rescued his parents from a Nazi concentration camp
Manfred Gans had been waiting for this moment for the whole war, and now that it was here, he was stuck on desk duty.

He had done his best since fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938 to keep track of his parents as they tried to escape the Nazis, and he had vowed to himself that he would rescue them as soon as he could. It was probably impossible, he knew, but as a highly trained British commando, it was slightly less impossible for him than just about anyone else on the planet.

But first, he had to get back into the field of battle.

Gans was part of an elite, top-secret unit called the “X Troop,” made up of German-speaking Jewish men scattered across the British front lines of World War II, dubbed by some as “the real ‘Inglourious Basterds.’ ” With the help of recently declassified documents, letters, diaries, interviews and in-depth research, historian Leah Garrett tells the story of these men — including Gans’s incredible journey — in the 2021 book “X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II.”

“We have this vision of Jews during the Holocaust — which is true — that they were victims and slaughtered or that nice Gentiles rescued them,” Garrett told The Washington Post. “And this story is so unique … and optimistic in its own strange way, that these guys could fight back and get their agency back.”

Most of the 87 men who eventually served in the X Troop came to England when they were teenagers aboard “Kindertransport” trains, where they were assigned to farms, schools and hostels around the country for care. But not Gans. Though he grew up experiencing antisemitism, he came from a prominent Orthodox Jewish family, and in July 1938, when he was 16, his parents privately arranged his move to England. In London, he stayed with family friends and got a temporary visa.

He was 10 when his mother sent him away to escape the Nazis. He never saw her again.

It’s rarely remembered today, but when World War II broke out in 1939, the British government, at Winston Churchill’s behest, immediately declared its 70,000 German and Austrian immigrants “enemy aliens,” even though the vast majority — about 55,000 — were Jewish refugees. And like Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants in the United States, they were sent to internment camps in the U.K., Canada and Australia. Gans was sent to a filthy camp near Manchester, where the rats were plentiful and food was scarce, and then to a camp on the Isle of Man, where Jews were held alongside pro-Nazi Germans.

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