Wednesday, October 19, 2022

10/19 Links Pt2: Why I think the Golden Age for Jews in America is coming to its end; The UN needs to be reimagined and reformed; Peter Bergson – The Unintended Hero of the Holocaust Era

From Ian:

Why I think the Golden Age for Jews in America is coming to its end - opinion
The New Antisemitism is becoming violent
The decline in the favorability of mainstream American views toward Israel has coincided with a rise in antisemitic violence, particularly in large metropolises, promoted by Islamo-Leftist groups. In New York City, more than half of hate crimes in 2019 targeted Jews. During the last major conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in May 2021, terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched more than 4,000 rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians. At the same time, we witnessed stunning and unprecedented scenes in New York, Los Angeles, and other American cities of Jews being assaulted by mobs of anti-Israel activists. This surge of anti-Jewish hate also included harassment, vandalism and online abuse.

With many Jews in America now fearing walking the streets in their kippot or wearing other items that identify them as Jewish or Zionist, or even speaking Hebrew in public, we are sliding in the direction of our European Jewish brethren—in fear and under siege, requiring more and more layers of security.

Meanwhile, many American Jews serve willingly as useful idiots for groups that despise us, divided our community, and weaken our resolve, under the pretext of legitimate critique of the Israeli government policies.

The end of the story for American Jewry?
While we undoubtedly face grave challenges as American Jews, we must not give up. Until now, due to lack of information and fear of rejection and persecution, many American Jews have been complicit as anti-Zionism morphs into the new antisemitism. Now is the time to stand up, fight back with all our remaining might and hold antisemites accountable.

We must form alliances with groups that share the same Judeo-Christian values of freedom and democracy, inspire today’s Jewish youth to be proud of their people and the Jewish homeland, and bring Israel back to the center of our Jewish life in the diaspora.

We must embrace Zionism as an integral part of our Jewish identity. We must engage in renewed efforts to strengthen the homeland of the Jewish people, ask Israel to empower and defend Jewish communities worldwide, and take stock of the strength our community possesses.

We must collectively demand a rejection of all forms of antisemitism, including and especially anti-Zionism.

James Kirchick: Calling Out an Antisemite
When I learned that Alice Walker and I would both be speaking at the same literary festival, I seized the chance to expose her views.

Fully a third of the Freedom Riders who risked life and limb to desegregate interstate bus travel in the early 1960s were Jews. So were many of the young men and women who took part in the 1964 Freedom Summer campaign to register black voters in Mississippi. The town of Philadelphia will always be remembered as the place where Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, two such Jewish activists from New York, and James Chaney, their black colleague from nearby Meridian, were murdered by white supremacists. President Barack Obama posthumously awarded them the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. An individual about whom I knew nothing until visiting the museum is Rabbi Perry Nussbaum, a civil-rights activist who earned the distinction of being the first white clergyman to have his home and congregation bombed by white supremacists in 1967.

The history and contemporary state of black-Jewish relations has been weighing on me since August, when I visited Jackson as a guest of the Mississippi Book Festival. I was there to present my book, Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington, as part of a panel entitled “(Re)shaping Public Discourse,” alongside professors Eddie Glaude and Imani Perry, both of Princeton University, and the authors of books about James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry, respectively. Also invited to address the festival, immediately after our panel, was Alice Walker, one of America’s leading African-American writers, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple—and a well-known antisemite.

Walker evinces her antisemitism primarily not through her own words, but in her enthusiastic promotion of David Icke, the ex-footballer and prominent proponent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion who simultaneously denies the Holocaust while claiming that the Jews perpetrated it against themselves. In 2013, Walker told the BBC’s Desert Island Discs that if she could keep only one book it would be his Human Race Get Off Your Knees, which purports to reveal the “sinister network of families and non-human entities that covertly control us from cradle to grave.” Asked by the New York Times what books were on her nightstand in 2018, she included in her response Icke’s And the Truth Shall Set You Free. In an exhaustive inventory of Walker’s antisemitism published in Tablet magazine, Yair Rosenberg observed that this tract alone contains the word “Jewish” 241 times and “Rothschild” 374 times. “These references are not compliments,” Rosenberg wrote.
John Ware: Rewriting history: Corbyn’s Labour Party, antisemitism and ‘Panorama’
The UK is facing economic meltdown. The world may be heading for nuclear Armageddon. Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, have been preoccupied with salvaging his reputation over the antisemitism crisis that dogged his leadership for more than four years.

Did Corbyn or his office interfere politically in antisemitism disciplinary cases when he was Labour leader — or did they not?

Disciplinary cases were meant to be determined by officials at Labour Party HQ independently of the Leader or his political advisers.

In April 2020 Corbyn supporters found vindication in a leaked internal report by Corbyn staffers which, perhaps unsurprisingly, concluded allegations of interference were “entirely untrue.”

Six months later, the statutory investigation into Labour by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) concluded there had been interference: “We found evidence of political interference in the handling of antisemitism complaints throughout the period of the investigation”, thereby unlawfully discriminating against Jewish members. The EHRC blamed a “lack of leadership” within Labour “which is hard to reconcile with its stated commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism.”

Then, last summer, Corbyn’s supporters were buoyed up by a report by the barrister Martin Forde KC which accused the mainstream media of being “entirely misleading” in how we reported allegations of interference.

So where, in this attritional battle for the truth, does the truth actually lie?

I must declare an interest because I presented the programme most often mentioned in the Forde Report: BBC Panorama’s “Is Labour antisemitic? ”transmitted in July 2019

A fortnight ago, the “Investigation Unit” of the Qatari-based Al Jazeera TV network piled in. Its central allegation against the BBC came from Corbyn’s Director of Strategic Communications, James Schneider.

He claimed to have “exposed” how Panorama had misleadingly presented evidence to suggest there was “unwarranted meddling” by Corbyn or his office “in antisemitism cases.”
Days after killing soldier, fugitive gunman shot dead attempting another attack
A Palestinian gunman suspected of killing an Israeli soldier in East Jerusalem earlier this month was shot dead on Wednesday evening, after opening fire at security guards near the entrance to the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.

Police officials confirmed that Udai Tamimi, who they say killed Sgt. Noa Lazar, 18, and seriously injured a civilian guard on October 8 at a checkpoint near the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, was killed while carrying out another attack.

A security guard, 24, was taken by the Magen David Adom ambulance service to the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem, with an injury in his hand. He was listed in light condition, the hospital said.

Security camera footage of Wednesday’s attack showed a lengthy exchange of gunfire between Tamimi and the security guards.

Tamimi, 22, fled the scene of the attack earlier this month. He was thought by police to have been hiding in the Shuafat refugee camp since then.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid hailed the killing of Tamimi, and sent well wishes to the guard wounded in Wednesday’s attack, in a statement published by his office.

Dirty Pool
Without justifying the plan, Morris & Kedar are scrupulous in setting out the context: For four months a civil war has been raging in Mandatory Palestine, in which the Palestinian Arabs have been the aggressors and the Jews have been playing defense. Everyone understands, because the Arabs have made no secret of it, that in another six weeks the local Arab militias will be joined by an invasion from all the surrounding countries. The Jews have been keeping their heads above water but they have already lost a thousand people and it’s by no means clear that they can defeat the coming assault. Militias based in Arab villages are attacking Jewish convoys and settlements, in particular trying to strangle the Jewish community in Jerusalem by cutting off the Tel Aviv–Jerusalem road. The Haganah, the Jewish militia, has had some success in fighting them but doesn’t have the numbers to garrison every cleared village. Without that, Arab fighters simply come right back when the Jews leave. So starts the Jewish policy of expelling villagers and razing villages: not ethnic cleansing but a military response to the enemy’s use of human shields. Polluting the wells is seen as an extension of this.

The authors are scrupulous in other ways too. They show that approval of the plan went all the way to the top—to David Ben Gurion—and they name everyone they can from him down. They detail the many reservations and rejections of the plan, the people who refused, or protested but complied, or simply took the vials they were given and quietly emptied them down a drain. They describe the way much of the war was already, and continued to be, fought with water, both sides destroying water sources as a form of attack or retaliation. They point out that biological weapons had been illegal under the Geneva Protocol since 1925 and they imply, though they do not state, that everyone knew this because of the level of secrecy they maintained. And they describe the mission-creep that occurred, the original goal of keeping Palestinian Arab militias at bay expanding, first to denying the invading Arab armies a foothold in the Palestinian villages that would welcome them or the Jewish settlements that were about to be overrun, and ultimately to a proposal (never carried out) to harry the attackers through the water supplies of their own cities.

I have only one complaint about the paper. Morris & Kedar strew the words “poison” and “well-poisoning” liberally around. You can make the case that bacteria used in this way qualify, but common use and most definitions see a poison as a chemical agent, and the common image is of a quick (or worse, slow) and grisly death. Contamination, infection or pollution would all have been more accurate and appropriate choices. This matters, first because as the authors themselves point out:
“… the typhoid and dysentery germs dispensed in 1948 were basically non-lethal. The scientists and Haganah/IDF officers probably hoped that they would induce disease, an epidemic even, which would bar militiamen from returning to their villages and attacking Jewish settlements and traffic….”

Just as important, it matters because there’s a millenium-long history of Jews falsely accused as well-poisoners. Serious people should do what they can not to feed that monster.

Back to Haaretz. They picked up the story a month later. Scrupulous they are not: They can’t resist helping you know what to think. The headline blares ‘Place the Material in the Wells’: Docs Point to Israeli Army’s 1948 Biological Warfare but from there on they’re much happier to run with “poison” than “biological” or “bacteria”. Typhoid doesn’t even get a look-in though typhus, a different and more deadly disease, is mentioned once. You have to get seven paragraphs in before you read anything about the historical situation or the planners’ motives, and what you get then is this:
“The operation began in April 1948, when fears of an invasion by Arab armies were mounting. … The idea was to prevent Arabs from returning to their villages and from settling in Jewish locales that would fall into their hands.”

Morris & Kedar’s careful noting of the military rationale is gone and, though I don’t expect any newspaper to maintain academic standards of precision, that is inexcusable. In Haaretz’s hands, the goal has morphed into ethnic cleansing. In the very last paragraph we are told:
“Morris and Kedar believe that the objective of the IDF operation was not to cause mass killing but rather to disrupt the Arabs’ moves”

but the fact that it was the moves of Arab fighters, not civilians, that were the chief concern goes unsaid lest it disturb the narrative.
David Singer: UK Labour Friends of Israel: Steps before negotiations can begin
Amazingly FLI [sic] still faithfully continues to repeat the UN’s false mantra:

“The two-state solution is the only means by which to guarantee Israel’s security and to preserve its identity as a Jewish and democratic state, as well as to satisfy the legitimate demand of the Palestinian people for self-determination and national sovereignty.”


Is LFI unaware of the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine solution emanating from Saudi Arabia on 8 June 2022 offering a real alternative to replace the failed UN two-state solution?

Calling for the merger of Jordan, Gaza and part of the 'West Bank' into one territorial entity to be called the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine - the Saudi Plan needs only 2 steps – not 30 – for its successful implementation:
Step 1: Redrawing the internationally recognised boundary between Israel and Jordan

Armed only with pencils and erasers negotiators should be capable of designating the border between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine in a matter of months.

Step 2: Determining who controls security of the territory of the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine west of the Jordan River.

Israel would probably demand total security control over all the territory west of the Jordan River – and if not agreed – the negotiations on this issue could take longer to conclude.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres continues to ignore the existence of the Saudi Solution or call for any discussion of its merits in the Security Council.

Perpetuating the Jewish-Arab conflict – not trying to end it – has become the UN’s shocking agenda.

The Saudi Plan beckons…
The United Nations needs to be reimagined and reformed - opinion
This is not to say there is no place for international organizations like the UN. Today’s UN needs to be reimagined and reformed to address the limited problems it can effectively handle, primarily because only 26 of the 193 member states are fully democratic. The United Nations can still be helpful in humanitarian disasters and health crises, such as AIDS and malaria prevention. Israel decided to let the UN be the arbiter of last resort for their newly created maritime deal with Lebanon. That may not be wise, knowing the history of blatant antisemitism within the organization that still acts as if Zionism is racism.

However, outsourcing American security interests to the veto power of Russia and China in the UNSC makes little sense. The UN was created in 1945 to maintain peace and security at a time when the majority of the member states were democratic. By any objective analysis, the UN has been impotent in resolving most security issues, including genocide. Just ask the Syrians, Cambodians, Rwandans and Rohingyas.

It is time to reinvent the UN and its institutional arms because they too often serve the interests of our enemies and undermine our allies, especially Israel. According to the IHRA definition, the UN’s singling out of Israel and treating it by a standard different from every other nation is antisemitism. From the Human Rights Council, which has a standing agenda item against the Jewish state and no other nation, to weaponizing the definition of Palestinian descendants of refugees to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist, the UN has become pathologically focused on Israel while ignoring the genuinely abhorrent nations. Undermining Israel is counterproductive to American national security strategy, which relies on a strong Israel for intelligence and the first line of defense against Iran and its proxies.

If there were no United Nations, America would still be able to speak directly to any friend or foe and create new regional and global institutions that better serve our interests. A coalition of willing democracies and nations that share our economic interests is the diplomatic path forward for the US in the 21st century.

The UN’s incompetence and corruption demand we deprioritize the UN as a global security force. Just look at the UNIFIL force in southern Lebanon. They have not enforced the demilitarization in southern Lebanon or stopped a single missile transferred to Hezbollah from Iran, despite the mandate of UNSC Resolution 1701. In 2015, after nine years of non-compliance, a UN report said, “The maintenance of arms by Hezbollah and other groups outside the control of the Lebanese State violates the resolution.”

What is anti-Zionism? A Conversation with Emily Schrader
What does #antiZionism mean? How it is weaponized against #Israel? And why it is antisemitic in nature?

We are joined by Emily Schrader, founder of Social Lite Creative, to talk about anti-Zionism.

Stephen Daisley: Kanye West is not OK
Progressives can't claim the moral high ground. Vanity Fair snarks that Republicans are ‘curiously silent on Kanye West’s plans to go “death con 3 on Jewish people”’ while Vice frets that ‘Ye has recently displayed an intense negative fixation on Jews’. There is nothing recent about it. Back in 2013, when he was a cookie-cutter celebrity Democrat, Kanye told a US radio show Barack Obama was struggling to make good on his promises 'because he ain’t got those connections. Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people’.

As the Anti Defamation League (ADL) pointed out, one of the first newspapers to report this as a story was the Israeli daily Haaretz. When the US media finally picked it up, there was some very vigorous tutting. A Think Progress piece described the comments as ‘unfortunate and frustrating’ but decided ‘it’s worth parsing what West actually said, rather than dismissing him as a crude anti-Semite’ because ‘his remarks do capture a number of important anxieties’.

Complex ran a hand-wringing article that determined Kanye’s assertion was not ‘completely wrong in every way’ but ‘wrong in more than a few ways’. The author, however, was keen to stress: ‘Like a lot of other Jews, I think the ADL is an organisation that quite often only works to antagonise cultural tensions and find anti-Semitism where it doesn't exist.’

Whether on the left or the right, when political convenience requires it, the instinct is to question the integrity of those objecting to anti-Semitism. Progressive millennial culture, which back then treated Kanye like the god he claimed to be, was unusually relaxed about this particular instance of racism. Six weeks later, BuzzFeed published a lighthearted listicle entitled ’18 Awesome Benefits Of Having A Jewish Best Friend’. Benefit number eight was: ‘According to Kanye West they have a lot of connections.’

What conclusions can we draw from all this? One is that the new right, the very-online millennial right that calls itself conservative but is really just anti-liberal, is not doing enough to patrol its own boundaries. Not so long ago that responsibility would have fallen to someone like William F Buckley, who, stuffy and WASPy though he was, understood that a broad-tent conservatism could have no room for anti-Semitism. Buckley demonstrated this when he removed Joseph Sobran from National Review. The online right sorely needs a Buckley today.

Another conclusion is that Kanye’s anti-Semitic statements only became a problem for progressives when he stopped being one. This volte-face is another reminder of Jewish invisibility in the politics of anti-racism, a problem that afflicts progressives but many others too. Whether Kanye is a hate-filled anti-Semite or a desperately disturbed man – or whether the truth lies somewhere in between – he is not the only one who needs to reflect. He's been saying these things for years and his fans, old and new, have told him it was okay.
Jews 'own banks, they own the media' says model Carmen Ortega
American model and fashion designer Carmen Ortega Baljian spread an antisemitic conspiracy theory on her Instagram page of 2.5 million followers last week.

"They own banks, they own the media, and in our politics heavy. Who's awake yet?" she wrote.

She also shared a tweet by Candace Owens to her Instagram story, writing: "Who runs the banks? How many more times will I be right about these people?"

Owens, who recently defended rapper Ye for his "death con 3 to Jewish people" tweet, tweeted that the rapper was kicked out of the JP Morgan Chase bank.

Ortega also recently wrote on another Instagram story post: "Have short version of the Talmud just in case anyone has any more doubts. It's time to wake up baby. What's happening to Kanye is a direct example of everything. So when I'm always preaching stop voting pro-Israel.

"You are supporting the very people or the people's people that think it's okay to do what they are doing to him. Our government is infiltrated with the same type of evil. Be intelligent.

"The truth is antisemitic. Let that sink in," she wrote.
OneRepublic singer says 'won’t boycott Israel only because other artists do so’
Ahead of OneRepublic's November 8 concert in Israel, lead singer Ryan Tedder shared with Ynet his thoughts and feelings about being back on the road in a post-pandemic world, and specifically about returning to Israel in a time when many artists are facing criticism for doing so.

The upcoming show is part of a world tour that will also see the pop icons play Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa. The group last visited the Holy Land in May 2015 when they rocked Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park in front of a crowd of tens of thousands of roaring fans.

Besides providing lead vocals on OneRepublic's repertoire, Tedder, 42, also has a solo career as a songwriter and producer and has written songs for artists such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, and Adele, among others.

In an interview with Ynet, the renowned musician says that 50% of the reason he is in the showbiz industry is that it allows him to travel the world and see different cultures. He says that after COVID ground this aspect of his career to a screeching halt, he feels like getting back on stage is coming back to life in some sense.

When the American pop band last was in Israel in 2015, Tedder said that the weather and energy reminded him of his home in California, which made him feel at home. He also mentioned the food, which he described as "hysterical", and even insisted that some of the tastiest things he had ever eaten were here in Israel.

Tedder added that he admires the country's combination of nightlife, music, dancing, food culture, and modern high-tech industries, as well as the archeological, religious, and social history it entails.
University of Edinburgh to host academic who stated that “only Jews are immune from criticism” and referred to “Jewish financial power”
The University of Edinburgh is set to host an academic who has previously stated that “only Jews are immune from vilification or even criticism” and made reference to “Jewish financial power”.

Salman Abu Sitta is set to deliver a seminar at the University in November.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is an example of antisemitism.

Additionally, Mr Sitta referred to the antisemitic former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as “a great, honourable man”, who was “unseated” by “the enemy” after they used their “money” and “political influence”.

Mr Sitta’s comments, which were captured on video, were unearthed and uploaded to Twitter on Monday.

The University has adopted the Definition in full, including all of its examples.

HRC Prompts CTV On-Air Correction After Network Falsely Claimed Israel Killed 49 Palestinian Civilians
Our top priority is to hold Canada’s news media accountable for bias, inaccurate reporting and other breaches of journalistic standards that create false, if not malicious, narratives about Israel and the Jewish people.

The lies that contribute to growing antisemitism often begin in the media – fortunately, we are experts at combating lies and fighting for accuracy, fairness and promoting basic truths about Israel.

After all, we know that what’s reported today, becomes domestic and foreign policy tomorrow and that dishonest reporting has the potential to fan the flames of hatred.

That’s why we are on the front lines.

Recently, HRC prompted an important and precedent-setting success in holding Canadian broadcasters accountable for their (mis)reporting about Israel.

On October 14, CTV News broadcast a rare on-air correction where it formally retracted its false reporting on August 15 that Israeli air strikes killed 49 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, whereas in fact, 1/3 of the deaths were caused by misfired rockets launched by Palestinian terrorists from Islamic Jihad.
BBC’s Bateman continues to avoid crucial context to terrorism
On October 13th the BBC News website published a report by its Jerusalem bureau correspondent Tom Bateman in the ‘features’ section of its Middle East page. Titled ‘West Bank pressures grow amid Israeli closures’, that article includes the only mention to date of the two above fatal terror attacks – notably without identification of the victims:
“In the last week, five Palestinian teenagers have been killed by the Israeli military and two Israeli soldiers have been shot dead by Palestinians.

Israel’s security crackdown comes as it vows to continue a search for gunmen who killed the soldiers. […]

Many residents of Shuafat – a huge refugee camp cut off from the rest of the city by Israel’s separation barrier – have been unable to leave since Saturday night, when a Palestinian man armed with a pistol shot dead an 18-year-old Israeli soldier at a checkpoint. […]

Earlier this week, an Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian gunman near a Jewish settlement near the city of Nablus.”

Readers may recall that last month an incident in which an IDF soldier was shot and killed by Palestinian terrorists similarly went unreported for over two weeks until it was briefly mentioned in another report by Bateman (and an additional fatal attack was not covered at all). That report is repromoted in this latest article by Bateman, along with another from July.

As in that repromoted report, Bateman again focuses audience attentions on reports of the deaths of “Palestinian teenagers” while failing to provide the full stories, including any affiliations to terrorist organisations:
“On Wednesday the Palestinian health ministry announced the death of an 18-year-old Palestinian shot by Israeli forces in al-Aroub refugee camp near the city of Hebron.

The army said it opened fire at Palestinians throwing stones at cars, but didn’t say why it was necessary to use lethal force to stop this. […]

On 7 and 8 October, Israeli forces killed four Palestinian teenagers during a series of incidents in the West Bank within 24 hours. They included a 14-year-old boy shot dead near the separation barrier. The army claimed soldiers had fired at a Palestinian who threw petrol bombs at them.

On Monday, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy died of his wounds after being shot during an Israeli raid in Jenin in September.”

Readers may recall that Bateman similarly questioned the use of force against people carrying out potentially lethal attacks against motorists in the report he wrote less than two weeks before this one.

The Lithuanians still deny their participation in the Holocaust
In order to understand why the Lithuanians have changed their narrative of the Holocaust, it is important to remember that 96.4% of the Jews who lived under the Nazi occupation in Lithuania (212,000 of 220,000) were murdered. Some 90% were shot near their homes, in many cases by Lithuanian neighbors without any Germans present. In fact, there were less than 1,000 Germans in Lithuania during the Holocaust, a shocking statistic that no Lithuanian will ever mention.

Thus, on day one of Lithuanian independence, the fake narrative of the Holocaust was born: “The Nazis murdered our Jews, what a tragedy.” If pressed on the issue of local collaborators, the official response will be: “Those few Lithuanians who participated were from the dregs of society, outcasts, not normative Lithuanians, who would never do such things.”

A perfect example of this cover-up was provided several months ago by Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, who was quoted waxing poetic about the importance of memory and Holocaust education. But when the monuments at the Ponar mass murder site outside Vilna were vandalized, she referred to the 70,000 Jews murdered there as having been killed by “Nazis and others.” She could not utter the truth, nor could any other Lithuanian politician or official.

I am afraid that the JNS reports on Lithuanian Holocaust commemoration and education, which hide the sad truth about what is really happening in the Baltic republic, are likely influenced by the March of the Living, which wants to maintain good relations with the Lithuanian government. They got exactly what they wanted, regardless of truth and the dignity of the martyrs.

Lego owners buy Israeli-founded company BrainPOP
Kirkby, the company which owns Lego, is acquiring Israeli-founded children's education tool BrainPOP for $875 million.

BrainPOP, per the company's website, was founded in 1999 by Dr. Avraham Kadar as a creative way to explain difficult concepts to his young patients.

Kadar is an Israeli pediatrician and immunologist who has been living in the United States since the 1980s. He is the sole owner of BrainPOP and thus the sole beneficiary of the $875 million.

Although Kadar himself is in America, part of BrainPOP's development team is in Israel.

What is BrainPOP's product?

BrainPOP primarily sells private subscriptions to educators, institutions - including Israel's Education Ministry - and school districts at the elementary and middle school levels. There are programs geared toward different ages for nearly every subject imaginable. This includes content in Spanish (BrainPOP Espanol) and French (BrainPOP Francais) as well as an English-as-a-second-language program which is used in Israel.

The company's website also has a sample of free content on its Hebrew site, with videos explaining the stock market, price comparison as a consumer, Bible, Israeli culture and more.

Although the company will officially be sold to Kirkbi, Dr. Kadar will continue to be involved as a consultant to Lego and a managing director of BrainPOP's activity through the parent company.
Peter Bergson – The Unintended Hero of the Holocaust Era
Ken Burns’ The US and the Holocaust underplayed Peter Bergson’s role in the creation of the War Refuge Board, which is said to have saved 200,000 European Jews. Burns’ documentary, whether for ideological reasons or willful ignorance treated Bergson’s role as an afterthought. On the other hand, Rabbi Stephen Wise, Bergson’s nemesis received positive attention in Burns’ documentary. Yet, it was Stephen Wise who told the antisemitic State Department to hold off on distributing Gerhard Riegner’s report of the German Nazis systematic murder of Jews in Europe until he could verify it! It was pretty clear then, in 1943, that Hitler’s Germany intended to annihilate Europe’s Jews.

Hillel Kook, the Palestinian (Jewish) emissary who was sent to America by Zeev Jabotinsky, the legendary founder and leader of Revisionist-Zionism, and the Haganah (pre-state armed militia) ostensibly to raise money for a Jewish army that would help fight for a Jewish state. In order to dissociate himself from his illustrious family (he was the nephew of Israel’s beloved chief Ashkenazi rabbi during WWII), Hillel Kook used a pseudonym. He took the name Peter Bergson upon arriving in America. He never intended to be a Holocaust hero. As a major figure in the Irgun Tzvai Leumi (Etzel), another Jabotinsky creation, his mission was to help raise funds, find recruits, and appeal to the consciousness of Americans. The Irgun was dedicated to fighting the British White Paper that barred Jews from entering Mandatory Palestine during WWII, as well as defend Palestinian Jews from Arab terror.

During the dark days of the Holocaust, Bergson was one of the very few who worked day and night to awaken the free world and America in particular, to Hitler’s Germany ongoing genocide of European Jewry. While Bergson was working tirelessly to move the US government to save the Jews of Europe, the Jewish establishment in America, led by Rabbi Stephen Wise, responded with public denunciations of Bergson’s efforts. He endured threats and intimidation, as well as a campaign to persuade his supporters to repudiate him. Still, Bergson emerged from the ashes of the Holocaust with a record of achievement that few could claim. It was his pushing that ultimately led US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to create the War Refugee Board in 1944 which managed to save 200,000 Jews from the death camps.

Reaching New York in 1940, to organize a Jewish army, Bergson quickly recruited talented people including Ben Hecht, the celebrated Hollywood screenwriter. In Philadelphia, he enlisted Jack Yampolsky and his parents to serve as accountants and fundraisers. The majority of Jewish leadership in the US did not want to make waves. They were “shocked” by Bergson’s tactics, and attempted to have him deported back to Palestine. But Bergson was tenacious; he refused to give up. He organized protests and staged pageants to draw attention to the plight of Europe’s Jews.

Outraged by a tiny article in the Washington Post (November 1942), and on page 10 in the New York Times in which Stephen Wise revealed (information Gerhard Riegner provided earlier that was suppressed by the State Department and delayed by Wise) that two million Jews had already been murdered by the Nazis, changed Bergson’s life. Interviewed in Laurence Jarvik’s 1982 documentary “Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die,” Bergson had this to say: “I immediately reacted. I couldn’t go on with what I was doing. I even cancelled an appointment with a congressman that afternoon. I told the members of my committee that from now on we work with just one thought: how to save the Jewish people.”

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