Monday, January 23, 2023

From Ian:

Arsen Ostrovsky: Does Harvard’s ‘Veritas’ apply to Israel?
As far back as 2009, Roth’s obsession and bias with Israel had become so intolerable, it led to HRW founder Bob Bernstein to publicly excoriate the very organization he founded, writing in the New York Times that, under Roth’s leadership, “Human Rights Watch has lost critical perspective.” Instead of heeding Bernstein’s advice, in the years that followed, Roth’s obsession with Israel only intensified, to the point of fixation.

Writing for The Guardian, Roth claimed that the initial decision to refuse him a fellowship was due to his “criticism of Israel” and “donor reaction,” adding that HRW recognized that “we would never attract donors who wanted to exempt their favorite country from the objective application of international human rights principles. That is the price of respecting principles.”

Israel of course is not above the law or fair criticism, however, the undeniable fact is that Roth has systematically denied Israel equal treatment, taking his criticism to an obsessive and obscene level, refusing to accept the Jewish state has legitimate security concerns and denying it the same rights as afforded to other democracies.

In reversing his decision, Kennedy School Dean Elmendorf said he made an “error” in his initial refusal to appoint Roth, which was not influenced by any donor pressure, but rather had been guided based on his evaluation of Roth’s potential contribution to the school. Elmendorf ought to have stuck to his initial assessment.

Instead, there can be no other way to look at this reversal other than as a cowardly and pitiful caving in to Roth’s pressure campaign. One may be forgiven for asking if Harvard now has any red lines at all in the hallowed pursuit of “open debate”? What next? Maybe a fellowship to Vladimir Putin to teach modern warfare, or Ayatollah Ali Khamenei a fellowship in gender studies?

At a time of antisemitism surging to unprecedented levels on campuses across the United States, instead of taking a principled stand, Harvard has just normalized and rewarded Jew-hatred with a prestigious Fellowship.
When it Comes to Hating Jews, Academic Freedom is in Full Bloom
If Ken Roth was responsible for such an epic libel and historical distortion, then just maybe he doesn’t belong anywhere near a university, most especially Harvard. After all, colleges are supposedly dedicated to objective truth, intellectual inquiry, and moral constancy. Given the woke war that has been waged on the campus green for some time now, aren’t there already enough Israel haters spreading propaganda and poisoning minds?

What about academic freedom, which ultimately guided the decision to welcome Roth to the Kennedy School? That’s all well and good on a two-way street. But academic freedom when it comes to Israel offers freedom in one direction alone: the freedom to deny its legitimacy. Viewpoint diversity about Israel, or on any number of topics on campus these days, is nonexistent.

No college in America has any plans to adopt the new definition of antisemitism proposed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and embraced by over 30 countries, which updates antisemitic invective to include: depriving Jews of their right to self-determination, referring to Israel as a racist endeavor or comparing Israelis to Nazis, and blaming Jews for Israel’s policies.

Evidently, the joys of campus life, and the freedoms of the academy, would be shattered if professors and students were obliged to refrain from such antisemitic rhetoric.

Ironically, it has often been stated that Roth, the Israel basher, also has Jewish blood. In fact, his father fled Nazi Germany. It’s not the first time that Israel’s enemies have trotted out their list of Jews who have discovered the career benefits of betrayal, and who have completely abandoned moral clarity and an allegiance to their people. Jewish history is littered with fellow travelers in self-hatred who would do anything to become a fellow at Harvard.

In the case of Roth, however, it is worth remembering that the organization that he once led was begun by Jews (no surprise there), and that its founder, Robert Bernstein, distanced himself from, and openly criticized, the direction Roth had taken HWR in the Middle East.

It’s time for universities to start recruiting, and handing out fellowships, to the Bernsteins of the world, too.


Guardian buries the lede that ((donors)) didn't nix Roth's fellowship
The Guardian’s McGreal then published a follow-up (“Harvard reverses decision on role for Israel critic after outcry”, Jan. 19), which included this:
Roth had accused Elmendorf of withdrawing the fellowship under pressure, direct or implied, from donors who are strong supporters of Israel. The dean denied it.

“Donors do not affect our consideration of academic matters,” he said in his statement. “My decision was also not made to limit debate at the Kennedy School about human rights in any country.”


Indeed, The Chronicle of Higher Education previously reported that Ermendorf told colleagues that his original decision was based conversations he had with people who mattered to him did. Who, specifically, asked Ken Roth, was Ermendorf referring to?

Well, Judea Pearl, whose son Daniel, a journalist for the Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped and beheaded by Islamic terrorists in Pakistan over 20 years ago, tweeted this on Jan. 19th:

In addition to being an academic who has received awards for his work on artificial intelligence, the widely respected Pearl is president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, which works to continue his son’s life-work of East-West understanding, and is a co-recipient of the 2006 Purpose Prize for launching the Daniel Pearl Dialogue for Muslim-Jewish understanding.

So, contrary to the smears peddled about the row, it wasn’t wealthy Jewish donors who pressured Dean Elmendorf – a fact alluded to but ultimately buried due to Guardian’s insistence on never learning any lessons about the profound dangers of antisemitic dog whistles.
Why is the Reform movement defending an antisemite?
A rather remarkable document was recently issued by a group of left-wing Jewish organizations, in which the task of defending a confirmed antisemite was undertaken.

This open letter, issued by Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Habonim Dror North America, J Street, the New Israel Fund, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, sought to defend Rep. Ilhan Omar and deride House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s stated purpose (now fulfilled) of removing Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“As Jewish American organizations, we oppose Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s pledge to strip Representative Ilhan Omar of her House Foreign Affairs Committee seat based on false accusations that she is antisemitic or anti-Israel,” the organizations stated.

When I read this missive, I was initially put in mind of French historian Pierre Vidal-Naquet’s remark upon reading a statement by Holocaust deniers: “Epithets came to my pen.”

I shall eschew obscenity, but epithets seem in order, because this letter is a quite monstrous document.

The reason is that its assertion that the accusations against Omar are “false” is a lie. With the best will in the world, Omar’s claims that American Jews buy control of Congress via their “benjamins” and that support for Israel constitutes loyalty to a foreign country cannot be viewed as anything other than explicitly antisemitic.

Omar has never repudiated or apologized for these statements. She clearly believes that she is merely speaking truth to power—which in this context can only be viewed as “Jewish” power.


Israel Raises $2 Billion in Government Bonds as Demand Totaled $12 Billion
Israel has completed its first sale of dollar-denominated 10-year green bonds, raising a total of $2 billion through an international debt offering as the government sets out to meet its goal of a zero-emissions economy by 2050.

Israel is the 24th country around the world to sell green bonds, which are geared to fund key environmental objectives such as those set out in the national action plan on climate change to cut carbon gas emissions. The government seeks to cut global warming emissions by at least 27% by 2030, compared with a 2015 benchmark, and to reach net-zero by 2050.

The Finance Ministry said it sold $2 billion of the green bonds at 95 basis points above the benchmark yield on similar-term US government bonds. Demand amounted to about $12 billion, or six times the amount issued, as more than 200 investors in 35 countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates, participated in the international bond offering.

Barclays, BNP Paribas, BofA Securities and Citi acted as the underwriters of the offering. The offering drew “high demand” from Asian institutional investors such as in Japan and Korea, the Finance Ministry said.

“The broad participation of the world’s largest institutional investors in the sale is a sign of great confidence that investors have in the State of Israel and in the strength of the Israeli economy and requires us to continue a responsible policy that will move the Israeli economy forward,” said Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich. “We will continue to work to advance the Israeli economy and maintain ties with international investors.”

The “impressive demand” was led by “high-quality” strategic investors such as central banks, pension funds, and insurance companies, which have held the securities of the State of Israel for a long time, the ministry added.
Richard Kemp: Club Z: A titanium dome for Jewish youth
They have no use for safe spaces, are never triggered and reject the idea of victim culture. The teenagers of Club Z more closely resemble hardened titanium than the melting snowflakes of so many of their peers and represent a powerful beacon of hope for American values and the Jewish people. This Jewish youth organization—Z is for Zionist—held its national conference last weekend, and I was privileged to be there when 200 energetic young high school students, suited and booted for business, descended on an unsuspecting Miami airport hotel.

During keynote speeches and breakout sessions from some of the finest minds in the Zionist world, the students—aged between 14 and 18—listened intently, took notes, challenged, questioned, conversed, debated and argued, sometimes heatedly. They were quick-witted, intelligent, articulate and confident, yet no self-absorbed nerds—roasting and ragging each other, they made time to party into the night and rampage the hotel corridors as youthful needs must. They were serious people with a serious purpose but that didn’t stop them from plunging fully clothed in jackets, ties and stylish dresses into the hotel pool one evening, led with abandon by their Chief Zionist Officer, the redoubtable Masha Merkulova, founder of Club Z.

So, this was no ordinary hotel conference, but this is no ordinary group. Club Z is a youth organization that should not exist. The fact that it has to is an American tragedy that needs to be brought to an end, and Club Z is doing its bit to try and achieve that. After a relative pause of some 50 years following the end of the Second World War and the Holocaust, Jew hate—now masquerading under the more fashionable alias of anti-Zionism—is firmly back on U.S. campuses and growing at an alarming rate.

Recent studies show an intensifying campaign of coordinated attacks on Jewish identity at over 60% of American colleges that are popular with Jews, 2,000 incidents intended to harm Jewish students since 2015 and a shocking proportion of students experiencing antisemitic attacks, with many feeling the need to hide their Jewish identity.
The 19th Century’s Most Consequential Jewish Philanthropist, and the Gentiles Who Hated Him
The grandson of a Jewish financier who, against considerable odds, had been made baron by the king of Bavaria, Maurice de Hirsch would become one of the wealthiest men in Europe and perhaps the most significant Jewish philanthropist of the 19th century. In 1869, he set about building the Ottoman empire’s first railroad network, connecting it to the rest of Europe. Abigail Green reviews a new biography of Hirsch by Matthias Lehmann:

As a Jew who had inherited noble pretensions, young Maurice was caught between two worlds. His observant uncle may have been treated to a kosher banquet by King Ludwig I of Bavaria in the royal palace of Aschaffenburg, but the 1813 [law restricting Jewish rights] still limited the family’s personal and professional options, so Maurice’s parents sent him abroad to be educated. They chose Belgium, a rapidly industrializing state born out of liberal revolution and epitomizing political and economic promise. It was also a place where German Jewish banking families could be less dependent on princely favor. . . .

In 1878, Hirsch moved his company’s headquarters from Paris to Vienna. Here no one saw Hirsch as a legitimate agent of Austrian interests; he appeared instead a typically self-seeking Jew. . . . In other countries, they pushed different narratives. For the pan-German activist Paul Dehn, Hirsch represented a “ruthless, predatory, usurious capitalism,” which had betrayed German central Europe. In short, he was Jewish. In France, meanwhile, the socialist anti-Semitic publicist August Chirac did not fail to blame “a Jew called Baron de Hirsch”—tellingly (but wrongly) described as “a Prussian”—for “the constant troubles in the Balkans” that were “enriching the Jews” but causing suffering for the area’s Christian population. . . .

Hirsch’s underlying attitude toward Judaism set him apart from . . . other 19th-century Jewish leaders. Moses Montefiore was a pious Jew and a lover of Zion, while Adolphe Crémieux was a secularist and French nationalist who believed in the Jews’ monotheistic mission to humanity. Hirsch, for his part, was utterly detached from Judaism and never donated anything to Jewish religious institutions or synagogues. One of his personal secretaries summed the situation up well when he quoted him saying, “‘Let others take care of the soul, if they are so inclined, but I will occupy myself with the body.’” . . . And yet at the same time, Maurice clearly felt distinctly Jewish.


And it was to Jewish causes that Hirsch would give millions of francs.
The Life of Johnson
The book for which he is best-known is Modern Times. I read it in its first edition: A History of the Modern World from 1917 to the 1980s. It was published in 1983, when I was a freshman in college. It left a stamp on me — and many, many others. The book struck me as simply . . . true.

I will tell you a couple of stories about Modern Times. I know a husband and wife who, before they were married, read it out loud together. They thought that this was an important exercise, as well as an enjoyable one. Some years ago, a young friend of mine told me that he was required to read the book before beginning an internship at the Wall Street Journal. A smart requirement.

In 1976, Johnson published A History of Christianity. About ten years later, he published A History of the Jews. I have not read the first book. (I like the idea that many Johnson books still await me.) I read the second, and I can tell you that it is a masterpiece. Speaking personally, it caused something like a revolution in my understanding of many things.

Paul Johnson, by the way, was one of the greatest philosemites in Christendom.

In 2013, I was at dinner with some friends in New York and said I was about to go to London. The reason: to participate in an event involving Paul Johnson. A friend said, “You mean the Paul Johnson who wrote the history of the Jews?” “One and the same,” I said. “A great book,” replied my friend.

Let me mention that this friend is not on the right, at all. I mention it because the obit in the New York Times was headed, “Paul Johnson, Prolific Historian Prized by Conservatives, Dies at 94.” He is prized by conservatives. And others.
Ian Black, respected Jewish journalist and Middle East expert, dies at 69
Ian Black, one of the best-known and highly respected of Jewish journalists in England, has died at the age of 69. Black, who spent most of his journalistic career at The Guardian which he joined in 1980, also did a stint at The Jerusalem Post, arriving at the paper ahead of his cousin Jeff Barak who subsequently joined the list of the Post’s editors-in-chief.

“When I started at The Jerusalem Post, my modest claim to fame was the fact that I was Ian’s younger cousin, something I was – and still am – very proud of,” Jeff Barak said on Monday.

“Back then, Ian was already a well-known journalist, making his reputation as The Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent. He was a great writer – his final book Enemies and Neighbors is a masterpiece of research and storytelling – but I also had the privilege to know him as someone who was fun to be with and very caring to those close to him.”

Ian Black: Not a Jewish journalist, but a journalist who wrote a lot about and from Israel
Black, who lived with his family in London‘s Jewish heartland of Golders Green, also authored several books. He was not a Jewish journalist in the sense of writing for Jewish publications, but he wrote a lot about and from Israel. He also reported extensively from Syria, Libya, Egypt and Iran, and covered the Arab Spring.

His books included Israel’s Secret Wars, written together with another former Jerusalem Post reporter, Benny Morris. Published in 1991, the book sheds light on Israel’s intelligence services from the period of the early Zionist pioneers.
Multiple Universities Give Institutional Support to Antisemitism
The libel of Jewish cabals controlling and manipulating governments has manifested over the years in everything from the notorious fabrication “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” to Nazi propaganda. Today, it remains a popular antisemitic conspiracy theory, often found in the form of white supremacist messages about a “Zionist Occupied Government” (or “ZOG”). As explained by the American Jewish Committee: “By manipulating Western governments, antisemites claim ZOG controls the world economy, limits free speech, confiscates land, and usurps military and police forces.”

This is clearly what Albanese was arguing.

It is thus extraordinarily disturbing to see universities employ what the scholar David Hirsh has named the “Livingstone Formula,” which he defines as “the insistence that Jews raise the issue of antisemitism dishonestly in order to silence criticism of Israel; that they don’t even believe it themselves.”

It’s an unfortunately common tactic, particularly among many of the other, particularly unsavory organizations listed as signatories. For example, MIFTAH once posted a neo-Nazi article that accused “the Jews [of using] the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover” and, when caught, employed the same tactic it’s using today by claiming it was the victim of a “smear campaign.” Another signatory is “Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East,” whose chair also cried “smear campaign” after being denounced for employing the dual loyalty trope against several Jewish Canadian elected officials.

While it is apparent that Al-Haq has attempted to artificially inflate and lend undeserved credibility to its joint statement by listing institutions that had not actually agreed to sign on, it is also apparent that some universities have become institutional accomplices in the normalization and legitimization of antisemitism at a time when antisemitic beliefs and attacks have risen to shocking levels.

In the Netherlands, for example, a 2019 survey found 43% of the population think “Jews are more loyal to Israel” than to their own country. In Canada, we recently learned just how much university administrations and faculty can play a role in fueling discrimination against Jews in their institutions and in employing the same Livingstone Formula. As described by a senior advisor on antisemitism at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, “I was frequently at a loss as to how to escape from the circular reasoning that dismissed my experience of discrimination while dehumanizing me, calling me out as racist for defending myself against racism, and ascribing to me sinister, hidden power.”

As this latest incident shows, far from being centers of enlightenment and progress, too many universities are instead establishing themselves as hotbeds of bigotry and backwardness, embracing the kind of crude antisemitic conspiracy theories that helped fuel some of history’s most violently racist moments, from pogroms to the Holocaust.
Universities only care about the 'academic freedom' to be antisemitic
American universities may have found one academic freedom they actually support: the academic freedom to be an antisemite.

A Title VI discrimination complaint alleges that George Washington University professor Lara Sheehi singled out Jewish students in the classroom. After students complained to the administration, Sheehi reportedly retaliated against them, disparaging them to other faculty members. Sheehi’s course contained antisemitic coursework and lectures. She invited a guest speaker who claimed that Israel tests missiles on Palestinian children.

That all sounds bad, but it is actually much more ridiculous than it sounds. This was all in a psychology course. It is also a mandatory “diversity” course that these students were forced to take at George Washington University.

A George Washington University spokeswoman said that the university "strongly condemns antisemitism and hatred" but "also recognizes and supports academic freedom." But the university apparently was not even a passive party here. According to the Washington Free Beacon, “the Jewish students were told faculty had voted to discipline them but were not made aware of their specific offenses” and would receive a “permanent negative mark” on their records if they repeat the undescribed offenses.

In case you are keeping track of what constitutes “academic freedom” at universities in recent weeks, being openly antisemitic and building an antisemitic course is considered academic freedom. Showing a class two paintings of the Prophet Muhammad is hateful and a fireable offense. That is the current state of higher education.


Australian Jews call to ban entry to Kanye Down Under
The Australian Jewish Association (AJA) on Monday called on authorities in Canberra to not issue rapper and fashion mogul Kanye West a visa to enter the country, on the grounds that his planned visit constitutes a threat to the country’s Jewish community.

“Kanye West (or Ye) has engaged in incitement against Jews on numerous occasions as well as spreading hateful conspiracy theories and praising Adolf Hitler. In response, several companies such as Adidas and Balenciaga have cancelled business arrangements and several social media companies have removed him,” the AJA said in an “urgent” letter sent to Australian Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles.

“Antisemitism is at elevated levels in Australia, part of a worldwide trend. Multiple recent antisemitic incidents across Australia have specifically referenced Kanye West, including graffiti in Melbourne and leaflets in Brisbane. The Australian Jewish Association fears that a visit by Kanye West is likely to inflame the tense situation and even risks causing violence,” continued the letter.

“We ask that you exercise your powers and refuse Kanye West a visa on character grounds as provided in 5501 Migration Act 1958. AJA contends that Kanye West does not pass the character test and his conduct is not in line with the expectations of the Australian community. We believe that refusing his visa is necessary for the protection of the Australian community, particularly the Jewish community.”

In an interview late last year, West, who now goes by Ye, told Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that he admires Hitler.


Palestinian Journalist Ramzy Baroud Seeks to Delegitimize Israel
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan at the present time has not only a cold peace with Israel, but one might even consider it an unfriendly “peace.” Jordan is unlikely to break the peace treaty with Israel, since Israel provides the kingdom with protection from hostile elements, including radical Islamist takeover or an Iranian initiated coup. In 1970, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorists attempted to takeover Jordan, and Syrian forces were ready to finish the job by invading Jordan. It was Israel’s mobilization of forces that kept the Syrians at bay. Jordan also depends on Israel, providing it with 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water from its Mediterranean coast, as well as gas. For this drought plagued nation, Israel’s water is a lifesaver. Nevertheless, with most of the Jordan’s population (about two-thirds) being Palestinians, including King Abdullah II’s wife, Queen Rania Al-Yassin, Abdullah, unlike his father, is far more beholden to the Palestinians majority, and thus, far more militant vis-à-vis the interests of the Palestinians in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).

Palestinian journalist Ramzy Baroud is a media consultant and author. He serves as editor of the Palestine Chronicle. In an opinion piece in the Jordan Times titled What will Happen After the ICJ Delegitimizes Israel’s Occupation of Palestine, he makes the argument that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is illegal, which chimes along with Jordan’s less pronounced position. Baroud wrote (January 16, 2023), “According to the official UN news website, there are currently nearly 700,000 “illegal” Jewish settlers. The Israeli NGO “Peace Now” says that these Jewish settlers live in 145 “illegal” colonies in the “occupied” West Bank, in addition to 140 settlement outposts, many of which are likely to be made official by the new government. “

The short answer to Baroud is “nothing will happen” if the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Der Hague passes the verdict Baroud anticipates. Firstly, Israel and the US have not ratified their membership when the International Criminal Court was established on July 1, 2002, under the Rome Stature, just as Israel refrained from membership in the rogue UN Human Rights Council. The court has no jurisdiction to enforce anything pertaining to Israel, and its judges reflect the anti-Israel views of the UN General Assembly whose majority members are antisemitic and anti-Israel. Ironically, the ICJ was established with the Holocaust in mind. One of the court’s initiators was a Jewish-American lawyer named Benjamin Ferencz who prosecuted Nazi criminals at the 1946 Nuremberg trials.

Another response to Baroud’s clear attempt to delegitimize Israel is the US declaration (November 2019) that Israeli settlements on the West Bank are “not inconsistent” with international law despite decision by world bodies like the International Court of Justice. Israel’s Prime Minister then and now, Benjamin Netanyahu called the US declaration “a policy that rights a historical wrong.”


Looking behind BBC portrayal of Palestinian casualties in January
To summarise, at least eleven of the seventeen Palestinians killed since the beginning of the month were linked to terrorist organisations and one was a member of the PA security forces. Four of those killed were carrying out shooting or stabbing attacks not related to counter-terrorism operations (none of which were reported by the BBC). The vast majority of the others were engaged in some form of violence at the time of their deaths such as rioting, throwing cinder blocks or attempting to snatch a soldier’s gun.

Notably, however, this first BBC report of the month (and the year) on the topic of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces once again does not make any attempt to provide a clear picture of the topic as a whole and instead focuses audience attentions on an exceptional incident resulting in the death of a teacher.

The BBC’s public purposes oblige it to provide “accurate and impartial news…so that all audiences can engage fully with major local, regional, national, United Kingdom and global issues”. Selective coverage of Palestinian casualties clearly does not meet that obligation.


How the Corbynites tried to rewrite history
In 2019 John Ware, the hugely respected veteran television journalist made a Panorama documentary: “Is Labour Antisemitic?”

People who deny that Labour had an antisemitism problem under Corbyn’s leadership tried to destroy Ware’s reputation - and the reputations of the whistle-blowers who spoke out in his film.

John Ware will tell the story of the programme, the responses to it and his fight to defend it, and to defend the truth about the politics and culture of the Corbyn faction.

For three years, Corbyn supporters waged a ceaseless war on Panorama's "Is Labour anti Semitic?" transmitted in 2019. They seemed determined to destroy the programme's credibility as part of their efforts to rewrite history and restore Corbyn's reputation. No amount of public rebuttal from John Ware, the BBC and the broadcasting regulator Ofcom was sufficient to shut them up. So Ware took three of his most egregious critics to court. Only when confronted with the prospect of having to prove their allegations before a judge did they back down. This is John Ware's story.




Dani Dayan: Holocaust artifacts can be ambassadors of remembrance
The display of sixteen Holocaust-era objects in the Bundestag, the governing democratic body of Germany, certainly exemplifies the commitment of the German leadership and how it is taking responsibility for past German crimes. The exhibition will encourage fact-based discussion, for example, about Anneliese Dreifuss and her sister Helga, who lived on Gerokstraße in Stuttgart.

After Anneliese and Helga’s world was turned upside down when their mother, Elsa, passed away in 1930, the last thing they could have imagined was that less than 10 years later they would lose their mother country, as well.

When their father, Max, a clothing store owner, was incarcerated in Buchenwald after the November 1938 pogrom, these two young girls were left alone. Viewing the original toy kitchen they once played with, we can appreciate what it might have felt like for two young orphans to live in such threatening surroundings. We can feel the fear of children caught up in a cruel world and empathize with them and with other individual victims.

It is incumbent on us to ensure that this commitment to remembering the Holocaust victims as individuals, with their personal attributes, aspirations, hopes and dreams, encompasses all citizens of our society. It is not sufficient to remember the Holocaust merely as another tragic event in the history of mankind.

Yad Vashem is committed to bringing the memory of the unprecedented nature of the Holocaust to present and future generations by commemorating each individual Jewish victim. Each individual’s story is unique. Each individual wanted the world to know of their existence.

The artifacts housed in the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem provide a window into a world that was and is no more, bearing everlasting witness to the atrocities their owners endured. Without these remnants, their memory and many other victims would fade into oblivion.

Through these items, the legacy of the Holocaust is transformed from the unfathomable “Six Million” to tangible, relatable individuals. By seeing, hearing and knowing these stories, we hope to abate the hateful comments we encounter all too often in the digital and physical spheres, and push Holocaust denial, distortion and trivialization back to the fanatical illegitimate fringes of society. In order to do that, we must first connect and remember.
New Israeli exhibition places Nazi children's board game 'Jews out!' on display
The game, manufactured in Nazi Germany by an obscure company called Guenther and Co., is likely to have been out on sale at the end of 1938

A new exhibition at the Wiener Library for the Study of the Nazi Era and the Holocaust at Tel Aviv University is featuring the appalling children's board game "Jews out!" (Juden Raus!),

The game, manufactured in Nazi Germany by an obscure company called Guenther and Co., is likely to have been out on sale at the end of 1938, following the events of Kristallnacht.

In the board game, players are tasked with collecting six 'Jew hats' from Jewish residential and commercial areas in the city. The first player to bring them to one of the roundup spots wins the game.

One of the captions on the board reads "Go to Palestine!" (Auf nach Palästina!).

Prof. Emeritus José Brunner, the Academic Director and Chair of the Scientific Committee of the Wiener Library, says that the game was a clear sign that antismetic acts against the Jews was at every age of German society.

"'Jews Out!' is clearly the outcome of years of blatant incitement and antisemitism which prevailed in German society in the 1930's – so much so that someone got the idea that driving out the Jews was a suitable theme for a children's game."


Irwin Cotler: Remembering Raoul Wallenberg: Disappeared hero of the Holocaust
What happened to Raoul Wallenberg?
YET, WHILE Wallenberg saved so many, he was not himself saved by so many who could. Rather than greet Wallenberg as the liberator he was, the Soviets – who entered Hungary as liberators themselves on January 17, 1945 – imprisoned him, where he disappeared into the gulag. The Soviets first claimed that he died of a heart attack in July 1947, before changing their story to claim that he was murdered, also in July 1947.

These contradictory Soviet claims have been refuted by several inquiries, including the 1990 International Commission on the Fate and Whereabouts of Raoul Wallenberg, which I chaired, along with Wallenberg’s brother Guy von Dardel, US Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, Russian scholar Mikhail Chlenov, and former Israeli attorney-general Gideon Hausner.

Indeed, in 1985, as our commission report cited, a US federal court found the evidence “incontrovertible” that Wallenberg was alive in 1947, “compelling” that he was alive in the 1960s, and “credible” that he remained alive into the 1980s – a position held by Soviet Nobel Peace Laureate Andrei Sakharov, who conveyed this information personally to Chlenov and me in a meeting we had in Moscow in November 1989.

It is imperative that the international community finally secure for Wallenberg and his family the long-denied truth and justice owed to them. The countries of Wallenberg’s honorary citizenship, including Israel, should lead an international consortium calling upon Russia to open its archives and reveal the long-sought, and suppressed truth about this disappeared hero of humanity, whom the UN called “the greatest humanitarian of the 20th century.” For us, in Wallenberg’s own immutable words, “there should be no other choice.”

May our commemoration of Raoul Wallenberg Day be not only an act of remembrance but a remembrance to act on behalf of our common humanity.
Houston woman breaks into synagogue, terrorizes preschool children
A Houston, Texas woman is being prosecuted after allegedly repeatedly breaking into and terrorizing a synagogue, even missing a court date for one incident to continue harassing the Jewish house of worship.

Ezra Law first appeared at the Congregation Emanu El temple in Houston last week, according to Harris County prosecutors. She was seen on the pulpit by a rabbi who was arriving to prepare for a bar mitzvah ceremony on January 14.

Assistant Harris County District Attorney Erica Winsor said Law had allegedly vandalized the synagogue, damaging certain objects and creating a general state of disarray, Click2Houston reported.

"There were several religious items that had been removed from their place. Some were damaged, there was red wine that had been consumed and also spilled. Most importantly, there was a Torah scroll that was removed from the Holy Arc and spread out on the floor. And there was red wine that was spilled on that scroll."
Assistant DA Erica Winsor

"The damage is immeasurable," Winsor said. "There were several religious items that had been removed from their place. Some were damaged, there was red wine that had been consumed and also spilled. Most importantly, there was a Torah scroll that was removed from the Holy Arc and spread out on the floor. And there was red wine that was spilled on that scroll."

Law was quickly arrested, but prosecutors say instead of showing up to court for her arraignment Friday, she returned to the congregation where she then allegedly screamed and shouted at preschool children. She left before officials could arrive.

Suspect allegedly has ties to Jews for Jesus
According to watchdog group StopAntisemitism, Law was a member of the Christian group ‘Jews for Jesus’ and posted concerning content addressing the Congregation Emanu El's rabbi just days prior to the first break in. StopAntisemitism tweeted a photo Sunday of Law wearing a kippah.


Lessons from Colleyville, Texas: How to survive a hostage situation
Recounting his experiences on Jan. 15, 2022, when an ordinary Shabbat service turned into an 11-hour hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Jeff Cohen said it was ongoing training that helped him and the others at the synagogue that day know what do to.

“Our survival was not a miracle, and it’s a little frustrating when people say that,” said Cohen, who now serves as the synagogue president. “Our escape was due to training, planning and actually executing some of the things we had prepared for.”

He spoke during a 90-minute webinar on surviving hostage situations, which was offered by the Secure Community Network in collaboration with Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Leading the discussion of just what to do should you find yourself in such a situation were Shawn Brokos, director of community security at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, and Beth LaManna, regional security adviser for Jewish Nevada. Both women are certified crisis negotiators and former FBI agents who have worked in actual hostage situations.

LaManna noted that surviving isn’t just about being physically safe it’s about hostages being able to “return [to] their best and most productive lives.”


NYPD Asks Public for Info in Attack on Staten Island Synagogue
New York City Police are asking for the public’s help in tracking down and identifying the “creep” who vandalized an outside fence surrounding a Staten Island synagogue.

The incident, which is being classified as a hate crime assault, took place early Shabbat morning at the Toras Emes synagogue on Hyland Boulevard.

Security footage of the incident showed an individual exiting from the rear passenger seat of a white Honda SUV in front of the synagogue and hitting the white vinyl fence until he broke through.

The perp then re-entered the vehicle, which drove away.

A reward of up to $3,500 is being offered for anyone who provides information leading to the perp’s arrest. Those with information are asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS. Calls are confidential.
Man who believed “Jewish elite” controls government jailed for six-and-a-half years on terror charges
At the Birmingham Crown Court trial last year, Oliver Lewin, 38, from Coalville, Leicestershire, was found guilty of preparing terrorist acts.

The verdict came despite Mr Lewin’s denial that he was planning on carrying out reconnaissance of potential targets, buying equipment, creating hideouts, and attempting to recruit others.

The defendant’s targets included transmitter masts and transport infrastructure.

Mr Lewin was said to have posted messages in a channel on the social media platform Telegram, which had been infiltrated by police officers, where he issued a “call to arms” and suggested “fire-bombing” sheds in the Sutton Coldfield of Birmingham.

During the trial last year, prosecutor Annabel Darlow KC said: “That is one of the UK’s most important transmission sites and is in fact the main broadcasting site for the Birmingham and West Midlands area, supporting TV and radio broadcasting services for many millions of users.”

Ms Darlow added that “Mr Lewin, in fact, stated his goal was to topple the British government. He believed that it was dominated by a Jewish elite who took orders from Israel…He saw the spread of coronavirus across the world as triggering what he termed the emergence of a Chinese Communist system.”

Mr Lewin reportedly admitted that he had purchased equipment, however, he allegedly told officers that he had no intention of carrying out an attack, arguing that he was just a “fantasist” engaging in “role play”.


“They doubled down, unfortunately” Comedian Josh Howie opens up about friendships ending over antisemitism
Josh Howie, a Jewish comedian and writer who has starred in BBC Radio 4 and Netflix sitcoms, appeared on the most recent episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism where he discussed how antisemitism has affected his friendships with fellow performers.

“Amongst comics, more [are aware of antisemitism] now, but it was much worse. There are big name comics, and there are people who wrote some outrageous stuff [online]…never acknowledged it, never apologised for it.”

Mr Howie lamented at what he felt was a hypocrisy among certain comedians who advocate allyship toward other marginalised groups, but then spew “outright racism against Jews”.

Mr Howie noted instances of fellow comedians making antisemitic statements without consequence, including one which resulted in a comic’s antisemitic rhetoric being challenged.

“There’s about ten Jewish comics at the circuit level, [they] all confronted him, very public thing. The guy didn’t lose any work, no promoters were like ‘This needs to be challenged.’ He said it, didn’t apologise, no one cares. That’s the reality of it,” he said.

The comedian revealed that some of his friendships with fellow performers have ended due to their unapologetic antisemitic statements.

“I’m a little bit sore about the whole thing. I’m sore to comedians who I thought would take a stand and didn’t.”

He added: “I really thought when the [Equality and Human Rights Commission] dropped it’s findings, I really thought there were some people, good friends of mine who had stopped being part of my life, would go ‘I’m sorry’, but at that point, they doubled down, unforunately.

“And that’s very sad, but that’s the way it is. I’ve lost friends, but I’ve made new friends.”


Israeli luxury hotel ranked in Conde Nast's 2023 Gold List
The Jaffa, a luxury hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel, has been included among Conde Nast's 2023 Gold List for hotels around the world.

Included in the section for hotels in the Middle East and Africa, The Jaffa was noted for its beautiful interior and how it reflects the current zeitgeist of the city where it resides.

However, the actual history of the luxury hotel is rather fascinating in its own right.

From convent to luxury: What is the history of The Jaffa hotel?
The Jaffa's luxurious aesthetic belies the fact that the building itself originated as the School of the Sisterhood of Saint Joseph convent and adjacent 19th-century former French hospital.

Thanks to British architect John Pawson and local conservationist Ramy Gill, the building was extensively restored, preserved and renovated over the course of seven years in order to create the boutique hotel it is today.

Now the hotel is filled with 120 rooms and ornate neo-classical art and architecture. Overall, it's a blend of the old and new – something that Conde Nast itself noted as being characteristic of the Jaffa Port in Tel Aviv itself.

And that's all without mentioning the food, with bagels and lox and shakshuka available all day long at Golda's deli.

Another thing that is interesting to note is that The Jaffa hotel is actually part of the Marriot hotel brand as part of its Luxury Collection. This, too, reflects the growing trend of collection hotels in Israel, where existing hotels join under the umbrella and platform of a major brand while maintaining their own name and branding.
Disturbed on their way back to Israel this summer
American hard rock giants Disturbed will be returning to Israel on June 28 at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Center.

“Can’t wait to return. This time…in the heart of Tel Aviv! Roger Waters is cordially invited…of course LOL,” lead singer and staunch supporter of Israel, David Draiman told The Jerusalem Post on Monday, alluding to the former Pink Floyd member’s allegiance with the BDS movement.

Although he has visited the country many times and has primary family members living here, Draiman only brought Disturbed to Israel for the first time in 2019, where they sold out the Rishon LivePark and Draiman sported an IDF t-shirt and led the crowd in singing ‘Hatikva.’

Rabbi to rock star
Formed in 1994 with bandmates, guitarist/keyboardist Dan Donegan, bassist John Moyer and drummer Mike Wengren, Disturbed has sold millions of albums since their 2000 debut and, in 2015, cracked the mainstream with a passionate version of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” that shattered the heavy metal stereotype the band had fostered.

The 49-year-old Draiman, who was on a career path to become a rabbi before secular music changed his direction, has been an outspoken defender of Israel on social media.






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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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