Author Topic: Anti-semitism & Jews  (Read 415179 times)


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #100 on: June 10, 2009, 07:31:14 PM »

Obama is a 20 year disciple of Rev. "Them Jews" Wright. Much like Obama's lack of concern for the US soldier murdered by the black muslim convert in Arkansas, I doubt his concern here. His radicalism become clearer every day.

+1. Obama would have to be the dumbest community planner ever to have not noticed that his pastor was a racist and overly chummy with the head of the nation of islam, also a racist organization.

Wright’s Security Provided By Nation Of Islam ^

Posted on 04/28/2008 3:54:13 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY

By Michelle Malkin

April 28, 2008

Heard E.D. Hill mention this earlier today. It’s been confirmed: Jeremiah Wright’s bodyguards are Nation of Islam goons. Several Farrakhan acolytes were also in the audience for Wright’s vaudeville performance at the National Press Club, including one of our favorite race clowns, Malik Zulu Shabazz, and America’s favorite race clown politician, Marion Barry. Also in attendance: Wacknut Obama supporter Rev. Michael Pfleger:

Speaking before an audience that included Marion Barry, Cornel West, Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam official Jamil Muhammad, Wright praised Louis Farrakhan, defended the view that Zionism is racism, accused the United States of terrorism, repeated his view that the government created the AIDS virus to cause the genocide of racial minorities, stood by other past remarks (”God damn America”) and held himself out as a spokesman for the black church in America.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #101 on: June 11, 2009, 01:31:52 PM »
And as Krauthammer first suggested BO's greatest gift is his temperment.

It is hard if not impossible for me to believe BO sat in Wright's church for decades listening to this kind of stuff and didn't on at least some level, if not completely, agree.

He certainly did not protest much did he?

IMO this is an example of what Krauthammer, a Harvard trained psychiatrist, was one of the first to notice - that BO can hide his feelings and play everyone for his own benefit.


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Patriot Post: The Neocon conspiracy
« Reply #102 on: June 15, 2009, 08:23:29 AM »
"[F]or years, mainstream liberalism and other outposts of paranoid Bush hatred have portrayed neoconservatives -- usually code for conservative Jews and other supporters of Israel -- as an alien, pernicious cabal. 'They have penetrated the culture at nearly every level from the halls of academia to the halls of the Pentagon,' observed the New York Times. '...They've accumulated the wherewithal financially (and) professionally to broadcast what they think over the airwaves to the masses or over cocktails to those at the highest levels of government.' NBC's Chris Matthews routinely used the word 'neocon' as if it was code for 'traitor.' He asked one guest whether White House neocons are 'loyal to the Kristol neoconservative movement, or to the president?' [Holocaust Museum shooter James] Von Brunn may have wondered the same thing, which is why he reportedly had the offices of Bill Kristol's 'Weekly Standard' on his hit list. Unhinged Bush-hater Andrew Sullivan insists that, 'The closer you examine it, the clearer it is that neoconservatism, in large part, is simply about enabling the most irredentist elements in Israel and sustaining a permanent war against anyone or any country who disagrees with the Israeli right.' Leading liberal intellectual Michael Lind warned about the alarming fact that 'the foreign policy of the world's only global power is being made by a small clique' of neoconservative plotters. Even with Bush out of the picture, some see the problem emerging again. Just this week, Jeremiah Wright, the president's longtime mentor and pastor, whined that, 'Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me.' Maniacs like von Brunn connect dots that aren't there because that's what paranoid anti-Semites do. What's the left's excuse?" --National Review editor Jonah Goldberg


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Swedish Blood Libel
« Reply #103 on: August 27, 2009, 07:07:56 PM »
Israel disturbed by Swedish silence
Aug. 19, 2009

Israel is "bothered" that the Swedish government has not publicly condemned in Stockholm an article that appeared in the mass-circulation Aftonbladet tabloid on Monday claiming IDF soldiers snatched body organs from dead Palestinians, the Foreign Ministry's senior deputy director-general said Wednesday.

Rafi Barak relayed this message in two phone conversations he had on the subject during the day with Sweden's Ambassador to Israel Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier, who issued a sharply worded statement saying the article was "as shocking and appalling to us Swedes as it is to Israeli citizens. We share the dismay expressed by Israeli government representatives, media and the Israeli public. This embassy cannot but clearly distance itself from it."

According to the statement, "Freedom of the press and freedom of expression are freedoms which carry a certain responsibility. It falls on the editor-in-chief of any given newspaper."

Foreign Ministry officials, while praising the Swedish envoy for her statement, said a similar one needed to be heard from the government in Stockholm and aimed not at the Israeli public, but at the Swedish one.

"We are expecting that they will condemn this, as they did here," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. "It is clear the government is not responsible, but it is important the government voice be heard on this inside Sweden."

Palmor said that since Sweden currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, it was even more important - to preserve its image and reputation - for a strong condemnation to be made.

This is something that is extremely dangerous because it could lead to hate crimes," Palmor said. "An orderly country that doesn't want civil unrest needs to make clear this is unacceptable."

The article, in a convoluted and incendiary manner, tries to connect dots between Palestinian claims of IDF organ harvesting, to a murky incident in 1992 where a Palestinian family alleged the IDF snatched the organs from their son, to a campaign for Israeli organ donors that same year, to alleged illegal purchases of organs in Israel in the early 2000s, and to the recent story of American Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, who was among those arrested recently in New Jersey and accused of illegally trafficking in human organs.

In addition to Barak's conversations with Bonnier, Israel's Ambassador to Sweden Benny Dagan has been in contact with the Swedish Foreign Ministry about the matter. He has also contacted the newspaper itself for an apology, but has not received a reply.

Israeli officials said there was some talk inside of Sweden of suing the paper over the article, although this would have to be done by private individuals, not the State of Israel.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, meanwhile, termed the article "a blood libel and the worst type of anti-Semitism." Ayalon called on the Swedish government to "condemn the accusations," and said, "we see a correlation between the government public statements, which are extremely critical of Israel, and anti-Semitism in the press."

In recent months there has been some diplomatic tensions between the two countries. Earlier this month, after the eviction of two Palestinian families from Jewish-owned homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, the Swedish Foreign Ministry summoned Israel's ambassador to protest the move.

Israel responded by summoning Sweden's ambassador and saying that the Swedish government had taken an unfairly critical position toward Israel since assuming the EU presidency on July 1.

Bonnier declined a request to be interviewed on the matter Wednesday.

While the government in Stockholm had yet to be heard from, the article provoked strong reactions among Jews and non-Jews alike in Sweden itself, with some saying articles like this were not uncommon in the country.

"I think it's devastating and totally unacceptable," Swedish MP Birgitta Ohlsson, who sits on the parliament's committee on foreign affairs, told The Jerusalem Post. "It's not the first time that we've seen similar stories in this paper. Of course independent newspapers in a liberal democracy should have the opportunity to criticize other countries, but this is crossing the line."

The Jewish community in Sweden has not reacted as strongly, according to Lena Posner-Kerosi, the president of the official council of Jewish communities in Sweden, because of the fact that other newspapers haven't picked up the story and even rebuffed Aftonbladet for printing it.

"This article is written in one newspaper by one person who is well known as being anti-Israel and anti-Semitic," Posner-Korosi said. "It doesn't create a lot of reaction in the Swedish public."

While she wasn't surprised that Donald Bostrom, a freelance writer, wrote the piece, she said she was unclear as to why the newspaper, which has an estimated circulation of over 1 million readers daily, would publish it.

In a phone conversation with the Post, Bostrom held that the article was "serious" journalism and that he was not trying to take a stand or express an opinion but rather to convey the feelings of the Palestinians with whom he spoke in research for a book in 1992.

"For me this is normal journalistic work, it is not propaganda, it is not anti-Semitism," he said. "Nothing is fabricated."

That was inconsistent with comments he made earlier in the day to Israel Radio, where he said he had "no clue" if the claims of the Palestinians that he quotes in the article were true or not.

"It is time to shed light on this macabre activity and what has passed in the Israeli occupied territories since the intifada started," Bostrom wrote.

Lisa Abramowicz, secretary-general of the Swedish-Israel Information Center, a small organization which works to combat anti-Israel bias in the Swedish media, said that stories like this are common in Sweden.

"The situation is really, really, bad," she said of the anti-Israel sentiment in Swedish media.

Abramowicz said that Swedish newspapers often make Israel out to be the enemy, while championing the Palestinian cause. Aftonbladet is the "worst," but not the only newspaper, in publishing partial rhetoric against Israel, she said, not only in its news articles but on its editorial page and in the culture section.

"Some people are more equal than others, and Palestinians are more equal than any others in the Swedish media," Abramowicz said. "This is what we are force-fed with morning, day and night, even in the serious newspapers."
This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1249418646869&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull
[ Back to the Article ]

Aish has a video and a petition


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Re: Anti-semitism in Sweden
« Reply #104 on: August 27, 2009, 08:48:15 PM »
"...while praising the Swedish envoy for her statement, said a similar one needed to be heard from the government in Stockholm and aimed not at the Israeli public, but at the Swedish one."

Thanks for that story.  Last March in 'Islam in Europe' I posted what I thought was an amazing story about how Sweden did not allow spectators to see the Davis Cup match (the world cup of tennis and tennis is HUGE in Sweden) for fear of uncontrollable riots.  The match was Sweden vs. Israel and the city was Malmo, now largely Muslim (27% of the people are foreign born) and Sweden's 3rd largest city.

Needless to say the riots went on anyway.  Take a look and see if this is the civilized Scandinavian country one might have expected.  Or has it been invaded by immigrants on a takeover mission, abusing the world's greatest welfare system, along with a remaining populace, like in certain suburbs of Paris, afraid to speak an opposing view.

Apology or no apology, it looks to me like the anti-semitism in either one of these stories is but the tip of an enormous iceberg.


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #105 on: August 28, 2009, 06:43:12 AM »
The next thing you know, muslims will flood into european supermarkets and rip Israeli products off of the shelves while American leftists try to defend it as free speech. Nah......That'd never happen.  :roll:


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Jews selling body parts
« Reply #106 on: August 28, 2009, 08:12:01 AM »
Well there is some recent news concerning Jews and body parts I am sad to say.
I don't know about taking these parts from Palestinians but I certainly wouldn't write it off.
When money is involved all bets are off - as always whether the people are Jews or non Jews.

I am not going to defend Jews just because they are Jews if they commit criminal acts.

****July 23: FBI agents lead arrested suspects from their headquarters as part of a corruption investigation in Newark, N.J.
NEWARK, N.J. —  Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn called himself a "matchmaker," but his business wasn't romance.

Instead, authorities say, he brokered the sale of black-market kidneys, buying organs from vulnerable people from Israel for $10,000 and selling them to desperate patients in the U.S. for as much as $160,000.

The alleged decade-long scheme, exposed this week by an FBI sting, rocked the nation's transplant industry. If true, it would be the first documented case of organ trafficking in the U.S., transplant experts said Friday.

"There's certainly cross-national activity, but it hasn't touched the United States or we haven't known about it until now," said University of Pennsylvania medical ethicist Arthur Caplan, who is co-directing a U.N. task force on international organ trafficking.

Rosenbaum was arrested Thursday, 10 days after meeting in his basement with a government informant and an FBI agent posing as the informant's secretary. The agent claimed to be searching for a kidney for a sick uncle on dialysis who was on a transplant list at a Philadelphia hospital.

"I am what you call a matchmaker," Rosenbaum said in a secretly recorded conversation. "I bring a guy what I believe, he's suitable for your uncle." Asked how many organs he had brokered, he said: "Quite a lot," the most recent two weeks earlier.

As part of the scheme, the organ donors were brought from Israel to this country, where they underwent surgery to remove the kidneys, authorities said. Prosecutors did not identify which hospitals in the U.S. received the donors and their kidneys.

"The allegations about an organ trafficking ring in the United States are appalling," said John Davis, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation.

Israel Medical Association spokeswoman Orna Cohen said the organization had no reports there of Israelis selling organs. "If it's true, then it's shocking," she said.

Related StoriesInformant, Rabbi's Son Allegedly Aided Massive New Jersey Corruption Bust
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Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Israel's national police force, said Israeli police were not involved in the investigation, and he would not comment further.

Under 1984 federal law, it is illegal for anyone to knowingly buy or sell organs for transplant. The practice is illegal just about everywhere else in the world, too.

But demand for kidneys far outstrips the supply, with 4,540 people dying in the U.S. last year while waiting for a kidney, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. As a result, there is a thriving black market for kidneys around the world.

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, an anthropology professor at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of an upcoming book on human organ trafficking, said that she has been tracking the Brooklyn-connected ring for 10 years and that her contacts in Israel have called Rosenbaum "the top man" in the United States.

Scheper-Hughes said she was told Rosenbaum carried a gun, and when a potential organ seller would get cold feet, Rosenbaum would use his finger to simulate firing a gun at the person's head.

Scheper-Hughes said she was also told that some of the kidney transplants using sellers procured by Rosenbaum were performed at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

The hospital said it is aware Rosenbaum has been charged but that its transplant screening process is rigorous and that it assesses each donor's motivation.

"All donors are clearly advised that it is against the law to receive money or gifts for being an organ donor," spokeswoman Brenda Perez wrote in an e-mail. "... The pre-transplant evaluation may not detect premeditated and skillful attempts to subvert and defraud the evaluation process."

Rosenbaum was arrested in a sweeping federal case that began as an investigation into money laundering and trafficking in kidneys and fake designer bags. It mushroomed into a political corruption probe, culminating in the arrests this week of 44 people, including three New Jersey mayors, various other officials, and five rabbis. The politicians and rabbis were not accused of involvement in the organ trafficking.

Rosenbaum, 58, is a member of the Orthodox Jewish community in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, where he told neighbors he was in the construction business.

For someone who was not a surgeon, Rosenbaum seemed in his recorded conversations to have a thorough knowledge of the ins and outs of kidney donations, including how to fool hospitals into believing the donor was acting solely out of compassion for a friend or loved one.

He was recorded saying that money had to be spread around liberally, to Israeli doctors, visa preparers and those who cared for the organ donors in this country. "One of the reasons it's so expensive is because you have to shmear (pay others) all the time," he was quoted as saying.

"So far, I've never had a failure," he bragged on tape. "I'm doing this a long time."

At a 2008 meeting with the undercover agent, Rosenbaum claimed he had an associate who worked for an insurance company in Brooklyn who could take the recipient's blood samples, store them on dry ice and send them to Israel, where they would be tested to see if they matched the prospective donor, authorities said.

Four checks totaling $10,000, a down payment on the fictitious uncle's new kidney, were deposited in the bank account of a charity in Brooklyn, prosecutors said.

An after-hours phone call to Rosenbaum's lawyer, Ronald Kleinberg, was not immediately returned Friday.

Dr. Francis Delmonico, a Harvard professor, transplant surgeon and board member of the National Kidney Foundation's Board of Directors, said similar trafficking is going on elsewhere around the world. He said an estimated 10 percent of kidney transplants — 5,000 to 6,000 each year — are done illegally. Hot spots are Pakistan, the Philippines and China, where it is believed organs are obtained from executed prisoners, he said.

Caplan, the University of Pennsylvania ethicist, said he expects the U.N. task force to make recommendations in October that would hold hospitals worldwide accountable for establishing the origins of each organ they transplant and whether it was freely donated without compensation.

"There is a black market, almost exclusively in kidneys," Caplan said. "All international medical groups and governments ought to condemn any marketing in body parts. It's simply too exploitative of the poor and vulnerable. The quality of the organs is questionable. People lie to get the money. The middle men are irresponsible and often criminals. They don't care about the people who sell."

Scheper-Hughes said her research has uncovered hundreds of cases of illegal organ transactions brokered by and for Israelis in Israel, South Africa, Turkey and other countries, with sellers recruited from poor communities in Moldova, Brazil and elsewhere.

In 2003 and 2004, 17 people were arrested in Brazil and South Africa on suspicion of participating in an international human organ trafficking organization. Investigators said Brazilians who passed a medical checkup were flown to South Africa, where their kidneys were extracted.

A few transplant surgeons support changing the law to allow a system of regulated compensation to increase the pool of donor kidneys.

Arthur Matas, a transplant surgeon who directs the kidney transplant service at the University of Minnesota Medical School, said donors could be compensated with some combination of lifetime access to medical care, life insurance, a tax credit, help with college and a small direct payment.

"It would minimize the extraordinary black market and exploitation of impoverished people internationally," Matas said.

Martin Weinfeld, who lives around the corner from Rosenbaum in Brooklyn, said the allegations bring shame on the community.

"It puts a bad name on good people," he said. "Religion is supposed to be about God, helping others, not about the cash."****


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews, Organ hustler
« Reply #107 on: August 28, 2009, 08:49:30 AM »
CCP,  Amazing story.  Of course the perp. in the story is only a Jew by association or by family of origin, not Judeo-Christian in his beliefs - Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's organs for transplant.


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« Reply #108 on: September 02, 2009, 06:07:05 PM »

Hat tip to BBG, re-pasting here from the Rant thread.
Buchanan: Everything You Know About Hitler's Foreign Policy is Wrong

Michael C. Moynihan | September 2, 2009, 6:19pm

Back in 1996, George Will wrote a column in Newsweek attacking Pat Buchanan's peculiar brand of conservatism; one that replaced the sunniness of Reaganism with a "snarl of resentment about people 'sitting on the corner playing bongo drums' in downtown Washington, about the economic onslaught from mighty Mexico, about the voicelessness of 'Euro-Americans' about the teaching of 'Godless evolution,' and other affronts to this 'Christian country.'" Will reminded readers of Pitchfork Pat's curious fixation on Nazi war criminals, and his revisionist view of how Jews were murdered at Treblinka:

In 1990 Buchanan, blithely misrepresenting "1,600 medical papers," ridiculed the "so-called 'Holocaust Survivor Syndrome'," which he said involves "fantasics" of martyrdom and heroics. He said that "reportedly" half the survivor testimonies on file at Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem are considered "unreliable." He did not say who reported that.

Regarding the use of diesel engine exhaust to asphyxiate Jews at the Treblinka concentration camp where 850,000 died, in 1990 Buchanan wrote: "Diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody." How did he know? "In 1988, 97 kids trapped 400 feet underground in a Washington, D.C., tunnel while two locomotives spewed diesel exhaust into the car, emerged unharmed after 45 minutes." The source of that anecdote? "Somebody sent it to me." It had already appeared in a publication specializing in Holocaust denial.

Buchanan's eagerness to use such stuff that comes in, as it were, through his transom is telling. And as Jacob Weisberg wrote in The New Republic: "Carbon monoxide emitted by diesel engines is sufficient to asphyxiate people when they are crammed by the hundreds into thirteen-foot chambers. According to the 'Encyclopedia of the Holocaust,' suffocation at Treblinka took as much as half an hour: Buchanan's comparison only proves that the children he described had sufficient oxygen to survive whatever length of time they were trapped in the tunnel." Even though the tunnel was open at both ends, some children were made sick.

I covered much of the same territory responding to Buchanan's fact-free column on the John Demjanjuk case, in which he misunderstood the German penal code, compared a former concentration camp guard to Alfred Dreyfus, and generally made a hash of the facts surrounding the prosecution's case. And I took on Buchanan's view of the Holocaust—which he viewed as merely a consequence of a war started by Churchill—here.

And now Buchanan is back, with a column arguing that Hitler, the misunderstood Reichsfuehrer, didn't really want war, and could have been negotiated back from the brink. There is so much nonsense here that one barely knows where to begin, but here is a representative sample of Buchanan's argument:

The German-Polish war had come out of a quarrel over a town the size of Ocean City, Md., in summer. Danzig, 95 percent German, had been severed from Germany at Versailles in violation of Woodrow Wilson's principle of self-determination. Even British leaders thought Danzig should be returned. Why did Warsaw not negotiate with Berlin, which was hinting at an offer of compensatory territory in Slovakia? Because the Poles had a war guarantee from Britain that, should Germany attack, Britain and her empire would come to Poland's rescue.

Same was true of the Sudetenland, says Buchanan. These are, coincidentally, the very talking points one would find on the September 2, 1939 editorial page of the Völkischer Beobachter. And like much revisionism, such idiocy requires a significant refutation (which can be found in most any objective study of the war's origins). But let me just address a rhetorical question posed by Buchanan, and designed to convince readers that Hitler had no strategic designs on his neighbors:

But if Hitler was out to conquer the world — Britain, Africa, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, South America, India, Asia, Australia — why did he spend three years building that hugely expensive Siegfried Line to protect Germany from France?

This is pretty thin gruel, even by Buchanan's low standards of evidence. The Siegfried Line (or Westwall), a defensive structure built on Germany's western border, was by no means an indication of Germany's peaceful intentions. During the Sudeten crisis, which resulted in Czechoslovakia's incorporation into the Reich, "Hitler was hoping to prevent British intervention [by building the Westwall], and was certain the French would not act alone," writes historian Ian Kershaw. "A key deterrent, in his view, was the building of [the Westwall] provide a significant obstruction to any French invasion." There are piles of evidence to support this uncontroversial argument; simply, the German leadership constructed fortifications in the west in order to move on the east. As one book on the Westwall states flatly, the fortifications were "built not to protect against a French aggression per se but to deter France from attacking in support of her allies when Hitler sought to realize his territorial ambitions in the east."

And full credit to Adam Serwer at The American Prospect for his headline, "Pat Buchanan: Sotomayor? Racist. Hitler? Misunderstood."


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Gilder's The Israel Test
« Reply #109 on: September 03, 2009, 06:28:27 AM »
What's Israel Got to Do with It? -- By: Clifford D. May

By (Clifford D. May)

Bill Gates famously called George Gilder "very stimulating even when I disagree with him, and most of the time I agree with him." The issues on which Gilder has staked out stimulating positions over more than 30 years as a writer and public intellectual are wide-ranging. They include the causes of poverty and the creators of wealth; the consequences of modern feminism; and the possibilities opened by the high-tech revolution. His arguments are often surprising, always provocative, and generally controversial.

His latest book is titled The Israel Test. Much of what he says is dramatically different from what just about anyone else is saying. In particular: "Either the world, principally the United States, supports Israel, or Israel, one way or another, will be destroyed. There are no other realistic choices. And if Israel is destroyed, capitalist Europe will likely die as well, and America, as the epitome of productive and creative capitalism spurred by Jews, will be in jeopardy."

At this juncture, it is probably not just useful but necessary to note that George Gilder is not Jewish. In other words, the case he makes for Israel has no basis in religious or ethnic affiliation. At the same time, not being tethered to Israel or to Jews allows him to be blunt in a way few of Israel's Jewish defenders dare.

For example, he says that people "who obsessively denounce Jews have a name; they are Nazis." He does not hesitate to apply the term to Arab and Iranian leaders who exhibit such behavior. He contends, as well, that the "most dangerous form of Holocaust denial is not rejection of the voluminous evidence of long-ago Nazi crimes but incredulity toward the voluminous evidence of the new Holocaust being planned by Israel's current enemies. Two Iranian presidents have resolved to acquire nuclear weapons for the specific purpose of 'wiping Israel off the map.'"

What can be done to prevent a second Holocaust and to beat back the jihadis at America's gates? Gilder believes, first, we need to recognize the nature and gravity of the threat; second, we need more resolve; and third, we need more technology of the sort America and Israel have been most adept at producing.

It will require comprehensive missile defense and other high-tech means to prevent our sworn enemies from "infiltrating nuclear weapons into American cities, exploding them offshore near American ports, or detonating bombs above America's critical electronic infrastructure" -- destroying that infrastructure with an EMP (electromagnetic-pulse) attack, an offensive capability that Iran, for one, is known to be developing.

"No nation in history has succeeded in preserving its integrity and sovereignty without meeting the challenge of ever-advancing armaments," Gilder points out. "But many American intellectuals still imagine that the United States is different, that it is possible or desirable for us to negotiate an 'end to the arms race.' Our enemies will always want to end the arms race because they know only free nations can win it.#...#An end to the arms race would deprive the capitalist countries of their greatest asset in combating barbarism."

Gilder is convinced that the forces targeting Israel and America also are "targeting capitalism and freedom everywhere." Capitalism, he says, requires freedom -- for entrepreneurs, workers, and consumers alike. All benefit because "under capitalism the achievements of one group provide markets and opportunities for others."

He goes on to make this unfashionable observation: Any democracy not resting on a solid capitalist foundation is doomed. "Without an expanding capitalist economy," he writes, "democracy becomes dominated by its zero-sum elements -- by mobs and demagogues."

Over the centuries, such mobs and demagogues have, many times, turned against Jews. Today, Gilder adds, "they have turned against Israel." Sometimes, the root cause is simply greed and envy. But often it is the belief that "social justice" necessitates the dispossession of the "haves" and redistribution to the "have-nots" in the interest of "equality of outcome."

Over time, this can only lead to expanding poverty because it is based on a misunderstanding of what wealth is. Fundamentally, wealth inheres not in material resources but in "human minds and creations that thrive only in peace and freedom. In particular, the immiseration of the Middle East stems chiefly from the covetous and crippling idea among Arabs that Israel's wealth is not only the source of their humiliation but also the cause of their poverty."

Gilder has much more to say -- more challenging arguments and perplexing questions than I can summarize in a brief column. But his underlying thesis is straightforward: The future of freedom, democracy, capitalism, America, the West, and the tiny state of Israel are all tied together in a single knot. Israel is "not only a major source of Western technological supremacy and economic leadership -- it is also the most vulnerable source of Western power and intelligence."

Israel is, Gilder contends, "not only the canary in the coal mine -- it is also a crucial part of the mine." If Americans will not defend Israel, they will "prove unable to defend anything else. The Israel test is finally our own test of survival as a free nation."


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews, Gilder
« Reply #110 on: September 03, 2009, 09:13:16 AM »
"Gilder contends, "not only the canary in the coal mine -- it is also a crucial part of the mine." If Americans will not defend Israel, they will "prove unable to defend anything else."
Some negatives on Gilder have been posted previously and with some validity, but IMO he is a very brilliant guy.  That's why many of us were reading his work for so long.  He is an amazing researcher.  (On the technologies he covered, I think he was spot-on every time, but that did not mean the correct response was to buy and hold shares in that particular company.)

I have not read his new book but agree with his security view of Israel.  How do we downplay the fact that a major power is actively developing nuclear weapons and committed to destroying an ally?  How does anyone not see a parallel to Hitler stating and writing his intentions to a world of busy people sure that he couldn't really mean it. 

For those who will disagree with Gilder's conclusions, I think there will still be plenty of information and analysis of value to justify a read.  Then you can draw your own conclusions, but I'm sure once you are drawn in you will find his very persuasive.

Further on Israel, I mentioned before that I have read but cannot find online Saddam Hussein's surrender speech of March 1991.  Saddam goes on for 4 pages about the 'Imperialists and the Zionists' (America and Israel), all in one breath, over and over and over, before finally mentioning that he accepts the UN resolutions that equal surrender.  To our Middle East and Islamic-extremism-based enemies, Israel and the US are one and the same and our destruction is their stated objective.


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #111 on: September 05, 2009, 06:15:07 AM »
CCP  if it  is  true the acts of the Rabbi selling the kindeys were  terribly wrong and  a desecration of G-ds name.  However your post does not belong in this forum antisemitism is not okay just because some Jews do bad things. One American who murders does not make all Americans murderers.  There is no evidence at all the Swiss accusations were true  you can just write it off. This is not something intelligent people can disagree on.

Judaism differs from Christianity in that Judaism has an aspect of peoplehood it is not just about belief  Your actions can be against  everything Judaism stands for but  you can still be Jewish.


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #112 on: September 05, 2009, 07:35:33 AM »
HI Rachel,
The Swiss article may have been motivated by anti semitism.  I am not clear on that matter.
But there may also be truth to it.

Have you been watching CNN's special on organ smuggling.
Jewish Israelis were putting ads in Arab Israeli newspapers targeting the poor and basically taking their kidneys for small pittances and in at least some cased ripping them off altogether.
They would promise them 3K and then turn around and bill them for hotel stays food etc, and by the time it was done they might make almost nothing.

We Jews should stand up and condemn this stuff to the highest level.
Not exclaim the messengers are anti semites.

These are the actions of Jews that give us a bad name.  These scum, these animals, these pigs tarnish all of us in a world that is happy to use this as a poster of how evil Jews are - the enemies of all Jews which are widespread.
And yes because of history we as a people should show no tolerance/mercy to those of our faith who commit such sins.

None of us are saints but this crap is an outrage.

And Mt. Sinai and the surgeons in NY and Cedar Sinai who look the other way because they have cash paying customers are NOT off the hook either.

It is not enough to state,
"well there are bad apples in every group".


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Swedish daily admits no proof for organ smuggling claim
« Reply #113 on: September 06, 2009, 04:36:02 PM »

STOCKHOLM - A Swedish newspaper admitted Sunday it did not have proof for an earlier story alleging Israeli soldiers had trafficked the organs of Palestinians, which sparked a diplomatic row with Israel.

In an editorial headlined "The week the world went crazy", Aftonbladet chief editor Jan Helin wrote that the first article on the case published last Monday "lacked" proof of any organ theft.

"I'm not a Nazi. I'm not an anti-Semite. I'm a responsible editing executive who gave the green light to the publication of an article because it asks a number of pertinent questions."

The tabloid followed up its original story that claimed Israeli soldiers had snatched Palestinian youths to steal their organs with an interview with the family of an alleged victim.

Two Aftonbladet reporters interviewed the mother and brother of Bilal Achmad Ghanem, a youth allegedly killed by Israeli troops 17 years ago when he was 19 on suspicion of being a ringleader in the first Palestinian uprising.

They asked his 32-year-old brother Bilal if they had any proof that his organs had been stolen.

"No, I don't have any," he replied. "But I have met people who told similar stories about their loved ones. We have heard many stories like this one."

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, caught in the diplomatic storm provoked by the original story, was also interviewed by Aftonbladet.

Sweden, said Bildt, had to be "more careful in explaining to outsiders the way our freedom of expression and freedom of the press work".

Asked if Helin should apologise for the article, Bildt said: "Aftonbladet is responsible for the content it publishes, not the government."

On Friday, Bildt played down the diplomatic row with Israel sparked by the paper's claims.

When asked by reporters if the report would sour relations between the two countries, Bildt said: "I don't think so."

"We have very strong state relationship between Israel and our government. We are both open and democratic societies," he told reporters.

But Israel on Sunday pressed Stockholm to condemn the original report.

"We are not asking the Swedish government for an apology, we are asking for their condemnation," a senior official quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as telling ministers during the weekly cabinet meeting.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz of Netanyahu's rightwing Likud party said "the crisis will continue as long as the Swedish government doesn't change its attitude toward this anti-Semitic article.

"Those who do not condemn it are not welcome in Israel."
as of 08/24/2009 9:45 AM

If you would like to talk about organ trafficking on another thread. I would be happy to discuss it.   There is a lot of really disgusting things going on with the organ trade including buying the organs of executed criminals from China.  However you are feeding into   hundreds of year old blood libels without proof. I  couldn't find the  article you mentioned on cnn or the issue covered in any reputable press . I watch very little TV and I never watch the news. I don't really care about Michael Jackson death etc   Would you please locate a print source for your accusations.     I  think it is important that  evil actions by human being are  called out.  However I never think it acceptable to refer to a human being as an animal -- referring to human beings as animals makes it easier for people to rationalize their  own bad behavior.   


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Jew Jitsu!!!
« Reply #114 on: September 11, 2009, 06:55:05 PM »


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #115 on: September 12, 2009, 06:27:55 AM »
This goes along with the stereotye that if you mess with a Jew he/she will kick your tuchus. :wink:


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The evil of Banality
« Reply #116 on: November 03, 2009, 07:20:58 PM »
the spectator
The Evil of Banality
Troubling new revelations about Arendt and Heidegger.
By Ron Rosenbaum
Posted Friday, Oct. 30, 2009, at 12:37 PM ET

Will we ever be able to think of Hannah Arendt in the same way again? Two new and damning critiques, one of Arendt and one of her longtime Nazi-sycophant lover, the philosopher Martin Heidegger, were published within 10 days of each other last month. The pieces cast further doubt on the overinflated, underexamined reputations of both figures and shed new light on their intellectually toxic relationship.

My hope is that these revelations will encourage a further discrediting of the most overused, misused, abused pseudo-intellectual phrase in our language: the banality of evil. The banality of the banality of evil, the fatuousness of it, has long been fathomless, but perhaps now it will be consigned to the realm of the deceitful and disingenuous as well.

The first of the two new reports—and the one most overlooked here in America, perhaps because it's not online—appeared in the sober pages of London's Times Literary Supplement on Oct. 9. It was titled "Blame the Victim—Hannah Arendt Among the Nazis: the Historian and Her Sources." Arendt—the German-born refugee intellectual, author of the influential The Origins of Totalitarianism and the controversial Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil—has come under fire before for "blaming the victim" in her Eichmann trial book, but the author of the TLS piece, the distinguished British scholar Bernard Wasserstein, breaks new ground here with material I found shocking.

In a long, carefully documented essay, Wasserstein (who's now at the University of Chicago), cites Arendt's scandalous use of quotes from anti-Semitic and Nazi "authorities" on Jews in her Totalitarianism book.

Wasserstein concludes that her use of these sources was "more than a methodological error: it was symptomatic of a perverse world-view contaminated by over-exposure to the discourse of collective contempt and stigmatization that formed the object of her study"—that object being anti-Semitism. In other words, he contends, Arendt internalized the values of the anti-Semitic literature she read in her study of anti-Semitism, at least to a certain extent. Wasserstein's conjecture will reignite the debate over Arendt's contemptuous remarks on certain Jews who were victims of Hitler in her Eichmann book and in her letters.

Could these revelations help banish the robotic reiteration of the phrase the banality of evil as an explanation for everything bad that human beings do? Arendt may not have intended that the phrase be used this way, but one of its pernicious effects has been to make it seem as though the search for an explanation of the mystery of evil done by "ordinary men" is over. As though by naming it somehow explains it and even solves the problem. It's a phrase that sounds meaningful and lets us off the hook, allows us to avoid facing the difficult question.

It was the banality phrase—and the purported profundity of it in the popular mind—that elevated Arendt above the ranks of her fellow exile intellectuals in America and made her a proto-Sontag figure, a cerebral star of sorts and a revered icon in cultural-studies departments throughout America. It was the phrase that launched a thousand theses.

To my mind, the use of the phrase banality of evil is an almost infallible sign of shallow thinkers attempting to seem intellectually sophisticated. Come on, people: It's a bankrupt phrase, a subprime phrase, a Dr. Phil-level phrase masquerading as a profound contrarianism. Oooh, so daring! Evil comes not only in the form of mustache-twirling Snidely Whiplash types, but in the form of paper pushers who followed evil orders. And when applied—as she originally did to Adolf Eichmann, Hitler's eager executioner, responsible for the logistics of the Final Solution—the phrase was utterly fraudulent.

Adolf Eichmann was, of course, in no way a banal bureaucrat: He just portrayed himself as one while on trial for his life. Eichmann was a vicious and loathsome Jew-hater and -hunter who, among other things, personally intervened after the war was effectively lost, to insist on and ensure the mass murder of the last intact Jewish group in Europe, those of Hungary. So the phrase was wrong in its origin, as applied to Eichmann, and wrong in almost all subsequent cases when applied generally. Wrong and self-contradictory, linguistically, philosophically, and metaphorically. Either one knows what one is doing is evil or one does not. If one knows and does it anyway, one is evil, not some special subcategory of evil. If one doesn't know, one is ignorant, and not evil. But genuine ignorance is rare when evil is going on.

Arendt should have stuck with her original formulation for the Nazi crimes, "radical evil." Not an easy concept to define, but, you might say, you know it when you see it. Certainly one with more validity than banality. (Wasserstein dryly notes that "her epigones have tried valiantly to reconcile the two positions, she herself recognized the inconsistency"—between radical and banal evil—"but never satisfactorily resolved the fundamental self-contradiction.") But Arendt fled from radical evil into banality in more ways than one.

Where the Wasserstein article breaks new ground is in his citation of some of the anti-Semitic sources Arendt used for what is considered her major work, The Origins of Totalitarianism. Of course, Arendt has been called hostile to Jews, particularly those who lack the Germanic acculturation she was so proud of.

But The Origins of Totalitarianism has not, until now, come under fire on these grounds. And I must say that even though it's a book massively bloated by irrelevant show-your-work history, it serves as ballast for an important theoretical insight: that the similarities among police-state surveillance regimes are more important than the differences, that the similarities can be summed up by a single word—totalitarianism—that applies to dictatorships of the left and right, of any ideology and by extension any theocratic regime or movement.

It's a concept that has great relevance right now because there are still those who don't understand how theocratic police states can be called "fascist." Duh! It's because they're totalitarian. Whatever religion they profess, what they share with past fascist regimes is greater—in terms of denial of human rights—than what separates them. Just as political regimes adopt religious-type totalist worship of the state or the leader to enforce their oppression, religious or theocratic regimes adopt political oppression to enforce their orthodoxies.

But Wasserstein (who ironically delivered his conclusions originally at "the Hannah Arendt Lecture" at Holland's Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen in December 2008—probably not what they expected) has found some problems in her historical analysis of anti-Semitism.

He introduces his findings with a curt nod to the Arendt defenders: "In The New York Review of Books in 2007 Jeremy Waldron reproved the historian Walter Laqueur for having speculated that Arendt 'had read too much anti-Semitic literature for her own good.' " Waldron, Wasserstein observed, "considered the conjecture 'offensive.' "

"Actually," Wasserstein continues, "it merits serious consideration, as emerges if we examine the use of sources in her work. Consider, for example, Arendt's discussion, in the second section of Origins, of the role of Jews in the gold and diamond rushes in South Africa at the turn of the twentieth century. She relies here on the account by the British economist J.A. Hobson in which he referred to Jewish financiers 'leaving their economic fangs in the carcasses of their prey. They fastened on the Rand … as they are prepared to fasten upon any other spot on the globe'—part of a passage that Arendt quotes with explicit and unironic approval, commending it as 'very reliable in observation and very honest in analysis.' "

"Fangs"? You say this sounds like pure Hitlerite rhetoric that could have been lifted from Mein Kampf? Well, yes, it does, doesn't it?

And then there's this: "One of her authorities on South African Jews," Wasserstein reports, is an article by Ernst Schultze, "a longstanding Nazi propagandist, that appeared in … a German publication founded and directed by the prominent Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg."

And then "in a new preface [to The Origins of Totalitarianism] written in 1967, Arendt commends the work of the leading Nazi historian Walter Frank … whose 'contributions,' " Wasserstein quotes Arendt, " 'can still be consulted with profit.' "

Wasserstein wonders about her motives here: "Was she bending over backwards not to be totally dismissive of ideological opponents who despised her on categorical (i.e. racial) grounds?" he asks.

"But there must have been more to it than that," he answers, "because modern Jewish history was the only subject where she repeatedly relied on Nazi historians as external authorities, that is, other than as evidence of what the Nazis themselves thought or did. Moreover she internalized much of what the Nazi historians had to say about Jews, from the 'parasitism' of Jewish high finance to the 'internationalism' of [Walther] Rathenau [the Weimar German minister assassinated by anti-Semites.]"

Of course, there have always been Jewish critiques of Jews. But Arendt's "aversion clearly ran much deeper" than has been supposed, Wasserstein asserts. He concludes his piece by wondering, "Why?"

I believe the new Heidegger revelations may shed some light on that question. It's always been controversial to discuss Arendt's lifelong romantic infatuation with the Nazi-sympathizing professor and how it might have shaped her intellectual positions. Arendt's defenders dismiss these as "tabloid" concerns, irrelevant to the purported transcendental purity of her thought.

But leaving Heidegger out of the equation is becoming ever more difficult. Not only did Arendt have an affair with him when she was an 18-year-old student about half his age, before Hitler took over, but despite his public exaltation of the Fuhrer, despite his firing Jews once he became rector of Freiburg University. We now know that she later resumed some kind of warm relationship with the brownshirt philosopher (yes, it turns out he often wore one to his lectures). Arendt helped usher Heidegger back into the intellectual version of polite society, indeed assisted in preventing his ostracism as a Hitlerite, at least by those who considered his notoriously opaque use of philosophical language to offer something of value beneath it—apart from further opacity.

The new Heidegger material offers further evidence of his slavish devotion to the Fuhrer, not merely in his public speeches but also in his desire to find a philosophical grounding for Hitlerism in the elevated realms of his thought.

Consider this quotation from a delightfully acerbic review essay by Carlin Romano in the Oct. 18 Chronicle of Higher Education, which discusses new revelations about Heidegger's shameless adoption of Nazism.

    Next month Yale University Press will issue an English-language translation of Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism Into Philosophy, by Emmanuel Faye, an associate professor at the University of Paris at Nanterre. It's the latest, most comprehensive archival assault on the ostensibly magisterial thinker who informed Freiburg students in his infamous 1933 rectoral address of Nazism's "inner truth and greatness," declaring that "the Führer, and he alone, is the present and future of German reality, and its law."

    Faye, whose book stirred France's red and blue Heidegger départements into direct battle a few years back, follows in the investigative footsteps of Chilean-Jewish philosopher Victor Farias (Heidegger et le Nazisme, 1987), historian Hugo Ott (Martin Heidegger: Unterwegs zu Zeiner Biographie, 1988) and others. Aim? To expose the oafish metaphysician's vulgar, often vicious 1930s attempt to become Hitler's chief academic tribune, and his post-World War II contortions to escape proper judgment for his sins. "We now know," reports Faye, "that [Heidegger's] attempt at self-justification of 1945 is nothing but a string of falsehoods."

Romano's Chronicle piece generated an often-furious comments thread, a spectacle of postmodernists in temper tantrum mode.

I can understand the splenetic attacks on Romano for not taking Heidegger seriously, although the angry Heideggerian academics never explained exactly why we should.

In general, I'm in favor of separating the man (or woman) from the work, but it was Heidegger himself, his defenders don't seem to recognize, who claimed Nazism for his own. He didn't make the separation between man and philosophy that they conveniently claim to excuse his personal racism.

The debate about Heidegger reminded me of a conversation I had with philosopher Berel Lang on "the evolution of evil," an exchange I wrote about in Explaining Hitler. We discussed whether Hitler represented a new depth of evil and what the next step down into the abyss might be. Were there degrees of evil—that led to Hitler? And would Hitler lead to degrees of evil beyond his own? I had suggested Holocaust denial was such a next step, in the sense that it added insult to injury, but Lang disagreed, arguing that Heidegger's postwar silence on Nazism exemplified the next step in the evolution of evil. After the war, this purportedly great and comprehensive philosopher never published anything that addressed the fact of the Holocaust that his party perpetrated. It just didn't impinge on his worldview. He had time to write polemics against mechanized agriculture but not industrialized murder. Lang thought Heidegger's indifference was a whole new kind of evil. (He even wrote a book called Heidegger's Silence.)

Which brings us back to Arendt again. As the extent of Heidegger's enthusiastic embrace of Nazism becomes more apparent, and as it becomes ever clearer that the allegiance was not merely opportunistic and careerist but derived from a philosophical affinity with his Fuhrer's effusions, it becomes impossible not to reexamine certain questions. Such as: How much did Arendt know about the depth of Heidegger's allegiance? Did Heidegger lie to her? Did she believe him the way she believed Eichmann? Did she assume his complicity with the genocidaires was something careerist and banal? Or worse, did she know? And did she disingenuously (or self-deceptively) construct her false banal Eichmann from her false banal Heidegger?

Writer Paul Roazen once speculated on this question:

    If Eichmann was simply following orders, and his conduct was certifiably normal within the context of Nazi Germany, her own defense of Heidegger can reflect the way a social thinker such as herself might be conditioned by circumstances and advantage to curry favor in the midst of the most vile forms of evil. Having as a Jew escaped from Germany in 1933, Arendt remained for the rest of her life loyal to the whole philosophic tradition that had helped lead to Hitlerism. ...

It may forever remain a mystery, even more so now. Wasserstein believes she internalized anti-Semitic literature; I would perhaps modify this to say she internalized the purported universalism of Germanic high culture with its disdain for parochialism. A parochialism she identified with, in her own case, her Jewishness, something she felt ashamed of on intellectual grounds, so primitive, this tribal allegiance in the presence of intellects who supposedly transcended tribalism (or at least all tribes except the Teutonic).

One can still hear this Arendtian shame about ethnicity these days. So parochial! One can hear the echo of Arendt's fear of being judged as "merely Jewish" in some, not all, of those Jews so eager to dissociate themselves from the parochial concerns of other Jews for Israel. The desire for universalist approval makes them so disdainful of any "ethnic" fellow feeling. After all, to such unfettered spirits, it's so banal.
Ron Rosenbaum is the author of The Shakespeare Wars and Explaining Hitler.

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The Missing
« Reply #117 on: November 19, 2009, 07:41:30 PM »
From: Emily Yoffe
Subject: The Missing
Posted Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009, at 12:54 PM ET

The old man at the tram stop overheard us puzzling over our map and remarked in English, "Ah, you are practically natives!" He was the only Praguer to initiate a conversation with us. He asked where we were from, and when Rachel said New York, he told us that at one time he had lived in Hell's Kitchen. He said his name was Josef Hruska, then he added, unexpectedly, "Not only am I 81, I am also Jewish!" He said that when the Communists took over, he fled for Israel, then he went to Colombia and later the United States, and now he was back happily living in Prague. Our tram came, and Josef Hruska, a living miracle—a Czech Jew who escaped being murdered as a boy—said goodbye.

Since I was on a cultural trip to Prague, an unanswerable question loomed over my visit: What happens to your culture when your Jews are killed? The numbers are overwhelming. In Prague: A Cultural and Literary History, Richard Burton writes that in 1939 there were 118,310 Jews in Czechoslovakia (the Czech portion of which was renamed the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia by the Germans), many of them refugees fleeing Germany and Austria. Of those, 78,154 were murdered. When the Communists took over after the war, only about 5,000 Jews remained in Prague, and many of them fled, like Hruska, when the purges—targeting Jews—began.

Vanished Jews are big business these days. Prague's old Jewish Quarter, called Josefov, is perpetually crammed with tourists. Native son Franz Kafka, whose work was banned during much of the Communist period, is now iconic. His name and face are everywhere, and a new Kafka-themed museum recently opened near the Charles Bridge. Kafka died of tuberculosis in 1924 at the age of 40 and is buried in Prague next to his parents. His three younger sisters—Gabriele, Valerie, and Ottilie—were exterminated. It is believed Ottilie passed through the Czech concentration camp Terezin (also known by its German name, Theresienstadt), a former fortress about 40 miles outside Prague, and finally perished at Auschwitz.

Jews first came to Prague at the end of the 10th century. For much of their time there, they were confined to a small section of the city, were excluded from most professions, and had to wear a special badge to identify themselves (a practice later revived by the Nazis). Anti-Jewish riots and pogroms broke out from time to time, but for the most part, it was a relatively peaceful existence. So much so that Burton writes that in the Jewish diaspora, it was referred to as "City and Mother of Israel."

At the site of a new shopping, office, and residential development in Prague, archaeologists have been allowed to assess the buried artifacts before construction begins. Emerging from deep in the earth are pieces of medieval Jewish tombstones that had been taken centuries ago from the Jewish cemetery to use as building materials. The Jewish history of Prague, even in the few days I'm there, has a similar way of unexpectedly disinterring itself.

One day, Francesco, Rachel, and I stopped for lunch in a nontouristy part of town at a nondescript basement restaurant called the Piano Bar. Next to our table, attached to the wall, partially hidden by a heating pipe, was a piece of writing under Plexiglas, two paragraphs in Czech, German, English, and—this is what caught my eye—Hebrew. It was titled "Terezin Artists," and it concisely told the story of the imprisonment and death of some of the country's most celebrated musicians, composers, singers, and other artists at the camp. I asked a table of English-speaking Czech patrons if they knew why the memorial was there. They had never noticed it, but they asked the non-English-speaking staff. A waitress shrugged and said that it was left behind by the last owner; he sold the place years ago, and nobody knew more than that.

The buildings of Prague may have come through World War II essentially unscathed, but since it was one of the first countries occupied by Germany, it's remarkable that its synagogues are still standing. It turns out that they survived for a most malign reason. As Hitler's army marched across Europe, he ordered the continent's Judaica to be looted and sent to Prague. There, he was going to establish a "Museum to an Extinct Race."

But what is called the Old-New Synagogue, completed around 1270, is still used by the remaining Jewish community. On the Gothic ceiling, a fifth rib was added to each arch so that the congregants didn't look up to contemplate a pattern resembling a cross. Outside is the Old Jewish Cemetery. Because the Jews were confined to a small area, they could not expand their cemetery outward to accommodate the dead. Instead, they went up. There are 12 layers here, and 12,000 visible headstones, the oldest dating from the 15th century. The stones lean hither and yon, like teeth in a long-neglected mouth. These are the lucky Jews, I think. These are the Jews who got graves.

The most famous marker belongs to the chief rabbi of Prague, Judah Loew ben Bezalel, who died in 1609. A scholar and a mystic, Loew fought anti-Semitism and harsh government decrees. He is most famous today for his anachronistic association, starting in the 18th century, with the legend of the golem.

According to the tale, Rabbi Loew fashioned a creature out of the earth and gave it the breath of life. It was a simple being, a servant of its maker, created to protect the Jews of Prague. In one telling, it becomes violent, and the emperor begs the rabbi to destroy it. The rabbi gets the emperor to promise he will protect the Jews and then places the slumbering golem in the attic of the Old-New Synagogue, ready to return to life in case he's needed again. During the 20th century, the golem must have slept the sleep of the dead.

Next door is the Pinkas Synagogue, built in 1535, which is now the city's Holocaust museum. I usually avoid Holocaust museums. Not because I want to pretend it didn't happen, but because confronting both the scale and the specificity is too much to bear. I forced myself into this one, though. It is simple and effective: The walls are covered with the names of 77,297 dead, handwritten in block script. I stagger at what almost 80,000 names looks like, floor to ceiling, room after room.

Upstairs is a small art exhibit: the works of the children of Terezin. Terezin was an unusual concentration camp, a Potemkin village in which the inmates were actively encouraged to produce artwork of all kinds. The children were given drawing instruction; famous Czech musicians composed and performed. This helped to convince officials from the Red Cross that the Jewish citizens who had been rounded up from their homes and imprisoned were being held in decent circumstances. By the end of the war, almost everyone at Terezin, including most of the 15,000 children, had been murdered.

In this gallery, the children's drawings are grouped by subject—things like memories of home, dreams of returning, life before deportation, transport. What is there to say? That Ruth Weissova was a promising young artist who was gassed to death just after her 14th birthday? I came to Prague to make art and to look at art. It all seems useless when you're looking at the art of obliteration.


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Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust
« Reply #118 on: November 23, 2009, 02:56:37 PM »
FYI This is mostly a religious text

Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust
by Rabbi Shraga Simmons

Unique in its universality, intensity, longevity and irrationality, what is the root of anti-Semitism?

History provides far too many examples of man's inhumanity to man: social injustice, religious oppression, cultural clashes, ideological wars, class hatred, and most every other form of racism and intolerance.

One particular form, however, stands out amongst all others: Anti-Semitism. Unique in its universality, intensity, longevity and irrationality, anti-Semitism is a historical phenomenon which falls outside of normal sociological bounds.

In 1987, President Chaim Herzog of Israel commissioned a colloquium on anti-Semitism. Professor Michael Curtis of Rutgers University spoke there about the irrationality of anti-Semitism:

“The uniqueness of anti-Semitism lies in the fact that no other people in the world has ever been charged simultaneously with alienation from society and with cosmopolitanism, with being capitalistic exploiters and also revolutionary communist advocators. The Jews were accused of having an imperious mentality, at the same time they’re a people of the book. They’re accused of being militant aggressors, at the same time as being cowardly pacifists. With being a chosen people, and also having an inferior human nature. With both arrogance and timidity. With both extreme individualism and community adherence. With being guilty of the crucifixion of Jesus and at the same time held to account for the invention of Christianity.”

As historian Martin Gilbert observes in the Jewish History Atlas:

"As my research into Jewish history progressed, I was surprised, depressed, and to some extent overwhelmed by the perpetual and irrational violence which pursued the Jews in every country and to almost every corner of the globe. If, therefore, persecution, expulsion, torture, humiliation, and mass murder haunt these pages, it is because they also haunt the Jewish story."

Which leaves us with one question: What is the root of anti-Semitism?

"Jews Are Rich, Powerful and Control The World"

Many claim that anti-Semitism is a reaction to Jewish political and economic power. Consider the "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a book invented by the Russian secret police, purporting to be the discussions of Jewish elders plotting to take over the world. It was -- next to the Bible -- the best-selling book in the world during the 1920s. In the United States, Henry Ford sponsored its publication. It has since been printed in numerous languages internationally, and presently has widespread distribution in Japan.

But could Jewish wealth and power really be the cause of anti-Semitism? The Jews of Poland and Russia (17th-20th centuries) were poor and powerless. Yet they were still persecuted. Cossacks didn’t check bank accounts before initiating pogroms. When the Nazis liquidated the Warsaw Ghetto, the Jews lived there under incredibly impoverished conditions. The reality is that poor Jews have been just as hated as rich Jews.

    As Jews were being slaughtered en masse, the claim that Jews control governments becomes painfully absurd.

Furthermore, if it is true that Jews control the governments, then why didn’t even one country accept Jewish refugees struggling to escape Europe during the Holocaust? Surely with all their wealth and political power, at least one government would have allowed the Jews in! When government after government buried its head in the sand as Jews were being slaughtered en masse, the claim that Jews control governments becomes painfully absurd.

Jewish "success" may make an anti-Semite gnash his teeth, but that’s clearly not the root cause of anti-Semitism.

"Jews Claim to be the Chosen People"

The University of California at Berkeley conducted a survey, asking a group of non-Jewish Americans whether they believed a series of negative statements about Jews. By far the number one belief (held by 59%) was that Jews consider themselves as God’s chosen people.

It is true that Jews have always claimed to be different. Throughout history, Jews have kept to themselves, didn’t socialize with non-Jews, and had a completely different ethical, cultural and social system -- including different dress, laws, and language. To top it all off, Jewish allegiance was never primarily to the countries in which they lived. The Jew always dreamt of going back to Zion. They were the ultimate outsiders.

If anti-Semites hate Jews because they claim to be chosen, then what happens when Jews dropped their claim of chosenness? When the Enlightenment came to Europe, many Jews said “Now’s our chance!” They shed their foreign dress, shaved their beards, enrolled in universities -- and intermarried. In Germany and Austria, Jews for the first time said: "We’re no longer chosen. We’re going to become like you. Our home is here. Berlin is our Jerusalem.” After centuries of hatred, the Jews anticipated a warm welcome from their gentile neighbors.

Where do we see the most vicious outpouring of anti-Semitism? Precisely in Germany and Austria -- at the time and place that Jews dropped the claim of chosenness!

If chosenness is, in fact, the real explanation for anti-Semitism, then many of peoples should be hated for similar claims of chosenness. Americans have the concept of Manifest Destiny -- i.e. that it was the divine will of God to annex territory stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The name China means “center of the universe.” The name Japan means “the sun only shines for them.” But nobody hates them for this!

Other reasons have been suggested for anti-Semitism, but they also are lacking. Some say Jew-hatred stems from being different, or being outsiders, but as we have seen even when Jews been as German as the Germans, anti-Semitism has not lessened (usually the opposite). Others say Jews were a convenient scapegoat – but hatred must exist as a precondition to be chosen a scapegoat (i.e. no one ever chose midgets as the scapegoat for a country's problems).

Others suggest that anti-Semitism exists because of Deicide: Jews killed their God. But historians show that anti-Semitism existed much before Christianity, and has appeared in countless non-Christian countries.

We can see then that all the stated 'reasons' are not reasons at all, but rather are excuses for anti-Semitism. What is the real reason?

The Attempt to De-Judaize Anti-Semitism

In her diary, on April 11, 1944, Anne Frank wrote:

“Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up till now? It is God who has made us as we are, but it will be G-d, too, who will raise us up again. Who knows, it might even be our religion from which the world and all peoples learn good, and for that reason and that reason only do we now suffer. We can never become just Netherlanders, or just English or representatives of any country for that matter. We will always remain Jews.”

Anne Frank said, in effect, that Jews have something special to contribute to the world -- and because of that they have been persecuted.

But by and large, the world would rather de-Judaize anti-Semitism. When The Diary of Anne Frank was adapted into a Broadway play, we hear her explanation of anti-Semitism quite differently:

“Why are Jews hated?” she asks, “Well, one day it’s one group, and the next day another...”

In other words, the reasons for anti-Semitism have absolutely nothing to do with being Jewish. The Jews went through a Holocaust, the most systematic attempt to murder a people in the history of all humanity -- and it was not for Jewish reasons. Dumb luck. We were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Hitler’s Reason for Anti-Semitism

There was one individual, however, who stated clearly that hatred of Jews is because there’s something unique about the Jews: Adolf Hitler.

His driving ambition was to turn the world away from monotheism and bring it back to paganism. He stood for the superiority of the Aryan race: "Might makes right... survival of the fittest... eliminate the infirmed and handicapped."

There was only one obstacle standing in Hitler’s way: The Jews. Hitler knew it was the Jews who introduced the ideas of love your neighbor, helping the poor and the sick, and all men are created equal. Hitler hated the message of the Jews because it totally contradicted what he wanted the world to become.

As Hitler said:

“Providence has ordained that I should be the greatest liberator of humanity. I am freeing man from the restraints of an intelligence that has taken charge, from the dirty and degrading self-mortifications of a false vision called conscience and morality, and from the demands of a freedom and personal independence which only a very few can bear.”


“The Ten Commandments have lost their validity. Conscience is a Jewish invention; it is a blemish like circumcision.”

Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not a means to an end. It was his goal. Long after the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 had effectively dismantled the Jewish community of Germany, Hitler was still not satisfied. In 1942, at the Wansee Conference, Hitler launched the "Final Solution" of genocide.

    Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not a means to an end. It was his goal.

Then, with the Nazi invasion of Hungary in 1944, top German military officers determined that railway lines must be prioritized to transport vital troops and equipment to the battlefront. The Wehrmacht urged Hitler to provide this infusion of desperately-needed supplies. Ignoring their warnings, Hitler instead gave orders to allocate the precious rail-lines to deport hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews en masse to the extermination camps. Historians acknowledge this decision as a key factor in further debilitating the German war effort. Hitler, it seems, regarded the killing of Jews even more important than winning World War Two.

He said:

“If only one country, for whatever reason, tolerates a Jewish family in it, that family will become the germ center for fresh sedition. If one little Jewish boy survives, without any Jewish education, with no synagogue and no Hebrew school; it’s in his soul.”

The Torah View of Anti-Semitism

The Torah itself teaches that anti-Semitism will exist and that Jews will be hated for precisely the reasons echoed in Hitler’s words.

The Talmud (Shabbat 69) declares:

“Why was the Torah given on a mountain called Sinai? Because the great “sinah,” the great hatred of the Jew, emanates from Sinai.” (Sinah, the Hebrew word for hatred, is pronounced almost identically to Sinai.)

Before the Torah was given, people built their lives on a subjective concept of right and wrong. At Sinai the Jewish People were told that there is one God for all humanity who makes moral demands on human beings. You can’t just live as you please; there is a higher authority you are accountable to.

    That’s why the Russians were threatened by a handful of Jews who wanted to study Hebrew.

The Jews were given the responsibility to represent that morality and be a light unto the nations. So, despite the fact that they were never more than a tiny fraction of the world’s population, Jewish ideas became the basis for the civilized world. And with that, they became a lightening rod for those opposed to the moral message. That’s why the Russians, although they were a huge superpower in the 1970s, were threatened by a handful of Jews who wanted to study Hebrew.

Why would people hate the Jewish message?

Consider the words of Aldous Huxley, in his book, Confessions of an Atheist:

“I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently, I assumed that it had none and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. For myself, as no doubt for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.”

For the one who rejects morality and conscience, the only way to get of rid of the message… is to destroy the messenger.

Why Be Jewish?

The solution to anti-Semitism is the flip-side of the cause. Jewish values are the cause of anti-Semitism, and Jewish values are the solution. Only by studying Torah – and teaching it to others -- can we ever hope to bring the world to a point where evil is eradicated.

When human beings embrace the moral doctrine that Judaism brought to the world from Sinai -- that there is a God who demands ethical behavior from every human being -- then there will be no holocausts.

And that is the exquisite irony of Jewish history.

The world cannot get the message unless the messengers learn it and teach it. The world desperately needs the Jewish message. Now go and study.


    * Based on the seminar, Why the Jews, by Rabbi Raphael Shore.
    * Hitler quotes from Herman Rauschning, Hitler Speaks, Kessinger Publishing, 2006.
    * Anne Frank quotes from Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin, Why the Jews, Touchstone, 2003.

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Priest leads attack on Moldova menorah
« Reply #119 on: December 14, 2009, 06:43:06 PM »
Priest leads attack on Moldova menorah
Dec. 14, 2009
elana kirsh and ap , THE JERUSALEM POST


The Anti-Defamation League on Monday condemned the "despicable" removal of a Hannukiah in Moldova, apparently led by an Orthodox priest. Video footage of the event, uploaded to YouTube, shows a group of dozens of people looking on as the menorah is pulled down down with hammers and iron bars and replaced with a cross.

Officials in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau said that the 1.5 meter-tall ceremonial candelabrum was retrieved, reinstalled and is now under police guard.

The video shows an Orthodox priest, identified by Moldovan media as Fr. Anatoliy Chirbik, leading the Sunday demonstration at Stefan the Great Square and saying, "We are an Orthodox country. Stephan the Great defended our country from all kinds of kikes, and now they come and put their menorah here. This is anarchy."

Police said they were investigating, and that there was no official reaction from Moldova's Orthodox Church, which is part of the Russian Orthodox Church and counts 70 percent of Moldovans as members.

The national government said in a statement that "hatred, intolerance and xenophobia" are unacceptable.

Jewish leader Alexandr Bilinkis called on the Orthodox Church to take a position over the priest's actions.

In a statement released Monday, the ADL urged both the Moldovan government and the Orthodox Church to bring those responsible to justice.

"The Moldovan government and the Orthodox Church must punish the perpetrators of this despicable anti-Semitic crime and send a clear signal to Moldovan society and to the Jewish community that the government and the church will not tolerate anti-Semitism," ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in the statement.

The Jewish community in Moldova was thriving before World War II but there are now estimated to be just 12,000 Jews in the former Soviet Republic. Twenty years ago there were 66,000 Jews. Many emigrated to Israel.
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Anti-semitism is making a loud comeback
« Reply #120 on: December 14, 2009, 06:47:52 PM »
Anti-semitism is making a loud comeback
Dec. 13, 2009

Leading experts from around the world will gather in Jerusalem this week for the Foreign Ministry's Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism where there will be much sobering discussion.

This year witnessed an upsurge in violent anti-Semitic attacks unprecedented in recent times. Perceptions of the 22-day defensive war in the Gaza Strip in December 2008-January 2009 certainly triggered this most recent spasm of worldwide anti-Semitic activity, but that event in and of itself cannot explain the phenomenon away. It was the way certain media covered the event that was the key factor.

The US was practically the only global bright spot with respect to anti-Semitic attitudes and incidents in the past year, notwithstanding isolated yet serious and potentially deadly incidents of its own to contend with. This, at a time, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll, when a plurality of Americans agree that the US "should mind its own business internationally, constituting a significant shift since 2002 when nearly two-in-three disagreed with this sentiment." It was therefore particularly heartening to note that a similarly timed The Israel Project (TIP) poll finds that the number of Americans that think the US should support Israel doubled over the same period of time to 60 percent.

CLEARLY, THE media plays a leading role in nurturing and solidifying such beliefs. While many in the US strenuously believe the American media is biased toward Israel, in fact the press in the US is quite tame and balanced in its depiction of Israel and its Jewish majority compared to its counterparts in Europe, Latin America and the Arab world.

In a landmark study of Europeans, Edward Kaplan and Charles Small of Yale University found unequivocally that individuals with extreme anti-Israel views were more likely to be anti-Semitic. As media outlets proliferate via satellite and 24/7 cable TV, the platform for spreading anti-Israel views and consequently anti-Semitism has increased exponentially.

It is for that reason that it is critical to recognize that the vast majority of Americans, Latin Americans, Europeans and Arabs form their opinions about international affairs largely by what they see on television. According to polls conducted for The Israel Project in the US, TV news is cited by 62% as the way their views on the Middle East are shaped, and to a lesser extent the Internet (mostly through mainstream news sites) and newspapers.

In the Arab world, a full 90% of people get their information about the Middle East from TV. Throughout the world today, wherever television watching is pervasive, family, universities and religious institutions all have a far lesser impact in forming opinions on the issues that so clearly impact on foreign policy views than in decades and centuries before.

Outside of the US much of the international media uses the language of "genocide," "Holocaust" and the names of concentration camps drawing a parallel between Nazi Germany and Israel on a regular basis. Such language and imagery serve to delegitimize any Israeli action, while fueling the image of the Jew as the new Nazi. Cartoons with anti-Semitic themes are rampant throughout the world where the juxtaposing of brutal Israelis in the guise of the stereotypical Jew or as a Nazi is the norm. Especially during times of war, Israeli soldiers are relentlessly depicted as war criminals, murderers of innocent civilians and children, militant beasts whose disappearance would obviously be a blessing.

It is therefore no surprise that the aftermath of the Gaza war, a war reported on tirelessly on TV news stations throughout the world, the number of anti-Semitic incidents exploded.

In France, home to the world's third largest Jewish community after Israel and the US, the first half of this year saw significantly more violent anti-Semitic acts and threats - 631 recorded incidents, more than in the entire previous year. As in other European capitals, these include arson attacks against schools and community centers and physical attacks on individuals. Richard Prasquier, the head of CRIF, France's main Jewish umbrella group, was quoted as saying earlier this year that "anti-Semitism is back" and that although France itself is not an anti-Semitic country, "there is a climate of hatred against Jews that manifests itself through insults and often physical attacks."

Almost identically in the UK, the Jewish Community Security Trust recorded double the amount of anti-Semitic incidents in the first half of 2009 as compared to the same period in the previous year. CST head Mark Gardner said, "British Jews are facing ever higher levels of racist attack and intimidation that threaten the well-being of our otherwise happy and successful Jewish community."

In Latin America, with 250,000 Jews in Argentina alone, the climate is becoming increasingly hostile. Anti-Semitic incidents, including swastikas drawn on Jewish schools and graffiti ordering Jews to leave the country have, according to Julio Schlosswer, secretary-general of Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, "created a climate of worry, a climate of terror." Particularly worrisome in Latin America is the atmosphere that has been created by regional leaders such as Hugo Chavez who consistently berate Israel in the Latin American press with vile comparisons of Israeli defensive actions to those of the Nazis, thus fostering an official imprimatur on hatred.

And in places where there are virtually no Jews, anti-Semitism abounds. In a recent poll done in the Arab world by The Israel Project, we found Jews are simply reviled, with 98% of Jordanians saying they have unfavorable opinions of Jews. Egypt was a veritable bright spot with only 69% saying they had an unfavorable view of Jews. The fact that Al Jazeera is the most watched news station throughout the Arab world can, to some extent though obviously not wholly, explain why Israelis/Jews - most Arabs do not recognize the difference - are so incredibly despised.

Clearly we are entering an era where increased vigilance with respect to the press as well as in the political and diplomatic arenas will necessarily take on a new urgent focus as Jews around the world are facing increasing threats to their safety and way of life.

It will take concerted and persistent action on the parts of governments, NGOs, law enforcement officials and individuals with international standing and gravitas to stem the tide of this new wave of anti-Semitism. But enhancing Israel's image in the media in today's non-stop news environment is crucial. The great progress that has been made in the US can be replicated. These and other issues will be strenuously dissected and debated during the meetings in Jerusalem.

The writer is the senior director for European affairs and special projects at The Israel Project and is the former co-director of ADL's Israel office.
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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #122 on: December 22, 2009, 12:56:37 PM »
OY to the world (Christmas in Boca)

'Twas the night before Christmas
and down here in Boca,
I was sitting at Starbucks,
drinking my mocha.

I know we're all Jewish,
but was wondering still,
if Santa would come here
and give us a thrill.

On my way home,
no Christmas lights did I see,
on the houses, the windows,
not even the trees.

What a strange feeling.
Not a decoration in sight.
Was it really December
or a warm summer's night?

I drove past Toojay's,
there were lines out the door.
People were waiting
for kishka and more.

The restaurants were busy,
Christmas dinners not planned.
Never, not here
we're in Boca Land.

At home all was quiet.
I left out Kosher wine,
In case Santa came to Boca
for the very first time.

Snoozing came easy
to me Christmas Eve.
I wasn't waiting for presents
to be left under a tree.

I could hope all I want.
I could fuss and then see,
if Santa would make time
for little old me.

Then all of a sudden
he pulled up in his Jag,
with a sack full of presents
each sporting a tag.

Oh Bloomies, oh Saks
Oh Nieman's and more.
He knows where to shop,
he frequents my stores!

He looked for the lox,
the bagels and deli.
He came to Boca first
to fill up his belly!

"I have a long night ahead,
I want you to know.
From Boca I leave
for New York and the snow."

He stayed for a while,
he chatted and ate.
Then he left in a flash
before it got late.

What a great night
I thought with a sigh.
That jolly old Santa
is a really nice guy.

As I cleared off the table
I heard with delight
"Shalom to you all,
and OY, what a night


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #123 on: December 22, 2009, 02:05:25 PM »
I lived in Boca for two and a half years.
One estimate was it was 70% Jewish.

I've seen Santa at Toojays in the off season.
How do you think he got that belly. :-)


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Buying Lives
« Reply #124 on: January 12, 2010, 07:55:01 PM »
Buying Lives
Judy Feld Carr's Secret Rescue of Syrian Jews

By Miriam Metzinger
Judy Feld Carr with Jews she helped escape from Syria.
For 28 years, Judy Feld Carr not only knew, but also lived, "the best-kept secret in the Jewish world." The Canadian musicologist and mother of six supported her household and raised a family while almost single-handedly rescuing 3,228 Syrian Jews. "There were no typical days," recalls Judy Feld Carr. "This wasn't like the Russian exodus that was done by the world. This was me running the operation at home and in secret." While Judy Feld Carr has received many honors for her work on behalf of Syrian Jewry, including the Order of Canada (the highest award given by the citizens of Canada to an individual), the labor was not easy. "The rescue was very difficult and stressful," she said. "When you are buying somebody's life, it can be horrible."

Syria vented its rage by burning synagogues and forbidding Jews from leaving the countryJudy Feld Carr and her late husband, Dr. Ronald Feld, developed a mutual interest in the plight of Syrian Jewry in the 1970's. An article in the Jerusalem Post about twelve young Jews whose bodies were mutilated when they stepped on a minefield while trying to escape from Qamishli, Syria, captured the sympathy of the couple, and they brainstormed for ways they could help Syrian Jews. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Syria vented its rage by burning synagogues and forbidding Jews from leaving the country. Restrictions reminiscent of the Nuremberg Laws which ushered in the Holocaust were passed in Syria; Jews were not allowed to travel more then three kilometers without a permit and were forced into ghettos. Business and educational opportunities for Jews were strictly limited, and those who tried to escape were often tortured or killed.

Raising awareness about Syrian Jewry was one thing, "but if you had told me in those days that I would eventually be running a rescue operation, I would have told you that you're mad," said Judy Feld Carr. She made the one and only phone call she ever placed to Syria, a call which began her 28 year journey of international intrigue. She managed to reach the home of a Jew who was in the service of the secret police and he gave them the address of Ibrahim Hamra, the Chief Rabbi of Syria. "To this day, I cannot comprehend why we were allowed to make that first contact," she recalls. "Never again did I make another phone call."

The Feld's sent a pre-paid telegram to Rabbi Hamra and asked if he needed Hebrew books, and received a telegram a week later with a list of titles. They were careful to remove any evidence that the books were printed in Israel, and they removed the first page which contained the name of the publisher; these precautions were necessary, or the books would have been confiscated. Like the Marranos of Spain 500 years earlier, the Feld's and Rabbi Hamra communicated in code using verses of Psalms.

Judy Feld Carr was approached by a friend in Toronto who had returned from Syria and said her brother, a rabbi in Aleppo, was ill with cancer and had been tortured in prison because two of his children had escaped. She was dedicated to the task of getting her brother to Canada, and asked Judy Feld Carr if there was anything she could do. After a year and a half of negotiating prices for the prisoner and facing a myriad of obstacles, the message arrived that Rabbi Eliyahu Dahab was released from prison and sent to Canada for medical care. Judy recalls Rabbi Dahab weeping tears of joy when the nurse said "Baruch Habah," meaning "welcome" in Hebrew. When he was told he would only have a brief time to live, he told Judy Feld Carr of his dream to have coffee with his mother in Jerusalem one last time. He died on Tisha B'Av, a few weeks after the reunion with his mother, but not before making a dying wish that his daughter also be released from Syria.

All they knew was that their way out of Syria was "Mrs. Judy in Canada"Rabbi Dahab's words sparked a cycle of rescues that led to the creation of Judy Feld Carr's underground network, of which only she knew the details. After her young husband died of a heart attack in 1973, Judy's rescues were done solo, and the pressure was often almost unbearable. "I was going to quit almost every second day, but I couldn't, because I had figured out an underground system and I had people depending on me. And all they knew was that their way out of the country was 'Mrs. Judy in Canada.' It was hard, but I had no choice." Judy Feld Carr added, "I never contacted one Jew in Syria. They or their relatives had to find me, and that was difficult because they didn't even know my last name."

Donations for the rescue missions arrived to a synagogue in Toronto, Beth Tzedek Congregation, by word of mouth and covered the expenses of paying for the release of Syrian Jews. When ransoms could not be negotiated, escapes were planned. It is amazing that of the 3,228 individuals Judy Feld Carr helped rescue, there were no casualties. Often this required splitting up families, and parents giving up children. On one occasion she was able to rescue almost an entire family unit; Judy Feld Carr recalls delaying her father's funeral an hour because she had to plan an escape of the mother and six children. "The last day of the mourning period, I got a call – 'Judy, we have them.' It was very difficult to worry the entire week."

To thousands of Syrian Jews who reached safety, their rescuer was known simply as "Mrs. Judy from Canada," a person to whom they owed everything, but didn't expect to meet. A few, however, enjoyed the privilege. Judy Feld Carr and her husband Donald Carr attended an event in a senior home in Bat Yam, Israel. A man named Zaki Shayu spoke about his experiences as a prisoner in Aleppo. He suffered four years of torture during which the authorities had told his mother that he died.

After the speech, Donald Carr asked him, "How did you get out?"

"There was a lady in Canada. Her name was Judy," Zaki replied.

"Do you want to meet her?"

Zaki Shayu's eyes widened in excitement. "Do you know her?" he asked.

"She's sitting right here. She's my wife."

"The whole hall got very emotional," recalls Judy. "It was the most amazing thing. Everyone was crying."

"I put all these flags in the window in case one day she will come"A Toronto antiques dealer went to shop in the old section of Jaffa, Israel and saw a small shop with Canadian flags in the window. Curious, she asked the shopkeeper, "Why do you have Canadian flags here?"

"Maybe you know Mrs. Judy. She arranged my escape. I put all these flags in the window in case one day she will come into my store."

The shopkeeper's wish was granted when Judy Feld Carr visited the shop during a trip to Israel. He gave her an inlaid box which he had made for Judy and been saving for years as a present to express his gratitude.

The last rescue took place an hour before the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. A grueling, yet rewarding, 28 years of rescue missions came to a close. During those moments when the task seemed impossible, Judy remembered a neighbor from her childhood, a woman named Sophie who lost a daughter in Auschwitz. "She told me, 'You can never let this happen again to the Jewish people.' I never forgot those words."

By Miriam Metzinger   More articles...  |   
Miriam Metzinger is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Jerusalem with her husband and 3 children. She also writes a column for "Living Jewish," an English-language publication and is the Jewish Family blogger at

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God Said Multiply, and Did She Ever
« Reply #125 on: February 22, 2010, 04:18:44 PM »
February 18, 2010
God Said Multiply, and Did She Ever
WHEN Yitta Schwartz died last month at 93, she left behind 15 children, more than 200 grandchildren and so many great- and great-great-grandchildren that, by her family’s count, she could claim perhaps 2,000 living descendants.

Mrs. Schwartz was a member of the Satmar Hasidic sect, whose couples have nine children on average and whose ranks of descendants can multiply exponentially. But even among Satmars, the size of Mrs. Schwartz’s family is astonishing. A round-faced woman with a high-voltage smile, she may have generated one of the largest clans of any survivor of the Holocaust — a thumb in the eye of the Nazis.

Her descendants range in age from a 75-year-old daughter named Shaindel to a great-great-granddaughter born Feb. 10 named Yitta in honor of Mrs. Schwartz and a great-great-grandson born Feb. 15 who was named Moshe at his circumcision on Monday. Their numbers include rabbis, teachers, merchants, plumbers and truck drivers. But these many apples have not fallen far from the tree: With a few exceptions, like one grandson who lives in England, they mostly live in local Satmar communities, like Williamsburg in Brooklyn and Kiryas Joel, near Monroe, N.Y., where Mrs. Schwartz lived for the last 30 years of her life.

Mrs. Schwartz had a zest for life and a devotion to Hasidic rituals, faithfully attending the circumcisions, first haircuts, bar mitzvahs, engagements and weddings of her descendants. With 2,000 people in the family, such events occupied much of the year.

Whatever the occasion, she would pack a small suitcase and thumb a ride from her apartment in Kiryas Joel to Williamsburg or elsewhere.

“She would appear like the Prophet Elijah,” said one of her daughters, Nechuma Mayer, who at 64 is her sixth-oldest living child, and who has 16 children and more than 100 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. “Everybody was fighting over her!”

There were so many occasions that, to avoid scheduling conflicts, one of her sons was assigned to keep a family calendar. But her family insists that Mrs. Schwartz had no trouble remembering everyone’s name and face.

Like many Hasidim, Mrs. Schwartz considered bearing children as her tribute to God. A son-in-law, Rabbi Menashe Mayer, a lushly bearded scholar, said she took literally the scriptural command that “You should not forget what you saw and heard at Mount Sinai and tell it to your grandchildren.”

“And she wanted to do that,” he said, without needing to add her belief that the more grandchildren, the more the commandment is fulfilled. Mrs. Schwartz gave birth 18 times, but lost two children in the Holocaust and one in a summer camp accident here.

She was born in 1916 into a family of seven children in the Hungarian village of Kalev, revered as the hometown of a founder of Hungarian Hasidism. During World War II, the Nazis sent Mrs. Schwartz, her husband, Joseph, and the six children they had at the time to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

At the shiva last month, another Bergen-Belsen survivor recalled her own mother dying at the camp; Mrs. Schwartz took it upon herself to prepare the body according to Jewish ritual, dig a grave and bury the woman.

“For her it was a matter of necessity,” Nechuma Mayer said of her mother’s actions.

When the war ended, the family made its way to Antwerp, Belgium. There, Mrs. Schwartz put up refugees in makeshift beds in her own bombed-out apartment.

In 1953, the Schwartzes migrated to the United States, settling into the Satmar community in Williamsburg. She arrived with 11 children — Shaindel, Chana, Dinah, Yitschok, Shamshon, Nechuma, Nachum, Nechemia, Hadassah, Mindel and Bella — and proceeded to have five more: Israel, Joel, Aron, Sarah and Chaim Shloime, who died in summer camp at age 8. Sarah came along after Mrs. Schwartz had already married off two other daughters.

While her husband sold furniture on Lee Avenue, Williamsburg’s commercial spine, Mrs. Schwartz, who never learned English well, tended the family. She sewed her daughters’ jumpers with mother-of-pearl buttons and splurged for pink-and-white blouses — 20 for 99 cents each — at that late lamented discount emporium on Union Square, S. Klein.

With so many children, Mrs. Schwartz had to make six loaves of challah for every Sabbath, using 12 pounds of dough — in later years, she was aided by Kitchenaid or Hobart appliances. (Mrs. Mayer said her mother had weaknesses for modern conveniences, and for elegant head scarves.) For her children’s weddings, Mrs. Schwartz starched the tablecloths and baked the chocolate babkas and napoleons.

After her husband died 34 years ago, relatives said, Mrs. Schwartz never burdened others with her new solitude.

“We didn’t feel even one minute that she was a widow,” Mrs. Mayer said. “She used to say, ‘When there are so many problems in life, I should put myself on the scale?’ ”

Mrs. Schwartz did not want her children to collect photographs of her and, given that modesty, her family was reluctant to provide more than one to accompany this article. “Just keep me in your heart,” she used to say. “If you leave a child or grandchild, you live forever.”


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #126 on: February 22, 2010, 10:07:33 PM »
Looks like we are going to need more Yitta Schwartzes:

Jews leave Swedish city after sharp rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes

Sweden's reputation as a tolerant, liberal nation is being threatened by a steep rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes in the city of Malmo.

By Nick Meo in Malmo, Sweden
Published: 7:30AM GMT 21 Feb 2010

When she first arrived in Sweden after her rescue from a Nazi concentration camp, Judith Popinski was treated with great kindness.

She raised a family in the city of Malmo, and for the next six decades lived happily in her adopted homeland - until last year.

In 2009, a chapel serving the city's 700-strong Jewish community was set ablaze. Jewish cemeteries were repeatedly desecrated, worshippers were abused on their way home from prayer, and "Hitler" was mockingly chanted in the streets by masked men.

"I never thought I would see this hatred again in my lifetime, not in Sweden anyway," Mrs Popinski told The Sunday Telegraph.

"This new hatred comes from Muslim immigrants. The Jewish people are afraid now."

Malmo's Jews, however, do not just point the finger at bigoted Muslims and their fellow racists in the country's Neo-Nazi fringe. They also accuse Ilmar Reepalu, the Left-wing mayor who has been in power for 15 years, of failing to protect them.

Mr Reepalu, who is blamed for lax policing, is at the centre of a growing controversy for saying that what the Jews perceive as naked anti-Semitism is in fact just a sad, but understandable consequence of Israeli policy in the Middle East.

While his views are far from unusual on the European liberal-left, which is often accused of a pro-Palestinian bias, his Jewish critics say they encourage young Muslim hotheads to abuse and harass them.

The future looks so bleak that by one estimate, around 30 Jewish families have already left for Stockholm, England or Israel, and more are preparing to go.

With its young people planning new lives elsewhere, the remaining Jewish households, many of whom are made up of Holocaust survivors and their descendants, fear they will soon be gone altogether. Mrs Popinski, an 86-year-old widow, said she has even encountered hostility when invited to talk about the Holocaust in schools.

"Muslim schoolchildren often ignore me now when I talk about my experiences in the camps," she said. "It is because of what their parents tell them about Jews. The hatreds of the Middle East have come to Malmo. Schools in Muslim areas of the city simply won't invite Holocaust survivors to speak any more."

Hate crimes, mainly directed against Jews, doubled last year with Malmo's police recording 79 incidents and admitting that far more probably went unreported. As of yet, no direct attacks on people have been recorded but many Jews believe it is only a matter of time in the current climate.

The city's synagogue has guards and rocket-proof glass in the windows, while the Jewish kindergarten can only be reached through thick steel security doors.

It is a far cry from the city Mrs Popinski arrived in 65 years ago, half-dead from starvation and typhus.

At Auschwitz she had been separated from her Polish family, all of whom were murdered. She escaped the gas chambers after being sent as a slave labourer. Then she was moved to a womens' concentration camp, Ravensbrück, from where she was then evacuated in a release deal negotiated between the Swedish Red Cross and senior Nazis, who were by then trying to save their own lives.

After the war, just as liberal Sweden took in Jews who survived the Holocaust as a humanitarian act, it also took in new waves of refugees from tyranny and conflicts in the Middle East. Muslims are now estimated to make up about a fifth of Malmo's population of nearly 300,000.

"This new hatred from a group 40,000-strong is focused on a small group of Jews," Mrs Popinski said, speaking in a sitting room filled with paintings and Persian carpets.

"Some Swedish politicians are letting them do it, including the mayor. Of course the Muslims have more votes than the Jews."

The worst incident was last year during Israel's brief war in Gaza, when a small demonstration in favour of Israel was attacked by a screaming mob of Arabs and Swedish leftists, who threw bottles and firecrackers as the police looked on.

"I haven't seen hatred like that for decades," Mrs Popinski said. "It reminded me of what I saw in my youth. Jews feel vulnerable here now."

The problem is becoming an embarrassment for the Social Democrats, the mayor's party.

Their national leader Mona Sahlin - the woman who is likely to become the next prime minister after an election later this year - last week travelled to Malmo to meet Jewish leaders, which they took to be a sign that at last politicians are waking to their plight. After the meeting, the mayor, Mr Reepalu, also promised to meet them.

A former architect, he has been credited with revitalising Malmo from a half-derelict shipbuilding centre into a vibrant, prosperous city with successful IT and biotech sectors.

His city was - until recently at least - a shining multicultural success story, and has taken in proportionally more refugees than anywhere else in Sweden, a record of which it is proud.

Sweden has had a long record of offering a safe haven to Jews, the first of whom arrived from the east in the mid-nineteenth century. Today the Jewish population is about 18,000 nationally, with around 3000 in southern Sweden.

The mayor insisted to The Sunday Telegraph that he was opposed to anti-Semitism, but added: "I believe these are anti-Israel attacks, connected to the war in Gaza.

"We want Malmo to be cosmopolitan and safe for everybody and we have taken action. I have started a dialogue forum. There haven't been any attacks on Jewish people, and if Jews from the city want to move to Israel that is not a matter for Malmo."

Sweden has had a long record of offering a safe haven to Jews, the first of whom arrived from the east in the mid-nineteenth century. Today the Jewish population is about 18,000 nationally, with around 3000 in southern Sweden.

“Jews came to Sweden to get away from persecution, and now they find it is no longer a safe haven,” said Rabbi Shneur Kesselman, 31. “That is a horrible feeling.”

One who has had enough is Marcus Eilenberg, a 32-year-old Malmo-born lawyer, who is moving to Israel in April with his young family.

"Malmo has really changed in the past year," he said. "I am optimistic by nature, but I have no faith in a future here for my children. There is definitely a threat.

"It started during the Gaza war when Jewish demonstrators were attacked. It was a horrible feeling, being attacked in your own city. Just as bad was the realisation that we were not being protected by our own leaders."

Mr Eilenberg said he and his wife considered moving to Stockholm where Jews feel safer than in Malmo. "But we decided not to because in five years time I think it will be just as bad there," he said.

"This is happening all over Europe. I have cousins who are leaving their homes in Amsterdam and France for the same reason as me."

Malmo's Jews are not the only ones to suffer hate crimes.

At the city's Islamic Centre, the director Bejzat Becirov pointed out a bullet hole in the window behind the main reception desk.

Mr Becirov, who arrived in 1962 from the former Yugoslavia, said that windows were regularly smashed, pig's heads had been left outside the mosque, and outbuildings burnt down - probably the acts of Neo-Nazis who have also baited Jews in the past.

He said that the harassment of Jews by some young Muslims was "embarrassing" to his community. Many of them are unemployed and confined to life on bleak estates where the Scandinavian dream of prosperity and equality seemed far away.

For many of Malmo's white Swedish population, meanwhile, the racial problems are bewildering after years of liberal immigration policies.

"I first encountered race hatred when I was an au pair in England and I was shocked," said Mrs Popinski's friend Ulla-Lena Cavling, 72, a retired teacher.

"I thought 'this couldn't happen in Sweden'. Now I know otherwise."

prentice crawford

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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #127 on: February 23, 2010, 07:29:46 AM »
 This is what happens to any group that is used for political expediency by socialist, it's not just Jews. As soon as Dem's get elected they turn their backs on gays, environmental groups and blacks and pit one group against another to created a smoke screen to cover their failings. Jews are a politically expedient, easy target and have been used in this manner by the likes of Hitler and others that have a political ideology that sees people as cattle, to be herded and tended to like animals. These grand political ideas always end in the deaths and poor treatment of millions of a state's own citizens.


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #128 on: February 23, 2010, 08:02:17 AM »

We agree on most things, but here I think you wide of the mark.

This is a far different matter than not delivering for a support group after election.  This is cowardice in the face of Muslim intimidation and bigotry, plain and simple.

"The mayor insisted to The Sunday Telegraph that he was opposed to anti-Semitism, but added: "I believe these are anti-Israel attacks, connected to the war in Gaza."

Why is attacking Jews in Sweden an "anti-Israel" attack?!?  :x :x :x

"and "Hitler" was mockingly chanted in the streets by masked men. , , , "This new hatred comes from Muslim immigrants. The Jewish people are afraid now."  Malmo's Jews, however, do not just point the finger at bigoted Muslims and their fellow racists in the country's Neo-Nazi fringe. They also accuse Ilmar Reepalu, the Left-wing mayor who has been in power for 15 years, of failing to protect them. Mr Reepalu, who is blamed for lax policing, is at the centre of a growing controversy for saying that what the Jews perceive as naked anti-Semitism is in fact just a sad, but understandable consequence of Israeli policy in the Middle East. While his views are far from unusual on the European liberal-left, which is often accused of a pro-Palestinian bias, his Jewish critics say they encourage young Muslim hotheads to abuse and harass them."

Exactly so.

prentice crawford

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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #129 on: February 24, 2010, 05:03:08 AM »
Woof Guro Craftydog,
 It may be that I am wide the mark or you could be short my point. :lol: My point wasn't that Muslims don't hate Jews, my point was that politicians, like the left-wing mayor, uses that hate as a tool for their own political reasons and that they do that with any group. Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler took it to the extreme but it starts with pitting one group against the other for political gain. Is using gay issues to gain votes and then dropping them at the same level? No, but can it foment hatred between rival groups and then that hate be used as an even more powerful political tool? Yes. It's got to start somewhere and left unchecked it can and has and will turn into genocide.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 09:55:35 AM by prentice crawford »


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #130 on: February 24, 2010, 05:50:36 AM »
I suspect we will just go in circles in this one and leave it simply by noting that Europe's Euro population is declining and that in order to try to maintain the euro-socialist economic model they need immigration.  In their case this means Turks and Arabs-- which of course are both overwhelmingly Muslim.  Not only does the widespread and deep anti-semitism of these two groups find easy reasonance with the still existing anti-semitism centuries-old and continent-wide anti-semitism of Europe, but the simple fact is that just like Mussolini's brown shirts in the streets intimidated people in Italy here too the good people of Europe are being intimidated.  Cowardice is being exhibited by more than a few.  Once again Jews are being driven from their homes.

Last word yours.

prentice crawford

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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #131 on: February 24, 2010, 05:59:04 AM »
 I think we both agree that Europe is in trouble, Jews are going to bear the brunt of it and if things continue in this manner history could repeat itself.


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #132 on: February 24, 2010, 06:01:03 AM »


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Unsung Hero Harry Bingham IV
« Reply #133 on: March 10, 2010, 07:22:12 PM »
7 Questions: Unsung Hero
by Jenny Hazan
Defying U.S. policy, Harry Bingham IV saved thousands of Jews fleeing the Nazis with fraudulent visas.

An American Vice-Consul stationed in Marseilles, France in 1940, Hiram (Harry) Bingham IV defied U.S. policy and issued false life-saving visas for thousands of Jews fleeing the Nazis, among them Marc Chagall, Max Ernst and the family of the writer Thomas Mann.

Even after Washington lost patience with him and shuffled him off to Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1941, Bingham continued to annoy his superiors by reporting on the movements of Nazis there. Eventually, he was forced out of the American diplomatic service.

Because he went against U.S. policy, he never received national credit, and because he was a man of action and not of words, his story went with him when he died in 1988. That is until his son, Robert Kim Bingham Sr., 67, discovered some of his father’s documents hidden in the family farmhouse in Salem, Connecticut, and embarked on a journey to bring his father’s heroic story to light.

Q1: Describe the drama of discovering your father’s documents.

In 1996, eight years after my father’s death, my mom, a few of my 10 siblings and I started finding documents at the farmhouse in Salem. There were letters, visa papers, and photos from my father’s time in Marseilles. Until then, our family was aware that he had a hand in the rescue of a handful of luminaries, but we had no idea of the scope of his activity, that he was sought out by thousands of people who went to him for their one last chance to live.

We found out that in addition to issuing false visas, he sheltered Jews in his home in Marseilles and worked with the French underground to smuggle Jews out of France into Spain, or across the Mediterranean. He even contributed to their expenses out of his own pocket. I have heard estimates that he saved anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 people.

About five years ago, we found a letter to him from Leon Feuchtwanger, an anti-Nazi writer, thanking my father for hiding him and his wife Marta in my father’s residence for some six weeks while my father prepared a false visa for him under the name of ‘Wet Cheek’. Feuchtwanger had written the letter while on board the Excalibur, heading to New York City, and signed it ‘Mr. Wet Cheek’.

Read Related Article: Seven Questions: The Noachide

My mother and brother, Thomas, sent some of the Marseilles documents to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, and to Eric Saul, curator of the Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats Project and the Jewish Rescuers Project, who should really be credited with bringing my father’s story to life.

Q2: How did the remembrance project get started?

In 1998 I went to Israel, on the 50th anniversary of the country, as part of a mission of diplomat children. I was very moved when I saw the exhibit at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. My father had been singled out for special honor. It was the first time I was really struck by what he had done.

There were many people who were so grateful to him for what he did during the early days of the nightmare of the Holocaust, and many people stepped forward to tell me so. We heard wonderful stories in different parts of the country of righteous gentiles, and it was as though it was my father’s turn to be recognized. That trip to Israel is what triggered my whole incentive to go forward with the remembrance project.

Q3: What is the remembrance project?

The unveiling of postage stamps in honor of righteous diplomats at Yad Vashem gave me the idea to petition our own government to issue a stamp in honor of my father. I started a stamp drive in December, 1998, and in May, 2006, a stamp in honor of Harry Bingham IV was finally minted.

Forty representatives of government and 40 U.S. senators forwarded their support for the stamp to the Postmaster General. We had the entire legislature of Connecticut supporting the drive. It was a thrilling bipartisan experience for me.

My book, Courageous Dissent: How Harry Bingham Defied His Government to Save Lives (2007) was part of the same effort.

Q4: What is your primary drive behind all of this?

For over 50 years, the U.S. State Department resisted any attempts to honor my father. To them, he was an insubordinate member of the U.S. diplomatic service.

At the same time, my father didn’t reveal any details. It was typical of diplomatic families that we traveled with that the fathers did not bring to light their activities to their children. I guess because it was such a terrible period and the memories must have been overwhelmingly negative, perhaps because of those they could not rescue.

Our family thought he deserved to be honored; he put humanity above his career.

For me personally, as a former government employee in the U.S. -- I retired in July after 41 years of service as Inside Counsel to the Department of Homeland Security -- it impressed upon me what my father had done.

Read Related Article: Seven Questions: From Phishhead to Israeli Army

Q5: What drove your father to take such risks?

He came from a long and illustrious line of risk-takers. His father, Hiram Bingham III -- on whom the Hollywood character Indiana Jones is based -- discovered the ruins of the Inca city of Machu Picchu, Peru in 1911.

My father was a deeply religious man who saw his role as saving lives during that nightmare. He felt tremendous compassion for human beings and that each person had a spark of divinity.

Jacques Bodner's visa issued by Hiram Bingham IV on Feb. 27, 1940


Q6: What is one of your fondest memories of your father?

He taught all of his 11 children that we should live according to the golden rule. One instance that made a deep impression on me goes way back to when I was six years old. We used to go to the beach in Connecticut, near an amusement park called Ocean Beach.

We were walking along the sand and snuck into the park without paying the three-cent ‘pedestrian fee’. When he found out he was very angry with us. It’s one of many examples of my father’s deep moral fiber.

Of course I loved my father. He was a wonderful father and we all adored him.

Q7: Is your father finally getting the recognition he deserves?

Besides the stamp, the State Department made a 180-degree turn in 2002 and Colin Powell invited our family to Washington to present us with a posthumous ‘Constructive Dissent’ award in my father’s honor. I was happy about that. He has also been honored by the United Nations and by the State of Israel. Yad Vashem opened an exhibit in his honor called ‘Harry’s Wall’.

But more than these things are the people who continue to come forward and tell us that our father saved their family. During the stamp drive, one 85-year-old lady told us that she and her sister were just teens when they got visas from my father.

Last October, one of my daughter's professors at Harvard, the Dean of the Literature College, originally from Austria, told her that her grandfather had saved his family. The two of them cried together. It is very emotional. He is alive today because of my father. When we hear these stories, it comes very close to home.

This article can also be read at:


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A Jew in Prison
« Reply #134 on: April 19, 2010, 04:12:13 PM »

A Jew in Prison
A Reflection on Anti-Semitism on the Yard

David Arenberg had everything going for him. He was smart, the son of a research scientist and a teacher. He graduated in 1980 from the elite University of Chicago with a degree in psychology, and went on to become a left-wing tenants' rights organizer in New York City for seven years. But in 1987, he suffered a "personal tragedy" and a "political defeat" that he doesn't want to discuss but that prompted him to leave his organizing work. Always a moderate drug user, he says, he began abusing cocaine and "generally living a seedy life." His brother tried to rescue him by recruiting him to run a small trucking company in a western state, and for a time Arenberg did all right. But despite that work, and later taking up tenants' rights once more, he continued his drug use and also adopted a new line of work — using computers to engage in sophisticated financial ripoffs. Arenberg was arrested and jailed briefly for forgery in 1996, but only became an even more active con man when he was released. Finally, in 2001, he was arrested for driving under the influence. The arrest led to more serious charges of fraud, forgery, identity theft and vehicle theft, culminating in consecutive sentences totaling more than 13 years. Today, with about four years left to serve, Arenberg, 53, is trying to sort his life out. He sent the Intelligence Report the following account of his experiences as a Jew in a state prison — a harrowing tale of surviving severe prejudice in an unforgiving environment, but also the story of a remarkable journey of self-discovery.

I am always the last person to eat. It's part of a compromise I worked out with the skinheads who run the western state prison complex where I am incarcerated. Under this compromise, I'm allowed to sit at the whites' tables, but only after the "heads," and then the "woods," and then the "lames" have eaten. I am lower on the totem pole than all of them, the untouchable. I should feel lucky I'm allowed to eat at the whites' tables at all.

Not that there's anywhere else I could eat. The prison yard is broken down into five distinct racial categories and segregation is strictly enforced. There are the "woods" (short for peckerwoods) that encompass the whites, the "kinfolk" (blacks), the "Raza" (American-born people of Mexican descent), the "paisas" (Mexico-born Mexicans), and the "chiefs" (American Indians). Under the strict rules that govern interracial relations, different races are allowed to play on the same sports teams but not play individual games (e.g., chess) together; they may be in each others' cubicles together if the situation warrants but not sit on each others' beds or watch each others' televisions. They may go to the same church services but not pray together. But if you accidentally break one of these rules, the consequences are usually pretty mild: you might get a talking to by one of the heads (who, of course, claims exemption from this rule himself), or at worst, a "chin check."

Eating with another race, however, is a different story. It is an inviolate rule that different races may not break bread together under any circumstances. Violating this rule leads to harsh consequences. If you eat at the same table as another race, you'll get beaten down. If you eat from the same tray as another race, you'll be put in the hospital. And if you eat from the same food item as another race, that is, after another race has already taken a bite of it, you can get killed. This is one area where even the heads don't have any play.

This makes it difficult for me, of course, to fit into the chow hall. Jews, as we all know, are not white but imposters who don white skin and hide inside it for the purpose of polluting and taking over the white race. The skinheads simply can't allow me to eat with them: that would make them traitors of the worst kind — race traitors! But my milky skin and pasty complexion, characteristic of the Eastern European Ashkenazi, make it impossible for me to eat with other races who don't understand the subtleties of my treachery and take me for just another wood. So the compromise is that I may sit at certain white tables after all the whites have finished eating. In exchange, I must do free legal work as directed by the heads (Jewish lawyers, even jailhouse lawyers, are hard to come by in prison) and remit to them a portion of the legal fees I collect from everyone else I do legal work for on the yard.

This compromise was brokered by the more "mainstream" Nazis on the yard, the Aryan Brotherhood. They became involved because when I first got here, one of the first cases I handled resulted in my getting a 21-year sentence for one of their members vacated. This gave me instant credibility: even if a "hands-off-the-Jew" policy could not be established, a "hands-off-the-Jewish-lawyer" policy could be and was. It was this factor, I think, more than any other, that has kept me safe here.

The Aryan Brotherhood (AB) is the political rival of the skinheads. They are the old guard, the white leadership that has run the yards for years. They control the drug markets, the poker tables, the tattoo shops. Their membership consists mostly of long-term inmates who have been on the yards for 15, 20, 25 years. Their average age is probably well over 40. By contrast, the skinheads have a much younger membership (albeit also with long-term sentences) that is rapidly advancing upon AB turf. So the AB's "defense" of me has a political component as well: I am the enemy of their enemy and therefore their friend. The AB understands that I provide a service they can exploit. But they also perceive the skinheads' hatred of me and realize they can use championing my cause to their advantage. So they allow me to stay on the yard, taking credit for my providing legal work and inadvertently discrediting the anti-Semitism of the skinheads in the process.

This was all allowed to happen because the AB, notwithstanding the swastikas, lightning bolts and KKK hoods tattooed on their arms and their vile racist rhetoric, are not fundamentally ideological. Their racism derives primarily from economic considerations: by enjoining the different races from trading with each other, they enforce their share of the highly lucrative drug market. The price of drugs on the yards is 10 times higher than it is on the street, and the AB is the largest single supplier, with drugs smuggled in not only by would-be recruits trying to "earn their ink" by getting their girlfriends to hide them in their body cavities when they come to visit, but by guards who are in their employ (and sometimes in their membership) as well. The Raza's drugs may be cheaper and better, but because of the segregation, they are not available to the woods.

The skinheads, by contrast, claim to be fundamentally ideological. They exist as a political entity dedicated, they say, to organizing to fight the big war, the race war, which will reassert white political dominance in the world. They therefore take the public position that they do not approve of drugs, and they try to foster the image that they are serious warriors, that they keep their minds clean and spirits pure by reading Nietzsche and Sun Tzu and Machiavelli, and that their bodies are highly trained fighting machines that will kill the enemy without a second thought. Every afternoon you can see them marching around the yard in locked step, their polished boots gleaming in the baking sun, with "SKINHEAD" tattooed on their foreheads and "SHAVED FOR WAR" carved on the backs of their skulls and encircling swastikas made up of interlocking axe handles. I used to wonder why skinheads made such a fuss over insisting that whites fold their clothes in a specific way and display them on their shelves. The party line is that we do this because other races look to us as setting the standard, and it is therefore our burden to do so. But I finally figured out the real reason: the skinheads want the whites to appear totally disciplined, a tight fighting unit ready to spring into war at the drop of a hat. Uniforms that are folded and pressed maintain this posture.

The skinheads are so ridiculous, both in the way they present themselves and in their social views, that it is easy to caricature and dismiss them. But that would be a mistake. The skinheads are the fastest growing segment of the prison population. If at one time they were a fringe group within prison, that is no longer the case.

I grew up in a Chicago suburb, Evanston, Ill., next door to Skokie, the infamous site of an attempted march by Nazis in the late 1970s through a city with a large Jewish population, including a high number of concentration camp survivors. Because Evanston and Skokie shared a high school, I knew many of these survivors, whose children were friends of mine. When the Nazis threatened to march, these were the people who were prepared to take their places on the front lines, baseball bats in hand, ready to meet the fascists. There is no question in my mind that the Nazis ultimately backed down at the last minute not because they were put off by the Skokie City Council when it hastily enacted an ordinance preventing the march, nor because the Anti-Defamation League made the Nazis "irrelevant" by advising people to ignore them, nor because the ACLU helped the Nazis "make their point" that free speech is allowed and this made the march moot. Rather, it was because they were afraid of the Jewish and other anti-fascist demonstrators who organized against them and made it clear that they were going to offer armed resistance. The Nazis knew that if they came to Skokie, no amount of police protection could keep them safe.

This was the climate I grew up in. My parents were left-liberals, one-time fellow travelers of the Communist Party who had become more conservative over the years but in whom political activism, especially against fascism, was instinctual. And it was one of their guiding principles that there is no debating with fascists. Fascists are not interested in ideas but in political power. So every time the Nazis did publicly organize since then, I was there to oppose them, not with the force of my intellect but with the strength of my fists.

But despite my lifelong opposition to Nazis, this opposition stemmed from political, not religious, considerations. I grew up with essentially no identity as a Jew. My father, while of German-Jewish origins (and a World War II vet), was a stone atheist and a scientist, and my mother, while being a little fuzzy on the God question, sided with my father in not providing my brother and me with any religious training. I did not attend shul on the high holidays or go to Hebrew school. Instead, I went to socialist summer camp where I was taught that the most important spiritual value is "thou shalt never cross a picket line."

Nor did the neighborhood I grew up in or the schools I went to do anything to confer a sense of Jewish identity on me. Although Evanston was not as heavily Jewish as Skokie, my neighborhood was at least a third Jewish and the high school even more so. But being immersed in a heavily Jewish environment did not have the effect of enhancing my identity as a Jew; if anything, it made being Jewish taken for granted and therefore largely irrelevant. Jews were everywhere and represented all perspectives. We were jocks and nerds, boozers and freaks, businessmen and scientists, Republicans and radicals. Our Jewishness was not a common denominator to us (because it was too common a denominator) and therefore being Jewish was no big deal.

Similarly, when I moved to New York City after college, I lived in a heavily Jewish city in which I was part of the majority. If it was something of a thrill to be living in a city where everything shut down on Yom Kippur, the main identity I felt as a Jew was no identity: being Jewish was as common and therefore as taken for granted as finding a taxicab on Fifth Avenue.

I suppose this paradoxical lack of a Jewish identity in people who live in an overwhelmingly Jewish environment is characteristic only of those for whom the environment is a privileged one. When Jews living together is a feature of their oppression rather than privilege, such as in the case of those who were forced to live in the shtetls of Russia or in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, Jewish identity becomes something that is not shunned but clung to. The practice of Judaism now becomes a raison d'etre, a thing which gives life meaning. If you are oppressed because of your race, religion or national origin, you seize that heritage as something bigger than yourself to give you the will to go on.

When I went to prison, it was the first time in my life that I really stood out as a Jew. Jews are virtually unheard of in the state prison system, and if going to prison was a cultural shock and eye-opening experience for me, meeting a Jew was a cultural shock and eye-opening experience for a good number of young men on the yard, some of whom had never traveled more than 50 miles from their backwoods homes. I suppose it should not have come as a surprise to me, then, that anti-Semitism would be so rampant. Nevertheless, I was shocked by the blatant hatred (and misperceptions) of Jews. All the old stereotypes — of Jews being stingy, greedy and dishonest, of Jews controlling the world's money supply, of Jews running the entertainment industry and establishing the cultural standards of the world (thus allowing the proliferation of homosexuality and interracial relationships); in short, all the old stereotypes about Jews which I never really believed existed — were in full force and effect on the yard. I have been able to remain safe, but only because I reached an accommodation with my Nazi tormentors limiting my presence and activities on the yard. But the bottom line is, I am, and will remain, a pariah.

Thus, it was precisely my own oppression by skinheads and others when I went to prison that has caused me to discover a Jewish identity and has allowed me to come into my own as a Jew. I had dealt with Nazis before, as I mentioned above, but only in the aggregate, when I was part of a large force opposing a clearly unwelcome and alien presence. But on the prison yards, if Nazis are not in the mainstream, certainly hatred of Jews is taken for granted. And for most of the time I have been in prison I have been the only Jew here. As a result, the isolation and extreme prejudice against Jews here has finally forced me to consider myself to be, for the first time in my life, fundamentally a Jew; that is, I am a Jew before I am a socialist, an activist, a lawyer, a convict or a musician.

When I first came to jail, I tried to hide my Judaism. I even thought about changing my name so it would sound less Jewish. Not any more! The oppression I suffered, the alienation and loneliness I felt, and the spiritual thirst that is starting to be quenched, have caused me to finally come into my own. I am a Jew! And this has become my fundamental defeat of the Nazis. Because I have finally come to this bone-deep understanding, I will walk out of the prison gates as a changed man, a man who has returned to the mark after having strayed for so many years. I will have finally come home.


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #135 on: April 19, 2010, 04:42:52 PM »
Wow, who knew neo-nazi prison gangs would be anti-semetic?  :roll:


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #136 on: April 19, 2010, 06:23:45 PM »
He was a lefty-liberal-progressive.   :roll:


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #137 on: April 19, 2010, 10:10:22 PM »
With a drug problem. Which is also pretty redundant.

Funny enough, today's racially segregated prison came out of the 60's/70s racial militants.


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #138 on: April 20, 2010, 05:10:06 AM »
despite the gagging caused the URL- about the only point I got from that article is that Racism breeds more racists, and pushing on someone because of his percieved heritage can radicalize him into such a creature.  Balance seems to be what is desired by the universe, so action against provokes action against to maintain a balance.  A person identifying as a socialist has statrted identifying as a jew due to the environment he is in............ {eybrow} interesting {/eyebrow}

He has managed to cope, but what is his point?


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #139 on: April 20, 2010, 08:11:19 AM »
It is not so much "his" point that I posted the piece for as for the reflections in us readers that it triggers.


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #140 on: April 20, 2010, 09:40:08 AM »
If I recall correctly, the Aryan Brotherhood was originally the "Diamond Tooth" gang, and then the "Bluebird" gang before taking on overt nazi symbolism. The gang originated in the CA. prison system as a reaction to white inmates being targeted by black and hispanic inmates. Some AB OGs can be identified by the bluebird tattoo.


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pbs documentary on American Jews
« Reply #141 on: May 10, 2010, 10:18:47 AM »
I am not sure what thread this would go under.  It could be immigration (legal and Jewish), anti semitism (to a small extent), Israel, etc.

I saw one episode last night of a three part documentary of Jews in America.  For those with an interest one get see the broadcast schedule here.


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #142 on: July 06, 2010, 07:55:15 PM »
A Hatred That Resists Exorcism
Published: July 5, 2010
Is there anything left to be said about anti-Semitism? By now surely the outline is clear: how hatred of Jews grew out of early Christianity’s attempts to supplant Judaism; how the demonization of Jews in the Middle Ages turned violent; how the hatred was given its name by a 19th-century German journalist; and how it reached cataclysmic fulfillment in the Holocaust.

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Special Collection and Rare Books/Mu Libraries, University of Missouri
A George Cruikshank illustration of Fagin for “Oliver Twist.”

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Al-Dustour, Jordan
“The Blood of a Palestinian Child, a Gift for Mother’s Day,” a 1994 cartoon in a Jordanian newspaper.

There are other landmarks: the expulsion of the Jews from England, Spain and Portugal; intermittent massacres in Muslim lands; the construction of European ghettos; the pogroms of Russia and Eastern Europe; the Dreyfus Affair; the Nazification of Europe; Stalin’s purges and show trials.

And then, of course, there are the triumphs that act as a kind of remonstrance: the Enlightenment success of Jews in secular European societies, the myriad opportunities in the United States, the birth of modern Hebrew and, after a half-century of settlement, land purchases and institution building, the creation of Israel, whose founding principles incorporated both democratic and Judaic ideals.

Why then during the last six months have new tomes been published devoted to the hatred of Jews? “A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism From Antiquity to the Global Jihad” (Random House) weighs in at about 1,200 pages, a compendium of a career’s research by Robert S. Wistrich, professor of modern Jewish history at Hebrew University in Israel. And more than 800 pages are devoted just to British anti-Semitic history in “Trials of the Diaspora” (Oxford) by Anthony Julius, a learned British lawyer whose clients included Diana, Princess of Wales, and whose book on T.S. Eliot’s anti-Semitism was widely praised for its supple understanding.

Surely this attention is a bit overwrought? Aren’t we in an age that must be “post” all such sentiments — postmodern, post-Auschwitz and post-anti-Semitic? Haven’t many anti-Semitic doctrines (or their consequences) been largely overturned? How many people today would advocate ghettos or extermination? Who still believes that Jews bake Christian children’s blood into matzo? Many countries have forbidden hate speech; hasn’t that enforced a decorous social tact? And while it is difficult to ignore the vulgar hatreds expressed by Muslim protestors or in the newspapers of the Arab world or even among Westerners, aren’t those just frustrated expressions of justifiable political grievances?

Besides, anti-Semitism, we now understand, is a form of racism. Like all forms of group hatred, it is subject to reform and to the modern cure of sensitivity training. We learn about such hatreds in order to exorcise them. It seems every museum exhibition, textbook and children’s story about racism provides a similar moral prescription: tolerance.

So isn’t there something a little tasteless about bringing up anti-Semitism all the time, let alone drumming its theme page after page? Sure, racism may still flourish, but given the modern success of Jews, hasn’t this particular form of it become an anomaly? Or worse, hasn’t the term become a manipulative attempt to deflect judgment? As is often pointed out, criticism of Israel is not necessarily anti-Semitic any more than criticism of any particular Jew is.

But spend some time submerged in these books — by no means a pleasant or an easy task — and these notions recede into irrelevance. Mr. Wistrich’s volume presents itself as an encyclopedic history, and is so full of details and citations, it overwhelms. We hear from a 17th-century Viennese preacher (“After Satan Christians have no greater enemies than the Jews”), Karl Marx (“What is the worldly cult of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly god? Money”) and the Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah (“If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew”).

Mr. Wistrich offers less a history, though, than a contemporary indictment with historical background. This makes his book difficult to read. Its approach is one of cumulative examples culminating in jihadists and their apologists. Its rosterlike style can become tedious but the examples are powerfully dispiriting.

“Trials of the Diaspora” has a similar effect, though Mr. Julius is more focused and analytical, dissecting types of enmity, the nature of anti-Semitic myth and its influence on the greatest examples of English literature. From his analysis, we begin to see too just how different anti-Semitism is from other forms of racism.

Racism attaches negative attributes onto people bearing a particular biological heritage. Such characteristics are passed on; they are inherited. The hatred is focused; the perceived threat can be excised. In a way, racism is a materialist or physical passion: the problem and the solution are concrete.

While anti-Semitism has tapped into racial hatreds in modern times, Mr. Julius and Mr. Wistrich highlight its traditional reliance on conspiracy: the hidden plot. Anti-Semitism isn’t just a matter of asserting unpleasant or reprehensible attributes. It sees the Jew as an antinomian threat, overturning all ethical laws. The Jew works in secret, creating invisible alliances, pulling elaborate strings, undermining society’s foundations. This is why the Protocols of the Elders of Zion has found such a fertile international ground. That 19th-century document purports to be the secret minutes of such a plotting ensemble of Jews. It is the counterfeit confirmation of a long-held belief.

Anti-Semitism is a metaphysical passion, not a materialist one. It doesn’t even require a Jewish presence.

One reason anti-Semites have been so obsessed with the issue of finance in the modern world is that money is the circulatory system of capitalist society. It is mysterious, manipulable: the Jew’s perfect instrument. The Jew, first seen as a theological spoiler, becomes a metaphysical and monetary spoiler. The medieval image of the Jew was related to the vampire, Mr. Julius shows; the modern anti-Semitic vision sees the Jew as a guzzler of a society’s lifeblood.

This amplifies virulence as well: the Jew, for the anti-Semite, is not just a danger, but the greatest danger exerting the greatest powers. In current paradoxical parlance, the Jew is, in essence, a Nazi. The Jew does not just devour a Christian child’s blood, but the blood of all innocent children, and more completely, the blood of all innocents.

Is any evidence needed? Appearances are irrelevant; argument is illusion. What use is visible fact when the power of the Jew is in the web woven below the surface? Jewish autonomy is itself evidence of Jewish threat. Moreover, confrontation requires courage. Anti-Semitism never sees itself as a hatred; it views itself as a revelation. An attack on the Jew is never offensive; it is always defensive. This is precisely how the Nazis portrayed it. It is precisely how Islamist ideology does as well, evident, for example, in the principles and founding documents of Hamas and Hezbollah.

In a recent book, “Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World” (Yale), the historian Jeffrey Herf shows how Nazi propagandists literally taught Arab audiences the language of anti-Semitism through popular radio programs in Arabic. Nazi ideology bears many resemblances to that of contemporary Islamic extremism, some the consequence of careful teaching. That teaching is still present in the Arab world, amplified by political leaders and imams, often annexed to denigrations of Jews taken from Islamic sources

The result, Mr. Julius and Mr. Wistrich recognize, has been one of the most historically noxious forms of anti-Semitic mythology, which has also fed into political debates in the West and cannot be overlooked or easily dismissed. It is easy enough to discern when responsible criticisms of Israel veer into something reprehensible: the structure of anti-Semitic belief is not subtle. There is a wildly exaggerated scale of condemnation, in which extremes of contempt confront a country caricatured as the world’s worst enemy of peace; such attacks (and the use of Nazi analogies) are beyond evidence and beyond pragmatic political debate or protest. Israel’s autonomy — it’s very presence — is the problem. Mr. Julius writes, “Israel is the only state in the world whose legitimacy is widely denied and whose destruction is publicly advocated and threatened; Israelis are the only citizens of a state whose indiscriminate murder is widely considered justifiable.”

But even if we leave aside such manifestations, it is clear enough that anti-Semitism requires much deeper understanding than it usually gets. Last week, for example, Hannah Rosenthal, the United States’ special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, spoke in Kazakhstan, asserting the similarity of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

This is not an uncommon assertion (and cases of unwarranted discrimination are always similar) but Islamophobia is a concept developed within the last two decades by those who wish to elevate Islam’s reputation in the West; anti-Semitism was a concept eagerly embraced and expanded by haters of Jews. One was constructed by a group’s supporters, the other by a group’s enemies.

Moreover, much of what is characterized as Islamophobia today arises out of taking seriously the impassioned claims of doctrinal allegiance made by Islamic terrorist groups and their supporters. Anti-Semitism, though, has nothing to do with any claims at all.

Connections is a critic’s perspective on arts and ideas.


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Different from other Victims?
« Reply #143 on: July 07, 2010, 04:55:27 AM »
Are Jews Different from History’s Other Victims?

Posted By David Solway On July 6, 2010  In FrontPage

Hatred and revulsion for distinct ethnic and tribal groups, and the cleansing operations and genocides that accompany these obsessions, are obviously all-too commonplace phenomena. In recent historical times alone we have seen the Turkish genocide of its Armenian population, the Cambodian hecatomb, the Hutu massacre of nearly one million Tutsis, the Serbian slaughter of Bosnian Muslims, the Sudanese carnage in Darfur and other parts of the country, the ongoing bloodbath in the Congo and, of course, the still unassimilable abomination of the Holocaust.

The question that often arises among those who want to diminish the scale of Jewish suffering involves orders of magnitude and, so to speak, degrees of unimaginableness. What makes the Holocaust different in “the roll-call of genocides” (to use Theodore Dalrymple’s phrase [1]) and assures it a signal place in the history of human evil? Have not other peoples beside the Jews suffered persecution, segregation, pogroms and official campaigns of extermination? Are six to seven million Ukrainians starved to death by Josef Stalin in the forced collectivization program known as the Black Famine [2] any less to be mourned than six million dead Jews at the hands of Adolf Hitler? Do Jews have a monopoly on affliction?

Trading in such mass obituaries is always grotesque, but the issue comes up again and again whenever Jews, or those who sympathize with their trials, define the Holocaust as an unprecedented atrocity in the annals of collective suffering. Historian Peter Novick, for example, regards [3] the Jewish focus on the Holocaust as a form of cultural pathology, an aspect of Jewish narcissism and an attempt to acquire the cachet of victimhood. Have not other minority groups endured equivalent or near-equivalent tragedies? The late Nobel laureate José Saramago, a diehard communist and one of the world’s most notable antisemites, wrote [4] in the Spain’s leading newspaper El Pais, “educated and trained in the idea that any suffering that has been inflicted…will always be inferior to that which they themselves suffered in the Holocaust, the Jews endlessly scratch their own wound to keep it bleeding, to make it incurable, and they show it to the world as if it were a banner… Israel wants all of us to feel guilty, directly or indirectly, for the horrors of the Holocaust.” Philosopher Pascal Bruckner recognizes [5] the seductiveness of this argument; however, unlike Novick and Saramago, he deplores the growing propensity to cheapen the Holocaust among those who deem Jewish memory as “the potential for winning an inalienable immunity or irresponsibility,” and as “purloining the maximum misfortune and declaring yourself its only legitimate owner.”

This anti-Jewish proclivity and “envious hatred,” Bruckner contends, is really a movement to confiscate the Holocaust for disreputable purposes, to open “a kind of perpetual line of credit for immorality.” It is the gambit practiced by the “Serbian extremists” and, for that matter, by the Palestinians and their supporters, who claim a “Holocaust” of their own as a “source of unlimited moral and political advantages” that gives them “permission for all forms of abuse.” The abuse, we might say, is a double one for it leads not only to the “ambiguity of the ethnic theology” predicated on a false identification to advance a political or religious cause, but deprives Jews of the density and meaning of their own history and expropriates their suffering. In this way, the Holocaust is, once again, relativized and debased.

If we assume that Novick, Saramago and their congeners are right, what, then, would distinguish Jews from their fellow victims of unparalleled barbarism? Are there really no gradations of evil? One answer to this question that is frequently met with has to do with the bureaucratic and industrialized nature of the monstrosity perpetrated against the Jewish people. The Shoah was meticulously planned at the highest levels of government, a blueprint for infamy carefully prepared and a complex technology devised to carry it out. This is certainly true, for even Stalin’s Black Famine relied upon a comparatively simpler process. Stalin merely increased grain quotas for State procurement, thus depriving Ukrainian farmers of the means of subsistence. Though savagery is what it is, there is something incommensurable about the closely meditated intricacies of the Nazi Endlösung, or Final Solution. Stalin did not wish to depopulate Ukraine; Hitler’s consuming passion was to destroy an entire people, and he developed a detailed and methodical strategy to accomplish his purpose.

And yet there is much more to the matter than scientific malice and administrative elaboration. Unlike the Ukrainians who succumbed to a political calculation, Jews were targeted for who and what they were or believed to be, decimated on racial grounds as a people of impure blood contaminating the racial purity of a “superior” nation, much like the gypsies and the “defectives.” “And still there is a difference,” writes Norman Cohn in Warrant for Genocide[6]. “The Jews were hunted down with a fanatical hatred reserved for them alone,” the killed amounting “probably to more than two-thirds of all European Jews.”  But it is not only a matter of brute numbers—the tally of Mao Zedong’s murdered innocents far eclipses that of Hitler’s or Stalin’s victims. Yet, as with Stalin’s policy concerning the Ukrainians, Mao did not set out to liquidate the Chinese people. Neither wanted to erase a “nation.” Hitler did. This is a fact that cannot be scanted and casts its lurid shadow over the Holocaust. And still there is a difference. Nor, as I have suggested, is it exclusively a question of cold, administrative calibrations in which human beings are transformed into abstract ciphers.

The dimension of Time must also be taken into account.

For the campaign against the Israelite has an inordinately long pedigree, going back to the Egyptian captivity, the Babylonian exile, the Roman wars and dispossession, the mass killings of Jews during the First Crusade, the Edict of Expulsion from England during the reign of Edward I, the Alhambra Decree in Spain ordering the expulsion of the Jews, the Chmielnicki massacre in 17th century Ukraine, and the innumerable purges in between and since, in both Christian and Muslim lands, leading to its culmination in the Holocaust.

In other words, Jews have the unique status of being singled out for millennial execration, malevolence, hostility and extirpation. It is a prejudice that knows no surcease. The spectre of discrimination, xenophobia, pogroms and even annihilation never disappears and always threatens to re-emerge, as it has once again today with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iran vowing to “wipe Israel off the map” in a second Holocaust. As I have written before [7], the destiny of the Jews, unlike other minorities, “is to be eternally unsafe in this world,” which is precisely the factor that differentiates the Jewish people from other peoples on the historical continuum of human ignominy. It keeps happening.

There is yet another element to reflect upon. The religious wars that drenched the European continent in blood for centuries are now, for the most part, a thing of the past and have been superseded in the West by secular antagonisms expressed as an ideological conflict. The Cold War is over, presumably, but the culture wars persist. The battle between socialism and conservatism, the left and the right, Democrat and Republican, transnationalism and nationalism, statism and individualism, and, yes, between Europe and Israel, as well as between a left-oriented, terror-appeasing American presidency and Israel, is gathering momentum with every passing hour. Religious violence still exists, of course, but this is largely a prerogative of the Islamic world, manifest in the divide between Sunni and Shi’ite and the ubiquitous desire to exterminate the Jews. As Jonathan Kellerman writes in a symposium hosted by Commentary magazine (June, 2010), “the war being waged against Israel by the Muslim world is, at the core, a religious dispute. Radical Islamists no longer talk about Zionists, they come right out and broadcast their goal of eradicating worldwide Jewry.”

Thus, the forces at work in the contemporary world render Jews even more vulnerable than is usually the case, for they are now assaulted on two fronts: by secularists on the left who regard Israel as a colonial implant in the Middle East and by Muslims commanded by the Koran and the Ahadith to kill Jews wherever they may be found. Jews are perhaps the only people in the world who live in the crosshairs of two implacable enemies, one avowedly secular and the other driven by a theological mandate. The paradox is as mordant as it gets. Coming or going, for the Jew there is no acquittal, no peace and no relenting. If the secular left doesn’t get him, the Islamic right will—or devote itself to trying. It is a vise of world-historical proportions. And this means, clearly, that the menace Jews have always had to face will continue to flourish and quite possibly to augment.

I believe that most Jews are instinctively aware of the world’s undying hatred and misprision, but few are willing or capable of consciously acknowledging the scope of so unpalatable a truth. As Sarah Honig astutely writes [8], it is “disagreeable to realize that de rigueur Israel-bashing has unleashed latent predilections which, despite their transitory abeyance, festered beneath the floorboards of human decency.” The allusion to the great but antisemitic Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky is apt. In Notes from Under the Floorboards [9], Dostoevsky depicted in the novel’s protagonist an insectal longing for abasement and a contempt for all that is good, decent and noble in life, an embodiment of moral catastrophe. “I am angry,” the character says, “my irritability keeps me alive and kicking.” This tendency is, to use Dostoevsky’s term, “representative.” It appears to be inherent in the human psyche, and the Jew has ever been its most reliable outlet.

Norman Cohn refines the diagnosis for the modern age. “The drive to exterminate the Jews,” he writes, springs from “a quasi-demonological superstition,” namely, “the myth of the Jewish world-conspiracy…set on ruining and then dominating the rest of mankind.” The myth, whose chief repository is The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a forgery dating back to the early 20th century, is “designed to appeal to all the paranoid and destructive potentialities in human beings.” And myths, as we know, guarantee longevity of belief, precisely because of human credulity and innate aggression.

But we can go further and posit that Jews have ever been the casualties of one or another myth, which are constantly pupating from one form into another, whether of plotting world conquest, or of poisoning wells, or of baking the blood of Christian children into Passover matzot, or of being the carriers of diseases—or of robbing the Palestinians of their land irrespective of the fact that, as Joan Peters, among other respectable scholars, has convincingly shown in her seminal study, From Time Immemorial [10], a substantial influx of Arab migrants, late arrivals to the region from the surrounding Arab countries, appropriated the identity of “Palestinians.” One myth will replace another to ensure that the engine of hatred keeps running and that a destination for bigotry and delirium remains always attainable.

The current myth, as we have noted, is that Jews are usurpers—in the very land in which they have maintained a continuous presence for 3,500 years and which, despite the vicissitudes of history, bears archeological, textual and demographic witness to their tenure from antiquity to the present moment. As the Reverend James Parkes spells out for us in his scrupulously researched Whose Land? A History of the Peoples of Palestine [11], the Jewish connection with the land “has been continuous from the 2nd millennium B.C.E. up to modern times.” Recent genetic findings [12] have reinforced the evidence for geographical origins. But myths are insidiously potent. “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,” as notorious Press Corps reporter Helen Thomas [13] recently demanded [13]. Not to be undone, deputy leader of Canada’s National Democratic Party Libby Davies [14] parroted Thomas’ ultimatum a few days later, asserting [15] that Israel’s “occupation of Palestinian lands” began in 1948 with its formal recognition as a legitimate state—a tirelessly reiterated jihadist theme. We cannot predict what the next such myth will be. We can only be sure that anti-Jewish myths, bordering on caricature, multiply like rabbits on aphrodisiacs.

This is what makes Jews, wherever they may find themselves, different from history’s other genocidal victims: they must always prepare for yet another round of social resentment, another irruption of ostracism and rejection, another flotilla (really an armada) of bogus “peace activists” aimed at dislodging them from their toehold on the Mediterranean, another barrage of denunciations from the so-called “international community,” and another calamity waiting in the offing. For what sets Jews apart from other victims of human malignancy is that the hatred and violence, the demonising, never go away.

Such is the nature of antisemitism: it is not a singular event but a perpetual sentence of condemnation. It is what we might call an ontological compulsion, an antipathy that has been reified. Regardless of the effort of Jews to assimilate, to forget the past, to deny their heritage or even to work against the very existence of the Jewish state and to trivialize the Holocaust, and despite the protestations of Western intellectuals and scions of the Enlightenment, who disingenuously claim they are not anti-Jewish but only anti-Zionist, the return of the same, or the will to re-enact it, is preordained.

And this is what makes numbers, methods, reasons and intentions as a medium of comparative judgment—albeit factors by no means insignificant in themselves—in the deepest sense irrelevant in determining the relative weights of the ordeals of peoples. For others who have suffered the saturnalia of blood, what happened once is always remembered; for Jews, what is remembered has occurred not once but many times before, in greater or lesser measure, and always threatens to recur. The essential difference resides in the unbroken cycle, the periodicity of the world’s “longest hatred [16],” the irresistible urge toward the replication of the unthinkable. What happened in the Treblinka of God’s eye was prepared in the crucible of time by hideous increments and may conceivably happen again.

Saramago, like so many others, lashes out at the Jews as “contaminated by the monstrous and rooted ‘certitude’…that there exists a people chosen by God.” Deeply religious Jews certainly believe they have a special relationship with God, which is exactly why the Holocaust continues to defeat their understanding, no matter how they struggle to explain it. Secular, Reform,  Reconstructionist and Sabra Jews, by far the majority (I am not speaking of the apostates), do not place particular emphasis on this biblical tenet. They do not regard themselves as better or worse than anyone else but as a coherent people upholding a cultural tradition and a ritual sense of patrimony. They are not so much baffled by the Holocaust—human evil, after all, is pandemic—but horrified by both its occurrence and its possible imminence. This is what makes the Jew different and constitutes the real meaning of “chosenness.”

In other words, unlike other peoples, Jews have been selected for vilification, injury and even destruction from time immemorial. Or to put succinctly, the Jewish people bleeds history.



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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #144 on: July 08, 2010, 03:43:05 AM »
All of this stuff, cultural, racial, and other form of bigotry/ prejudice goes right to evolution.  Limited resources means tribes are competing, those tribes usually had different shamen so they were different religiously.  The leadership of the tribes varied, and they also used different methods in dealing with the environment, they were different cuturally. Given that pre modern man was living close to starvation and the end of "his" people constantly. ANY differences between tribes, and any "strangeness" was a threat on life.  Tribes often developed their own look too, so the basis of telling tribe members was "looks" as well.

Mankind has come a long way from being on the margins, but has been on that road for a LONG (&&^*& time.  Hundred of thousands of years at least it is not surprising that these hang over habit patterns are hard to remove, especially when tribes like the Islamics keep cropping up hostile and threatening the peace. 

Now in the modern era we have developed a certain amount of tolerance of differences, and in a lot of cases this can be an advantage, but the earlier pattern has been embedded so long, that people can drop into it without thinking.  The non-thinkers accept this common sense because it feels right, it is hard wired that way.  What various distinct people and cultures have to do in the modern era to help defuse this stuff is generally play the "just like you" game.  I put on my pants one leg at at time, I bleed red, we have kids the same way, yes they code we raise them with is different, but ....   we follow the laws the same as you, we pitch in when the community needs us same as you............

Given time this softens the edges that were originally drawn between the religions, cultures and territories and allows tollerance and respect to develop despite various setbacks.  The problem is that it takes time, generations and centuries, on a scale that most people do not think in.

Now to get more specific.  cultures that are different and start to emphasis that difference in the presence of a majority culture often place themselves at risk.  where there are complementary strengths and weeknesses (Usury in midaevel terms, Jews can, Chritians can't) that provide a certain efficiency, people tolerate this.   Tolerance is limited and if situations happen where the "old agreement" between tribes is destabilized you get outbreaks of violance based on the percieved Inequities (differences become risks again).   The Weimar Republic? Jews were more economically sophiticated than the newly arrising German people.  That caused SERIOUS inequities to appear and the situation becomes exploitable............

Since the Jews obviously needed a homeland due to their value as a tribe to everyone else (a bunch of stuff- the same qualities a lot of anti-semites use, when they aren't telling lies).  Enter the Palestinian equation....  Now it is going to take generations and centuries for the Muslim nations to accept they have a strong and sucessful tribe for neighbors.  That tribe will brook no nonsense against its members and has a solid warrior element willing to defend their tribal lands and rights against those who would take it. Most Arab states are pragmatic enough to tacitly accept the fact if the Muslim faith is still having issues.

There in lies the problem- this tit for tat back and forth is irritating, inconvenient, and a general PITA to the rest of the world.  That lends fuel to the other anti semites out there and fuels their belly fire.  It is going to take a whole lot of time, and an equal amount of blood, to fully solve the issue.  That is what trully sucks the infected, flea infested balls of the camel in this situation............


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #145 on: July 08, 2010, 07:22:21 AM »
"The Weimar Republic? Jews were more economically sophiticated than the newly arrising German people.  That caused SERIOUS inequities to appear , , ,"

I do not know this history.  Would you flesh this out please?


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #146 on: July 09, 2010, 03:01:48 AM »
I am thinking that we are looking at what the industrial revolution did with the development of the "tradesman" middle class.  A lot of these folks went from a hand to mouth peasant existance to having money to spend on luxuries in just a couple of generations.  Money and its management , from my understanding, was either a templar or jewish domain item during the middle ages, hence tens of generations of experience.   When the Weimar republic and the massive inflation kicked in the jews/ long time money traders saw it coming better than the average, and therefore coped with the problem better.  That made them a high nail for Hitler to start pounding and getting the majority to fall in with him.  It is play ground games you see kids play, the "leader" coalesces a gang/followers around him by picking the "strange" kid out. 


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #148 on: July 16, 2010, 03:25:35 AM »
yeah, I thought that was gonna be the case.........


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Re: Anti-semitism & Jews
« Reply #149 on: July 16, 2010, 09:39:45 AM »
Again it is the Jews who get singled out for their abuse of blacks with slavery and other issues.  Were there not Catholics, Presbyterian, Prostestant slave owners.
And why does not Farrakhan note the Muslim "white" Arab slave traders who brought Black Africans from the interior of the continent to the coast and sell them to white slave traders?

Where is his outrage of this?

So Blacks are outraged about Al Quada using Blacks from Africa as cannon fodder for their war against the West?

Arabs enslaved blacks for hundreds of years.  So what's the surprise?

Again, it is get the Jews.

This is one reason why I am annoyed at liberal Jews who think that they have so much in common with Blacks with discrimination and all and think Blacks appreciate there is long history of fighting for the rights of Blacks during civil rights along with fighting for their own civil rights.

They think Blacks appreciate them.  Well let me tell you, most don't.

Again liberal Jews are dupes imo.

It doesn't take high IQ to connect the dots.  Farrakhan hates Jews, as does Reverend Wright.  Bamster sat in Wright's church for decades.  Bamster is pressuring Israel and clearly has altered the balance of power with the  Israelis/Palestinians towards the latter.  Gee, and liberal Jews are surprised?  And yet many still support Bamster?

Like I said the alternative is worse then Nazism to liberal Jews - Republicans!  Crafty, I really think we will see Clinton getting more and more support from many Jews.
They could never stand voting for a Repub alternative to Bamster.  They will either sit at home during the polls, or come up with an alternative - and Hillary is number one at this time.  Or they will vote for Bamster anyway and sell Israel down the river.
They are that stubborn and stupid while they shot themselves in the head tryiing to pretend how they are such humanitarians and do gooders.