Egypt Going Down

Sheikh Ali Gomaa, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

Sheikh Ali Gomaa, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

As Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, continues to draw condemnation over his visit last week to Jerusalem, Egypt’s newly democratic Parliament is now using language that effectively denies Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, and even denies recognition of Israel’s existence.

The Egyptian Parliament’s committee responsible for religious affairs, in its statements condemning Gomaa, referred to Israel only as “the Zionist entity”, and “the brutal enemy.”  Apparently, the Egyptian Parliament is no longer comfortable using the word Israel to describe its neighbor.  Parliament then voted, as per its committee’s recommendation, to call on Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa to step down.

Even Gomaa’s defenders would repudiate the peace treaty.  Writing in the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat, Lebanese columnist Elias Harfoush warned against blowing Gomaa’s visit out of proportion.  He wrote that Gomaa’s visit, while lamentable, did not represent a betrayal of Egypt on the scale of President Anwar Sadat’s.

Sadat was the leader who won the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating with Israel and ending the state of war.  He was assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood.  Most other Arab countries are still in a cold cease-fire, on-again-off-again since 1948.

Yussuf al- Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Qatar-based chief ideologue, has issued a fatwa (legal ruling) determining Gomaa’s visit to be haram, forbidden by Islam.  Hamas, on its FaceBook page, has also condemned Gomaa’s visit.  “We reaffirm that this visit…meant the normalization of relations with the enemy.”

For decades Egypt’s Muslim and Christian religious establishments have forbidden followers from visiting Jerusalem’s Islamic holy sites.  But in February, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Arabs and Muslims worldwide to visit Jerusalem in a show of solidarity with Palestinians.   Several hundred Coptic pilgrims seized the opportunity to fly to Jerusalem for Easter.   Two members of the Jordanian royal family made pilgrimages, and one of them accompanied Gomaa on his visit.

According to Gomaa himself, he “remains adamantly opposed to normalization with the Jewish state.”

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The Baby Wants to Hold its Head Underwater Until it Turns Blue

The al-Aksa Mosque, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel.The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Sheikh Ali Gomaa,  just came back from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he prayed in the Al-Aksa mosque on the Temple Mount.   He entered Israel from the Jordanian side, by arrangement with the Jordanians, at the invitation and welcome of the Palestinian Authority, and he did not meet a single Israeli.

The newly democratic Egyptian Parliament has responded by condemning him and voting to ask him to submit his resignation and to apologize to Arabs and Muslims everywhere.  What is most entertaining are some of the direct quotes coming out of the incident:

“There is a mutual agreement among Muslims and Christians that visiting Jerusalem shall remain prohibited as long as Israel continues to occupy it, ” said Qaradawi, who is president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars and who is also a popular regular contributor to the Al Jazeera satellite network.  Qaradawi told the AFP news agency, “We must feel as though we are banned from Jerusalem and fight for it until it is ours.”

So in one breath he admits that they are in fact not banned, but wish to maintain a fiction that they are!   The baby wants to blame the water for holding its head under.   And the Egyptian Parliament will condemn any realist who points out that the emperor has no clothes.  Even their own Grand Mufti.

Jerusalem, by the way, is the capital of Israel.  And it is open to everyone of any faith and from any country.  (Except that Israel still bars Jews from their own Temple Mount, in deference to Arab sensibilities.)  This openness has been only under Israeli sovereignty; it was not true during the period of Jordanian rule.

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In Every Generation…Victimhood is a License to Persecute

exodusHolocaust Remembrance Day always falls during the week that follows Passover. At first glance, the two would seem to have little in common — one memorializes the millions of European Jews annihilated by Nazi Germany; the other commemorates the deliverance of the Jews from slavery in ancient Egypt.

Yet for all their obvious differences, a fundamental similarity links these two crucial chapters in Jewish history. Both were attempts at genocide — and in both cases the perpetrators justified their savageries by claiming that they were the real victims, threatened by the people they intended to wipe out.

At the Passover Seder, retelling the 3,000-year-old story, Jews read the passage from Exodus in which Pharaoh rationalizes the lethal repression he is about to inflict on the Hebrews. “Come, let us deal wisely with them,” he declares. “Otherwise they may become so many that if there is a war they will join our enemies, fight against us, and leave the land.” His notion of dealing wisely: slave labor, followed by mass murder. “Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, ‘Every boy that is born to the Hebrews, you shall throw into the Nile.’ ”

Thirty centuries later, the same pattern preceded the Holocaust.

“The Jewish people stands against us as our deadly foe,” railed Adolf Hitler in 1922, “and will so stand against us always.” More than 100,000 Jews had served in the German army during World War I; 12,000 had fallen in battle. Yet Germany’s defeat was blamed on a “stab in the back” by disloyal traitors — especially the Jews. To this baseless libel the Nazis added others, such as the grotesque claim of race defilement. “The Jews were responsible for bringing Negroes into the Rhineland with the ultimate idea of bastardizing the white race,” Hitler seethed in “Mein Kampf.” Such a villainous enemy could be shown no tolerance and given no quarter: “It must be the hard-and-fast ‘Either-Or.’ ”

Within weeks of coming to power, the Nazis launched the reign of terror that would culminate in the Final Solution. At every step, their crimes against the Jews were described as self-defense. “The Jews of the whole world are trying to destroy Germany,” screamed government posters as the Nazis unleashed a boycott of Jewish-owned businesses. “German people, defend yourselves!” In every issue of Der Stürmer, the Nazi newspaper published for more than 20 years by Hitler’s ally Julius Streicher, a front-page banner proclaimed: “The Jews are Our Misfortune.” Read the rest of this entry »

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More Antisemitism at Northeastern University

Stephen Director, apologist for anti-semitism at Northeastern

Stephen Director, apologist for antisemitism at Northeastern

Americans for Peace and Tolerance has released a documentary on Northeastern’s Holocaust Awareness Week, and Charles Jacobs has published a column in the Jewish Advocate summarizing his criticisms of it.  In response, Northeastern Provost Stephen Director has complained that Jacobs “cherry-picked his examples”:

In dismissing a dozen examples of intellectual and moral abuse of the Holocaust program at Northeastern as “cherry-picked,” Director expresses either a lack of awareness or a dishonesty about the nature of the intellectual and moral stakes.  That Jacobs could “cherry-pick” any examples of people using this venue at Northeastern to make the morally sadistic comparison of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians with the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews represents a failure of judgment on a colossal scale.

How can an occupation which systematically exterminated millions of innocent civilians in a matter of three years be compared with one in which the “target” population both grew in number and in prosperity over the course of 40 years?

How can one make such a comparison without including a comparison of how Israel treats its “occupied” Palestinians with how the Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war have been treated by their Arab hosts?  They have been and continue to be far more ruthless and cruel with their own people than the “Nazi-like” Israelis are with the Palestinians.

Comparisons of Israelis with Nazis are not sober assessments of empirical reality — the hallmark of good history and journalism.  They are wild and intentionally debasing accusations — Israel-baiting — made in a moral and intellectual fog.  This represents a disorientation of empirical reality so radical that its prominence on campus needs to be addressed, explained, and corrected, and not covered up with claims of “academic freedom.”

Academics are not “free” to make things up, and universities are not required to give those who do a pulpit.  That, as Stephen Director should in principle know, is a crucial component of the “pursuit of knowledge.”  Instead, in his apologetics, he sounds like the FBI after Waco: “We didn’t do anything wrong, and we won’t do it again.”

We can’t learn from mistakes we don’t admit.

Far from an example of “academic freedom,” this situation is actually the opposite.  The radical voice that compares Israel to the Nazis and tars as “right-wing” those Jews who object has essentially driven the entire political spectrum off-kilter. What Northeastern calls diversity and vigorous debate “in pursuit of knowledge” actually represents the shutting down of precisely the kind of debate that must take place, replacing it with unchallenged intellectual and moral abuse.

Northeastern University - source of holocaust distortionModerate vs. extremist.  Left vs. right.  Dove vs. hawk.  None of these ranges mean anything anymore as a result of the skew those running the Holocaust program at Northeastern bring to the university community.  This skew is reflected in many places, including the news media.  A “moderate” in the Palestinian system (e.g., Mahmoud Abbas) does not translate into a moderate in ours; and a “hardliner” in ours is a (way too) soft-liner in theirs.  Someone who promises his people the land from river to the sea, who demands the ethnic transfer and cleansing of a religious minority from territory he rules, who wants to keep his own people stateless, whose “authorities” bully and intimidate the press, who uses torture against his own opposition?  This is not a “moderate.”

Any Israeli leader with such a record would be immediately branded — by Jews and other Westerners alike — as a vicious fascist.  Of course, in comparison with the genocidal Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Abbas is at least willing to say he’s willing to (maybe) negotiate, and therefore appears on our current skewed political register as a “moderate.”

Benjamin Netanyahu, who allows a much wider range of dissent and lives by far more demanding democratic principles, is branded a “hawkish” right-wing extremist when he resists pressure to compromise with foes.  But since holding Palestinians responsible for their choices — suicide bombing, hate propaganda, river-to-the-sea ambitions — would be blaming the victim, it’s so much easier for the politically correct to blame the “hardliner” Netanyahu for the failure of negotiations rather than the “moderate” Abbas.

As a result of this skew of the political spectrum, for nearly a decade Northeastern’s hijacked Holocaust program repeatedly invited highly politicized, intellectually dishonest, morally hysterical people who demonized Israel and who tried to exclude, silence, and intimidate anyone who defended her.

This is a widespread phenomenon on American and Canadian campuses.  It occurred partly on a public stage — see the attacks on people like Nonie DarwishNetanyahuDavid Horowitz, and Michael Oren – and partly in a private way:  scholars who might challenge these accusations were pointedly disinvited from the discussion.

Northeastern apparently mistakes a situation in which defenders of Israel were systematically intimidated and denied a voice, while rabble-rousers with revolutionary agendas controlled the stage, for a “vigorous exchange of diverse opinion.”

Michael Oren - scholar at Columbia and Princeton, then professor at Harvard and Yale, then Israeli Ambassador to the USA.

Michael Oren - scholar at Columbia and Princeton, then professor at Harvard and Yale. Israeli Ambassador to the USA.

Nothing better illustrates this off-kilter political register than Provost Director’s pointing to Northeastern’s invite of Michael Oren — a scholar of impeccable credentials both as an academic and as a public intellectual — as a balance to Alice Rothschild.  You’d need a Kahanist who wanted to ethnically cleanse the West Bank of Arabs to match her unhinged radical ideas.  And yet, no one at Northeastern is going to defend such a racist “right-wing” speaker on the basis of academic freedom.  So we end up with a spectrum that goes from radical left to a mild, even timid, center – moderates who rather than challenge shrill and dishonest accusations, plead “can’t we all just get along?”

Meanwhile, no one at Northeastern is exposed to anything that is not “peace” oriented.  Heaven forbid students be exposed to evidence that points out how the peace movement has been hijacked in the service of war.

Indeed, one might conjecture about the reason this “vigorous” voice has become so rhetorically extravagant in its insults against Israel and her defenders.  Branding those who object as “racists, fascists, and Islamophobes” serves to intimidate and marginalize an opposition which, if sane people could hear their voice, would lead them to walk away from this deranged anti-Zionist, anti-democratic discourse.

That’s what’s so disturbing about the typical “university” response to objections from Jews regarding the demonizing of Israel: administrators are in total denial about a serious — some of us think urgent — problem on our campuses today.  The voice of a loyal opposition has been banished by the voice of a hostile opposition which uses a discourse that violates so many of the rules of the “public sphere.”

Empirical evidence, disciplined reasoning, honest use of analogies, open and un-coercive consent: these are key elements of the public sphere.  And the public sphere is where a discourse of fairness and empathy takes place, the oxygen supply of our experiment in freedom and prosperity.  Our many “cherry-picked” case studies violate this not on occasion, but as a matter of principle.

Northeastern administrators should consider themselves co-defendants in the recent findings on the administrators at the University of California.  Far from performing their role as the university’s quality control mechanism, they now routinely function as the enablers, protectors, and even apologists for the politicized university and its degraded scholarly and educational standards.

This is not a slip or a stumble.  This is a catastrophic failure of the last generation.  Under the guise of “cutting-edge scholarship” in “theories” (post-modern, post-colonial, queer, etc.), they bring us dishonest, accusing voices that demonize and scapegoat and never self-criticize.  They demand that we believe the voices of the “subaltern” Palestinian “other”; they insist that to question that testimony would be cruel, would be “blaming the victim.”  Accordingly, they pump our information system with poisoned lethal narratives, with icons of hatred which they proudly claim will help make the world a better place.   They represent an insane marriage of pre-modern sadism and post-modern masochism: while Palestinians make the most terrible accusations against Israel, “good Jews” like Alice Rothschild say: “Yes, you’re right, we are terrible.”

(Indeed, one has to wonder what happened to Alice as a “child” according to her own “psycho”-analysis of the abuse syndrome: i.e., Jews, having been abused by Nazis, now abuse Palestinians.  What abuse has Rothschild experienced that she so abuses her own people?  Was it at the hand of her fellow “progressives”?)

This is not just a Jewish question.  What the “Left” has done to Israel, it does to every other Western nation and culture: it insists we liberals, in order to prove our good will, adopt Islamism’s demonizing narratives about the infidel, especially the Jew.  The consequences are terrible for those like we Jewish and non-Jewish liberals who, in a paroxysm of self-critical good will, accept this dishonest and vicious story about ourselves.  But they are in some ways worse for Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim culture, where our acceptance of these hate- and violence-filled lethal narratives strengthens the grip that the producers of this war-mongering propaganda have on their own people.  And in the process, peace is the first and last casualty.

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New York’s Anti-Semitic Friends School

Gilad Atzmon, viscious and influential hater of Jews

If you want to understand why anti-Semitism seems to be increasing among young people—especially young people on the hard left—consider a recent invitation extended by a left-leaning school in New York to a self-proclaimed Jew hater.

The Friends Schools around the country are legendary. Presidents’ children attend them, my own daughter and nephew were students, and they are regarded as one of the most elite schools in the world. That is why it is so shocking that the Friends Seminary in New York has lent its imprimatur to a notorious anti-Semite and Holocaust denier. Friends Seminary has a reputation for propagandizing its students against Israel, but it has now crossed a red line into legitimating anti-Semitism.

Author and jazz musician Gilad Atzmon, who was invited to be a featured performer in a celebration of Martin Luther King at the Friends Meeting House, has written an overtly anti-Semitic book entitled The Wandering Who?, which, he acknowledges, draws…much of his “insights from a man who…was an anti-Semite as well as a radical misogynist.”

Among the “insights” Atzmon seeks to share with students are the following:
While the Holocaust “was not at all an historical narrative,” and Auschwitz was not a “death camp,” the “accusations of Jews making matzo out of young Goyim’s blood” may be true.

“The Jews” caused the recent credit crunch, which the author calls “the Zio-punch.”

If Iran and Israel fight a nuclear war that kills millions of people, “some may be bold enough to argue that ‘Hitler might have been right after all.’”

The “new Jewish religion…could well be the most sinister religion known to man…”

The author of the book containing these statements has told students that he cannot “say whether it’s right or not to burn down a synagogue. I can say that it is a rational act.” He has also apologized to the Nazis for having earlier compared them to Israel: “Israel is in fact far worse than Nazi Germany.”

He has written that we “must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously,” and that “with Fagin and Shylock in mind, Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum.”

It is not as if Friends School is unfamiliar with Atzmon’s anti-Semitic rants. Atzmon was previously invited to make a guest appearance in a class last year and one of his essays was distributed to the students. The essay came from his website, which is replete with anti-Semitic “insights.”

When I heard about this bizarre invitation, I wrote the following letter to the school’s headmaster:

Your school is now legitimating anti-Semitism by inviting a self-described Jew hater, Gilad Atzmon, to participate in events at the school. This sends a powerful message to your students, and to other students around the world, that Atzmon’s views are legitimate and an appropriate subject for discussion in academic circles….If you believe these views are appropriately discussed, considered and possibly accepted by your students, then you are doing the right thing by associating your school with the man who expressed them. If not, then you are doing a terrible disservice to your students and to the values for which the Friends School purports to stand.I cannot overemphasize how serious this matter is. Legitimating the oldest form of bigotry is a moral and academic sin. I cannot remain silent in the face of complicity with bigotry. Nor should you.

The Headmaster did not respond to my letter, but he had the director of development (the fundraiser) send me an email saying that Atzmon was invited “solely for his musical accomplishments” and that the invitation was extended by “the Meetinghouse Jazz Orchestra.”
Atzmon performed on January 13 to honor a man—Martin Luther King—who despised anti-Semitism and would have been appalled by Atzmon’s hateful words. Students cheered his performance and conversed with him.

I cannot imagine an overtly homophobic, sexist or racist musician being invited by any group in any way associated with Friends “solely for his musical accomplishments.” (I hear that David Duke, the white supremacist perennial candidate, plays a mean saxophone). Atzmon is famous (really infamous) not because he is a distinguished musician, but rather because he is a notorious anti-Semite whose blogs are featured on neo-Nazi websites all over the world. He never would have been invited but for his well publicized bigotry.

Friends Seminary is well known for inviting artists whose politics and ideology are consistent with the values of the school. Indeed, the poster advertising his featured appearance at the “22nd Annual Martin Luther King Concert” at the “Meetinghouse at Friends Seminary” included a description of him as a “writer” and “political activist.” Moreover, when he was previously invited by the school to address a class, the teacher distributed one of his bigoted essays from his anti-Semitic website.

However the school may try to spin this invitation, the end result will be that Atzmon’s bigoted views will have been given the imprimatur of the Friends Seminary. Shame on Friends.

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Honoring All Who Saved Jews

By EVA WEISEL
Khaled Abdul Wahab in 1936

Khaled Abdul Wahab in 1936

IN December 1942, when I was 13 years old, German troops occupied my hometown. Within days, our house was commandeered as an officers’ mess hall. I soon had a yellow star on my dress, setting me apart from many of my childhood friends. The men of our family were ordered into forced labor. My happy life had vanished.

Luckily, an influential local man knew of our difficult straits and generously offered his protection. One night, he ferried the women, children and old men in our family to a farm he owned about 20 miles outside of town. There, he said, we would be safe. Though the stables he provided us for lodging were modest, with just a drape across the door to protect against the elements, we were relieved to be behind the thick, high walls of his property. We were deeply grateful.

As luck would have it, however, a German unit arrived in the area not long after we did. Our host told us to get rid of our yellow stars, stay inside the farm walls and keep far away from the main house. He had his own strategy for dealing with the Germans. A bon vivant and world traveler, he invited German officers for evenings filled with food and drink. While nearly two dozen of us were hiding in one part of the farm, he protected himself from the prying eyes of the Germans by entertaining them on the other side of the farm.

Our host’s strategy worked well, until the night a couple of drunken German officers wandered away from the main house.

In the courtyard outside the stables, they started banging on the courtyard door and shouting, “We know you are Jews and we’re coming to get you!”

My grandmother started screaming “Cachez les filles!” — “Hide the girls!” I remember being shoved under the bed, trembling and sobbing as I tried to hide under a blanket.

At that moment of unspeakable fear, as our hearts pounded and tears poured from our eyes, a guardian angel came to the rescue. Out of nowhere, our host appeared. A strong, powerful man who projected authority and commanded respect, he stopped the Germans and managed to lead them away.

The next day, our host came to the stables. We rushed to express our thanks to him, but he was more eager to apologize to us. He said he was sorry that we had to face the terrifying ordeal of the Germans’ threats, expressed relief that he had intervened in time to prevent a horrible tragedy, and promised that it would never happen again. We never found out how he fulfilled his promise — perhaps he bribed the Germans — but he did. We passed the rest of the German occupation at our host’s farm, without incident.

During the horrors of the Holocaust, non-Jews saved many thousands of Jews from death and depravity at the hands of Germans and their allies. Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial museum, has recognized more than 23,000 of these brave men and women as “The Righteous Among the Nations.” Our family’s rescuer deserves to be among that number. And in his case, the impact of recognition would have powerful reverberations, striking a blow against Holocaust denial in a part of the world where such denial is widespread.

That is because my hometown is Mahdia, on the eastern shore of Tunisia, and our rescuer, Khaled Abdul Wahab, was an Arab Muslim. (He passed away in 1997.)

So far, however, Abdul Wahab has been denied the recognition he deserves. Nearly five years ago, in January 2007, the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem nominated him to be a “righteous,” the first Arab ever to be formally considered for this honor. This nomination was based on witness testimony from my late sister, Anny Boukris. In March of that year, however, the official Commission for the Designation of the Righteous, a body presided over by a retired Israeli judge and created by Israeli law to decide who merits recognition as a “righteous,” voted to reject the nomination. That decision was kept secret for two years.

In 2010, that same jurist, Justice Jacob Tuerkel, sent the Abdul Wahab file back to the commission for a second review. This time, the case was bolstered by two fresh testimonies — a video interview of my cousin Edmee Masliah, who was with me at the farm and now lives outside Paris, and a notarized letter I wrote recounting my own experience. Yad Vashem now had three firsthand accounts of the story. But to my complete dismay, the Commission for the Designation of the Righteous once again voted to reject the nomination. Abdul Wahab was a noble man, I was told by Yad Vashem, but his actions did not rise to the statutory level required to merit the “righteous” designation — that is, he didn’t “risk his life” to save Jewish lives.

While that may be the wording of the law, I am told by experts that Abdul Wahab would not be the first rescuer of Jews not to have suffered physical harm, let alone life-threatening danger. Many in France who have won that designation were honored because they acted to save Jews without knowing for sure what fate would await them if they were caught. In addition, some of the famous diplomats honored as righteous were never arrested, injured or threatened with death for aiding Jews.

I refuse to believe that Yad Vashem has one standard for “righteous” in Europe and another for “righteous” who performed their sacred duty on the other side of the Mediterranean, in an Arab country.

Sixty-nine years after pinning a yellow star to my chest in my native land, I know that I was able to enjoy a long, full life because Abdul Wahab confronted evil and saved me, as he saved other fortunate members of my family. I hope that Yad Vashem reconsiders his case before no one is left to tell his story.

Eva Weisel lives in Los Angeles. She is retired from the banking industry.

 

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Dovid Efune’s Top Ten List

Rabbi Dovin Efune, Director of the Algemeiner Journal, New YorkTop Ten Non-Jews Positively Influencing Jewish Future
By: Rabbi Dovid Efune, Director of the Algemeiner Journal

(The Algemeiner Journal is a weekly Jewish current events newspaper published in New York.  Dovid Efune, originally from Brighton, England, now lives in New York.  He is credited with building the Algemeiner into the fastest growing Jewish newspaper in America.  He received his rabbinic ordination from Machon Lehoroah in Pretoria, South Africa and Machon Ariel in Jerusalem.)

10. Julie Burchill
Columnist and novelist
Currently a columnist for The Independent, she has written for newspapers such as The Sunday Times and The Guardian. The Jewish Chronicle described her in 2008 as ” Israel ‘s staunchest supporter in the UK media.”

9. Jon Voight
Actor
Supporter of Jewish causes, most notably Chabad, Voight is also a prolific spokesman for Israel . A rarity in Hollywood circles, he has advocated for Jewish values, consistently reaching an often indifferent audience.

8. Patrick Debois
Founder, Yahad-In Unum
A Roman Catholic priest, Debois is head of the Commission for Relations with Judaism of the French Bishops’ Conference and Consultant to the Vatican . He is the co-founder and president of Yahad-In Unum, an organization whose mission is to document the murder of the 1.5 million Jews of Ukraine , shot dead by the Nazis and buried throughout the country. This work is vital in ensuring that the memory of these victims will not fade with the death of the last witnesses.

7. John Hagee
Founder, Christians United for Israel
Hagee’s Christians United for Israel continues to experience rapid growth, now boasting upwards of 600,000 members. The group makes significant contributions to Jewish causes, and has become a potent political force in support of Israel . Author of ” Jerusalem Countdown” and “In Defense of Israel ,” the pastor from San Antonio has met with every Israeli prime minister since Menachem Begin and his ministries have given more than $8.5 million to bring Jews from the former Soviet Union to Israel .

6. Warren Buffet
Investor
The famed investor has been a strong supporter of Israeli innovation, and has bought into it significantly. Last year, while visiting the country, he famously said that ” Israel has shown that it has a disproportionate amount of brains and energy.” Buffet’s strong statement of confidence has gone a long way in encouraging significant foreign investment in the Jewish State.

5. Jose Maria Aznar
Former Prime Minister of Spain
In 2010, Aznar founded the Friends of Israel Initiative, with the stated goal to “counter the attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel and its right to live in peace within safe and defensible borders.” Referring to the ill-fated takeover of the Mavi Marmara by Israeli commandos, Aznar said in 2010 that the world must support Israel because “if it goes down, we all go down.” His unique organization provides a strong voice of reason in circles where it might otherwise not be heard. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stationed on the Egyptian Border

Aron Adler, IDF ReservistJust received at Jewish Jihad, and reprinted verbatim:

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Shalom,

The letter below was sent to us by our son Aron who is doing IDF reserve duty on the Egyptian border. I would humbly comment that it would be a Kiddush Hashem for the world to see this. Please feel free to pass it on to whomever you please, including to the editors of newspapers.

Thank you,
Marilyn & Josh Adler

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My name is Aron Adler. I am 25 years old, was born in Brooklyn NY, and raised in Efrat Israel. Though very busy, I don’t view my life as unusual. Most of the time, I am just another Israeli citizen. During the day I work as a paramedic in Magen David Adom, Israel’s national EMS service. At night, I’m in my first year of law school. I got married this October and am starting a new chapter of life together with my wonderful wife Shulamit.

15-20 days out of every year, I’m called up to the Israeli army to do my reserve duty. I serve as a paramedic in an IDF paratrooper unit. My squad is made up of others like me; people living normal lives who step up to serve whenever responsibility calls. The oldest in my squad is 58, a father of four girls and grandfather of two; there are two bankers, one engineer, a holistic healer, and my 24 year old commander who is still trying to figure out what to do with his life. Most of the year we are just normal people living our lives, but for 15-20 days each year we are soldiers on the front lines preparing for a war that we hope we never have to fight.

This year, our reserve unit was stationed on the border between Israel, Egypt and the Gaza Strip in an area called “Kerem Shalom.” Above and beyond the “typical” things for which we train – war, terrorism, border infiltration, etc., this year we were confronted by a new challenge. Several years ago, a trend started of African refugees crossing the Egyptian border from Sinai into Israel to seek asylum from the atrocities in Darfur. What started out as a small number of men, women and children fleeing from the machetes of the Janjaweed and violent fundamentalists to seek a better life elsewhere, turned into an organized industry of human trafficking. In return for huge sums of money, sometimes entire life savings paid to Bedouin “guides,” these refugees are promised to be transported from Sudan, Eritrea, and other African countries through Egypt and the Sinai desert, into the safe haven of Israel.

We increasingly hear horror stories of the atrocities these refugees suffer on their way to freedom. They are subject to, and victims of extortion, rape, murder, and even organ theft, their bodies left to rot in the desert. Then, if lucky, after surviving this gruesome experience whose prize is freedom, when only a barbed wire fence separates them from Israel and their goal, they must go through the final death run and try to evade the bullets of the Egyptian soldiers stationed along the border. Egypt’s soldiers are ordered to shoot to kill anyone trying to cross the border OUT of Egypt and into Israel. It’s an almost nightly event. Read the rest of this entry »

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Denis MacEoin Weighs In

Dennis MacEoinDenis MacEoin – Open Letter to the Edinburgh University Student Association on Boycotting Israel
July 27, 2011

Denis MacEoin. In March of 2011 Mr. MacEoin, wrote an open letter to Edinburgh University Student Association.
Middle East Forum – he is a senior editor of the Forum’s flagship publication Middle East Quarterly

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Around 270 students at Edinburgh University voted in favour of a motion which described Israel as an apartheid state and called for a boycott of goods. However, the Jewish Chronicle reports that the Edinburgh University Students’ Association has confirmed a proposed boycott of Israeli products will not be enforced.

Here is a strong argument against the boycott, written by an Edinburgh University alumnus:

The Committee
Edinburgh University Student Association

May I be permitted to say a few words to members of the EUSA? I am an Edinburgh graduate (MA 1975) who studied Persian, Arabic and Islamic History in Buccleuch Place under William Montgomery Watt and Laurence Elwell Sutton, two of Britain’s great Middle East experts in their day.  I later went on to do a PhD at Cambridge and to teach Arabic and Islamic Studies at Newcastle University.  Naturally, I am the author of several books and hundreds of articles in this field. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sharansky: “I don’t miss Mubarak and I won’t miss Assad”

Natan Sharansky on Syria's Assad and Egypt's MubarekLast week, Natan Sharansky (now the Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel) was asked: “The ‘Arab Spring’ may turn out to be less stable than non-democratic regimes. What impact will this have on Israel’s prospects for peace?”

Sharansky responded strongly: “I’m very glad about what’s happening. I don’t miss Mubarak and I won’t miss Assad.”

“I prefer to deal with democracy. Democratic leaders depend on the people, who want peace, good economy, a good education. Dictators need an external enemy to control the people. Mubarak turned Egypt into the most anti-Semitic country in the Middle East. Syria didn’t make peace so that it could have emergency laws.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Antisemitism at Yale

antisemitism at Yale UniversityThe modern university is no longer made up simply of departments and regular professors teaching students. Ancillary centers, programs, and initiatives proliferate, undertaking research on every conceivable topic and, in exchange for use of the university’s name, bringing in prestige, money, and the occasional celebrity. The fates of such entities rarely make the New York Post. But anti-Semitism is not a normal subject.

Just how abnormal a subject it is, and how volatile its study can be, has come to public attention with Yale University’s termination of the Yale Interdisciplinary Initiative for the Study of Antisemitism (YIISA) after five years of successful operation. Led by the sociologist Charles Small, YIISA was the largest research unit in North America devoted to examining an issue of great antiquity and urgent contemporary significance. Its mission was defined clearly: “to explore this subject matter in a comprehensive, interdisciplinary framework from an array of approaches and perspectives as well as regional contexts.”

charles asher small , sociologist studying antisemitism at YalePursuant to that mission, YIISA annually assembled groups of scholars for seminars and conferences and published a series of studies. The scholars attached to the initiative included such figures as David Hirsh of Goldsmiths College in London, Irwin Cotler, the former Canadian attorney general, and Bassam Tibi, professor emeritus of international relations at the University of Goettingen. Dozens of other well-credentialed academics participated in YIISA seminars, with interns, graduate fellows, and Yale faculty members helping to realize the enterprise’s promise of becoming a “vibrant space” for scholarship, discussion, and debate.

But “initiatives” are fragile things, and this one, evidently, initiated more than its host had bargained for. At a 2010 conference titled “Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity,” experts from around the world gathered to deliberate the most dangerous global form of contemporary anti-Semitism, namely, the Muslim variety. Dangerous in more ways than one: the event’s discussions provoked the ire of some Yale faculty and students, as well as representatives of the official Muslim world; the ire evidently caused institutional discomfiture; and YIISA’s fate was sealed. Read the rest of this entry »

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One Year in Jail and a Thousand Dollar Fine

the author of the ballot initiative writes this antisemitic comic bookQ: What does San Francisco’s upcoming November ballot initiative say?

A: The ballot initiative would make it unlawful and criminal to circumcise any part of the foreskin of another person who has not attained the age of eighteen years.

Q: Is there an exception for religious practice of circumcision?

A: No. The initiative would make circumcision lawful only if there is a “clear, compelling, and immediate medical need with no less-destructive alternative treatment available.”

antisemitic fantasy has orthodox Jew attacking immodestly dressed motherQ: What is the penalty?

A: This initiative would criminalize performing circumcision, putting any physician or religious clergy person who performs the procedure in county jail for up to a year, and/or punished with a fine of $1,000. (The measure denies parents the right to choose, with the guidance of their physician or tradition, circumcision for their sons.)

Q: Wouldn’t this ban be against the law?

A: Probably. California law prevents localities from prohibiting medical professionals from performing procedures within the scope of their profession. In addition, there are significant Constitutional legal issues with this proposed measure because it would infringe upon the right to free exercise of religion.

Q: Why can’t we ignore this as a frivolous ballot measure?

A: Proponents of this initiative refer to “genital cutting” and “mutilation,” implying that male circumcision is analogous to female genital mutilation and hoping to conceal from voters their attempt to criminalize a widely accepted procedure.

Q: Doesn’t circumcision have health benefits?

Antisemite's hero kidnaps Jewish childrenA: Yes. The World Health Organization reports: “There is compelling evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60%.” There are also medical reports of lower rates of penile cancer and urinary tract infections in circumcised males, and reduced cervical cancer in women whose partners are circumcised.

Q: How is male circumcision different from female genital mutilation?

A: Male circumcision has known and documented health benefits, and there is no credible medical evidence that male circumcision is harmful or prevents male sexual satisfaction. Its purpose is religious and for health benefits. In contrast, female genital mutilation is performed for the explicit san francisco antisemites dream of stealing Jewish children to prevent circumcisionpurpose antisemitic fantasy - happy endingof the whole world's got to be just like uspreventing female sexual satisfaction. The World Health Organization states that female genital mutilation “includes procedures that intentionally injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons,” that it “has no health benefits” and is “internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.”

[NOTE: You have been reading excerpts from issue #2 of Foreskin Man, the antisemitic comic book written by the author of the San Francisco ballot initiative.]

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