Responsibility for Pittsburgh?

It is a gross distortion, according to some liberals and Democrats, to whisper or even shout, that Pres. Trump is somehow responsible for the massacre of Jews in Pittsburgh.  Eleven were killed and some 6 more injured in the Tree of Life Synagogue last week.  Is this massacre different from any other in which a deluded and often crazy individual takes a gun and goes and shoots people?  It has happened in schools, colleges, theaters, churches, malls, everywhere in fact.  Were any of these other massacres blamed on the sitting President at the time.  It is a twisted as the individuals who carried out the attacks to claim that any President, let alone Trump, could have in any way possibly been responsible for this attack.

Anti-Semitism is unfortunately endemic and embedded in Western culture. Children learn it growing up from their parents.  Just as any number of strange factors turn one son to be radicalized and join ISIS, or another to take his father’s gun and shoot his peers, or a former mailman to go back and shoot his former boss and his colleagues, so one right-wing fanatic, who blames the Jews for all society’s evils, decides to murder Jews in prayer.  There is a political schism in Washington, there is hard-ball politicking going on, there is strong polarization over real issues such as immigration.  But, to add the massacre of Jews in Pittsburgh to this mix, as some Jews and others in Pittsburgh and elsewhere have done, because of their liberal anti-Trump political views, is simply unacceptable.

Not only is Pres. Trump inclined towards being philo-Jewish, not only has his daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism and he has elevated his Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner to a high position in his Administration, not only has he generally supported Israel, not only has he moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, not only…I could go on, but the point is that it is ridiculous to assign blame for such an act, when it is clearly the individual who carried out the act who is responsible, as well as the media outlets that allow such anti-Semitic  lies to be broadcast day in and day out.  Let’s be real and stop this fake blame game!

 

 

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Status Quo Ante?

Are we returning to an era characterized by anti-Semitism as it was in the 1930’s before WWII.  Here are some cases in point:

  1. Louis Farrakhan, leader of the “Nation of Islam” in America, referred to Jews as “termites” in a speech and this has been repeated on twitter and other social media.  When twitter was asked to remove it, they refused saying they had no policy in place against inhumane speech.  What about racial slurs, if someone compared Blacks to ants I am sure they would remove it immediately.
  2. The Palestine Authority have arrested and interrogated a Palestinian American in Ramallah for selling a house to a Jew.  The house was in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem.  However, there is no law that prevents sale of houses to any one ethnic or religious group.  Furthermore, the PA has no jurisdiction over Jerusalem.  Does this mean we are returning to the Nazi laws that forbade sales of real estate or anything to Jews.
  3. Lara Alqasem, an Arab-American was stopped at Ben Gurion Airport two weeks ago and refused entry to Israel because of her involvement in a leading role in the BDS movement, that is an anti-Israel organization attempting to boycott and destroy Israel.  As a sovereign State Israel has every right to refuse entry to anyone it chooses.  This is certainly true of every state, otherwise why do they have border checks at every airport and point of entry.  In her case two lower courts agreed with the Government’s right to deport her back to the US.  But, in an appeal to the High Court of Justice, the Judges ruled in her favour and agreed that she should be allowed to enter Israel and study at Hebrew University because she has claimed (without any evidence) that she is no longer involved with BDS.  To me this stinks of deliberate manipulation, I am sure that someone like her would not simply change their views and come to study in Israel for innocent reasons.  It is naive of a Jewish Court to accept her at face value.  Let her go back to the States and over time prove she is not connected to BDS.  But, anyway, this shows that the democratic system in Israel works equitably, but I am afraid it is another example of Jewish naivite in the face of clever enemies.
  4. In the UK, the resurgence of left wing anti-Semitism supported by Jeremy Corbyn is in full swing.   Together with Muslim, mainly Pakistani Brits, who have inflitrated the Labour Party, anti-Israel sentiment regularly segues into anti-Semitism without any concern.  And it is clear that this is a major platforom in both domestic and foreign policy of the second largest Party in UK politics.  Are we going back to the “good old days”?

Anatomy of Genocide

In Broad Daylight” by Father Patrick Desbois, a French Catholic priest, describes how the Germans carried out their campaign of genocidal massacres of Jews throughout Eastern Europe in WWII from 1941-3, known as “the Holocaust by Bullets.”  It is estimated that 2.2 million Jews were murdered in this way.  Why was it so easy for the Germans to kill so many Jews in such a short period of time?  The reasons the Jews of Eastern Europe were murdered in their thousands in towns and villages all over the vast area were many.  Here is a list of some reasons:

  1. During WWI the Jews regarded the Germans who invaded Eastern Europe and Russia as civilized liberators compared to the Slavic peasants they lived amongst.  The Jews were not badly treated by the German invaders then. This made them less afraid than they should have been in WWII, when major changes had occurred in Germany.  Unknown to the Jews of Eastern Europe the Germans in WWII intended to kill all Jews due to racial hatred and the political propaganda of the ruling Nazi party.
  2. The Jews of Eastern Europe had no means of defence, they had no military training and no weapons and they were essentially at the mercy of any armed forces.  The Jews were inured to violent hatred and had developed a culture that made them resigned to their fate.
  3. Their Jewish religion attributed everything that happened to God’s will, they were .  fatalistic. Also, with a particularly humanistic religion they could never imagine that any people would massacre other humans beings in such a way.
  4. The Jews were mostly peasants, small farmers, shopkeepers and small businessmen.  Like other people in this huge region, they had no means of communication, there were few newspapers and very few radios.  They may have heard that there was a war on, but they thought that it was thousands of miles away from them and they did not expect the Germans to arrive and to bother with them.
  5. The German forces were well-organized and prepared for their task of massacring all the Jews of Eastern Europe (some 5 million people).   They invaded the area of Soviet Russia captured by the German forces in 4 main mobile commando groups (Einsatzgruppen).  They were well-armed and briefed for their task of murdering Jews on a large scale.
  6. The Germans meticulously organized these thousands of local massacres, killing up to tens of thousands of people in one go (in Baby Yar in Kiev they massacred 34,000 Jews in two days).  From direct eyewitness accounts Desbois sets out the steps of the massacres, from the initial planning (they had Soviet lists of all people in the areas), to cordoning off the Jewish areas or moving the Jews into a Ghetto area that was surrounded by barbed wire with armed Ukrainian guards.  All Jews were warned to remain in their houses while the Germans prepared for the massacre, including selecting the site for the ditches (the size depending on the number to be murdered) and requisitioning local Ukrainians to dig the ditches.
  7. Then the night before the murders the Germans would go into the Ghetto and with the help of local Ukrainians identify wealthy houses and those with young girls.  They would get drunk, steal from the wealthy, and shoot everyone in the house, they would rape young girls in the street or in their houses and shoot anyone including their family who tried to interfere, then they would shoot the girls.
  8. The morning of the massacre, the Jews were told to assemble and told that they would be going to Palestine or to another Ghetto, they were told to bring food for the day and some clothes.  They were either lined up and marched to the massacre site if it was close or transported in requisitioned wagons or in trucks, rented from German trucking companies.  There were armed guards on each wagon or truck who shot people for any reason or for none.  The local Ukrainians knew the Jews  were going to be massacred, because they had dug the ditches, but the Jews did not know.  It was only when they reached the ditches with Germans lined along the side with guns, that they realized the terrible truth.
  9. The Jews were told to disrobe, sometimes they allowed them to keep their underwear but often not.  Anyone who did not do so quickly was shot. Then in groups of 4-20 depending on how many shooters there were, they were force marched into the ditch or onto a plank crossing the ditch.  Then they were shot. To cover the noise of the shooting and screaming of the victims, the Germans had locals banging metal pots.  Some Jews tried to escape, but they were quickly shot. German soldiers usually smashed the heads of babies or they were simply thrown into the pit.
  10. Ukrainians or other locals were used to position the dead bodies, remove any gold teeth from the corpses and also collect and sort any valuables and clothes they had left.  The Germans took the best, the rest was transported to a central location and sorted and the bulk transported to Germany.  Then Ukrainians covered the bodies with sand and lime and finally covered the massacre site with sand and earth and tamped it down so that there was no sign that a massacre had taken place.  Sometimes they burnt the bodies and sometimes shot them next to a river.
  11. Half-Jewish children of mixed marriages (mischlings) were also collected and shot. Often their non-Jewish parent did not know about this until after the event.
  12. Then the mobile killing unit moved on to the next village or town to repeat the procedure.  In this way from 1941-3 some 2.2 million Jews were massacred.  The rest of the Jews trapped in the area were later murdered more efficiently in concentration camps, like Auschwitz.
  13. Desbois makes the point in his book after interviewing thousands of eyewitnesses that they fall into two categories.  Those who talk about seeing “the Jews” massacred, or describe parts of the process or incidents that happened, but always refer to “The Jews.”  And those who refer to individuals by name, like “I saw them take away Josef who was in my class,” or “they shot the Friedmans and the Gross family, all of them” and these people relate to the murdered as people, as individuals that they knew.  What makes the difference between these two types of witnesses.  At the time they were all curious children, but some saw the whole massacre as a kind of macabre entertainment, because they knew they were safe.  While others saw it as a terrible act, the murder of people who they knew and even cared for, and in a way also felt vulnerable.

Why the Liberals Hate Us?

The predominant bias in Western media, that includes Europe, the UK and the US, is a liberal anti-colonialist view that also excoriates Israel at every turn. Their memories are  short, they forget that after the Holocaust of Jews in Europe during  WWII the predominant liberal sympathy lay with the Jews who were revolting against British imperial occupation, known as the Palestine Mandate.  This was given to the British Government by the League of Nations to establish a Jewish Homeland in Palestine.  At that time, from 1945 to the 1950’s, sympathy lay with the Jews fighting for their sovereign rights.  The Palestinian Arabs were hardly heard of, they were simply part of the Arab empire that stretched from Jordan to Iraq and from Syria to Yemen.

There are several reasons one can cite to explain the gradual shift of liberal and left opinion away from sympathy for Israel to the so-called Palestinian Arabs;

  1. The Jews won. Unexpectedly against great odds, the Jews in Palestine (starting at ca. 650,000 in 1948) defeated the armies of the surrounding Arab States (that did not recognize an Arab Palestine).  Israel continued to win in the wars against them by various combinations of Arab States in every decade (1958, The Suez Campaign; 1967, The Six Day War; 1973, The Yom Kippur War; 1982, The Lebanon War; 1999, the First Intifada; 2006, the Second Intifada).  Liberals have a natural tendency to support the losers, and the left prefer the poor downtrodden underdogs.  Once the Jews in Palestine stopped conforming to this loser category, they lost liberal support.  However, in the US, that prefers winners, Israel maintained a higher level of support.
  2. The reversal of reality.  According to the Arab/Palestinian narrative, the Arabs are the indigenous people and the Jews are modern colonialist interlopers, and this is a view accepted as gospel by most western liberal/leftists.  But, in reality this is mere propaganda, as even a cursory glance at the actual history will tell anyone who is interesting in the truth.  It is common knowledge that the Jews were here thousands of years ago and they lost their sovereignty to the Romans in 55 bce.  Empire after Empire conquered the Land, the Arabs in 639 ce, the Turks in 1516 ce, the British in 1917 ce.  But, finally, after suffering immense losses at the hands of the Europeans (the Germans, and their many allies) and being double-crossed by the duplicitous British Empire that sought to keep the Land for itself, the indigenous Jews finally returned and reclaimed their Land.
  3. Zionism is racism. Liberals readily dismiss Zionism as racist.  They completely ignore the fact that the Israeli declaration of Independence and the Basic Laws of Israel give every minority, including Arabs, equal rights as citizens.  Now no State is perfect, there is certainly worse discrimination in many countries that claim to be democratic, including the US, but Israel is actually a working and stable liberal democracy.  If you don’t believe me come and see for yourself, take a holiday trip and look around, you might be surprised that your preconceptions are mistaken.
  4. The Orthodox are fundamentalists. It is true that the Orthodox exercise political power in Israel, but Israel was founded by secular/socialist Jewish Zionists, and the religious Orthodox mostly came later.  Anyway, in a democracy they have as much right to organize politically and vote for their own candidates as anyone else.  If the left is against fundamentalism then why don’t they condemn the murderous Islamic fundamentalists, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, that seek to destroy Israel.
  5. Anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic.  The liberal/left claim they are purely anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic.  This claim rings hollow in Jewish ears, we’ve heard nonsense like this before.  Why is it that liberals and leftists who generally support the rights of ethnic minorities, such as the Palestinians, find it impossible to support such a right for the Jews?  Why are the Jews the only group in the world denied such a fundamental right by co-called liberals.  This particular animosity towards Jewish sovereignty is clearly anti-Semitic.  Although liberals claim they are anti-racist, they accept statements against Jews that would never be allowed against Blacks or other minorities.  This is anti-Semitism, and it cannot be tolerated after the way the Jews have been treated by Western “civilization.”

 

The UK is a Racist Endeavour

After the British Labour Party was forced to compromise on its position regarding anti-Semitism recently, hard left elements in the Party plastered London with posters reading “Israel is a racist endeavour.”  Not only was this a case of being bad losers, but it also represents the fundamental view of the Corbyn side of the Party.

Of course, one can argue that Israel is racist because it does not choose to commit suicide and allow the so-called Palestinian Arabs to take over its Land and kill its Jewish inhabitants.  But, aside from that, most countries have been founded on what can only be called racist agendas.  Here are a few examples,

  • Australia decimated and massacred the Aborigine inhabitants who had lived there for thousands of years
  • New Zealand subjugated the Maoris
  • White South Africa decimated the Blacks and now the reverse is happening
  • Sweden subjugated and persecuted the Sami (Lapp) people
  • The US committed genocide against the native American (Indian) tribes and persecuted the Blacks under slavery and even until today
  • Russia defeated the Tartars and subsequently persecuted them and destroyed the Siberian cultures
  • For centuries the French and Germans fought over Alsace-Lorraine and hated each other
  • Hungary and Austria fought each other, as well as Hungary and Roumania, and Poland and Russia, and of course the Germans hated all of them
  • The Arabs decimated and forced all minorities that were within their various Empires to convert to Islam
  • The Chinese conquered Tibet and have persecuted its people
  • The Burmese have massacred the Rohingya (Muslim) people and expelled hundreds of thousands to Bangladesh
  • The UK conquered and suppressed the Welsh, the Scots (called euphemistically “the Highland clearances”) as well as massacring the Irish and denying them sovereignty until very recently.  And that’s not to mention the many terrible crimes the British inflicted on the many native  peoples in their Empire around the world, some of which still exists.

Since almost every country has a history of racist conquest, suppression and persecution, why is it that the British Labour Party singles out Israel for such a public lambasting.  If they only single out Israel, isn’t that a clear case of anti-Semitism.  Whereas in fact Israel is a stable, liberal democracy.  They should put their own house in order before they point the finger at others.

Corbyn’s Bias

A great deal has been made of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-semitism.  I am not so concerned about that.  After all he represents a party that supposedly caters to the working class in the UK, and from my experience growing up there, the working class in the UK is endemically anti-semitic. Not that the upper classes are not, but they at least are more polite and subtle about it.

Also, Labor increasingly comes to represent the immigrant groups from Africa and Asia, but mainly Muslims from Pakistan.  There are now Pakistani Muslim Brits at all levels of the Labour Party, and some of them have been openly anti-semitic and anti-Israel.  So it is not surprising that the rank and file of the Labour Party would choose someone like themselves to represent them as their leader.

No, what is really worrying and indeed unacceptable in a British leader is that Corbyn has allowed his animus towards Jews to influence his political ideology so much that he has repeatedly called Haimas and Hezbollah his “friends”.  Let’s remember that these are terrorist organizations, involved in murdering innocent civilians in many countries.  Further, they are recognized as terrorist organizations by the UN, the US and importantly by Britain.  As a friend of these terrorist organizations, as well as the BDS boycott movement against Israel, Corbyn should be on an MI5 watch-list.  He has shared stages on numerous occasions with known terrorists, who not only call for the destruction of Israel and the victory of Islamism, but have also themselves participated in the planning and carrying out of terrorist attacks.

They may not be al Qaeda or IS, but I challenge anyone to show me the basic difference between their ideologies.  The increasing tempo of lone wolf attacks in Western Europe, including in France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Sweden and Britain, are carried out by a sick ideology that believes that killing infidels in their homelands will bring about the religious war that will result in the victory of Islam in all of Europe and then the world.  The sick thing about this is that the leader of the British Labour Party is on their side!

Yom Hashoah (Israel Holocaust Remembrance Day)

Being a Jew means being eternally vigilant.  In Europe it is astonishing how many groups, tribes and nations took the opportunity during WWII to turn on their Jewish neighbors and kill them, usually for money (and we were called money grubbing).  Here is a short list: Germans, Poles, Lithuanians, Estonians, Latvians, Ukrainians, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Dutch, Belgians, French, Italians, Greeks, Norwegians, Swedes, Croats, Bosnians (Muslims), and so on.  If you are a member of any one of these groups you owe a debt to humanity and to the Jewish people in particular.

The only peoples on record that did anything to protect their Jewish citizens were the Danes (who ferried them across to neutral Sweden), Bulgarians, and Albanians (who are Muslims).  The Swedes were supposedly neutral, but cooperated with the Nazis, selling them iron ore and safe-guarding their stolen gold.  Switzerland was neutral, but readily returned Jews who managed to desperately cross the border into their territory.  The Italians protected some of their Jews and the Spanish also, even though Franco was allied with Germany and similarly with the Finns.  Although many Russians were anti-Semitic, the Red Army included many Jewish soldiers and they were very helpful to the starving decimated Jews as they defeated the German Army (Wehrmacht).

And so far I have not mentioned the Arabs and the Muslims in general, who are anti-Semitic from Mohammed and the Koran, apart from European influence.  It’s not a  pretty picture,  and as many reports attest, its getting worse again.  The Turks attack the Kurds, but there are no liberal-leftist demonstrations in the West, the Burmese attack the Rohingya, but ditto.  But, the Palestinians attack Israel and there are demonstrations against – Israel.  Yes, the only safe place for Jews, notwithstanding all this animosity, is Israel.

Today is Yom Hashoah in Israel, Holocaust Remembrance Day.  I went to Netanya on Tues to hear my friend Eddie Bielawski talk about how he and his family of 10 survived for 3 years in hiding in (1941-4) in Poland.  The story is told in the book he wrote and I edited entitled “Invisible Jews: surviving the Holocaust in Poland.”  One anecdote tells it all, he and his mother were travelling by train from Poland to Austria after the War.  Polish police got on the train to check everyone’s papers.  Seven people were identified as Jews.  They were taken off the train and shot.  Even as a child he knew not to draw attention to himself.

Six million Jews were murdered, most in very horrific ways.   They were part of the overall ca. 50 million people murdered during WWII.  Most of them were innocent civilians.  But, the toll for the Jewish people was most terrible.  Some anti-Semites argue that we make too much of the Holocaust.  I argue that we do not make enough of it.  They want to forget it, or even deny it.  We must never forget or diminish the historic impact of the most terrible crime in history.