Wednesday’s “News of the Week in Review” (May 1, 2019)

YOM HASHOAH

 
The Commanding Voice of Auschwitz: Emil L. Fackenheim, 1972 — What does the Voice of Auschwitz command? — What does the Voice of Auschwitz command? Jews are forbidden to hand Hitler posthumous victories.
 
Emil L. Fackenheim, a Holocaust survivor born in Germany (1918), was a Reform rabbi and professor of philosophy who taught for many years at the University of Toronto, and who died in Jerusalem in 2003 after making aliyah.
 
The Trace: The Jewish Trail in Radom:  Popular legend has it that King Casimir the Great (1310 – 1370) met and maintained close contacts with a Jewish woman called Esterka. The meetings were also to be held in Radom. To commemorate this legend, one of the houses in Town Hall Square (Rynek) is called Esterka’s House. Only that the building itself was created long after the death of Casimir the Great. So, when did Jews really settle in Radom?

 

On Topic Links
 

‘Silence Is Deadly’: Dershowitz, Hikind, Hundreds of Jews Protest Outside NY Times Building: David Israel, Jewish Press, Apr. 30, 2019 — Hundreds of Jews on Monday heeded the call of former NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind who tweeted: “Join me in loudly protesting against the @nytimes for publishing a vile anti-Semitic cartoon only days before a terror attack against Jews! NYC – Today – 5:30 PM @ The NY Times building on 8th Ave and 41 St.”
WATCH: A Message from Rabbi Goldstein of Chabad of Poway: Jewish Press, Apr. 29, 2019.  Video.
Man Plotted to Bomb White-Supremacist Rally, Retaliating For New Zealand Mosque Attacks, Feds Say: Reis Thebault, Washington Post, Apr. 29, 2019 — An Army veteran who allegedly planned to bomb a Los Angeles-area white-supremacist rally has been arrested and his plot foiled, authorities said Monday.
Europe Is Burying Its Head in The Sand:  Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom, Apr. 28, 2019 — The jihadist war being waged by radical Islamist groups across the globe never stopped at the gates of holy sites and places of worship. 
 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 
“We are a Jewish nation that will stand tall.  We will not let anyone take us down.  Terrorism like this will not take us down.” – Chabad Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein minutes after a gunman fled the scene of a shooting that killed Lori Kaye, 60, inside a Southern California synagogue.  (Montreal Gazette, Apr. 29, 2019)
 
“I am a religious man. I believe everything happens for a reason. I do not know why God spared my life. I do not know why I had to witness scenes of a pogrom in San Diego County like the ones my grandparents experienced in Poland. I don’t know why a part of my body was taken away from me. I don’t know why I had to see my good friend, a woman who embodied the Jewish value of hesed (kindness), hunted in her house of worship. I don’t know why I had to watch Lori’s beloved husband, a doctor, faint as he tried to resuscitate her. And then their only daughter, Hannah, sob in agony as she encountered both her parents collapsed on the floor. I do not know God’s plan. All I can do is try to find meaning in what has happened. And to use this borrowed time to make my life matter more.” – Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein wrote in the New York Times. (NYT, Apr. 29, 2019)
 
“Our national political leaders, starting with President Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), in word and deed must consistently denounce antisemitism and racism from all quarters. Democrats and Republicans in Washington must stop weaponizing hate crimes and rediscover bipartisan action, at least in this one arena. They need to empower and fund law enforcement to be able to take a deep dive into the subculture of online hate to better track and interdict future threats from domestic terrorists.” – Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean, Simon Wiesenthal Center writing in an op-ed about the steep rise in antisemitic acts around the world, including the US and Canada. (The Hill, Apr. 30, 2019)
 
“The past few days provide a useful case study. Thursday: an anti-Zionist cartoon is published in the Times. Saturday: a white nationalist guns down Jews in synagogue. Sunday: Javad Zarif appears on Fox. The three strands of modern antisemitism: far-left, far-right and Islamist.”NYT Bari Weiss tweets.  (Twitter, Apr. 28, 2019)
 
“From the book of Genesis; to the Jewish exodus from Egypt; to receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai; to the gates of Canaan; and to the realization of God’s covenant in the Holy Land of Israel; the Bible paints a consistent picture. The entire history of our people, and our connection to Eretz Yisrael, begins right here… The Bible is accepted by all three monotheistic religious,” adding that, “The Quran itself accepts the divine deed of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.” Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said in addressing the United Nations Security Council.  He was defending the Jewish right to the Land of Israel, including the West Bank settlements. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 30, 2019)
 
“The Trump Deal is not just another diplomatic effort at “peace processing.” It is a recognition that the Hundred Years War between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine is over. The PLO leadership will be presented with a document of surrender, on what amounts to a take-it-or-leave it basis. The Palestinian leadership has very little leverage. A refusal to engage, as Shtayyah threatens, will be an invitation to the U.S. and Israel to unilaterally establish a new order in the West Bank…. If the Palestinians decide to fight, they will fight alone. Israel is now incomparably better prepared for this than it was 20 years ago. It will put down an uprising with efficient force and use it as a rationale for stricter security measures. From the Palestinian point of view, this is a depressing set of options. But there is another choice. They can accept reality, sit down at the table and bargain for the best possible terms.” — Columnist Zev Chafets writes.  (Bloomberg, Apr. 30, 2019)
 
“Universities are treating IAW as a political event, which allows them to ignore the clear and well-publicized ramifications on the emotional well-being of a minority group on campus. Yes, universities should encourage vigorous and civil debate. A student’s politics may change as they are exposed to new ideas—mine certainly did. But Israel Apartheid Week is sponsored intimidation. It isn’t about learning or debating; it’s entirely about attacking Jews because of their Jewishness is not a consequence; it’s the goal… If Jewish students were standing outside halal meals and Muslim cultural centers harassing students, with their classmates taunting them with chants and slogans erasing Palestinian identity, I would advocate the university censure the students. Erasing a minority student group’s cultural heritage isn’t activism—it’s oppressive behavior that’s inappropriate in an educational setting… I’m writing this piece in part to draw a clear line in the sand: From this point forward, no administration of any American college or university can plead ignorance. You are all allowing these activists to turn your campuses into tinderboxes—and you are allowing them to throw matches on them, year after year, hoping one will eventually catch.” — Carly Pildis in an article titled “Enough is Enough.  (Tablet, Apr. 18, 2019)
 
“… The truth is, Mr. Trump is hardly capable of lying with the consistency of purpose that John Brennan and James Clapper have lied and likely will continue to lie. His White House was destined to be chaotic but how many presidents would not be thrown off balance by former high-ranking intelligence officials going on cable TV and calling them traitors? If Mr. Trump’s historically assigned task was to expose Washington’s media and leadership class, with Robert Mueller’s help he has succeeded. Nobody (including me) would have guessed how much our intelligence sector had come to regard itself as the guardian of a particular class’s right to rule or see its job as punishing voters when they vote wrong.” – Holman W. Jenkins Jr. writes regarding the Mueller report that exonerated President Trump of collusion with Russia and punted on the obstruction charge.  Mr. Jenkins questions whether “Mr. Comey and his colleagues turn us into Russia, where the siloviki (veterans of the intelligence services) secretly and incompetently pull the strings of domestic politics?” and concludes that “Trump’s enemies promoted one of the biggest lies in US history.” (WSJ, Apr. 24, 2019)
                                               
Mr. Trump fulfilled every fear a Trump skeptic would have. So, they stayed skeptics, or became active opponents… He never understood they could be brought into the tent … It was all this—the president’s disdain, his well-fed resentments—that not only left Washington thinking Mr. Trump was crazy. It made Washington itself a fertile field for crazy. It was in this atmosphere that the Steele dossier, with its whacked-out third-rate spy fiction, became believable, that sober-minded officials reportedly wondered if they should wear wires when they met with the president. He destabilized the entire town. That, in my view, is a small sliver of how we got here.” – Columnist Peggy Noonan on how Trump lost Washington officials willing to give him a chance. (WSJ, Apr. 27, 2019)
 
“I felt I was fighting for the truth and what was right.  I was mad.  Every country has the solemn right to put its embassy where it chooses, and the U.S. always puts it in the capital.  Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.” – Former Ambassador Nikki Haley speaking at a fundraising event sponsored by the Jewish Community Council of Montreal. (UNWatch, Apr. 19, 2019)
 
“No progress is going to be made in discouraging and shaming racism by deliberately smearing people who are innocent of such sentiments. Macdonald’s attempts to whitewash the extreme left and to portray all nationalists as white supremacists are outrageous; his malice and recklessness just muddy the waters and aggravate the problem.” – Columnist and author Conrad Black objecting to an opinion piece posted on the CBC website on Apr. 16 by Neil Macdonald, titled “Why Is Conservative Politics Such a Natural Home for White Supremacists.”  (National Post, Apr. 27, 2019)
 

SHORT TAKES

 

UN SECURITY COUNCIL’S MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR POWAY CHABAD SHOOTING VICTIMS (New York) — At the request of Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon, the Security Council opened the debate on the Israeli-Palestinian Authority conflict with a moment of silence in memory of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, who was murdered in the deadly San Diego attack at Congregation Chabad of Poway. (Jewish Press, Apr. 30, 2019)
 
POWAY RABBI GOES ON MSNBC TO THANK TRUMP FOR HIS SUPPORT AND COMFORT (New York) — Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was injured in the attack on the Chabad synagogue in Poway, Ca. told MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt that he was grateful to President Donald Trump, and described how Trump had been “so gracious and generous” in a 15-minute phone call to him. (Jewish Press, Apr. 30, 2019)
 
HAVING APOLOGIZED FOR ONE ANTISEMITIC CARTOON, THE NEW YORK TIMES PUBLISHES ANOTHER (New York) — Despite apologizing on for running an antisemitic cartoon that ran in its international edition on Thursday, The New York Times published another antisemitic cartoon in the same edition over the weekend. The weekend cartoon by Norwegian cartoonist Roar Hagen depicts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with sinister eyes taking a picture of himself with a selfie-stick, carrying in what appears to be an empty desert with a tablet featuring the Israeli flag painted on it. (Jewish Press, Apr. 30, 2019)
 
NEW YORK TIMES DROPS SYNDICATION SERVICE THAT SUPPLIED ANTISEMITIC CARTOON (New York) — The New York Times decided to cease the Times’ relationship with the syndication service that supplied an antisemitic political cartoon that ran in last Thursday’s international print edition of the newspaper. (Daily Beast, Apr. 30, 2019)
 
THE NUMBER OF PHYSICAL ASSAULTS ON JEWS IN US MORE THAN DOUBLED IN 2018, NEW ADL REPORT FINDS (New York) — The ADL’s annual “Audit of Antisemitic Incidents” tallied 39 physical assault cases with 59 victims last year, up from 19 cases with 21 victims in 2017. Overall, the audit identified 1,879 occurrences of anti-Jewish assaults, harassment and vandalism across America in 2018 — down 5 percent from 2017, but still the third-highest total ever recorded by the ADL. (Algemeiner, Apr. 30, 2019)
 
FLORIDA PASSES ANTISEMITISM BILL, UNANIMOUSLY (Florida) — Passed by a vote of 26-0, the bill now moves to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his signature. The new bill defines antisemitism and mandates that discrimination against Jewish people is treated the same as acts of racial discrimination in Florida’s K-20 public education institutions.  (Jewish Press, Apr. 29, 2019)
 
JEWISH HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP URGES RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES TO INVESTIGATE ANTISEMITIC ATTACK ON MOSCOW YESHIVA DURING PASSOVER (Washington, DC) — Antisemitic vandals in Moscow caused extensive damage but no injuries or fatalities when they attacked a yeshiva in the Russian capital Friday night, as Jews around the world celebrated the Passover holiday. A statement from NCSEJ — a Washington, DC-based human rights organization advocating on behalf of Jews in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union — said that the Torat Chaim Yeshiva in eastern Moscow suffered extensive damage after vandals lit a storage area on fire and scrawled antisemitic graffiti on the building. (Algemeiner, Apr. 22, 2019)
 
BUYING THE BDS LIES — HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER (Israel) – Emanuel Miller, a writer for Honest Reporting, an Israel-based organization that exposes anti-Israel media bias, criticized Michelle Goldman, a New York Times columnist for claiming that the leaders of the BDS movement separate anti-Zionism from antisemitism. Miller calls her claims “utter nonsense,” pointing out that “BDS leaders repeatedly peddled in hate speech, stating that Israel has “no right to exist”, and turning a “blind eye as activists repeatedly engage in antisemitic rhetoric and narratives to demonize Israel.”  (Algemeiner, Apr. 22, 2019)
 
1941 PICTURE SHOWS PRUCHNIK WAS BURNING JEWS IN EFFIGY LONG BEFORE WJC’S LATEST PROTEST (Poland) — Thankfully, residents in the Polish town restricted themselves to burning an effigy of a Hasidic Jew, and did not go after actual Jews. In August 1942, all the Jews were transported out of Pruchnik. Some were placed in the ghetto in Bircza and from there were taken to the forests in Wólka Pełkińska where they were shot. The remaining Jews, carrying shovels for the digging of graves, were led by the Germans outside the town to the Catholic cemetery where they were shot. The surviving Jews ended up in a transition camp in Pełkinice or were sent directly to the Bełżec Nazi extermination camp.(Jewish Press, Apr. 22, 2019)
 
BACKERS FOR US’S SYRIA PLAN ARE SCARCE (Washington) – The Trump administration asked at least 21 of its allies to provide troops and other logistical support in Syria to prevent an Islamic State resurgence, but nearly half declined and others have agreed to provide only nominal support. Countries approached included the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Australia and Belgium.  (WSJ, Apr. 24, 2019)
 
SYRIAN FUEL SHORTAGE SQUEEZES ASSAD’S LOYALISTS (Beirut) — Syria is experiencing a worsening fuel shortage as a result of Western sanctions, bringing some major cities to a near standstill and causing some of the war’s worst economic circumstances for President Bashar al-Assad’s loyalists. In choking off much of the Syrian government’s access to gasoline, diesel and heating oil, U.S. officials and other opponents of the Assad regime are hoping to pressure it to make compromises after eight years of conflict. Mr. Assad has long counted on a significant loyalist faction to support his grip on power, but those people are now coming under severe pressure. (WSJ, Apr. 24, 2019)

EGYPT VOTERS APPROVE CONSTITUTIONAL OVERHAUL EXTENDING SISI’S RULE (Cairo) – 89% of Egyptian voters approved constitutional changes that would allow President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to remain in power until 2030. The opposition has said the outcome was undermined by the government’s use of state institutions to ensure passage of the changes. (WSJ, Apr. 24, 2019)

EVEN GEORGE WASHINGTON MAY BE ERASED FROM OUR PAST (San Francisco) — A San Francisco mural has become the latest high-profile target of self-appointed censors who want to erase both history and art of which they disapprove. “Life of Washington,” a Works Progress Administration epic depicting scenes of America’s first president across 1,600 square feet, has been on display at a local school since 1936. The president of San Francisco’s Board of Education is among the mural’s opponents, who have called the artwork “offensive,” “dehumanizing” and “insulting” to Native Americans and blacks. (WSJ, Apr. 27, 2019)

WILLIAM KREHM, LAST OF THE CANADIAN VOLUNTEERS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR DIES AT THE AGE OF 105 (Canada) – Anti-Fascist, journalist, property developer, and author, Krehm was a prominent Trotskyist activist in the 1930s and went to Spain where he participated in the Spanish Civil War. In the 1980s he co-founded the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER) in the 1980s and continued as the group’s principal leader until his death. (Globe and Mail, Apr. 27, 2019)

Inaugural Collaboration between the Louvre and Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem (Paris) —  Rare artifacts from the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem (BLMJ) will be displayed for the first time at the Louvre in May, which is about to open a new exhibition entitled: “Forgotten Kingdoms: From the Hittite Empire to the Arameans.” Among the artifacts will be four rare pieces from the Bible Lands Museum’s permanent exhibition, which have been lent to the Louvre through a long and complex process of conservation and approval, which involved many staff people from both museums. (Jewish Press, Apr. 30, 2019)
 
ISRAELI SCIENTISTS SOLVE 100-YEAR PUZZLE WITH BREAKTHROUGH ON EPILEPSY (Tel Aviv) – A drug commonly used to treat multiple sclerosis may one day be used to treat patients with epilepsy, researchers in Prof. Inna Slutsky’s lab at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University have discovered. This is good news for patients with Dravet syndrome, one of the most dangerous forms of childhood epilepsy, for which there is currently no effective treatment. (Jewish Press, Apr. 29, 2019)
 
GERMAN INTELLIGENCE ISSUES TABOO-BREAKING REPORT ON MUSLIM ANTISEMITISM (Germany) — The German Agency for Domestic Security recently published a report on Muslim antisemitism in the country – a development that is unprecedented not only for Germany but for all of Europe. The report makes clear that Muslim antisemitism is a major problem in Germany. At long last, Muslim antisemitism in Germany has been officially detailed for the public. (BESA, Apr. 30, 2019)
 
EUROPEAN JEWS WARN OF ‘WORRYING TREND IN ANTISEMITISM’ IN US (Europe) – The European Jewish Congress (EJC) warns that the deadly shooting attack this Sabbath at Congregation Chabad of Poway in California is a sign that antisemitism is growing in America. EJC’s President Dr. Moshe Kantor says the attack by 19-year-old white supremacist John Earnest, “coming exactly six months after the mass murder in Pittsburgh, demonstrates a very worrying trend in antisemitism in the U.S.” The EJC is the representative organization of European Jewry, representing some 2.5 million Jews in 42 European communities.(Jewish Press, Apr. 29, 2019)
 
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY TO NAME STREET IN RAMALLAH AFTER AN ISRAELI JEW (Ramallah) — The Al-Bireh municipality unanimously approved a motion to name a street in Ramallah after Israeli extreme-left activist Ilan Halevi. Halevi, who was born Georges Alain Albert in France in 1943 during the Holocaust and died in 2013, considered himself a “Palestinian,” was an anti-Zionist and was one of the few Jews to be a PLO member. Halevi joined Fatah after the 1967 Six Day War and subsequently became a prominent member of the PLO and served as an adviser to Yasser Arafat. (Jewish Press, Apr. 30, 2019)