Almost 70 years after the Holocaust, the Jewish Museum in Berlin is fending off criticism for hosting an exhibit, “The Whole Truth, everything you wanted to know about Jews,” which asks Jewish men and women to sit in a glass box and answer questions by visitors about Jews and Judaism. Adolf Hitler’s Nazi government planned and executed the murder of six million Jews by 1945. Today “a lot of our visitors don’t know any Jews and have questions they want to ask,” said museum official Tina Luedecke, according to Fox News. “With this exhibition we offer an opportunity for those people to know more about Jews and Jewish life,” Luedecke said. But critics have voiced concern that the exhibit is not an appropriate way to educate the German public about Judaism. In addition to the glass box, another part of the exhibit includes a placard asking “How you recognize a Jew?” next to several yarmulkes, black hats and Jewish women’s hair covers. In another section, visitors are asked if Jews are “particularly good looking, influential, intelligent, animal loving or business savvy.” As to the box idea, prominent Berlin Jewish community figure Stephan Kramer, according to the Associated Press, rhetorically asked, “Why don’t they give him a banana and a glass of water, turn up the heat and make the Jew feel really cozy in his glass box?” The Jewish museum curator, Miriam Goldmann, says the “in your face” approach is necessary to deal with a subject still painful in Germany for both Jews and non-Jews. The exhibit has attracted a lot of visitors. While sitting in the box, Ido Porat, a 33-year-old Israeli, was asked what should be brought to a Shabbat dinner in Israel and why only Jewish men and not women wear yarmulkes. Another person asked about Judaism and homosexuality. Some German Jews and Israeli Jews volunteering at the museum are resigned to the idea. “With so few of us, you almost inevitably feel like an exhibition piece. Once you’ve been ‘outed’ as a Jew, you always have to be the expert and answer all questions regarding anything related to religion, Israel, the Holocaust and so on,” museum volunteer Leeor Englander said.
(Other) “German Efficiency” – Germany will physically inspect its gold reserves worldwide.(Cnbc).A German federal court has said that country’s central bank should conduct annual audits and physically inspect its gold reserves worldwide, including gold in the custody of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In addition to the FRBNY, Bundesbank gold is stored in London, Paris and Frankfurt. For decades, the Bundesbank has relied on written confirmation of its gold holdings in London, Paris and New York. According to the report from the German audit court, the last time Bundesbank officials physically inspected the central banks gold holdings was, well, never. (It should be stated that the folks at FT Alphaville quote a report saying an inspection took place in 1979/1980.) Interestingly enough, the Bundesbank is apparently quite happy with taking the word of other central bankers about the existence, location and size of its gold reserves. It put out the word that it disagrees with the Audit Court, which only has advisory power and cannot force the Bundesbank to follow its recommendations, about the need for inspections. Nonetheless, the Bundesbank is actually going to follow the recommendation that it verify the gold stocks. It also has plans to ship some 150 tons of gold back to Germany for a more “thorough examination.”Hmmmmmm……..Read the full story here.
This week a German doctor in Bavaria filed a criminal complaint against Rabbi David Goldberg.
Rabbi Goldberg’s “crime”? He performs ritual circumcisions on Jewish male infants in accordance with Jewish law.
The doctor’s complaint came shortly after a ruling by a court in Cologne outlawing the practice of male circumcision.
The Austrians and the Swiss also took the ruling to heart and have banned infant male circumcision in several hospitals in Switzerland as well as in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg. Denmark and Scandinavian governments are also considering limiting the practice of circumcision which has constituted one of the foundational rituals of Judaism for four thousand years.
Meanwhile, in Norway Dr. Anne Lindboe has come up with the perfect way out of the artificial crisis. Lindboe serves a Norway’s ombudsman for children’s rights. And she proposes that we Jews just change our religion to satisfy anti-Jewish sensitivities. She suggests we replace circumcision with “a symbolic, nonsurgical ritual.”
It’s worth mentioning that circumcision isn’t the only Jewish ritual these enlightened Europeans find objectionable. Sweden, Norway and Switzerland have already banned kosher slaughter.
Attacking circumcision isn’t just a European fetish. The urge to curb Jewish religious freedom has reached the US as well. Last year San Francisco’s Jewish Community Relations Council had to sue the city to strike a measure from last November’s ballot that would have banned circumcision if passed. The measure’s sponsor gathered the requisite 12,000 signatures to enter the proposition on the ballot. Circumcising males under the age of 18 would have been classified as a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison. Sponsors of the measure distributed anti-Semitic materials depicting rabbis performing circumcisions as villains.
The people involved in banning or attempting to ban circumcision are not on the political fringe of their societies. They are part of a leftist establishment. They are doctors and lawyers, judges and politicians. This doesn’t mean that all their fellow leftists are anti-Semites. But it does mean the political Left in the Western world feels comfortable keeping company with anti-Semites.
This state of affairs is even more striking in international affairs than in domestic politics. On the international level the Left’s readiness to rub elbows with anti-Semites has reached critical levels.
While the Europeans have long been happy to cater to the anti-Semitic whims of the Islamic world, the escalation of the West’s willingness to accept anti-Semitism as a governing axiom in international affairs is nowhere more apparent than in the Obama administration’s foreign policy.
And the American Left’s willingness – particularly the American Jewish Left’s willingness – to cover up the administration’s collusion with anti- Semitic regimes at Israel’s expense is higher today than ever before.
A clear-cut example of both the Obama administration’s willingness to adhere to anti- Semitic policies of anti-Semitic governments and the Left’s willingness to defend this bigoted behavior is the Obama administration’s decision not to invite Israel to participate in its new Global Counterterrorism Forum.
The GCF was founded with the stated aim of fostering international cooperation in fighting terrorism. But for the Obama administration, it was more important to make Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, who supports the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups, feel comfortable, than it was to invite Israel to participate.
Not only did the US exclude Israel, at the GCF’s meeting last month in Spain, Maria Otero, the State Department’s under secretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights, seemed to embrace the Muslim world’s obscene claim that Israelis are not victims of terrorism because terrorism against Israel isn’t terrorism.
In her speech, titled “Victims of Terrorism,” Otero spoke of terror victims in Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Uganda, Colombia, Northern Ireland, Indonesia, India and the US. But she made no mention of Israeli terror victims.
Rather than criticize the administration for its decision to appease bigots at the expense of their victim, American Jewish leftists have defended the administration. Writing in The Atlantic, Zvika Kreiger, senior vice president of the far-left S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, wrote that allowing the Jewish state entry to the GCF parley would have “undermined the whole endeavor.”
Kreiger sympathetically quoted a State Department official who explained that actually, by ostracizing Israel the administration was helping Israel.
The source “reasoned the progress made by the organization would ultimately better serve Israel’s interests (not to mention those of the United States) than would the symbolic benefits of including it in a group that likely wouldn’t accomplish anything. [Moreover]… once the organization was up and running, and its agenda was established, they could find ways to include Israel that would not be disruptive.”
So despite the fact that Israel is a major target of terrorism, and despite the fact that many of the states the US invited to its forum condone terrorism against Israel and support terrorist groups that murder Israeli Jews, Israel is better off being excluded, because the anti-Jewish governments invited by the Obama administration will somehow totally change their perspective on anti-Jewish terrorism as long as they don’t have to suffer the irritation of sitting in the same room as real-live representatives of the Jewish state.
THE CYNICISM of the State Department official’s statement to Kreiger is only outpaced by Kreiger’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge that cynicism.
Kreiger’s behavior makes sense. If he acknowledges the bigoted nature of the Obama administration’s policies he will have to stop defending them.
To a degree, Kreiger’s willingness to defend and justify the Obama administration’s anti-Israel behavior parallels the behavior of Israelis who argue against Israel unilaterally striking Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to delay the Iranian regime’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.
Since 2003, when Iran’s nuclear weapons program was first revealed to the world community, Iran’s leaders have succeeded in convincing world leaders that Israel is No. 1 on their target list. And so, the international debate about what a nuclear-armed Iran will mean for the world has always followed the Iranians’ lead and centered on the dangers it would pose to Israel.
Israel’s leaders from then-prime minister Ariel Sharon down to the last governmental spokesman have maintained that Iran’s nuclear program threatens the entire Free World. Sharon – like his leftist disciples today – claimed that given the threat Iran’s nuclear program constitutes for global security, Israel has no reason to lead the global fight to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Indeed, Israeli leadership of the campaign against Iran’s nuclear program would cause some countries to do nothing because they hate Israel even more than they fear Iran.
Like his followers today, Sharon insisted that the US, as the leader of the Free World, is responsible for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And they are right. Iran’s nuclear program does threaten global security and Iran’s nuclear program does threaten the US specifically. Iranian dictator Ali Khamenei just ordered his troops to carry out terror attacks against the US in retaliation for US moves to overthrow Iran’s Syrian puppet Bashar Assad. Iran was the principle sponsor of the insurgency in Iraq and remains the principle supporter of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
It’s not that Israel’s leaders belittle the threat Iran’s nuclear weapons program constitutes for Israel. Across the spectrum on the Iran debate in Israel – from former Mossad director Meir Dagan and President Shimon Peres on the Left to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on the Right – everyone agrees that in light of the Iranian regime’s religious fanaticism and its millenarian belief that Armageddon will hearken the coming of the Shi’ite messiah, Iran cannot be trusted not to use nuclear weapons against Israel.
Everyone admits that given Iran’s open sponsorship of terrorism, it is a certainty that terror groups would use the Iranian nuclear umbrella to massively expand their terrorist war against Israel.
Just as Dagan, Peres and their associates share Netanyahu’s assessment of the threat Iran’s nuclear program poses for Israel, Netanyahu agrees with their assessment that Israel’s options for contending militarily with Iran’s nuclear program are limited and imperfect. No one argues that Israel has a magic bullet to destroy Iran’s nuclear project.
Netanyahu and Barak have repeatedly warned that Israel has no perfect strike option. They have also warned that a response from Iran and its proxies in Syria and Lebanon to an Israeli strike will likely be harsh and deadly. All they say is that it is better than the alternative of Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons.
The doves agree with Netanyahu that a limited Israeli strike is better than the alternative of a nuclear-armed Iran. They differ with Netanyahu on only one issue: their assessment of the US’s willingness to use military force to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
Voicing the doves’ assessment of the Obama administration and Europe, this week former commander of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. (res.) Aharon Zeevi Farkash told NBC news, “I think Western leaders realize a nuclear Iran is the No. 1 challenge facing the world.”
Unfortunately, Farkash is wrong. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, made this point earlier this week in an interview from Afghanistan. There Dempsey said frankly, “Israel sees the Iranian threat more seriously than the US sees it, because a nuclear Iran poses a threat to Israel’s very existence.”
In other words, Dempsey told us that Iran’s cynical packaging of its nuclear program as an anti-Israel initiative has worked. The Americans – and the Europeans – believe that Iran’s nuclear program is Israel’s problem to deal with. The Israelis are right that as the leader of the Free World it is the US’s responsibility to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. But as Dempsey’s statement shows, the US is not interested in fulfilling its responsibility.
Like the Europeans, the Americans will only act when Iran forces them to do so. And that means they will do nothing to prevent Iran from developing the bomb. They will only move when Tehran has already crossed Israel off the top of its target list.
Israeli opponents of an Israeli strike against Iran don’t want to believe that Americans are capable of such cynicism. They would like to believe that the only government capable of behaving cynically is their own. They want to believe that the US – with its vastly superior military capabilities to destroy Iran’s nuclear program – will do the right thing and not leave it to Israel – with its limited means – to take care of the problem for a cynical world.
But just as Kreiger’s defense of the Obama administration’s courtship of anti-Semites at Israel’s expense crosses the line separating naivete from willful, bigotry-enabling blindness, so Peres, Dagan and their colleagues cross the line. And it is not mere bigotry they are enabling.
26 August ’12..
After the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, Germany cooperated with Black September, the Palestinian terrorist group that orchestrated the deadly attack, the German weekly Der Spiegel revealed Sunday. Following the tragedy in September 1972, Germany tried to establish a relationship with the group’s leaders, hoping that this would dissuade them from carrying out any more attacks in the country, the paper reported.
In this context, the German ambassador to Lebanon, Walter Novak, met with Yusuf Najjar, also known as Abu Yusuf, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s intelligence arm, which ran Black September. Just a week after the meeting, in April 1973, Najjar and two other PLO operatives were killed by Israel in a reprisal raid in Beirut called Operation Spring of Youth.
At the meeting, attended by other members of Black September, Novak suggested the parties sign a contract that would be “the basis for a new understanding” between Germany and the terrorist organization. To further advance this understanding, a meeting between Abu Yusuf and German foreign minister Walter Scheel was planned in Cairo, but it never took place.
Najjar’s death did not end the Germans’ courtship of the Palestinian group. According to Der Spiegel, high-ranking German officials met with Ali Hassan Salameh, the Black September operations chief who masterminded the Munich massacre (he was assassinated by the Mossad in Beirut in 1979) and with Amin Hindi, another of the organization’s leaders, who later became the Palestinian Authority’s intelligence chief. These meetings were attended by representatives of the Bundespolizei, Germany’s federal police force.
German cooperation with the terrorists was not limited to secret agreements between the parties; it also included expressions of sympathy toward the terrorists. For example, the Munich massacre was called “an act of resistance” in internal German correspondence. This is especially true in the case of the German Foreign Ministry; Novak told Abu Yusuf that Germany empathizes with and can understand the suffering of the Palestinian people, since many Germans live as refugees around the world.
|(Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)|
(Jewish Press)A prominent Roman Catholic NGO in Germany has called for a wide-ranging boycott of Israeli products.
The petition represents an expansion of the boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) movement against Israel in Germany, where efforts by pro-Palestinian activists to delegitimize the Jewish state continue to pick up momentum.
The German branch of Pax Christi, which describes itself as an “international Catholic peace movement,” issued a press release dated May 22, in which it urged German consumers not to buy goods from Israel as long as it remains unclear whether they are produced in the “settlements” or in “Israel.”
A two-page flyer for the campaign, which uses the slogan “Occupation Tastes Bitter” (Besatzung schmeckt bitter), states: “Israeli settlements on occupied territory violate Article 49 of the Geneva Convention. Whoever contributes to the profitability of these settlements contributes to the violation of human rights.” The flyer also encourages German consumers to report “questionable” Israeli products on a website called www.lebensmittelklarheit.de .
Although Pax Christi claims it is not seeking a blanket boycott of Israeli products, the NGO’s use of vague and sweeping language, plus the fact that there are no special labels to distinguish products made in the so-called occupied territories, does make it a de facto boycott of everything made in Israel.
Pax Christi’s boycott campaign has received political backing from Albrecht Schröter, the Social Democratic mayor of the eastern German city of Jena in the state of Thuringia. A June 1 article in the local newspaperThüringische Landeszeitung quotes Schröter as saying his goal “is to demand mandatory labeling of goods from illegal Israeli settlements that occupy Palestinian territory.”
But critics have accused Schröter (and Pax Christi) of issuing one-sided statements against Israel, and of giving the false impression that Israel is a country that systematically disregards international law and human rights.
Others say the obsession with Israel while human rights are being systematically abused in Muslim countries such as Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia is a reflection of anti-Semitism.
For example, Kevin Zdiara of the Berlin-based German-Israel Friendship Society (DIG) says that Schröter’s arguments “in certain areas resemble anti-Zionist anti-Semitism” because his remarks meet Natan Sharansky’s 3-D test for modern anti-Semitism: demonization, double standards and delegitimization. Zdiara also equates the Pax Christi boycott with the Nazi-era slogan “Don’t Buy from Jews.”
Katharina König, a Left Party state representative in Thuringia and a Jena city councilwoman agrees. She says Schröter’s signature on the Pax Christi petition and his support for a boycott are “false and inappropriate” and that the boycott “has the same meaning as ‘Don’t Buy from Jews.’”
In any case, the BDS movement against Israel is growing in Germany.
For example, in an unprecedented victory for BDS activists, Deutsche Bahn, the German railway operator, recently announced that it would pull out of a project to build a high-speed rail line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem because the line would cut through six kilometers of disputed territory in the West Bank. Deutsche Bahn had been in charge of electricity and communications control on the project, but pro-Palestinian groups claimed the project violated international law.
German Transportation Minister Peter Ramsauer told Deutsche Bahn Director Rüdiger Grube the project was politically “problematic” and potentially in violation of international law. Ramsauer offered the following reason for terminating the project: “Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al-Malki, members of the German Parliament and media have criticized a project in which DB International is acting as adviser to Israel’s state-run railway.”
German BDS activists have also repeatedly pressed for Israel to be banned from participating in Berlin’s annualInternational Tourism Exchange (ITB), known throughout the world as the top trade show for the global tourism industry. And a group called Berlin Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (BAB) has pushed for a complete academic and cultural boycott of Israel. The group has boycotted Israeli film festivals and has German artists and musicians to refrain from performing in Israel.
In March 2012, BDS activists in Berlin targeted Galeria Kaufhof, a major retailer that sells products from Israel. Protests were also held at stores in Bonn, Cologne, Hamburg and Heidelberg.
In February, BDS activists in Hamburg targeted a nine-day series of concerts called “Sounds of Israel” that featured Israeli musicians. That same month, BDS activists in Berlin protested Israeli participation in the annualFruit Logistica trade fair.
In November 2011, BDS activists launched a nationwide protest against Israel agricultural exports; BDS protests were held in& Berlin, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Munich and Stuttgart.
In April, the Duisburg branch of the German Left Party (Die Linke) posted a flyer on its website with a& swastika morphing into a Star of David, and called for a boycott of Israeli products. The flyer, which calls Israel a “rogue state” and a “warmonger” states: “Oppose the moral blackmail of the so-called Holocaust! Truth makes free!” This is a play on “Arbeit macht Frei!,” located above the entrance gate to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
In March, a group called the “Bremer Peace Forum” in the northern Germany city of Bremen& staged protests in front of supermarkets urging Germans to boycott Israeli products. The Forum protesters distributed leaflets showing pictures of bloody oranges and held posters with the slogan: “Save the Palestinian people.”
The German Left Party, in a Call to Action said: “Israel has occupied the West Bank for decades, contrary to numerous UN resolutions. More and more illegal Jewish settlements are being built and Israel exports the fruits that are harvested from there. This is against international law and the exports from the occupied territories are illegal. A boycott of Israeli products will move public opinion in order to increase international pressure on Israel, just as happened in South Africa.”
Later that month, the German Bundestag [Parliament] held a debate over accusations of anti-Semitism within the Germany Left Party following the release of an in-depth study by two German sociologists titled “Anti-Semites as a Coalition Partner.” The report says that “anti-Zionist anti-Semitism” has become the dominant consensus position within the Left Party and that this trend is gaining force.
Originally published by Gatestone Institute& http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org
Research shows that U.S. diplomat James G. McDonald turned sharply against the Roosevelt administration in 1943-1944, over FDR’s failure to respond to the Holocaust,
(Daled Amos)They Spoke Out: American Voices Against The Holocaust is a project of Disney Educational Productions that chronicles the stories of Americans who rose to the challenge to rescue Jews from the Holocaust in Europe. It features the collaboration of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, and Batman artist Neal Adams.
One episode in the series, Walls of Paper, recounts the doomed attempt by Anne Frank and her family to get permission to enter the US:
Researchers recently discovered that before Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in the infamous attic in Amsterdam, the Franks sought permission to immigrate to America. “Walls of Paper” follows the desperate attempts by Anne’s parents to overcome the harsh bureaucratic obstacles set up by the Roosevelt administration to discourage foreigners from coming to the United States. This episode sheds light on a deeply divided America, where former First Lady Grace Coolidge and other humanitarians lobbied for legislation to grant haven to German Jewish refugee children such as Anne, while opponents of immigration preyed on the public’s fears and prejudice in order to keep America’s doors closed.
The video currently is not embeddable, but you can view Walls of Paper online here.
Though this episode does tell the inspiring story of those who attempted to help the Frank family, their failure does not say much for the Roosevelt administration and politicians who doomed the Jews of Europe to their fate.
Democrats didn’t know the difference between political refuge and immigration… still don’t