In his new book, Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn, Israeli scholar and author Daniel Gordis, traces the remarkable history of a people’s 3,700 year attachment to the soil and soul of their historic homeland, Israel. [Read more…]
Yesterday, the Donald Trump campaign released a video ad, highlighting his closing arguments for the American people. In the ad, the Trump campaign once again employed anti-Semitic stereotypes, except this time, the words were matched to images of respected Jewish leaders: Janet Yellen, George Soros, and Lloyd Blankfein. (Janet Yellen is Chair of the Federal Reserve, George Soros is a billionaire investor, and Lloyd Blankfein is the CEO of Goldman Sachs.) The ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt condemned the ad in a statement, and “Talking Points Memo” appropriately called the ad “anti-Semitic.” [Read more…]
Trump vs. Clinton; anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in France; the “Jewish State” Law in Israel. What do these three conflicts have in common? All three cases mark a centuries-old conflict over divergent views of nationhood. [Read more…]
— by Eric Hananoki
A. J. Delgado, a senior adviser to Republican nominee Donald Trump, retweeted a Trump endorsement from an anti-Semitic website that started an online campaign harassing Jewish people.
Members of the alt-right and white nationalist movement have been heavily supporting Trump’s campaign, and the candidate and his team have been courting members of the movement, including appearing in white nationalist media, refusing to denounce them, and retweeting their messages.
On October 11, Delgado retweeted the anti-Semitic website The Right Stuff, which wrote:
At this point anyone not insane enough to want a war with Russia should vote Trump.
The Right Stuff started the virulently anti-Semitic “parenthesis meme” in which Jewish names are surrounded by parentheses — “(((name)))” — often in order to target them for online abuse on social media. The Anti-Defamation League has added the symbol to its online database of hate symbols, with CEO Jonathan Greenblatt stating:
The echo symbol is the online equivalent of tagging a building with anti-Semitic graffiti or taunting someone verbally.
According to The Right Stuff’s editors, they started the parenthesis meme because “all Jewish surnames echo throughout history.” They add: “The inner parenthesis represent the Jews’ subversion of the home [and] destruction of the family through mass-media degeneracy. The next [parenthesis] represents the destruction of the nation through mass immigration, and the outer [parenthesis] represents international Jewry and world Zionism.”
The site’s leader, Mike Enoch, told The Guardian that the site believes in racial separation:
Other adherents emphasize their desire for racial separatism. Mike Enoch, from the site the Right Stuff, a major hub for the dissemination of alt-right materials, says: “The core principle, in my view, is ethno-nationalism, meaning that nations should be as ethnically and racially homogeneous as possible.
Enoch wrote in a Reddit AMA on the “Alt Right” subreddit that “if there had been a more stingent [sic] restriction on Jews entering academia and the media and lobbying politically many problems would not have arisen. The country was basically given over to Jews after 1965 and they had lots of power even before that.”
He added: “I think the idea that race is the foundation of a nation is the key. And yeah, I stand by that statement. I don’t care if a country has a social healthcare policy or something like that as long as it is white.”
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) The AJC was founded in 1906. The impetus for creating this organization was the news of the pogroms against Jews in the Russian Empire. The AJC’s mission was to “prevent infringement of the civil and religious rights of Jews and to alleviate the consequences of persecution,” no matter where they were occurring. The AJC is still going strong today, advocating for religious pluralism, Muslim-Jewish relations, and Jewish students on campus. One of the AJC’s most important areas of activism is in combating the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement. [Read more…]
After profiling Melania Trump in GQ, journalist Julia Ioffe received a deluge of anti-Semitic threats and comments. The article below, which was reprinted from The Daily Kos, describes Melania Trump’s response to the verbal attacks on Ioffe.After dispensing with the obligatory statement that she disagrees with the vile antisemitic letters sent by her (and presumably her husband’s) NeoNazi fans to a journalist, Melania Trump then went on to side with the same NeoNazis by saying that Julia Ioffe “provoked” the hateful antisemitic death threats in her profile of Melania Trump for GQ.
“I don’t control my fans,” Melania says, “but I don’t agree with what they’re doing. I understand what you mean, but there are people out there who maybe went too far. She provoked them.”
You can see some of the disgusting hate mail and read about the death threats and phone calls Julia Ioffe has received. Ioffe’s family came to the United States 26 years ago fleeing antisemitism.
By chance I read the profile of Melania Trump in GQ this weekend. It in no way provokes NeoNazi antisemitism, if that’s even possible, which if so I personally can’t understand. I challenge anyone to read the GQ article and defend Melania’s disgusting views on this. Jewish people certainly don’t provoke NeoNazi death threats by writing factual articles. If we applied Melania Trump’s beliefs to all American journalists. . . I can’t even process how vile this is. It also makes me very much doubt whether the first part of her statement is anything more than her saying what she feels she has to in a public forum.
Since this is evidently how Melania Trump really sees the world, I believe I now know exactly how she and Trump discovered they were soul mates.
“The French Jews are the canary in the coal mine,” Simone Rodan-Benzaquen told me. Ms. Benzaquen, the director of the American Jewish Committee in Europe, related that anti-Semitism in Western Europe is a very serious problem. Europe is the laboratory for how to contend with it in 2016. If the fight against anti-Semitism fails in Europe, it will fail in the United States as well.
Anti-Semitism is a crisis for liberal democracies. The members of the extreme left (anti-Zionists), the members of the extreme right, and some parts of the Muslim community have found common cause. They all hate Jews. This crisis starts with the Jews, but it doesn’t end there.
The Centrist parties are not discussing the problems within the Muslim community due to political correctness. The Populist parties are filling the void by asking the right questions. They are addressing the issues of integration, Islamism, and how to make Islam compatible with democratic values.
What can the Centrist parties do? Ms. Benzaquen suggested several solutions. First, they must speak out clearly. They need to call Islamist extremism what it is and identify the sources of the problems.
The educational system offers an opportunity to impact young pupils and shape the future adults of France. During the past several years, students have refused to learn about the Holocaust in certain neighborhoods. Their teachers retreated because they were afraid of being attacked. France needs to invest the resources to train teachers in new methodologies so they can deal with these issues. Holocaust education is important for them because it illustrates how a society can behave and how individuals can choose to behave. It is an opportunity to teach tolerance, and to accept diversity.
France does not recognize individual communities; everyone is French. In order to counter Islamic radicalization, the authorities must reach out to the Muslim community to spot signs of radicalization. It is only then that they can begin to contend with it.
One of the most effective ways that the Islamic radicals influence and recruit young people is with social media. In France, speech is free, within limits. The French government can shut down social media sites due to incitement. The platforms used by these Islamists are based in the United States. Initially, the US-based companies did not feel that they were obligated to comply with French laws. The European Commission passed a law that requires social media companies to follow European laws in order to be available there. This has made it easier for the French authorities to shut down sites dedicated to Islamic radicalization.
The signs in Europe point to a worrisome future in the United States. The Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment (BDS) movement on university campuses and the expression of anti-Semitism online are creating a hostile environment for Jews. We live in a globalized world. There is no escaping anti-Semitism by moving from country to country. What kind of world do we want?
Ira Forman’s job is to identify and pursue anti-Semitism around the world. As a result, he knows where the trends are particularly disturbing and where there is reason to have hope. Recently, he brought this knowledge and experience to Philadelphia when he served as the keynote speaker for the closing board meeting of the local Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Forman works in the State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs in the position of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. He was appointed to this position three years ago by Secretary of State John Kerry. Forman has an extensive resume, which, among other things, includes his work as Jewish outreach director for the Obama campaign, CEO and executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), and — very early in his career — political director and legislative liaison for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
At the meeting in Philadelphia, Forman gave a run-down of the Jewish communities he has visited and discussed what the future may hold for Jews in those countries. For example, he pointed to a particularly disturbing survey of French Jews — which even pre-dated the Paris attacks — in which 47% said they were considering leaving France. Forman was then asked about the heartening response of thousands of French citizens who marched in support of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Kacher attacks. He said it was believed that if the Charlie Hebdo journalists had not also been killed, the response by non-Jews on behalf of the Jewish community would not have been as strong.
However, Forman did express hope for some smaller Jewish communities. He also emphasized that outside the United States, England seems to be the most secure place for Jews to live.
In order to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, Forman and his staff travel the world. They often work in cooperation with agencies like the ADL, as well as with other nonprofits and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Photo by Bonnie Squires
Pope Francis welcomed more than 100 leaders of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Wednesday and issued a strong condemnation of anti-Semitism.
At a private audience with WJC President Ronald S. Lauder in the morning, the Pontiff made it clear that outright attacks against Israel’s existence are a form of anti-Semitism:
To attack Jews is anti-Semitism, but an outright attack on the State of Israel is also anti-Semitism. There may be political disagreements between governments and on political issues, but the State of Israel has every right to exist in safety and prosperity.
Jews and Catholics marked the anniversary of the 1965 declaration Nostra Aetate, which condemned anti-Semitism and completely transformed and improved relations between Jews and Catholics.
Lauder praised the Pope for this powerful message and said relations between the two faiths were stronger than they had ever been before:
Pope Francis does not simply make declarations. He inspires people with his warmth and his compassion. His clear and unequivocal support for the Jewish people is critical to us.
Nearly 150 delegates and observers from the World Jewish Congress Governing Board took part in the public audience with the Pope in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday. The delegates were in Rome for the Board’s annual meeting.
The pope recalled Nostra Aetate, a declaration adopted on 28 October 1965 by the Second Vatican Council:
Indifference and opposition were transformed into cooperation and benevolence. Enemies and strangers have become friends and brothers. The Council, with the declaration Nostra Aetate, paved the way. It said yes to the rediscovery of the Jewish roots of Christianity, and no to any form of anti-Semitism and condemnation of any insult, discrimination and persecution derived from that.
On Tuesday, the WJC Governing Board, representing more than 100 Jewish communities around the world, held discussions which focused on the implications facing Jewish communities in light of the various conflicts in the Middle East, including the threat of jihadist terrorism.
The Governing Board reaffirmed its continued support of a two State solution and urged Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resume peace talks without preconditions as soon as possible.
The Board also called on the international community to maintain and, if necessary, expand sanctions on Iran until there is verification and international acceptance of Iran’s compliance with all the conditions of the nuclear deal.
Concerning the refugee crisis, the delegates passed a resolution calling on the international community to provide refugees with sanctuary irrespective of origin or religion, recalling the Talmudic maxim that says, “He who saves a single life saves the whole world.”
— by Greg Rosenbaum
Ms. Coulter, since you asked so nicely, there are approximately 6.5 million Jews living in the United States. Furthermore, the vast majority of that population voted for President Obama in 2012, and we will continue to vote for Democratic candidates in 2016 and beyond.
After hearing 15 conservative Republican candidates:
- praise failed foreign policies that, among other horrendous consequences, damaged Israel and the vital alliance between the US and Israel;
- attack those seeking to marry the people they love while defending the right to discriminate against them;
- demonize an organization that provides crucial health care to women in need;
- deny the existence of climate change exactly when scientists found 2015 to be the warmest year in our planet’s recorded history; and
- dangerously spread the lie that vaccinations are tied to autism,
we have no doubt that the American Jewish community will remain overwhelmingly with the Democratic party.
Perhaps, Ann, you did not get the memo from GOP headquarters that Israel is supposed to be a partisan wedge issue, designed to peel off Jewish voters from the Democratic Party. After all, putting partisan politics over good policy, your party’s legislators unanimously opposed the world’s agreement with Iran to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
But don’t worry, Ann. Disgusting anti-Semitic comments like yours will help maintain the traditional bonds between American Jewish voters and their home in the Democratic Party, where they are actually welcome.
Greg Rosenbaum is chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council.