Archive for the ‘Holocaust Remembrance Day’ Category

Trump 2020 Is No Joke – New York Times

The aim is to get Americans heads spinning. Have them waste time dissecting statement X as Trump moves on to outburst Y. For example, Ill absolutely do safe zones in Syria for the people. That was a good one.

Or, James Comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations. Six weeks later, Trump reveals that there are no tapes of the conversation. Not bad. Had a Nixonian ring to it.

Noise is the thing and adrenaline and suspense. There is no content, meaning, history or gravity. Can the president, less than six months into his first term, really hold a 2020 fundraiser in his own Washington hotel? The Oval Office has become the Oval Adjunct. It provides, at taxpayer expense, an ancillary service to Trump properties.

Trump visits Yad Vashem, Israels memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, and writes in the guest book: It is a great honor to be here with all my friends so amazing & will never forget!

So amazing! Almost as amazing as the White Houses International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that did not mention the Jews. Oh, yes, them. There we have it: the unbearable lightness of being Donald Trump. His latest is a solar wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Remember that one.

In Humboldts Gift, Saul Bellow wrote that the United States is a big operation, very big. One thing is certain: It is bigger than this little man.

Trumpism is a form of collective gaslighting at Twitter speed. It is founded on the principle that velocity trumps veracity perfect for the presidents manic personality. It reflects the presidents intuitive sense through his own acute experience of limited attention spans. It seeks to achieve dominance through a whirlwind of individually meaningless but cumulatively manipulative statements.

Max Weber, the German sociologist, contrasted modern legal rule with traditional rule. In the first, the person who commands has himself to obey the rule; in the second, the lords administrative staff is made up of personal dependents (members of the household or household officials) or from relatives or personal friends (favorites). In this setup, the bureaucratic idea of competence as objectively demarcated spheres of responsibility is absent.

Trump functions, still, within our democratic institutions, but with a personal court (composed in part of family). Legal rule, as defined by Weber, is not really his thing. The vassal-like professions of fealty from his cabinet the other day feudalism meets Pyongyang demonstrated why he likes Saudi Arabia so much and has such evident reservations about the Republic.

There are many things that concern me about the Trump presidency in fact, few dont but the frivolous blurring of truth and untruth, fact and falsehood, is the most grave. Liberty depends on facts. When the distinction between truth and lies disappears there is no basis for the rational discourse on which the organization of a free society, governed by laws, depends. Disorientation propagates itself and disoriented people are more inclined to accept a despot as sole font of truth.

Theres no policy toward Syria. Theres no policy toward Russia. Theres contempt from the White House for important European allies. Theres shock really that China is not whipping North Korea into shape. Theres a grotesque attempt to deprive tens of millions of Americans of health insurance. Theres contempt from a man of 71 for the planet his grandchildren will inherit.

All of this is serious. But its not as serious as the seeping, constant attempt one sacred value at a time to disorient Americans to the point they accept the unacceptable, cede to the grotesque, acquiesce to total arbitrariness as a governing principle. On one side the Constitution; on the other the rabbit hole that leads to the Trump International Hotel.

And to Trump saying of President Andrew Jackson that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said, Theres no reason for this.

In fact, Jackson had been dead for 16 years when the Civil War began. He said nothing.

There is no reason to or in Trumpism. Thats the point and the danger of it.

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Trump 2020 Is No Joke – New York Times

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June 23, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

Moving & Shaking: Wise School, Jerusalem of Gold, and Gene Simmons – Jewish Journal

Nitzan Stein Kokin, who completed her final year of studies at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University (AJU) in Los Angeles, became the first graduate of Zacharias Frankel College in Berlin on June 18, making her the first Conservative rabbi to be ordained in the country since before World War II.

The training at the Zacharias Frankel College really enhanced me intellectually and spiritually, Kokin said in a statement. I am looking forward to serving the Jewish people and spreading the word of Masorti Judaism in Germany and Europe.

The 4-year-old rabbinical seminary of the Masorti/Conservative movement in Germany is under the religious auspices of the Ziegler School. The two share a dean and vice dean, Rabbi Bradley Artson and Rabbi Cheryl Peretz, respectively. Both took part in the ceremony at the Great Hall of the Jewish Community Center in Berlin.

From left: Nitzan Stein Kokin, the first graduate of Zacharias Frankel College, and Fredi and husband Rabbi Joel Rembaum attend Kokins ordination ceremony at Zacharias Frankel College in Berlin. Photo by Tobias Brains

During the ceremony, which was held in a venue that was one of Germanys grand synagogues prior to Kristallnacht in 1938, Artson described Kokin as one of the student pioneers who have had faith to walk with us in this new enterprise and its future, according to Fredi Rembaum, a retired Jewish community professional and wife of Rabbi Joel Rembaum, both of whom attended. Rabbi Rembaum, a Ziegler School lecturer in history who has spent multiple semesters in Berlin teaching Jewish law to Frankel students, bestowed a priestly blessing with Rabbi Harvey Meirovich upon Kokin.

Kokin, 42, grew up in a Protestant household in a small town in southwest Germany. Her ordination culminated a journey that began when she converted to Judaism in 1999. She had been interested in the ministry and felt an exploration into Judaism would deepen her appreciation of Christianity. She eventually embraced Judaism wholeheartedly and made aliyah to Israel. She moved to Germany around 2010 after her husband, a Los Angeles native and former graduate student at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, took a job there.

Jeffrey Levine, a board member of the Ziegler School, and L.A.-based husband and wife Benjamin and Irma Breslauer, who helped establish ties between Zacharias Frankel College with the Ziegler School, were among those who attended the ceremony.

Founded in cooperation with the Leo Baeck Foundation, the Zacharias Frankel College operates at the University of Potsdam. The school, named for Rabbi Zacharias Frankel, an intellectual progenitor of the Conservative movement, is attempting to rejuvenate Jewish life in a country that saw its Jewish population essentially wiped out during the Holocaust.

On Memorial Day Weekend, Wise School students traveled to Michigan and participated in the world finals of Odyssey of the Mind, an international problem-solving competition.

The Jewish day schools fifth-grade team took on the technical Odd-a-Bot problem and placed eighth out of the top 52 teams in the world.

The schools fourth-grade team took on the Classics problem and earned third place while competing against 67 teams.

Wise School, associated with Stephen Wise Temple, was the only Jewish day school to participate in Odyssey of the Mind, which involves teams of seven students from schools around the world selecting a problem and developing creative solutions to solve it. The competition showcases student teamwork, artistic abilities and engineering aptitude.

Jason Meth, project studio specialist at Wise School, served as the program coordinator and the head coach. Additional coaches were Rachel Mitzman and Edina Hartstein. Benjamin Goldenstein and Raisa Effress were the student assistant coaches, and Allison Ross was the coach of the third-grade team, which placed first at regionals and third at the state championship.

Our Odyssey teams winning at a world-level competition is a tangible example of deep learning and extreme creativity, Wise School Head of School Tami Weiser said.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum dedicated its new David and Fela Shapell Family Collections, Conservation and Research Center on April 24 during a ceremony that attracted Holocaust survivors and supporters from around the country.

The center is named for the late David Shapell, who died in 2015, and for his wife, Fela, who lives in Los Angeles with her family. David Shapell was a Los Angeles real estate developer and philanthropist.

The 80,000-square-foot center with specialized laboratories, equipment and climate-controlled environments will house and preserve the Washington, D.C., museums growing collection of media and artifacts.

In 2014, the Shapells gave $15 million to the museum to help with the construction of a massive repository for Holocaust artifacts, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The ceremony for the center, located in Bowie, Md., coincided with Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Fela Shapell, who survived the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, attended the ceremony.

Michael Grunberger, director of the museums National Institute for Holocaust Documentation, welcomed the centers opening.

We are building the collection of record on the Holocaust, a collection that belongs to the nation, Grunberger said in a statement. It is our responsibility to ensure that it is preserved for posterity and its truth made accessible to the world.

From left: American Society for Yad Vashem (ASYV) Chairman Leonard Wilf; Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons; ASYV honoree Rita Spiegel; Denial producer Gary Foster; and ASYV Director Ron Meier attend the ASYV Generation to Generation 2017 Gala. Photo by Vince Bucci

The American Society for Yad Vashem (ASYV) celebrated its Generation to Generation 2017 Gala on June 14 in a packed ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire hotel. The organization dedicated to advancing Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem,honored Gene Simmons of the rock band Kiss and his mother, Holocaust survivor Flora Klein; the family of the late Edita and Abraham Spiegel, represented by their daughter, Rita Spiegel; and Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff, producers of the film Denial.

My name is Chaim Witz, Simmons said in Hebrewwhen he took the stage, his voice choked with emotion. I am an Israeli. I am a Jew.

Simmons, dressed in a dark jacket and wearing his trademark sunglasses under a pile ofjet-black hair, repeated the same phrase in Hungarian, then in German, before translating it into English. Simmons mother, at age 14, was sent to Auschwitz, where she saw her mother, brother and entire extended family killed.She survived and moved to Haifa, where Simmonswas born in 1949.Simmons credited his mother, who remained at her home on Long Island, for his drive, toughness and hopefulness: Any day above ground is a good day, she always says.

Sheldon and Dr. Miriam Adelson presented Rita Spiegel and the Spiegel family with the Lifetime Achievement Award.Adelson said Ritas father, who survived Auschwitz with Ritas mother, inspired him to get involved in Jewish philanthropy.

Also in attendance were Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Sam Grundwerg; Leonard Wilf, chairman of ASYV; gala chair Karen Sandler; Remember Us Director Samara Hutman; The Jewish Federation of Greater Los AngelesPresident Jay Sanderson; former Wynn Las Vegas President Marilyn Spiegel and her husband, Tom; ASYV Executive Director Ron Meier; J Media Group CEO Jess Dolgin; philanthropist Jake Farber; and Paul Stanley, Simmons Kiss bandmate.

The event raised approximately $800,000 for Yad Vashem.

Jewish Journal Staff

From left: Jerusalem of Gold organizer Ari Bussel; Reverend Father John Bakas, dean of Saint Sophia Cathedral; the Simon Wiesenthal Centers Rabbi Marvin Hier; Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Sam Grundwerg; L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz; and Pastor Timothy Hinkle from Sacramento attend Jerusalem of Gold. Photo by Michelle Mivgan

Fifty years after Israel Defense Forces soldiers raised the Israeli flag over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, nearly 700 Christians, Jews and others gathered at Neman Hall at Temple Beth El in West Hollywood and declared, There is no other place like Jerusalem, Jerusalem of Gold, the city of God.

A group of Israeli and American community members, including Jews and Christians unaffiliated with any organization, organized the June 7 event, titled Jerusalem of Gold, commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem.

We were a group of people who care about Jerusalem and wanted to celebrate that special day, said Ari Bussel, an event organizer. We didnt have any celebrities attending the event. The only name that drew people was the name of the city Jerusalem.

Additional participants included Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Sam Grundwerg; Simon Wiesenthal Center Dean and Founder Rabbi Marvin Hier; and Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse, the daughter of Holocaust survivors from Poland.

Bosse presented Holocaust survivors in attendance with a special proclamation: Just like we vow never to forget Jerusalem, we vow never to forget you.

Among the survivors was Mireille Wolf, a philanthropist who shared her moving story with the audience.

I am a survivor, Wolf said. I have stories of evil to tell. I also have stories of survival and of the joys of being alive with family, tradition and a life well lived in freedom. We should commemorate the memory of the Holocaust by listening to those survivors who still have stories to tell us as we celebrate each day of our survival and of Israel.

The event featured performances and appearances by the Christian Fellowship Chorale; the Leaves of Healing Tabernacle worship team; Valley Beth Shalom Cantor Herschel Fox; Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin; musician Sam Glaser; Sephardic Temple Cantor Haim Mizrahi; Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills Cantor Lizzie Weiss; musician David Yakobian; and Israeli singers Gilat Rapaport and Liel Kolet.

Ayala Or-El, Contributing Writer

Moving & Shaking highlights events, honors and simchas. Got a tip? Email ryant@jewishjournal.com.

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Moving & Shaking: Wise School, Jerusalem of Gold, and Gene Simmons – Jewish Journal

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June 23, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

National memorial for victims of transatlantic slave trade – The Voice Online

AUGUST 23 each year is International Slavery Remembrance Day.

Last year, Slavery Remembrance made history by marking this day with our inaugural National Memorial, the first ever of its kind to be held in Londons Trafalgar Square for the victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade/African Holocaust.

On Sunday, August 20 we shall once again be marking International Slavery Remembrance Day with our National Memorial in Trafalgar Square and we hope you will join us.

Shezal Laing, Founder of Slavery Remembrance says:

“Falling in line with our ethos to educate, celebrate and inspire, the day will be about remembering our ancestors with honour and pride. Their story is one of pain but also one of inspiration, resilience, resistance and strength.”

The African Holocaust is one of humankinds greatest atrocities and is arguably the single largest incident in reshaping and defining the world we see today. In reference to scale it is perhaps one of the most heinous crimes man has committed on fellow man, spanning over 400 years and involving millions of African men, women and children.

The victims of this atrocity have been sidelined and overlooked for too long and with racism and racist attacks on the rise, the significance of suitably remembering and honouring the victims of the African Holocaust becomes all the more pertinent.

“It is a painful history with a painful story for us all, but it is a story which must be told and a history that must be acknowledged nevertheless”, continued Laing.

Ignoring this part of history is part of the problem we see today. You cannot tackle racism without tackling its roots and the roots cause of racism emanate from the Transatlantic Slave Trade/African Holocaust.

It is naive to expect that over 400 years of indoctrination can be wiped out in less than half the time. It will take years of education and reconciliation, but this process cannot be started until the topic of the Transatlantic Slave Trade is properly acknowledged, addressed and openly discussed. Only then can we begin the long journey to eventually eradicating racism.

Slavery Remembrance believes the victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade/African Holocaust are equally as important as the victims of the Jewish Holocaust and should be treated as such. We question why International Slavery Remembrance Day passes by largely unacknowledged in the UK, whereas the complete opposite can be said of the Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day.

In January 2016, former Prime Minister, David Cameron announced that a permanent memorial for the victims of the Jewish Holocaust will be erected in Victoria Tower Gardens. In addition to this memorial, Mr. Cameron also announced that a state of the art education centre would be built beside the structure, promising 50 million for the project.

No similar plans have been made for the victims of the African Holocaust – considering Britains links to the Transatlantic Slave Trade we question why there is such disparity between the treatment, recognition and memorialisation of these two heinous pieces of history?

We are using the hashtag #TimeToRemember to raise awareness of International Slavery Remembrance Day and promote the memorial.

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National memorial for victims of transatlantic slave trade – The Voice Online

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June 22, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

Ya’alon: We need separation – Arutz Sheva

Ya’alon at Herziliya conference

Chaggai Fried

Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon addressed the state of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority at the Herziliya Conference Wednesday.

Ya’alon said that despite the lack of a partner for peace on the other side, “we have to decide for ourselves that we do not want a binational state – I see signs of pressure [to build in Judea and Samaria] in the current coalition that we did not intend and did not want.”

He continued: “I resigned a year ago and since then I have not seen any changes for the better, as only yesterday another investigation on crony capitalism was launched. I see today a lack of leadership and a politics of survival, and I hope that I will have the opportunity to use what I know to bring us back to [a sane strategy].”

Ya’alon was removed from his position as Defense Minister after he spoke condemningly of IDF soldier Elor Azariya before the investigation had taken place and for not reprimanding his deputy for comparing Israel to Nazi Germany on Holocaust Remembrance Day. He has since announced that he will run for Prime Minister.

Ya’alon was optimistic about the strategic threats facing the State of Israel. “From a political point of view, there is no existential threat to the State of Israel, not from armies, not from rockets and terror, and there is no doubt that the IDF is the strongest army in the Middle East and enjoys effective deterrence. Even on the border with Gaza we have had three years of quiet – to all those who [complain about] Operation Protective Edge. We also have stable peace agreements, and we are not in conflict with the Sunnis – the concept of the Israeli-Arab conflict is no longer relevant at this time. In addition, ISIS is weakening in the Middle East.”

He said that he believes ISIS can and will be defeated. However, he said that stability can only return to the Middle East if the US takes a more active role again. “There is a clear need for a global policeman, and we see that unlike the policy of the previous administration, the American response to the use of Assad’s chemical weapons is no longer expressed by sitting on the sidelines.”

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June 22, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

A timely intervention – Guardian (blog)

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has intervened to douse the tension in the land accentuated by a three months quit notice served on the people of the South East living in the North. It was a wise and timely step. He moved promptly to check the festering of tempers and the attendant loathsome air of the emerging environment. He has met with traditional rulers and leaders of thought from the South East and the North. The governors of the 19 northern states also met on Tuesday in Kaduna. Before their formal meeting of Tuesday, the chairman of their forum, Shettima of Borno had dissociated the governors from the northern youth ultimatum to the South Easterners to vacate their region.

In the same vein, the office of the Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Student Affairs also organised a gathering of those described as regional youth leaders. This gathering was addressed by Femi Ojudu, Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs and the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan.

The Acting President is also billed to meet with the leaders, political, traditional or from the elite circles, all together after the on-going separate meetings. Although I have not read anywhere that there were meetings behind closed doors subsequent to the televised ones, it is to be assumed that there will be a mega one with leaders of thought and traditional rulers from across the whole country. South West and South-South have not featured so far. I want to believe that these are all efforts to calm frayed nerves and that the meetings are exploratory. There is fire on the mountain and it must be put out first.

Addressing the traditional rulers, Osinbajo said: You are, by virtue of your vast knowledge, wisdom and experience, both a vital link with our past, and an important guarantee for the success of our future. This is why your role in national affairs is critical. The reason for this series of meetings is well known to all of us; it has become necessary in the wake of a spate of divisive statements, in recent months and weeks, pitting the South East against the North.

We are all aware of the so-called ultimatum issued by a group of Northern youths, asking that all Igbos living in the North vacate the region. Before then, there was the clamour, and its still on-going, by some South-Eastern youths, operating as IPOB and affiliated groups, demanding secession from Nigeria at all costs and by any means.

In all our previous engagements with Northern and South- Eastern leaders, we all came to the consensus that Nigeria is stronger and better together, and that these hate-filled and divisive rhetorics and agitations are unjustifiable, unacceptable and often times illegal. And I would like to reiterate that today.

And to the leaders of thought, he said: Moments like this are not for isolating ourselves and I want to urge all of us who are here and of course the entire Nigerian populace that it is a time for us to come together. I want to say that hate or divisive speech, or divisive behaviour where it is illegal will be met with the full force of the law. He said the warning was very important because we cannot control violence once it begins. He likened hate speech to throwing a stone in the market. It would hit people for which it was not intended.

It is doubtful if the Acting President will claim to have proffered solutions to the myriads of problems afflicting the country, principal among which is the national question. They are not problems that can be wished away or swept under the carpet. They can be suppressed but only for a while; and after a few years and with a new generation at the village square, the problems would raise their ugly heads again. It was because they would not go away that Obasanjo had to put together a conference chaired by Supreme Court Justice Tobi. It was because they would not disappear that made Jonathan to organise the 2014 National Conference. And once the present Administration settled down calls for restructuring of the country began to ring out. Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has courageously been crisscrossing the land pressing for the restructuring of the country, seeing it as the veritable vehicle to unite the country and for her to make progress, be it economically, socially and politically. He has just stated, commenting on the latest development in the land, that the number one problem the country faces today, contrary to widely held belief, is not corruption but unity. In all his speeches, he has predicated this unity on the restructuring of the country, the age-long sing-song of the South-West.

The restructuring fever has caught on and it is now being vigorously canvassed by the South-South. The Southern and North-Central zones see the answers to the various agitations including the threat of separation by the Biafran youths as well as the restructuring in the 2014 National Conference Report. It is foolish to say because we have issues with Jonathan we then throw away the baby with the bath water. As this column has said in the past, those who are loud in mounting opposition to the implementation of the Report have not read it and they should not be allowed to throw pebbles in the countrys wheel of progress. The pre-occupation of the Acting President, understandably, would seem to be, even to jaw-jaw, we require an atmosphere of peace. He is right. There is nothing that can be achieved in an environment of chaos and confusion.

Fortunately, the Senate has called for the Report. That Report reveals the following which are bound to catch the attention of the senators. The number of solid minerals in Plateau and Taraba states alone is higher than what obtains in the whole of Asia which encompasses the Arab countries, China, Japan, India, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, the whole of the Middle East, Bangladesh and Vietnam. The two states have huge deposits of gold and diamond and shares in uranium deposit with Benue. Waiting to be tapped in commercial quantities are gold which is obtainable in 10 states of the Federation; coal in eight states; salt in 12 states; bitumen in five states; marble in 11 states; clay in 16 states; kaolin in 15 states and limestone in 15 states as well. Of the 68 items on the Exclusive Legislative List in the constitution, only 10 are now left. The Conference has sent 58 of them to the Concurrent List. It is now such that the states or group of states can now build their own railways, build ports and incorporate companies and register organisations. There is provision for state police to shore up and collaborate with the Federal security arrangement. The Federal allocation to the centre has been reduced from 52 per cent to 42 per cent. The states will now be entitled to 58 per cent to run their states and local councils. Since the 42 commercially viable minerals cannot be exploited just with the blow of the whistle, the Report approves the establishment of Solid Minerals Development Fund of five per cent of the Federal yearly budget to jump-start the tapping of the solid minerals lying buried in the ground. That is to allay the fear of economically weak states as of now that they might be left unsupported to stand on their own two feet.

The leaders in the South-East are being blamed for the sit-in that occurred to mark the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Biafra by Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. The right attitude ought to be to separate the agitation for the revival of the Biafra from the experiences of a people. Here are a people who were at war for three years in which estimated three million people died. General Gowon once said that if Ojukwu had not declared the Republic of Biafra there would have been no war. True, but there was a war in the end. It is natural therefore for people to gather to remember, to reflect, to wail, to bite lips and gnash teeth with or without Nnamdi Kanu. Is it conceivable that such an emotional anniversary marking a monumental event and there would not be an instinctive, collective mourning day? Lets forget what may have caused the war. I want to believe there was no family untouched by the fire of war, and there is nothing the leaders in the region could have done.

Every year the Jews mark what they call Holocaust Remembrance Day. Two years ago, it was 70 years. To illustrate the undying anguish of a people who have gone through this kind of horrific experience, here is an excerpt of a report published by MailOnline/AFP in April 2015: Israeli Jews stood in silence as sirens wailed across the country on Thursday marking Holocaust Memorial Day and 70 years since the liberation of Nazi death camps. Traffic came to a halt and pedestrians stood at attention for two minutes as the siren rang out. Commemorations began at sunset on Wednesday and were to continue Thursday with Israeli leaders attending official ceremonies at Jerusalems Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, parliament and elsewhere. Until sundown, radio and television stations broadcast programmes on the genocide and played music, while places of entertainment were closed.

The report was illustrated with photographs from Reuters, AP and AFP showing President Reavan Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laying wreaths; Israelis standing still on the Tel Aviv seashore observing the Daywhen a two-minute siren sounded in Tel Aviv. Traffic was parked and the occupants all came out to observe the two-minute silence. The theme of that years observances was Anguish of Liberation and the Return of Life: 70 years since End of World War 11.

All our efforts in this country must be never to go through a war again. Professor Yemi Osinbajo has commendably demonstrated leadership in this regard. We do not have to agree with the content of his address. His message to the nation is: War? Never again. In support of his message we must avoid all thoughts of war; we must watch our actions which include speeches and see that we do not give cause to painful and regrettable effects in the future.

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Israeli ex-defense minister: We do need to decide if we want a binational state – i24NEWS (press release) (registration)

Moshe Ya’alon added that the Trump administration is enforcing red lines against Iran, unlike its predecessor

Israel’s former defense minister saidthat Israel faced no prospect of a sustainable peace deal with the Palestinians, leading to some government officials to consider separation plans.

“We have no partner,” said ex-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Wednesday, referring to the lack of a negotiating partner for the peace process.

Speakingto the annual Interdisciplinary Centerconference in Herzliya, former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon spoke out on a range of issues affecting Israel and the Palestinians.

“We do need to decide if we want a bi-national state,” Ya’alon said, referring to Israel’s 50-year military control over the West Bank and how half the population under Israeli control is now not Jewish.

The demographic reality is forcing Israeli policymakers to consider separation plans, he added.

In terms of the US position in the Middle East, Ya’alon said that President Trump, unlike his predecessor, former President Obama, is more serious about reining in Iran.

“Unlike the previous administration, this one is not turning a blind eye to the crossing of red lines,” Ya’alon said, adding that the Iranians are not challenging Trump as much.

The former defense minister also endorsed America’s role in policing the region.

In terms of Gaza, Ya’alon said that since the 2014 war, Israel has enjoyed three years of quiet. “Our deterrence is working,” he said. “This is due to their loss during the operation.”

The coastal enclave has been under Israeli and Egyptian siege for the past ten years, with a worsening humanitarian crisis.

Ya’alon resigned from the government last year, citing Prime Minister Netanyahu’s tolerance of extremism and his politicization of the High Court.

The prime minister and Ya’alon most notably clashed over the “shooting soldier” trial, in which an Israel Defense Forces soldier was convicted of manslaughter after shooting an already-subdued Palestinian attacker in 2016. The former defense minister supported the IDF’s prosecution while Netanyahu wavered in his stance and at one point, called the father of the shooting soldier.

The latest confrontation between Netanyahu and Ya’alon, which took place at the beginning of the week, was over the public backing Ya’alon gave senior IDF officials to express their opinions. His remarks followed Netanyahu’s criticism of comments made by IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan on Holocaust Remembrance Day

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Israeli ex-defense minister: We do need to decide if we want a binational state – i24NEWS (press release) (registration)

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COLUMN-Commentary: How Trump can show he’s tough on anti-Semitism – Thomson Reuters Foundation

(Josh Cohen is a former USAID project officer involved in managing economic reform projects in the former Soviet Union. The opinions expressed here are his own.)

By Josh Cohen

June 20 (Reuters) – Donald Trump just got another chance to fight charges that he’s soft on anti-Semitism. Let’s hope he took it.

The president held talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Washington on Tuesday. The Ukraine leader emerged from the meeting saying Kiev had “received strong support from the U.S. side” over sovereignty, territorial integrity and the “independence of our state.” For Ukraine, the meeting was a win because Poroshenko got to visit the White House ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin. For Trump, it seems to have been a missed opportunity to win political capital at home.

Trump should have spoken out against what many see as Ukraine’s troubling glorification of Nazi collaborators. Poroshenko presumably focused on Russia’s occupation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region. Trump should have broadened the agenda to call out Kiev for its official state policy of honoring controversial figures from World War Two.

The latest example: local authorities in the capital recently voted to rename a major street after a former Nazi collaborator and anti-Semite named Roman Shukhevych. Shukhevych led the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), an organization responsible for the mass slaughter of Poles and Jews during the war. Even inside Ukraine the renaming is a disputed move, with hundreds of people taking to the streets last Friday to protest the decision – only to be attacked by an ultra-nationalist neo-Nazi group called C14.

The renaming plan isn’t an isolated event. In 2015, Ukraine passed a law honoring the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and its military wing, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, (OUN-UPA). Since then, other streets have been named after the group and its leaders, and the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory (UINM) is drafting a law to posthumously exonerate OUN-UPA members convicted of murdering Polish and Jewish civilians during and after the war.

OUN militias played a major role in pogroms in Western Ukraine that killed tens of thousands of Jews after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Many OUN members also joined the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police, where they collaborated with the Nazis to kill Jews in Western Ukraine in 1941-1942. After the OUN violently seized control of the UPA in 1943, the UPA also slaughtered between 70,000 and 100,000 Poles in western Ukraine from 1943-1944 and hunted down Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.

U.S. organizations like the United States Holocaust Museum and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have joined Ukrainian Jewish groups in criticizing Ukraine’s decision to lionize the OUN-UPA. Wiesenthal Center head Efraim Zuroff said that honoring the collaborators “turns Hitler’s henchmen into heroes”; Ukraine’s Chief Rabbi called Kiev’s decision to name a street after Shukhevych “immoral propaganda.”

It’s true many Ukrainians see the OUN-UPA primarily through the lens of the group’s role in the fight for an independent Ukraine, and, indeed, the UPA fought a valiant guerilla war against the Soviet Union into the 1950s. But while UINM’s leader derides criticism of OUN-UPA and its leaders as propaganda, historical documentation contradicts this.

The elevation of OUN-UPA has been accompanied by a growing number of anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine. Numerous Holocaust memorial sites – including Babi Yar, where over 33,000 Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis – have been vandalized or desecrated by anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas.

Ukrainian officials are also guilty of a number of recent anti-Semitic outbursts. A retired general affiliated with Ukraine’s security services called for the destruction of the country’s Jews; a member of Parliament suggested Ukrainians use the ethnic slur “zhid”; a Ukrainian official called Ukraine’s SS Galizien division – created with the support of Heinrich Himmler – “heroes” and the Poroshenko administration awarded Ukraine’s Order of Freedom to an author of two books considered blatantly anti-Semitic.

Trump has good reason to speak out against Ukraine’s troubling “memory politics.” The most important is that he could counter perceptions that he’s been too tolerant of anti-Semitism.

Although Trump supports the Israeli government and two of his most influential advisers – daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner – are Jewish, many Americans believe Trump failed to disavow the neo-Nazi fringe that supported his presidential campaign. More troublingly, Trump retweeted apparent white supremacists a number of times during the 2016 race and even tweeted what many considered an anti-Semitic meme about Hillary Clinton.

After his election, Trump was seen as slow to condemn the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and threats against Jewish community centers across the U.S. Even more worrisome, the White House’s official statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention the Holocaust’s 6 million Jewish victims.

Jewish groups are also concerned about reports that the Trump administration will not fill the State Department’s office of the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. While few suggest that Trump personally holds anti-Semitic views, Trump’s condemnation of Kiev’s actions could help dispel perceptions that he doesn’t pay enough attention to anti-Jewish behavior.

Beyond Trump’s own reasons for speaking out, Ukraine’s glorification of OUN-UPA arguably undermines Washington’s foreign policy goal of supporting a democratic Ukraine anchored in the West. Ukraine’s veneration of the OUN-UPA also harms America abroad, with Russia’s state-owned RT routinely carrying reports claiming that the U.S. backs “fascists” in Ukraine. American policy makers don’t need a major Kiev street renamed for a Nazi collaborator.

The historical revisionism could also damage Ukraine’s chances of joining NATO and the European Union. In Poland, where there’s strong support for an independent Ukraine, the decision to honor OUP leaders has angered the families of victims of OUP killings, and the country’s legislature last year passed a resolution officially terming the UPA’s Wolyn massacre of Polish civilians a genocide. A former Polish deputy foreign minister warned that a Ukraine “under the flag” of the OUP “will never join the European Union.” And, as one German commentator points out, honoring Nazi collaborators such as Shukhevych “is out of the question” in modern Germany.

It’s possible, of course, that Trump did raise the issue privately with Poroshenko in Tuesday’s meeting. But if he did, he needs to make it public. For Ukraine’s sake as well as his own. (Reporting by Josh Cohen)

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Ketchum, Hill+Knowlton win Grand Prix statues in Creative Data, Cyber Lions – PRWeek

Added 21 hours ago by Frank Washkuch ,

Ketchum won for Whirlpool’s Care Counts campaign, and H+K was awarded for its work for the Bank of Aland.

CANNES, FRANCE: Ketchum and Hill+Knowlton Strategies snagged Grand Prix trophies in non-PR categories on Tuesday night at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Ketchums Chicago office won a Grand Prix for the Care Counts campaign on behalf of Whirlpool alongside creative shop DigitasLBI in the Creative Data category.

Ogilvy Public Relations Melbourne bagged Gold, Silver, and Bronze Lions in the category for its work on the AAMI Smartplates push on behalf of Suncorp, and Edelman Sydney won a Silver and Bronze Lion for the Pocket Patrol campaign for Samsung Australia. Bronze Lions for Creative Data were also won by Burson-Marsteller Millan for Italia Longeva, Edelman London for the No More Excuses campaign for Heineken, and Edelman Significa in Sao Paulo for the Color of Corruption effort for Reclame Aqui.

Hill+Knowlton won a Grand Prix in the Cyber category for its work on behalf of The Bank of Aland in Sweden for Aland Index/Baltic Sea Project.

Ketchum San Francisco and PMK-BNC in Los Angeles won Gold Cyber Lions for the Cheetos Museum by Cheetos and Hostile Takeover on behalf of Activision, respectively. Ketchum also won Silver Lions for the Cheetos Museum and the #NuggsForCarter campaign for Wendys. Dini Von Mueffling Communications won Silver Lions for the Evan campaign for Sandy Hook Promise. Bronze Cyber Lions were awarded to Edelman London for Heinekens World Apart push; Havas PR Milan for Forgetting Auschwitz, Remembering Auschwitz for Holocaust Remembrance Day; and Marina Maher Communications for Tides Super Bowl Stain campaign. Ketchum won another Bronze for the Twitter Beef campaign for Wendys.

Gold Lions in the Direct category went to Edelman Significa in Sao Paulo for the Color of Corruption and Olson Engage for the New and Not Improved campaign for Kraft Heinz. Taylor and MMK won both Silver and Bronze Lions for the Bradshaw Stain campaign for Tide. Current Marketing also won a Silver for the Biggest Sports Endorsement Deal of All Time. Bronze Direct Lions went to Finn PR in Brussels for Child Focus on behalf of Coins of Hope and M Booth for Godivas The Box that Keeps Giving.

In the Mobile category, Burson-Marsteller Milan won Gold, Silver, and Bronze for the Chat Yourself campaign for Italia Longeva, and London-based Unity won Silver for Fleetlights for Direct Line. FleishmanHillard Chicago won Silver and Bronze for the Serena Williams Match Point campaign for Gatorade. Bronze Mobile Lions also went to Ogilvy for AAMI Smartplates and Edelman Deportivo for Give a Beep on behalf of Hovding.

Edelman London also won a Bronze Lion in the Innovation category for Gravitylight: Turning Gravity into Light for Shell Global and the Gravitylight Foundation.

This story was updated on June 21 to include Current’s Silver Lion in the Direct category.

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Right-Wing Calls for Muslim "Internment Camps" Intensify in the US, UK and Germany – Truth-Out

Activists display signs in the No Ban, No Wall protest at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, January 28, 2017. (Photo: Sarah Ji)

White nationalists in the UK and US have once again begun to advocate for Muslim “internment camps” after the recent terrorist attacks in England.

Thanks in part to a viral, critical piece by New York Daily News writerShaun King, these renewed calls for the immoral and unconstitutional mass imprisonment of Muslims have been quickly met with widespread condemnation and shock in the US and online.

The day after the recent attack in London, chief Brexit campaigner and white English nationalist UKIP leader Nigel Farage threatened that ” … if there is not action, then the calls for internment will grow” during aninterview on Fox News.In the immediate aftermath of the London attack, Faragesided with Trumpin disparaging London Mayor Sadiq Khan for not enacting proposed illegal measures against Muslims.

The Fox and Friends panel then turned from Farage to their frequent UK guest contributor, Katie Hopkins, who quickly picked up on the signaling from Farage. “We do need internment camps,” she said, almost seemingly prompted. “Before, I would’ve bought the idea that, no, this gets more people radicalized. You know, that’s not the solution. But we’ve gone beyond the tipping point.”

Only two weeks earlier, after a bombing targeting an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, Hopkinshad faced widespread condemnationfor proposing a “final solution” to what she alluded to as the Muslim “problem” in Europe. The comments led to the cancellation of her talk radio show, and she was fired by Leading Britain’s Conversation — her former employer.

The next day, the argument had already reached conservative talk radio stations. “Why don’t you intern all of them before they run people over on a bridge or stab people in the street?” saidwhite nationalist Michael Savageto his radio listeners. “It was done during World War II.”

This represents an old and sustained argument for imposing FDR-style Japanese internment camps upon Muslim communities in the West — an argument that has been consistently rehashed by white nationalists since 9/11. The idea was first popularized by Michelle Malkin in her 2004 book,In Defense ofInternment: The Case for ‘Racial Profiling’ inWorld War II and the War on Terror.

In fact, Malkin appeared on Fox and Friendsthat dayto add her own endorsement to renewed calls for the mass imprisonment of Muslims made just the day before:

It’s Arnold Toynbee, the historian, who said that civilizations die by suicide — not by outside forces. And this is exactly what’s happening. You’ve got people who are exploiting 21st century technology to try and drag all of us back into the stone ages.

The following day, UK Prime Minister Theresa May appeared for her last interview only 36 hours before the British general election. If human rights lawsstood in the wayof combating terrorism, May stated, then “we will change those laws so we can do it.” To many following the story, particularly far-right voters whom May has been courting for support, the words were seen as even more signaling in favor of rounding up Muslims into camps for subsequent deportation.

The case highlights how rapidly the same old repetitious racist discourse of white nationalists can quickly gain steam nationally before disseminating internationally.

A Renewed “Warsaw Ghetto” Plan Surfaces After Trump

Meanwhile, a similar racist plan for the mass imprisonment of refugees and asylum seekers has been mulled over in Germany by the Holocaust-denying Alternative fr Deutschland (AfD) party, which has gained an alarming degree of support.

In December 2016 former AfD lawmaker Claudia Martindisclosed to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitungthat her faction had been drafting their own legislation for what she called a “Warsaw ghetto” plan. Martin had resigned from the AfD only days prior to disclosing the plan. In the leaked document, AfD parliamentarians outline their plans for the mass imprisonment ofall refugees and asylum seekersinside Germany before deporting them back to their nations of origin — many of which would be hostile to returning individuals.

Much like Theresa May’s calls for changing any human rights laws that get in the way of anti-terrorism measures, the working draft from the AfD advocates the suspension of numerous constitutional human rights articles in German Basic Law. The “inhabitants” of the proposed internment camps for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers — or the mass imprisonments that the leaked document refers to as being placed into separated “communities” — would be afforded only “limited basic rights.”

Since 2015, Germany has accepteda little under 1 millionrefugees, largely from Syria and Afghanistan.

Claudia Martin had uploadedavideo to YouTubeand then spoke to the press. Martin noted somewhat nervously that since Trump’s recent election, her party had now begun “proposing solutions for the refugee crisis that bring the Warsaw ghettos to mind” only a month later.

In her description of the proposed AfD legislation, Martin suggested that it bore striking resemblance to Hitler’s “Madagaskar-Plan” to detain all European Jews for imminent deportation to the former French colony in Africa.

The Madagascar Plan was announced in 1940. It led to the early establishment of enclosed camps and ghettos, such as the Warsaw Ghetto, which imprisoned more than 400,000 Jews. The network of camps and ghettos provided the Nazis with immediate slave labor, along with an expedient transition to the “final solution” after the 1940 plan was discarded to instead implement the Holocaust beginning in January 1942.

“I have to make the observation that we as a party are becoming less and less distinguishable from — but instead slowly becoming — the very thing that we have always been accused of,” Martin remarked in her warning to the German public.

A month later, the same AfD Baden-Wrttemberg factiontriedto block state fundingallocated for field trips to visit former death camp sites teaching German schoolchildren about the history of the Holocaust. AfD lawmakers demanded that the school trips involve “significant German historic sites,” such as medieval German castles, instead of teaching a “one-sided concentration” of Nazi crimes.

These actions were in support of the AfD state leader for Thringen, Bjrn Hcke, who went so far as todenouncethe national Holocaust memorialin Germany as a “monument of disgrace in the heart of our capital.” Much of the speech in a Dresden beer hall involved Hcke denouncing the three-day firebombing of the civilian city in Nazi Germany.

“The big problem is that Hitler is presented as an absolutely evil figure,” Hckedecried while being interviewed by the Wall Street Journalover the matter.

German Jewish groupswere quick to point outthat the speech delivered by Hcke came just three days before the 75th anniversary marking the Wannsee Conference. Nazi SS leaders first gathered in Berlin on January 20, 1942, to coordinate how their various departments would implement the “final solution” of genocide, which was then carried out on top of the existing Madagascar Plan networks of camp and ghetto slave labor that had been enacted only 18 months earlier.

A week later, for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Hcke attempted to enter the Buchenwald death camp during a memorial service that he was already barred from attending. Hckewas kicked out, as everyone anticipated.

Not long after that same day on January 27, President Trump signed the first of his two executive orders implementing a ban for Muslim migrants from legally entering the United States.

“On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, you forget the Jews, and later today you plan to issue new executive orders persecuting refugees and immigrants,” executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, Steven Goldstein, announced ina public statement overFacebookjust hours before the signing.

“Have you no decency?”

Making Germany “Great Again” With a Lingering Nazi Past

AfD supporters andtheir party leadershave sought to normalize Nazi terms such asvlkischand introduce them back into German discourse. National AfD leaders claim that these efforts arean innocent attempt to rehabilitatehighly charged taboo expressions of Nazi fascism “back into a positive light.”

Some of theseNazi-era words, such asLgenpresse(“lying press”), which was favored by Adolf Hitler and Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels, even made its way overseas andonto thenational stagein the US during the 2016 presidential campaign. This term was largely accomplishedthrough Breitbart Newsand the discordant so-called “alt-right” white supremacists online that Breitbart and others feed off of.

The former head of Breitbart News and current chief strategist for the Trump White House, Steve Bannon, has alsosought to legitimizesuch discourse by injecting it into the Islamophobic narratives dominating US politics since the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Two days after the recent attack in London, which have led to renewed calls for Muslim “internment camps,” Beatrix von Storch echoed the lingering sentiments of extreme right-wing populism that were once again trending in the international news. In her YouTube videoreplete with erroneous statistics, the AfD politician and member of the European Parliament tweeted out that “capacity is exhausted” in Germany.

“Close the borders! #AfD #Migrants,” the tweet continues.

Three days after Claudia Martin revealed the “Warsaw ghetto” plan from the AfD to German media, the Berlin attack took place and quickly overshadowed all other reporting. Another prominent AfD state leader on Twitter, Marcus Pretzell, quickly blamed German Chancellor Merkelfornot securing the bordersbefore the attacks by tweeting out, “These are Merkel’s dead!”

This new approach by the AfD leadership has been described as the partyshifting toward anembraceof “Trump-style” politics beginning in early 2015. Parallel to the AfD’s recent shift in messaging, anunprecedented wave of xenophobic terrorismhas risen in Germany since 2014 that currently amounts to10daily hate crime attackstargeting refugees or their housing.

Last May, at its national party conference, the AfDadopted a new party platformcalling for an immediate halt to migrants entering Germany, the mass deportation ofrefugees, and the banning of all mosques and Muslim calls to prayer. In the same breath, the AfD went on to adopt the slogan: “Islam does not belong in Germany” — a statement that up to60percent of Germanadultsreportedly agree with.

At their most recent party conference in April 2017, AfD members shot down their less extremist leadership and reaffirmed their previous platform. The AfD had instead nominated a Holocaust-denying Trump supporteras its main candidatefor the upcoming federal elections, Alexander Gauland, who was elected alongside the little-known Alice Weidel.

Weidel harshly criticized German Chancellor Merkel for only banning burqas and has instead proposed thatall headscarves should be bannedin Germany.

However, one of the rebuffed national AfD leaders chairing the party, Frauke Petry, is still mostly known for advocating thatGerman national police shoot refugeesif they cross the border into Germany without permission.

“What are we to think of these ‘Germany is colorful’ campaigns?” Petryasked her party membersin attendance at one rally. “A garbage dump is also colorful,” she responded to her own prompted question.

The top AfD candidate is viewed as a strong defender of the party, no matter the controversy, as opposed to the current AfD national chair. While Petry denounced Bjrn Hcke over his public Nazi apologism and attacks upon Holocaust victims, Gauland stated that Hcke had “not said anything for which he must be ashamed.”

Alexander Gauland has also embraced the calls for a Muslim travel ban issued by Trump since late 2015.

In a speech the following Monday after Trump signed his first Muslim travel ban on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Gauland castigated Chancellor Merkel for exposing Germany to the dangers of terrorism and economic inequality. According to Gauland, the current German leader was unable to “get a grip” on either the economy or security of the homeland.

“Trump’s voters are opposed to immigration from Southern nations like Mexico. We are opposed to immigration from Islamic countries that are geographically, so to speak, Europe’s Mexico,” Gauland statedwhen pressed to contrast developmentsin his party and Germany to the success of Trump in the US.

“Trump is against the establishment. We are also in line with him.”

The AfD had been polling at 16 percent of the national vote, althoughit has since fallento 8 percent in March 2017. The party is still widely expected to pass the required 5 percent threshold of the national vote to enter German parliament for the first time later this September. Currently, the AfDhas members seatedin 13 out of 16 German state parliaments, and even two members representing Germany in the EU parliament.

Upon entering the national lower house, AfD members would then be able to introduce and vote upon legislation for the country with their fellow German lawmakers in the Bundestag.

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Trump 2020 Is No Joke – New York Times

The aim is to get Americans heads spinning. Have them waste time dissecting statement X as Trump moves on to outburst Y. For example, Ill absolutely do safe zones in Syria for the people. That was a good one. Or, James Comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations. Six weeks later, Trump reveals that there are no tapes of the conversation. Not bad. Had a Nixonian ring to it. Noise is the thing and adrenaline and suspense. There is no content, meaning, history or gravity. Can the president, less than six months into his first term, really hold a 2020 fundraiser in his own Washington hotel? The Oval Office has become the Oval Adjunct. It provides, at taxpayer expense, an ancillary service to Trump properties. Trump visits Yad Vashem, Israels memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, and writes in the guest book: It is a great honor to be here with all my friends so amazing & will never forget! So amazing! Almost as amazing as the White Houses International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that did not mention the Jews. Oh, yes, them. There we have it: the unbearable lightness of being Donald Trump. His latest is a solar wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Remember that one. In Humboldts Gift, Saul Bellow wrote that the United States is a big operation, very big. One thing is certain: It is bigger than this little man. Trumpism is a form of collective gaslighting at Twitter speed. It is founded on the principle that velocity trumps veracity perfect for the presidents manic personality. It reflects the presidents intuitive sense through his own acute experience of limited attention spans. It seeks to achieve dominance through a whirlwind of individually meaningless but cumulatively manipulative statements. Max Weber, the German sociologist, contrasted modern legal rule with traditional rule. In the first, the person who commands has himself to obey the rule; in the second, the lords administrative staff is made up of personal dependents (members of the household or household officials) or from relatives or personal friends (favorites). In this setup, the bureaucratic idea of competence as objectively demarcated spheres of responsibility is absent. Trump functions, still, within our democratic institutions, but with a personal court (composed in part of family). Legal rule, as defined by Weber, is not really his thing. The vassal-like professions of fealty from his cabinet the other day feudalism meets Pyongyang demonstrated why he likes Saudi Arabia so much and has such evident reservations about the Republic. There are many things that concern me about the Trump presidency in fact, few dont but the frivolous blurring of truth and untruth, fact and falsehood, is the most grave. Liberty depends on facts. When the distinction between truth and lies disappears there is no basis for the rational discourse on which the organization of a free society, governed by laws, depends. Disorientation propagates itself and disoriented people are more inclined to accept a despot as sole font of truth. Theres no policy toward Syria. Theres no policy toward Russia. Theres contempt from the White House for important European allies. Theres shock really that China is not whipping North Korea into shape. Theres a grotesque attempt to deprive tens of millions of Americans of health insurance. Theres contempt from a man of 71 for the planet his grandchildren will inherit. All of this is serious. But its not as serious as the seeping, constant attempt one sacred value at a time to disorient Americans to the point they accept the unacceptable, cede to the grotesque, acquiesce to total arbitrariness as a governing principle. On one side the Constitution; on the other the rabbit hole that leads to the Trump International Hotel. And to Trump saying of President Andrew Jackson that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said, Theres no reason for this. In fact, Jackson had been dead for 16 years when the Civil War began. He said nothing. There is no reason to or in Trumpism. Thats the point and the danger of it.

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Moving & Shaking: Wise School, Jerusalem of Gold, and Gene Simmons – Jewish Journal

Nitzan Stein Kokin, who completed her final year of studies at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University (AJU) in Los Angeles, became the first graduate of Zacharias Frankel College in Berlin on June 18, making her the first Conservative rabbi to be ordained in the country since before World War II. The training at the Zacharias Frankel College really enhanced me intellectually and spiritually, Kokin said in a statement. I am looking forward to serving the Jewish people and spreading the word of Masorti Judaism in Germany and Europe. The 4-year-old rabbinical seminary of the Masorti/Conservative movement in Germany is under the religious auspices of the Ziegler School. The two share a dean and vice dean, Rabbi Bradley Artson and Rabbi Cheryl Peretz, respectively. Both took part in the ceremony at the Great Hall of the Jewish Community Center in Berlin. From left: Nitzan Stein Kokin, the first graduate of Zacharias Frankel College, and Fredi and husband Rabbi Joel Rembaum attend Kokins ordination ceremony at Zacharias Frankel College in Berlin. Photo by Tobias Brains During the ceremony, which was held in a venue that was one of Germanys grand synagogues prior to Kristallnacht in 1938, Artson described Kokin as one of the student pioneers who have had faith to walk with us in this new enterprise and its future, according to Fredi Rembaum, a retired Jewish community professional and wife of Rabbi Joel Rembaum, both of whom attended. Rabbi Rembaum, a Ziegler School lecturer in history who has spent multiple semesters in Berlin teaching Jewish law to Frankel students, bestowed a priestly blessing with Rabbi Harvey Meirovich upon Kokin. Kokin, 42, grew up in a Protestant household in a small town in southwest Germany. Her ordination culminated a journey that began when she converted to Judaism in 1999. She had been interested in the ministry and felt an exploration into Judaism would deepen her appreciation of Christianity. She eventually embraced Judaism wholeheartedly and made aliyah to Israel. She moved to Germany around 2010 after her husband, a Los Angeles native and former graduate student at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, took a job there. Jeffrey Levine, a board member of the Ziegler School, and L.A.-based husband and wife Benjamin and Irma Breslauer, who helped establish ties between Zacharias Frankel College with the Ziegler School, were among those who attended the ceremony. Founded in cooperation with the Leo Baeck Foundation, the Zacharias Frankel College operates at the University of Potsdam. The school, named for Rabbi Zacharias Frankel, an intellectual progenitor of the Conservative movement, is attempting to rejuvenate Jewish life in a country that saw its Jewish population essentially wiped out during the Holocaust. On Memorial Day Weekend, Wise School students traveled to Michigan and participated in the world finals of Odyssey of the Mind, an international problem-solving competition. The Jewish day schools fifth-grade team took on the technical Odd-a-Bot problem and placed eighth out of the top 52 teams in the world. The schools fourth-grade team took on the Classics problem and earned third place while competing against 67 teams. Wise School, associated with Stephen Wise Temple, was the only Jewish day school to participate in Odyssey of the Mind, which involves teams of seven students from schools around the world selecting a problem and developing creative solutions to solve it. The competition showcases student teamwork, artistic abilities and engineering aptitude. Jason Meth, project studio specialist at Wise School, served as the program coordinator and the head coach. Additional coaches were Rachel Mitzman and Edina Hartstein. Benjamin Goldenstein and Raisa Effress were the student assistant coaches, and Allison Ross was the coach of the third-grade team, which placed first at regionals and third at the state championship. Our Odyssey teams winning at a world-level competition is a tangible example of deep learning and extreme creativity, Wise School Head of School Tami Weiser said. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum dedicated its new David and Fela Shapell Family Collections, Conservation and Research Center on April 24 during a ceremony that attracted Holocaust survivors and supporters from around the country. The center is named for the late David Shapell, who died in 2015, and for his wife, Fela, who lives in Los Angeles with her family. David Shapell was a Los Angeles real estate developer and philanthropist. The 80,000-square-foot center with specialized laboratories, equipment and climate-controlled environments will house and preserve the Washington, D.C., museums growing collection of media and artifacts. In 2014, the Shapells gave $15 million to the museum to help with the construction of a massive repository for Holocaust artifacts, the Los Angeles Times reported. The ceremony for the center, located in Bowie, Md., coincided with Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Fela Shapell, who survived the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, attended the ceremony. Michael Grunberger, director of the museums National Institute for Holocaust Documentation, welcomed the centers opening. We are building the collection of record on the Holocaust, a collection that belongs to the nation, Grunberger said in a statement. It is our responsibility to ensure that it is preserved for posterity and its truth made accessible to the world. From left: American Society for Yad Vashem (ASYV) Chairman Leonard Wilf; Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons; ASYV honoree Rita Spiegel; Denial producer Gary Foster; and ASYV Director Ron Meier attend the ASYV Generation to Generation 2017 Gala. Photo by Vince Bucci The American Society for Yad Vashem (ASYV) celebrated its Generation to Generation 2017 Gala on June 14 in a packed ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire hotel. The organization dedicated to advancing Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem,honored Gene Simmons of the rock band Kiss and his mother, Holocaust survivor Flora Klein; the family of the late Edita and Abraham Spiegel, represented by their daughter, Rita Spiegel; and Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff, producers of the film Denial. My name is Chaim Witz, Simmons said in Hebrewwhen he took the stage, his voice choked with emotion. I am an Israeli. I am a Jew. Simmons, dressed in a dark jacket and wearing his trademark sunglasses under a pile ofjet-black hair, repeated the same phrase in Hungarian, then in German, before translating it into English. Simmons mother, at age 14, was sent to Auschwitz, where she saw her mother, brother and entire extended family killed.She survived and moved to Haifa, where Simmonswas born in 1949.Simmons credited his mother, who remained at her home on Long Island, for his drive, toughness and hopefulness: Any day above ground is a good day, she always says. Sheldon and Dr. Miriam Adelson presented Rita Spiegel and the Spiegel family with the Lifetime Achievement Award.Adelson said Ritas father, who survived Auschwitz with Ritas mother, inspired him to get involved in Jewish philanthropy. Also in attendance were Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Sam Grundwerg; Leonard Wilf, chairman of ASYV; gala chair Karen Sandler; Remember Us Director Samara Hutman; The Jewish Federation of Greater Los AngelesPresident Jay Sanderson; former Wynn Las Vegas President Marilyn Spiegel and her husband, Tom; ASYV Executive Director Ron Meier; J Media Group CEO Jess Dolgin; philanthropist Jake Farber; and Paul Stanley, Simmons Kiss bandmate. The event raised approximately $800,000 for Yad Vashem. Jewish Journal Staff From left: Jerusalem of Gold organizer Ari Bussel; Reverend Father John Bakas, dean of Saint Sophia Cathedral; the Simon Wiesenthal Centers Rabbi Marvin Hier; Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Sam Grundwerg; L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz; and Pastor Timothy Hinkle from Sacramento attend Jerusalem of Gold. Photo by Michelle Mivgan Fifty years after Israel Defense Forces soldiers raised the Israeli flag over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, nearly 700 Christians, Jews and others gathered at Neman Hall at Temple Beth El in West Hollywood and declared, There is no other place like Jerusalem, Jerusalem of Gold, the city of God. A group of Israeli and American community members, including Jews and Christians unaffiliated with any organization, organized the June 7 event, titled Jerusalem of Gold, commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem. We were a group of people who care about Jerusalem and wanted to celebrate that special day, said Ari Bussel, an event organizer. We didnt have any celebrities attending the event. The only name that drew people was the name of the city Jerusalem. Additional participants included Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Sam Grundwerg; Simon Wiesenthal Center Dean and Founder Rabbi Marvin Hier; and Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse, the daughter of Holocaust survivors from Poland. Bosse presented Holocaust survivors in attendance with a special proclamation: Just like we vow never to forget Jerusalem, we vow never to forget you. Among the survivors was Mireille Wolf, a philanthropist who shared her moving story with the audience. I am a survivor, Wolf said. I have stories of evil to tell. I also have stories of survival and of the joys of being alive with family, tradition and a life well lived in freedom. We should commemorate the memory of the Holocaust by listening to those survivors who still have stories to tell us as we celebrate each day of our survival and of Israel. The event featured performances and appearances by the Christian Fellowship Chorale; the Leaves of Healing Tabernacle worship team; Valley Beth Shalom Cantor Herschel Fox; Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin; musician Sam Glaser; Sephardic Temple Cantor Haim Mizrahi; Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills Cantor Lizzie Weiss; musician David Yakobian; and Israeli singers Gilat Rapaport and Liel Kolet. Ayala Or-El, Contributing Writer Moving & Shaking highlights events, honors and simchas. Got a tip? Email ryant@jewishjournal.com.

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June 23, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

National memorial for victims of transatlantic slave trade – The Voice Online

AUGUST 23 each year is International Slavery Remembrance Day. Last year, Slavery Remembrance made history by marking this day with our inaugural National Memorial, the first ever of its kind to be held in Londons Trafalgar Square for the victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade/African Holocaust. On Sunday, August 20 we shall once again be marking International Slavery Remembrance Day with our National Memorial in Trafalgar Square and we hope you will join us. Shezal Laing, Founder of Slavery Remembrance says: “Falling in line with our ethos to educate, celebrate and inspire, the day will be about remembering our ancestors with honour and pride. Their story is one of pain but also one of inspiration, resilience, resistance and strength.” The African Holocaust is one of humankinds greatest atrocities and is arguably the single largest incident in reshaping and defining the world we see today. In reference to scale it is perhaps one of the most heinous crimes man has committed on fellow man, spanning over 400 years and involving millions of African men, women and children. The victims of this atrocity have been sidelined and overlooked for too long and with racism and racist attacks on the rise, the significance of suitably remembering and honouring the victims of the African Holocaust becomes all the more pertinent. “It is a painful history with a painful story for us all, but it is a story which must be told and a history that must be acknowledged nevertheless”, continued Laing. Ignoring this part of history is part of the problem we see today. You cannot tackle racism without tackling its roots and the roots cause of racism emanate from the Transatlantic Slave Trade/African Holocaust. It is naive to expect that over 400 years of indoctrination can be wiped out in less than half the time. It will take years of education and reconciliation, but this process cannot be started until the topic of the Transatlantic Slave Trade is properly acknowledged, addressed and openly discussed. Only then can we begin the long journey to eventually eradicating racism. Slavery Remembrance believes the victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade/African Holocaust are equally as important as the victims of the Jewish Holocaust and should be treated as such. We question why International Slavery Remembrance Day passes by largely unacknowledged in the UK, whereas the complete opposite can be said of the Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day. In January 2016, former Prime Minister, David Cameron announced that a permanent memorial for the victims of the Jewish Holocaust will be erected in Victoria Tower Gardens. In addition to this memorial, Mr. Cameron also announced that a state of the art education centre would be built beside the structure, promising 50 million for the project. No similar plans have been made for the victims of the African Holocaust – considering Britains links to the Transatlantic Slave Trade we question why there is such disparity between the treatment, recognition and memorialisation of these two heinous pieces of history? We are using the hashtag #TimeToRemember to raise awareness of International Slavery Remembrance Day and promote the memorial. Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

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June 22, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

Ya’alon: We need separation – Arutz Sheva

Ya’alon at Herziliya conference Chaggai Fried Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon addressed the state of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority at the Herziliya Conference Wednesday. Ya’alon said that despite the lack of a partner for peace on the other side, “we have to decide for ourselves that we do not want a binational state – I see signs of pressure [to build in Judea and Samaria] in the current coalition that we did not intend and did not want.” He continued: “I resigned a year ago and since then I have not seen any changes for the better, as only yesterday another investigation on crony capitalism was launched. I see today a lack of leadership and a politics of survival, and I hope that I will have the opportunity to use what I know to bring us back to [a sane strategy].” Ya’alon was removed from his position as Defense Minister after he spoke condemningly of IDF soldier Elor Azariya before the investigation had taken place and for not reprimanding his deputy for comparing Israel to Nazi Germany on Holocaust Remembrance Day. He has since announced that he will run for Prime Minister. Ya’alon was optimistic about the strategic threats facing the State of Israel. “From a political point of view, there is no existential threat to the State of Israel, not from armies, not from rockets and terror, and there is no doubt that the IDF is the strongest army in the Middle East and enjoys effective deterrence. Even on the border with Gaza we have had three years of quiet – to all those who [complain about] Operation Protective Edge. We also have stable peace agreements, and we are not in conflict with the Sunnis – the concept of the Israeli-Arab conflict is no longer relevant at this time. In addition, ISIS is weakening in the Middle East.” He said that he believes ISIS can and will be defeated. However, he said that stability can only return to the Middle East if the US takes a more active role again. “There is a clear need for a global policeman, and we see that unlike the policy of the previous administration, the American response to the use of Assad’s chemical weapons is no longer expressed by sitting on the sidelines.”

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June 22, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

A timely intervention – Guardian (blog)

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has intervened to douse the tension in the land accentuated by a three months quit notice served on the people of the South East living in the North. It was a wise and timely step. He moved promptly to check the festering of tempers and the attendant loathsome air of the emerging environment. He has met with traditional rulers and leaders of thought from the South East and the North. The governors of the 19 northern states also met on Tuesday in Kaduna. Before their formal meeting of Tuesday, the chairman of their forum, Shettima of Borno had dissociated the governors from the northern youth ultimatum to the South Easterners to vacate their region. In the same vein, the office of the Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Student Affairs also organised a gathering of those described as regional youth leaders. This gathering was addressed by Femi Ojudu, Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs and the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan. The Acting President is also billed to meet with the leaders, political, traditional or from the elite circles, all together after the on-going separate meetings. Although I have not read anywhere that there were meetings behind closed doors subsequent to the televised ones, it is to be assumed that there will be a mega one with leaders of thought and traditional rulers from across the whole country. South West and South-South have not featured so far. I want to believe that these are all efforts to calm frayed nerves and that the meetings are exploratory. There is fire on the mountain and it must be put out first. Addressing the traditional rulers, Osinbajo said: You are, by virtue of your vast knowledge, wisdom and experience, both a vital link with our past, and an important guarantee for the success of our future. This is why your role in national affairs is critical. The reason for this series of meetings is well known to all of us; it has become necessary in the wake of a spate of divisive statements, in recent months and weeks, pitting the South East against the North. We are all aware of the so-called ultimatum issued by a group of Northern youths, asking that all Igbos living in the North vacate the region. Before then, there was the clamour, and its still on-going, by some South-Eastern youths, operating as IPOB and affiliated groups, demanding secession from Nigeria at all costs and by any means. In all our previous engagements with Northern and South- Eastern leaders, we all came to the consensus that Nigeria is stronger and better together, and that these hate-filled and divisive rhetorics and agitations are unjustifiable, unacceptable and often times illegal. And I would like to reiterate that today. And to the leaders of thought, he said: Moments like this are not for isolating ourselves and I want to urge all of us who are here and of course the entire Nigerian populace that it is a time for us to come together. I want to say that hate or divisive speech, or divisive behaviour where it is illegal will be met with the full force of the law. He said the warning was very important because we cannot control violence once it begins. He likened hate speech to throwing a stone in the market. It would hit people for which it was not intended. It is doubtful if the Acting President will claim to have proffered solutions to the myriads of problems afflicting the country, principal among which is the national question. They are not problems that can be wished away or swept under the carpet. They can be suppressed but only for a while; and after a few years and with a new generation at the village square, the problems would raise their ugly heads again. It was because they would not go away that Obasanjo had to put together a conference chaired by Supreme Court Justice Tobi. It was because they would not disappear that made Jonathan to organise the 2014 National Conference. And once the present Administration settled down calls for restructuring of the country began to ring out. Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has courageously been crisscrossing the land pressing for the restructuring of the country, seeing it as the veritable vehicle to unite the country and for her to make progress, be it economically, socially and politically. He has just stated, commenting on the latest development in the land, that the number one problem the country faces today, contrary to widely held belief, is not corruption but unity. In all his speeches, he has predicated this unity on the restructuring of the country, the age-long sing-song of the South-West. The restructuring fever has caught on and it is now being vigorously canvassed by the South-South. The Southern and North-Central zones see the answers to the various agitations including the threat of separation by the Biafran youths as well as the restructuring in the 2014 National Conference Report. It is foolish to say because we have issues with Jonathan we then throw away the baby with the bath water. As this column has said in the past, those who are loud in mounting opposition to the implementation of the Report have not read it and they should not be allowed to throw pebbles in the countrys wheel of progress. The pre-occupation of the Acting President, understandably, would seem to be, even to jaw-jaw, we require an atmosphere of peace. He is right. There is nothing that can be achieved in an environment of chaos and confusion. Fortunately, the Senate has called for the Report. That Report reveals the following which are bound to catch the attention of the senators. The number of solid minerals in Plateau and Taraba states alone is higher than what obtains in the whole of Asia which encompasses the Arab countries, China, Japan, India, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, the whole of the Middle East, Bangladesh and Vietnam. The two states have huge deposits of gold and diamond and shares in uranium deposit with Benue. Waiting to be tapped in commercial quantities are gold which is obtainable in 10 states of the Federation; coal in eight states; salt in 12 states; bitumen in five states; marble in 11 states; clay in 16 states; kaolin in 15 states and limestone in 15 states as well. Of the 68 items on the Exclusive Legislative List in the constitution, only 10 are now left. The Conference has sent 58 of them to the Concurrent List. It is now such that the states or group of states can now build their own railways, build ports and incorporate companies and register organisations. There is provision for state police to shore up and collaborate with the Federal security arrangement. The Federal allocation to the centre has been reduced from 52 per cent to 42 per cent. The states will now be entitled to 58 per cent to run their states and local councils. Since the 42 commercially viable minerals cannot be exploited just with the blow of the whistle, the Report approves the establishment of Solid Minerals Development Fund of five per cent of the Federal yearly budget to jump-start the tapping of the solid minerals lying buried in the ground. That is to allay the fear of economically weak states as of now that they might be left unsupported to stand on their own two feet. The leaders in the South-East are being blamed for the sit-in that occurred to mark the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Biafra by Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. The right attitude ought to be to separate the agitation for the revival of the Biafra from the experiences of a people. Here are a people who were at war for three years in which estimated three million people died. General Gowon once said that if Ojukwu had not declared the Republic of Biafra there would have been no war. True, but there was a war in the end. It is natural therefore for people to gather to remember, to reflect, to wail, to bite lips and gnash teeth with or without Nnamdi Kanu. Is it conceivable that such an emotional anniversary marking a monumental event and there would not be an instinctive, collective mourning day? Lets forget what may have caused the war. I want to believe there was no family untouched by the fire of war, and there is nothing the leaders in the region could have done. Every year the Jews mark what they call Holocaust Remembrance Day. Two years ago, it was 70 years. To illustrate the undying anguish of a people who have gone through this kind of horrific experience, here is an excerpt of a report published by MailOnline/AFP in April 2015: Israeli Jews stood in silence as sirens wailed across the country on Thursday marking Holocaust Memorial Day and 70 years since the liberation of Nazi death camps. Traffic came to a halt and pedestrians stood at attention for two minutes as the siren rang out. Commemorations began at sunset on Wednesday and were to continue Thursday with Israeli leaders attending official ceremonies at Jerusalems Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, parliament and elsewhere. Until sundown, radio and television stations broadcast programmes on the genocide and played music, while places of entertainment were closed. The report was illustrated with photographs from Reuters, AP and AFP showing President Reavan Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laying wreaths; Israelis standing still on the Tel Aviv seashore observing the Daywhen a two-minute siren sounded in Tel Aviv. Traffic was parked and the occupants all came out to observe the two-minute silence. The theme of that years observances was Anguish of Liberation and the Return of Life: 70 years since End of World War 11. All our efforts in this country must be never to go through a war again. Professor Yemi Osinbajo has commendably demonstrated leadership in this regard. We do not have to agree with the content of his address. His message to the nation is: War? Never again. In support of his message we must avoid all thoughts of war; we must watch our actions which include speeches and see that we do not give cause to painful and regrettable effects in the future. 14 hours ago Opinion 14 hours ago Opinion 14 hours ago Opinion

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June 22, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

Israeli ex-defense minister: We do need to decide if we want a binational state – i24NEWS (press release) (registration)

Moshe Ya’alon added that the Trump administration is enforcing red lines against Iran, unlike its predecessor Israel’s former defense minister saidthat Israel faced no prospect of a sustainable peace deal with the Palestinians, leading to some government officials to consider separation plans. “We have no partner,” said ex-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Wednesday, referring to the lack of a negotiating partner for the peace process. Speakingto the annual Interdisciplinary Centerconference in Herzliya, former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon spoke out on a range of issues affecting Israel and the Palestinians. “We do need to decide if we want a bi-national state,” Ya’alon said, referring to Israel’s 50-year military control over the West Bank and how half the population under Israeli control is now not Jewish. The demographic reality is forcing Israeli policymakers to consider separation plans, he added. In terms of the US position in the Middle East, Ya’alon said that President Trump, unlike his predecessor, former President Obama, is more serious about reining in Iran. “Unlike the previous administration, this one is not turning a blind eye to the crossing of red lines,” Ya’alon said, adding that the Iranians are not challenging Trump as much. The former defense minister also endorsed America’s role in policing the region. In terms of Gaza, Ya’alon said that since the 2014 war, Israel has enjoyed three years of quiet. “Our deterrence is working,” he said. “This is due to their loss during the operation.” The coastal enclave has been under Israeli and Egyptian siege for the past ten years, with a worsening humanitarian crisis. Ya’alon resigned from the government last year, citing Prime Minister Netanyahu’s tolerance of extremism and his politicization of the High Court. The prime minister and Ya’alon most notably clashed over the “shooting soldier” trial, in which an Israel Defense Forces soldier was convicted of manslaughter after shooting an already-subdued Palestinian attacker in 2016. The former defense minister supported the IDF’s prosecution while Netanyahu wavered in his stance and at one point, called the father of the shooting soldier. The latest confrontation between Netanyahu and Ya’alon, which took place at the beginning of the week, was over the public backing Ya’alon gave senior IDF officials to express their opinions. His remarks followed Netanyahu’s criticism of comments made by IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan on Holocaust Remembrance Day

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June 21, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

COLUMN-Commentary: How Trump can show he’s tough on anti-Semitism – Thomson Reuters Foundation

(Josh Cohen is a former USAID project officer involved in managing economic reform projects in the former Soviet Union. The opinions expressed here are his own.) By Josh Cohen June 20 (Reuters) – Donald Trump just got another chance to fight charges that he’s soft on anti-Semitism. Let’s hope he took it. The president held talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Washington on Tuesday. The Ukraine leader emerged from the meeting saying Kiev had “received strong support from the U.S. side” over sovereignty, territorial integrity and the “independence of our state.” For Ukraine, the meeting was a win because Poroshenko got to visit the White House ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin. For Trump, it seems to have been a missed opportunity to win political capital at home. Trump should have spoken out against what many see as Ukraine’s troubling glorification of Nazi collaborators. Poroshenko presumably focused on Russia’s occupation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region. Trump should have broadened the agenda to call out Kiev for its official state policy of honoring controversial figures from World War Two. The latest example: local authorities in the capital recently voted to rename a major street after a former Nazi collaborator and anti-Semite named Roman Shukhevych. Shukhevych led the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), an organization responsible for the mass slaughter of Poles and Jews during the war. Even inside Ukraine the renaming is a disputed move, with hundreds of people taking to the streets last Friday to protest the decision – only to be attacked by an ultra-nationalist neo-Nazi group called C14. The renaming plan isn’t an isolated event. In 2015, Ukraine passed a law honoring the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and its military wing, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, (OUN-UPA). Since then, other streets have been named after the group and its leaders, and the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory (UINM) is drafting a law to posthumously exonerate OUN-UPA members convicted of murdering Polish and Jewish civilians during and after the war. OUN militias played a major role in pogroms in Western Ukraine that killed tens of thousands of Jews after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Many OUN members also joined the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police, where they collaborated with the Nazis to kill Jews in Western Ukraine in 1941-1942. After the OUN violently seized control of the UPA in 1943, the UPA also slaughtered between 70,000 and 100,000 Poles in western Ukraine from 1943-1944 and hunted down Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. U.S. organizations like the United States Holocaust Museum and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have joined Ukrainian Jewish groups in criticizing Ukraine’s decision to lionize the OUN-UPA. Wiesenthal Center head Efraim Zuroff said that honoring the collaborators “turns Hitler’s henchmen into heroes”; Ukraine’s Chief Rabbi called Kiev’s decision to name a street after Shukhevych “immoral propaganda.” It’s true many Ukrainians see the OUN-UPA primarily through the lens of the group’s role in the fight for an independent Ukraine, and, indeed, the UPA fought a valiant guerilla war against the Soviet Union into the 1950s. But while UINM’s leader derides criticism of OUN-UPA and its leaders as propaganda, historical documentation contradicts this. The elevation of OUN-UPA has been accompanied by a growing number of anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine. Numerous Holocaust memorial sites – including Babi Yar, where over 33,000 Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis – have been vandalized or desecrated by anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas. Ukrainian officials are also guilty of a number of recent anti-Semitic outbursts. A retired general affiliated with Ukraine’s security services called for the destruction of the country’s Jews; a member of Parliament suggested Ukrainians use the ethnic slur “zhid”; a Ukrainian official called Ukraine’s SS Galizien division – created with the support of Heinrich Himmler – “heroes” and the Poroshenko administration awarded Ukraine’s Order of Freedom to an author of two books considered blatantly anti-Semitic. Trump has good reason to speak out against Ukraine’s troubling “memory politics.” The most important is that he could counter perceptions that he’s been too tolerant of anti-Semitism. Although Trump supports the Israeli government and two of his most influential advisers – daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner – are Jewish, many Americans believe Trump failed to disavow the neo-Nazi fringe that supported his presidential campaign. More troublingly, Trump retweeted apparent white supremacists a number of times during the 2016 race and even tweeted what many considered an anti-Semitic meme about Hillary Clinton. After his election, Trump was seen as slow to condemn the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and threats against Jewish community centers across the U.S. Even more worrisome, the White House’s official statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention the Holocaust’s 6 million Jewish victims. Jewish groups are also concerned about reports that the Trump administration will not fill the State Department’s office of the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. While few suggest that Trump personally holds anti-Semitic views, Trump’s condemnation of Kiev’s actions could help dispel perceptions that he doesn’t pay enough attention to anti-Jewish behavior. Beyond Trump’s own reasons for speaking out, Ukraine’s glorification of OUN-UPA arguably undermines Washington’s foreign policy goal of supporting a democratic Ukraine anchored in the West. Ukraine’s veneration of the OUN-UPA also harms America abroad, with Russia’s state-owned RT routinely carrying reports claiming that the U.S. backs “fascists” in Ukraine. American policy makers don’t need a major Kiev street renamed for a Nazi collaborator. The historical revisionism could also damage Ukraine’s chances of joining NATO and the European Union. In Poland, where there’s strong support for an independent Ukraine, the decision to honor OUP leaders has angered the families of victims of OUP killings, and the country’s legislature last year passed a resolution officially terming the UPA’s Wolyn massacre of Polish civilians a genocide. A former Polish deputy foreign minister warned that a Ukraine “under the flag” of the OUP “will never join the European Union.” And, as one German commentator points out, honoring Nazi collaborators such as Shukhevych “is out of the question” in modern Germany. It’s possible, of course, that Trump did raise the issue privately with Poroshenko in Tuesday’s meeting. But if he did, he needs to make it public. For Ukraine’s sake as well as his own. (Reporting by Josh Cohen)

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June 21, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

Ketchum, Hill+Knowlton win Grand Prix statues in Creative Data, Cyber Lions – PRWeek

Added 21 hours ago by Frank Washkuch , Ketchum won for Whirlpool’s Care Counts campaign, and H+K was awarded for its work for the Bank of Aland. CANNES, FRANCE: Ketchum and Hill+Knowlton Strategies snagged Grand Prix trophies in non-PR categories on Tuesday night at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Ketchums Chicago office won a Grand Prix for the Care Counts campaign on behalf of Whirlpool alongside creative shop DigitasLBI in the Creative Data category. Ogilvy Public Relations Melbourne bagged Gold, Silver, and Bronze Lions in the category for its work on the AAMI Smartplates push on behalf of Suncorp, and Edelman Sydney won a Silver and Bronze Lion for the Pocket Patrol campaign for Samsung Australia. Bronze Lions for Creative Data were also won by Burson-Marsteller Millan for Italia Longeva, Edelman London for the No More Excuses campaign for Heineken, and Edelman Significa in Sao Paulo for the Color of Corruption effort for Reclame Aqui. Hill+Knowlton won a Grand Prix in the Cyber category for its work on behalf of The Bank of Aland in Sweden for Aland Index/Baltic Sea Project. Ketchum San Francisco and PMK-BNC in Los Angeles won Gold Cyber Lions for the Cheetos Museum by Cheetos and Hostile Takeover on behalf of Activision, respectively. Ketchum also won Silver Lions for the Cheetos Museum and the #NuggsForCarter campaign for Wendys. Dini Von Mueffling Communications won Silver Lions for the Evan campaign for Sandy Hook Promise. Bronze Cyber Lions were awarded to Edelman London for Heinekens World Apart push; Havas PR Milan for Forgetting Auschwitz, Remembering Auschwitz for Holocaust Remembrance Day; and Marina Maher Communications for Tides Super Bowl Stain campaign. Ketchum won another Bronze for the Twitter Beef campaign for Wendys. Gold Lions in the Direct category went to Edelman Significa in Sao Paulo for the Color of Corruption and Olson Engage for the New and Not Improved campaign for Kraft Heinz. Taylor and MMK won both Silver and Bronze Lions for the Bradshaw Stain campaign for Tide. Current Marketing also won a Silver for the Biggest Sports Endorsement Deal of All Time. Bronze Direct Lions went to Finn PR in Brussels for Child Focus on behalf of Coins of Hope and M Booth for Godivas The Box that Keeps Giving. In the Mobile category, Burson-Marsteller Milan won Gold, Silver, and Bronze for the Chat Yourself campaign for Italia Longeva, and London-based Unity won Silver for Fleetlights for Direct Line. FleishmanHillard Chicago won Silver and Bronze for the Serena Williams Match Point campaign for Gatorade. Bronze Mobile Lions also went to Ogilvy for AAMI Smartplates and Edelman Deportivo for Give a Beep on behalf of Hovding. Edelman London also won a Bronze Lion in the Innovation category for Gravitylight: Turning Gravity into Light for Shell Global and the Gravitylight Foundation. This story was updated on June 21 to include Current’s Silver Lion in the Direct category. Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

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June 21, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

Right-Wing Calls for Muslim "Internment Camps" Intensify in the US, UK and Germany – Truth-Out

Activists display signs in the No Ban, No Wall protest at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, January 28, 2017. (Photo: Sarah Ji) White nationalists in the UK and US have once again begun to advocate for Muslim “internment camps” after the recent terrorist attacks in England. Thanks in part to a viral, critical piece by New York Daily News writerShaun King, these renewed calls for the immoral and unconstitutional mass imprisonment of Muslims have been quickly met with widespread condemnation and shock in the US and online. The day after the recent attack in London, chief Brexit campaigner and white English nationalist UKIP leader Nigel Farage threatened that ” … if there is not action, then the calls for internment will grow” during aninterview on Fox News.In the immediate aftermath of the London attack, Faragesided with Trumpin disparaging London Mayor Sadiq Khan for not enacting proposed illegal measures against Muslims. The Fox and Friends panel then turned from Farage to their frequent UK guest contributor, Katie Hopkins, who quickly picked up on the signaling from Farage. “We do need internment camps,” she said, almost seemingly prompted. “Before, I would’ve bought the idea that, no, this gets more people radicalized. You know, that’s not the solution. But we’ve gone beyond the tipping point.” Only two weeks earlier, after a bombing targeting an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, Hopkinshad faced widespread condemnationfor proposing a “final solution” to what she alluded to as the Muslim “problem” in Europe. The comments led to the cancellation of her talk radio show, and she was fired by Leading Britain’s Conversation — her former employer. The next day, the argument had already reached conservative talk radio stations. “Why don’t you intern all of them before they run people over on a bridge or stab people in the street?” saidwhite nationalist Michael Savageto his radio listeners. “It was done during World War II.” This represents an old and sustained argument for imposing FDR-style Japanese internment camps upon Muslim communities in the West — an argument that has been consistently rehashed by white nationalists since 9/11. The idea was first popularized by Michelle Malkin in her 2004 book,In Defense ofInternment: The Case for ‘Racial Profiling’ inWorld War II and the War on Terror. In fact, Malkin appeared on Fox and Friendsthat dayto add her own endorsement to renewed calls for the mass imprisonment of Muslims made just the day before: It’s Arnold Toynbee, the historian, who said that civilizations die by suicide — not by outside forces. And this is exactly what’s happening. You’ve got people who are exploiting 21st century technology to try and drag all of us back into the stone ages. The following day, UK Prime Minister Theresa May appeared for her last interview only 36 hours before the British general election. If human rights lawsstood in the wayof combating terrorism, May stated, then “we will change those laws so we can do it.” To many following the story, particularly far-right voters whom May has been courting for support, the words were seen as even more signaling in favor of rounding up Muslims into camps for subsequent deportation. The case highlights how rapidly the same old repetitious racist discourse of white nationalists can quickly gain steam nationally before disseminating internationally. A Renewed “Warsaw Ghetto” Plan Surfaces After Trump Meanwhile, a similar racist plan for the mass imprisonment of refugees and asylum seekers has been mulled over in Germany by the Holocaust-denying Alternative fr Deutschland (AfD) party, which has gained an alarming degree of support. In December 2016 former AfD lawmaker Claudia Martindisclosed to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitungthat her faction had been drafting their own legislation for what she called a “Warsaw ghetto” plan. Martin had resigned from the AfD only days prior to disclosing the plan. In the leaked document, AfD parliamentarians outline their plans for the mass imprisonment ofall refugees and asylum seekersinside Germany before deporting them back to their nations of origin — many of which would be hostile to returning individuals. Much like Theresa May’s calls for changing any human rights laws that get in the way of anti-terrorism measures, the working draft from the AfD advocates the suspension of numerous constitutional human rights articles in German Basic Law. The “inhabitants” of the proposed internment camps for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers — or the mass imprisonments that the leaked document refers to as being placed into separated “communities” — would be afforded only “limited basic rights.” Since 2015, Germany has accepteda little under 1 millionrefugees, largely from Syria and Afghanistan. Claudia Martin had uploadedavideo to YouTubeand then spoke to the press. Martin noted somewhat nervously that since Trump’s recent election, her party had now begun “proposing solutions for the refugee crisis that bring the Warsaw ghettos to mind” only a month later. In her description of the proposed AfD legislation, Martin suggested that it bore striking resemblance to Hitler’s “Madagaskar-Plan” to detain all European Jews for imminent deportation to the former French colony in Africa. The Madagascar Plan was announced in 1940. It led to the early establishment of enclosed camps and ghettos, such as the Warsaw Ghetto, which imprisoned more than 400,000 Jews. The network of camps and ghettos provided the Nazis with immediate slave labor, along with an expedient transition to the “final solution” after the 1940 plan was discarded to instead implement the Holocaust beginning in January 1942. “I have to make the observation that we as a party are becoming less and less distinguishable from — but instead slowly becoming — the very thing that we have always been accused of,” Martin remarked in her warning to the German public. A month later, the same AfD Baden-Wrttemberg factiontriedto block state fundingallocated for field trips to visit former death camp sites teaching German schoolchildren about the history of the Holocaust. AfD lawmakers demanded that the school trips involve “significant German historic sites,” such as medieval German castles, instead of teaching a “one-sided concentration” of Nazi crimes. These actions were in support of the AfD state leader for Thringen, Bjrn Hcke, who went so far as todenouncethe national Holocaust memorialin Germany as a “monument of disgrace in the heart of our capital.” Much of the speech in a Dresden beer hall involved Hcke denouncing the three-day firebombing of the civilian city in Nazi Germany. “The big problem is that Hitler is presented as an absolutely evil figure,” Hckedecried while being interviewed by the Wall Street Journalover the matter. German Jewish groupswere quick to point outthat the speech delivered by Hcke came just three days before the 75th anniversary marking the Wannsee Conference. Nazi SS leaders first gathered in Berlin on January 20, 1942, to coordinate how their various departments would implement the “final solution” of genocide, which was then carried out on top of the existing Madagascar Plan networks of camp and ghetto slave labor that had been enacted only 18 months earlier. A week later, for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Hcke attempted to enter the Buchenwald death camp during a memorial service that he was already barred from attending. Hckewas kicked out, as everyone anticipated. Not long after that same day on January 27, President Trump signed the first of his two executive orders implementing a ban for Muslim migrants from legally entering the United States. “On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, you forget the Jews, and later today you plan to issue new executive orders persecuting refugees and immigrants,” executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, Steven Goldstein, announced ina public statement overFacebookjust hours before the signing. “Have you no decency?” Making Germany “Great Again” With a Lingering Nazi Past AfD supporters andtheir party leadershave sought to normalize Nazi terms such asvlkischand introduce them back into German discourse. National AfD leaders claim that these efforts arean innocent attempt to rehabilitatehighly charged taboo expressions of Nazi fascism “back into a positive light.” Some of theseNazi-era words, such asLgenpresse(“lying press”), which was favored by Adolf Hitler and Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels, even made its way overseas andonto thenational stagein the US during the 2016 presidential campaign. This term was largely accomplishedthrough Breitbart Newsand the discordant so-called “alt-right” white supremacists online that Breitbart and others feed off of. The former head of Breitbart News and current chief strategist for the Trump White House, Steve Bannon, has alsosought to legitimizesuch discourse by injecting it into the Islamophobic narratives dominating US politics since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Two days after the recent attack in London, which have led to renewed calls for Muslim “internment camps,” Beatrix von Storch echoed the lingering sentiments of extreme right-wing populism that were once again trending in the international news. In her YouTube videoreplete with erroneous statistics, the AfD politician and member of the European Parliament tweeted out that “capacity is exhausted” in Germany. “Close the borders! #AfD #Migrants,” the tweet continues. Three days after Claudia Martin revealed the “Warsaw ghetto” plan from the AfD to German media, the Berlin attack took place and quickly overshadowed all other reporting. Another prominent AfD state leader on Twitter, Marcus Pretzell, quickly blamed German Chancellor Merkelfornot securing the bordersbefore the attacks by tweeting out, “These are Merkel’s dead!” This new approach by the AfD leadership has been described as the partyshifting toward anembraceof “Trump-style” politics beginning in early 2015. Parallel to the AfD’s recent shift in messaging, anunprecedented wave of xenophobic terrorismhas risen in Germany since 2014 that currently amounts to10daily hate crime attackstargeting refugees or their housing. Last May, at its national party conference, the AfDadopted a new party platformcalling for an immediate halt to migrants entering Germany, the mass deportation ofrefugees, and the banning of all mosques and Muslim calls to prayer. In the same breath, the AfD went on to adopt the slogan: “Islam does not belong in Germany” — a statement that up to60percent of Germanadultsreportedly agree with. At their most recent party conference in April 2017, AfD members shot down their less extremist leadership and reaffirmed their previous platform. The AfD had instead nominated a Holocaust-denying Trump supporteras its main candidatefor the upcoming federal elections, Alexander Gauland, who was elected alongside the little-known Alice Weidel. Weidel harshly criticized German Chancellor Merkel for only banning burqas and has instead proposed thatall headscarves should be bannedin Germany. However, one of the rebuffed national AfD leaders chairing the party, Frauke Petry, is still mostly known for advocating thatGerman national police shoot refugeesif they cross the border into Germany without permission. “What are we to think of these ‘Germany is colorful’ campaigns?” Petryasked her party membersin attendance at one rally. “A garbage dump is also colorful,” she responded to her own prompted question. The top AfD candidate is viewed as a strong defender of the party, no matter the controversy, as opposed to the current AfD national chair. While Petry denounced Bjrn Hcke over his public Nazi apologism and attacks upon Holocaust victims, Gauland stated that Hcke had “not said anything for which he must be ashamed.” Alexander Gauland has also embraced the calls for a Muslim travel ban issued by Trump since late 2015. In a speech the following Monday after Trump signed his first Muslim travel ban on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Gauland castigated Chancellor Merkel for exposing Germany to the dangers of terrorism and economic inequality. According to Gauland, the current German leader was unable to “get a grip” on either the economy or security of the homeland. “Trump’s voters are opposed to immigration from Southern nations like Mexico. We are opposed to immigration from Islamic countries that are geographically, so to speak, Europe’s Mexico,” Gauland statedwhen pressed to contrast developmentsin his party and Germany to the success of Trump in the US. “Trump is against the establishment. We are also in line with him.” The AfD had been polling at 16 percent of the national vote, althoughit has since fallento 8 percent in March 2017. The party is still widely expected to pass the required 5 percent threshold of the national vote to enter German parliament for the first time later this September. Currently, the AfDhas members seatedin 13 out of 16 German state parliaments, and even two members representing Germany in the EU parliament. Upon entering the national lower house, AfD members would then be able to introduce and vote upon legislation for the country with their fellow German lawmakers in the Bundestag.

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June 20, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed


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