Archive for the ‘Holocaust Remembrance Day’ Category

Trump is no joke – Rutland Herald

President Donald Trump will hold the first fundraiser of his 2020 re-election campaign this month at the Trump International Hotel near the White House.

That is now a normal sort of sentence. It may be true or it may not (in fact it is). Theres no enormity about it. Already, on the 155th day of this presidency, Americans are suffering from incredulity fatigue. Oh, we just sold $12 billion of fighter jets to Qatar a few days after Trump accused Doha of being a major funder of terrorism that kind of thing.

So much for the theor y Trump would get bored of the job (or distance himself from his business empire). Hes thinking eight years; the June 28 dinner with him is billed as a BIG LEAGUE event for his supporters.

What, one wonders, makes it Big League? Up until now, Trump has consistently fulfilled only one campaign promise: We must as a nation be more unpredictable. Trumpism is an exercise in arbitrariness. At its core lies distraction.

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 their conversations. 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. I t 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 the 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.

Roger Cohen is a columnist for The New York Times.

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Trump is no joke – Rutland Herald

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June 27, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

Trump’s travel ban is about to go into effect. Here’s why it’s immoral. – Vox

Six months ago, President Donald Trump signed an executive order shutting out refugees and halting visas from six Muslim-majority countries. But that ban was never implemented, thanks to rulings in two separate federal courts.

That changed on Monday.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration should be permitted to enforce the ban starting on Thursday, June 29. The court did impose some restrictions on the ban, however, including allowing people who already have a valid visa to enter the country.

The ban on refugees remains, though. Refugees will not be allowed to enter America for a period of 120 days unless theyve already been issued a visa or have a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.

Below is an interview I conducted back in January with Joseph Carens, a professor of political theory at the University of Toronto and a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. The author of The Ethics of Immigration, Carenss work focuses on the challenges involved in applying democratic principles to immigration policies.

Here, I spoke with Carens about the ethics of Trumps executive order as well the normative questions it raises about human rights.

What do you see as the basis of our moral obligations to admit refugees?

I think there are at least three overlapping bases for these obligations. The first is that the US is sometimes responsible for the fact that someone has become a refugee. For example, people in Iraq and Afghanistan who have helped American forces by serving as translators or in other capacities have sometimes been put at risk because of this service. There are already stories of such people being excluded from admission (and hence, safety) as a result of Trumps policy.

The second basis for the obligation to refugees is simply the humanitarian duty to help people in desperate straits when one can do so. This duty has its roots in many different religious and secular ethical traditions. The United States has traditionally admitted more refugees than any other country (although Germany has clearly passed the US in this respect in the past few years). The complete ban on refugee admissions for four months and the subsequent reduction (by half) of the number who will be accepted is a failure to meet Americas humanitarian obligations.

The third basis for the obligation to refugees is that the United States and most other countries have acknowledged that the international state system has a duty to protect refugees. In the wake of the failure of democratic states to protect Jewish refugees from the Nazis, the United States led the effort to create institutions that would prevent such a moral failure in the future. That regime already suffers from severe limitations, and the new Trump policy will undermine it further.

What are the moral limits on what states can do to individuals in a democratic society, and why is the answer to that question relevant to thinking about immigration policy?

I’d say that we have principles that everyone recognizes. For example, people have a right to a fair trial, to freedom of religion, to freedom of speech, to freedom of movement. Now, many of these things are put into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but there are overlapping rights that are freestanding norms that we have about how you can treat people or what it’s reasonable for the government to do. These are basic norms of fairness and reciprocity, principles that we hold to be transcendentally true.

Ill stop you there for just a second and ask an obvious question: What do these norms and rights have to do with immigration in particular? I imagine many people will associate these rights with citizenship, or membership in a defined polity.

Well, this includes norms about how you can treat noncitizens. People sometimes think that all rights are due to citizenship, but that’s just not correct in the empirical or legal or normative sense. So take the right to a fair trial. If you’re a noncitizen and you’re accused of a crime, you’re supposed to be treated exactly the same way a citizen is. You have the same rights that a citizen does in this area. In fact, permanent residents have virtually all the rights that a citizen has except for the right to vote.

In your book, you say that contemporary reflection about refugees begins in the shadow of the Holocaust. Countless Jewish people fled Hitler in search of protection, and most of them did not get it. Do you see Trumps executive order banning the entry of all refugees for 120 days and those from Syria indefinitely as analogous in any way?

Absolutely. I think this is a point that’s been made by a number of Jewish groups who are trying to welcome Syrian refugees. It’s an irony, as many have noted, that this policy was announced on Holocaust Remembrance Day. At the time of the Holocaust, there were lots of Jews trying to flee Nazi Germany, and many Western states, including America and Canada, refused to accept them.

President Trump’s answer to the question of how many Syrian refugees are too many seems to be “none.” None is too many. In the wake of World War II, in the wake of seeing what happened, we vowed never to let that happen again, and that’s exactly what we’re doing in the case of Syria.

These people’s lives are at stake, and if the United States turns them away, why do we assume other countries will take them in? And if no one else takes them in, what do we think will happen to them?

Theres a lot of discussion about the legality of Trumps executive order, but here Id like to dive into some of the deeper ethical objections. Ill start with this: Do you think this policy will produce more suffering than it relieves?

The goal of the policy is to reduce the threat of terrorism, but many objectors (rightly) think that the policys actual effect will be to increase the threat of terrorism because it will alienate Muslims throughout the world and will confirm the claim of ISIS that the United States is fundamentally hostile to Islam, but it wont actually aid in preventing the entry of people who might pose a threat.

This is an important, and, in my view, persuasive argument about the likely consequences of the policy, and so a good reason for rejecting it, but it is an ethical argument only in the very limited sense that any policy that causes more harm than good with respect to a legitimate goal (like reducing the threat of terrorism) can be said to be bad from a moral perspective.

What about the claims that it runs counter to fundamental American values?

Openness to immigrants and refugees has played a key role in making the United States what it is today and is a central element in the American ideal. This need not entail denying the reality of practices of marginalization and exclusion of immigrants and refugees at many points in the American past. Rather, it reflects a commitment to live up to the ideal and not to repeat those failures.

This sort of objection to Trumps policy focuses on values and ideals, and, in that respect, it is clearly a moral argument. On the other hand, within some limits, deciding what you want your country to be is clearly the sort of thing that democratic politics is supposed to be about.

Perhaps the most essential moral objection is that a policy like this violates basic principles that are supposed to limit or constrain democratic politics. Here Im thinking of principles of justice, fairness, equality, and individual freedom.

I think this policy does that in two obvious ways.

First, in imposing restrictions on entry that take immediate effect, it violates norms of fairness. As everyone knows, the policy has stranded people abroad who had already been living in the United States as well as people who had been given permission to come and had made life plans on that basis. To deprive people of a right to enter the United States that they had previously been granted and which they have done nothing to forfeit is unfair.

The Trump administration has already implicitly acknowledged this moral failure in changing the policy so that it no longer restricts the entry of green card holders (i.e., people entitled to live in the US as permanent residents), but this still leaves a great many people who have done nothing wrong stranded abroad with their lives disrupted. For example, students cannot get in to continue or start their studies, workers with permits other than green cards cannot return, and so on. These exclusions are simply arbitrary.

Second, the policy violates the moral principle that it is wrong to discriminate on the basis of religion. The seven states whose citizens are not permitted entry are all overwhelmingly Muslim. Trump himself has implicitly acknowledged that it is wrong to discriminate on the basis of religion by denying that he is doing so. This recalls the old saying that hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue. In this case, however, the hypocrisy is so blatant, given Trumps past and present statements about Islam, that no one who cares about reality can take his protestations seriously. This policy is clearly and deliberately aimed at restricting the entry of Muslims.

Why is the distinction between migrants and refugees so important, and why do refugees have a stronger claim upon host societies for aid and sanctuary?

Migrants are people who want to move from one country to another. They may have good reasons for moving or bad reasons for moving. Refugees are people who have a desperate need to move: They’re not safe in some fundamental way and they need to leave. So their claim to move is much stronger, and we all recognize that. The United States has signed the Geneva Convention on refugees. Even Trump doesn’t deny that refugees have some kind of claim, he’s just not willing to meet it. He’s concerned about those who are suffering and desperate, but he’s not prepared to say what he will do to help them.

What rights do states have to determine that accepting or admitting refugees imposes unsustainable burdens or risks on their society?

Nobody thinks that states have to admit people who actually are terrorists, and so it’s reasonable for a state to do some vetting. Nobody thinks a state should admit so many refugees that it cannot function. But in a lot of cases, this involves what one thinks is a reasonable assessment.

So the idea that because someone might be a terrorist, or there’s a tiny chance that someone’s a terrorist, is not in itself a justification for shutting the doors. There has to be some kind of balance in terms of the judgments we’re making. Reasonable people can disagree about what that balance is, but the extreme standard that Trump is using is well beyond the standards of reasonableness.

There seems to be a problem of distributive justice here in which the burdens of accepting refugees are not dispersed equally across the nations of the world. How do we deal with that given the limits on interstate cooperation?

That’s an important issue, and there isn’t a structural solution to that, there’s nothing that can make a state accept refugees. So if the United States refuses to do, there is no one that can force us to do it. But that’s a question that every American should ask himself or herself: If we don’t take in these refugees, who is going to do it? And why do we think it’s reasonable to expect them to do it if we won’t? It seems to me that nobody is asking that question.

Right now there are millions of Syrian refugees in countries like Jordan and Turkey and Lebanon, and these are not countries that have caused this crisis in any way. They have no particular responsibility for these refugees, except for the fact that they’re next door. But there’s no reason to expect these countries to provide new homes for all of these refugees for the rest of their lives, and there’s no sign that this conflict will end anytime soon.

Here’s the thing: How many people actually ask themselves what will happen to these refugees if we dont take them in? I think a lot of people blind themselves to this question. They’re not willing to contemplate the consequences of refusing entry to these desperate people, and thats part of the problem.

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Trump’s travel ban is about to go into effect. Here’s why it’s immoral. – Vox

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June 27, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

As Austrian Capital Readies for ‘Al-Quds Day’ March, Anti-Fascist Activists Pledge to Confront ‘Antisemitic Agitation’ – Algemeiner

Email a copy of “As Austrian Capital Readies for Al-Quds Day March, Anti-Fascist Activists Pledge to Confront Antisemitic Agitation” to a friend

Al-Quds Day 2016 in the Austrian capital of Vienna. Photo: Screenshot.

As pro-Iranian and Hezbollah demonstrators prepare for the annual Al-Quds Day march in Vienna on Saturday, anti-fascist activists in the Austrian capital are demanding that the government ban the event.

In astatementannouncing a counter-demonstration at Saturdays rally, a wide range of individuals and organizations slammed march participants for their consistent antisemitic agitation against Jews and Israel.In striking contrast to the rest of western Europe, most of the statements signatories came from socialist and Green political circles.

Noting that antisemitism was not the sole preserve of the extreme right, and that previous Al-Quds Day marches have been occasions for antisemitic placards and slogans, the statement called upon all anti-Fascist politicians from the parliament and the municipal council as well as civil society to join our alliance and to position themselves clearly and unambiguously against the Al-Quds march!

June 23, 2017 3:23 pm

Among the signatories of the statement were Austrian parliamentarians Sigi Maurer and Albert Steinhauser of the Green Party and Petra Bayr of the SPO Socialist Party. The head of theSocialist Partys section for the LGBT community, Peter Traschkowitsch, also signed. Several Jewish and pro-Israel groups added their names, including the Austria-Israel Friendship Society, the LaborZionist Hashomer Hatzair and the Austrian branch of the womens Zionist organization, WIZO. Other left-wing groups that endorsed the statement included the Communist Student Union of the Left.

One of the organizers of the statement told The Algemeiner that opponents of the Al-Quds Day march were determined that hateful antisemitic ideology should never again be tolerated in the streets of this city.

The glorification of terrorism is against the law in Austria, Stefan Schaden a spokesperson for Stop The Bomb, an organization campaigning for democracy in Iran said on Friday. So how come that supporters of the Iranian regime and of Hezbollah can march for the annihilation of Israel in the center of Vienna?

For years we have demanded to ban Al-Quds Day, Schaden added. There must be a full ban on Hezbollah in Austria and in all of Europe, in order to effectively counter Iranian regime-sponsored terrorism.

Schaden said that the Austrian governments decision to adopt the definition of antisemitismendorsedby the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) an inter-governmental organization gave added impetus to calls for the Al-Quds Day march to be prohibited. The definition includes antisemitism that is directed at the Jewish State of Israel, such as the denial of Israels right to exist, Schaden said.

Previous Al-Quds Day demonstrations in Vienna have involved the display of Hezbollah flags as occurred in London last weekend as well as signs juxtaposing the Nazi swastika with a Star of David and inflammatory slogans describing Israel as the Fourth Reich.

One of the main organizers of the Vienna Al-Quds Day event is an Austrian convert to Islam Erich Muhammad Waldmann, the imam of a leading Vienna mosque and a member of Austrias Council of Imams.

Waldmann, who is said to have close links with the Iranian regime, was filmed at an Al-Quds Day march in 2015 calling for the destruction of the Zionist regime.

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As Austrian Capital Readies for ‘Al-Quds Day’ March, Anti-Fascist Activists Pledge to Confront ‘Antisemitic Agitation’ – Algemeiner

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June 24, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

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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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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Ya’alon: We need separation – Arutz Sheva

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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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Trump is no joke – Rutland Herald

President Donald Trump will hold the first fundraiser of his 2020 re-election campaign this month at the Trump International Hotel near the White House. That is now a normal sort of sentence. It may be true or it may not (in fact it is). Theres no enormity about it. Already, on the 155th day of this presidency, Americans are suffering from incredulity fatigue. Oh, we just sold $12 billion of fighter jets to Qatar a few days after Trump accused Doha of being a major funder of terrorism that kind of thing. So much for the theor y Trump would get bored of the job (or distance himself from his business empire). Hes thinking eight years; the June 28 dinner with him is billed as a BIG LEAGUE event for his supporters. What, one wonders, makes it Big League? Up until now, Trump has consistently fulfilled only one campaign promise: We must as a nation be more unpredictable. Trumpism is an exercise in arbitrariness. At its core lies distraction. 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 their conversations. 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. I t 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 the 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. Roger Cohen is a columnist for The New York Times.

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Trump’s travel ban is about to go into effect. Here’s why it’s immoral. – Vox

Six months ago, President Donald Trump signed an executive order shutting out refugees and halting visas from six Muslim-majority countries. But that ban was never implemented, thanks to rulings in two separate federal courts. That changed on Monday. The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration should be permitted to enforce the ban starting on Thursday, June 29. The court did impose some restrictions on the ban, however, including allowing people who already have a valid visa to enter the country. The ban on refugees remains, though. Refugees will not be allowed to enter America for a period of 120 days unless theyve already been issued a visa or have a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. Below is an interview I conducted back in January with Joseph Carens, a professor of political theory at the University of Toronto and a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. The author of The Ethics of Immigration, Carenss work focuses on the challenges involved in applying democratic principles to immigration policies. Here, I spoke with Carens about the ethics of Trumps executive order as well the normative questions it raises about human rights. What do you see as the basis of our moral obligations to admit refugees? I think there are at least three overlapping bases for these obligations. The first is that the US is sometimes responsible for the fact that someone has become a refugee. For example, people in Iraq and Afghanistan who have helped American forces by serving as translators or in other capacities have sometimes been put at risk because of this service. There are already stories of such people being excluded from admission (and hence, safety) as a result of Trumps policy. The second basis for the obligation to refugees is simply the humanitarian duty to help people in desperate straits when one can do so. This duty has its roots in many different religious and secular ethical traditions. The United States has traditionally admitted more refugees than any other country (although Germany has clearly passed the US in this respect in the past few years). The complete ban on refugee admissions for four months and the subsequent reduction (by half) of the number who will be accepted is a failure to meet Americas humanitarian obligations. The third basis for the obligation to refugees is that the United States and most other countries have acknowledged that the international state system has a duty to protect refugees. In the wake of the failure of democratic states to protect Jewish refugees from the Nazis, the United States led the effort to create institutions that would prevent such a moral failure in the future. That regime already suffers from severe limitations, and the new Trump policy will undermine it further. What are the moral limits on what states can do to individuals in a democratic society, and why is the answer to that question relevant to thinking about immigration policy? I’d say that we have principles that everyone recognizes. For example, people have a right to a fair trial, to freedom of religion, to freedom of speech, to freedom of movement. Now, many of these things are put into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but there are overlapping rights that are freestanding norms that we have about how you can treat people or what it’s reasonable for the government to do. These are basic norms of fairness and reciprocity, principles that we hold to be transcendentally true. Ill stop you there for just a second and ask an obvious question: What do these norms and rights have to do with immigration in particular? I imagine many people will associate these rights with citizenship, or membership in a defined polity. Well, this includes norms about how you can treat noncitizens. People sometimes think that all rights are due to citizenship, but that’s just not correct in the empirical or legal or normative sense. So take the right to a fair trial. If you’re a noncitizen and you’re accused of a crime, you’re supposed to be treated exactly the same way a citizen is. You have the same rights that a citizen does in this area. In fact, permanent residents have virtually all the rights that a citizen has except for the right to vote. In your book, you say that contemporary reflection about refugees begins in the shadow of the Holocaust. Countless Jewish people fled Hitler in search of protection, and most of them did not get it. Do you see Trumps executive order banning the entry of all refugees for 120 days and those from Syria indefinitely as analogous in any way? Absolutely. I think this is a point that’s been made by a number of Jewish groups who are trying to welcome Syrian refugees. It’s an irony, as many have noted, that this policy was announced on Holocaust Remembrance Day. At the time of the Holocaust, there were lots of Jews trying to flee Nazi Germany, and many Western states, including America and Canada, refused to accept them. President Trump’s answer to the question of how many Syrian refugees are too many seems to be “none.” None is too many. In the wake of World War II, in the wake of seeing what happened, we vowed never to let that happen again, and that’s exactly what we’re doing in the case of Syria. These people’s lives are at stake, and if the United States turns them away, why do we assume other countries will take them in? And if no one else takes them in, what do we think will happen to them? Theres a lot of discussion about the legality of Trumps executive order, but here Id like to dive into some of the deeper ethical objections. Ill start with this: Do you think this policy will produce more suffering than it relieves? The goal of the policy is to reduce the threat of terrorism, but many objectors (rightly) think that the policys actual effect will be to increase the threat of terrorism because it will alienate Muslims throughout the world and will confirm the claim of ISIS that the United States is fundamentally hostile to Islam, but it wont actually aid in preventing the entry of people who might pose a threat. This is an important, and, in my view, persuasive argument about the likely consequences of the policy, and so a good reason for rejecting it, but it is an ethical argument only in the very limited sense that any policy that causes more harm than good with respect to a legitimate goal (like reducing the threat of terrorism) can be said to be bad from a moral perspective. What about the claims that it runs counter to fundamental American values? Openness to immigrants and refugees has played a key role in making the United States what it is today and is a central element in the American ideal. This need not entail denying the reality of practices of marginalization and exclusion of immigrants and refugees at many points in the American past. Rather, it reflects a commitment to live up to the ideal and not to repeat those failures. This sort of objection to Trumps policy focuses on values and ideals, and, in that respect, it is clearly a moral argument. On the other hand, within some limits, deciding what you want your country to be is clearly the sort of thing that democratic politics is supposed to be about. Perhaps the most essential moral objection is that a policy like this violates basic principles that are supposed to limit or constrain democratic politics. Here Im thinking of principles of justice, fairness, equality, and individual freedom. I think this policy does that in two obvious ways. First, in imposing restrictions on entry that take immediate effect, it violates norms of fairness. As everyone knows, the policy has stranded people abroad who had already been living in the United States as well as people who had been given permission to come and had made life plans on that basis. To deprive people of a right to enter the United States that they had previously been granted and which they have done nothing to forfeit is unfair. The Trump administration has already implicitly acknowledged this moral failure in changing the policy so that it no longer restricts the entry of green card holders (i.e., people entitled to live in the US as permanent residents), but this still leaves a great many people who have done nothing wrong stranded abroad with their lives disrupted. For example, students cannot get in to continue or start their studies, workers with permits other than green cards cannot return, and so on. These exclusions are simply arbitrary. Second, the policy violates the moral principle that it is wrong to discriminate on the basis of religion. The seven states whose citizens are not permitted entry are all overwhelmingly Muslim. Trump himself has implicitly acknowledged that it is wrong to discriminate on the basis of religion by denying that he is doing so. This recalls the old saying that hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue. In this case, however, the hypocrisy is so blatant, given Trumps past and present statements about Islam, that no one who cares about reality can take his protestations seriously. This policy is clearly and deliberately aimed at restricting the entry of Muslims. Why is the distinction between migrants and refugees so important, and why do refugees have a stronger claim upon host societies for aid and sanctuary? Migrants are people who want to move from one country to another. They may have good reasons for moving or bad reasons for moving. Refugees are people who have a desperate need to move: They’re not safe in some fundamental way and they need to leave. So their claim to move is much stronger, and we all recognize that. The United States has signed the Geneva Convention on refugees. Even Trump doesn’t deny that refugees have some kind of claim, he’s just not willing to meet it. He’s concerned about those who are suffering and desperate, but he’s not prepared to say what he will do to help them. What rights do states have to determine that accepting or admitting refugees imposes unsustainable burdens or risks on their society? Nobody thinks that states have to admit people who actually are terrorists, and so it’s reasonable for a state to do some vetting. Nobody thinks a state should admit so many refugees that it cannot function. But in a lot of cases, this involves what one thinks is a reasonable assessment. So the idea that because someone might be a terrorist, or there’s a tiny chance that someone’s a terrorist, is not in itself a justification for shutting the doors. There has to be some kind of balance in terms of the judgments we’re making. Reasonable people can disagree about what that balance is, but the extreme standard that Trump is using is well beyond the standards of reasonableness. There seems to be a problem of distributive justice here in which the burdens of accepting refugees are not dispersed equally across the nations of the world. How do we deal with that given the limits on interstate cooperation? That’s an important issue, and there isn’t a structural solution to that, there’s nothing that can make a state accept refugees. So if the United States refuses to do, there is no one that can force us to do it. But that’s a question that every American should ask himself or herself: If we don’t take in these refugees, who is going to do it? And why do we think it’s reasonable to expect them to do it if we won’t? It seems to me that nobody is asking that question. Right now there are millions of Syrian refugees in countries like Jordan and Turkey and Lebanon, and these are not countries that have caused this crisis in any way. They have no particular responsibility for these refugees, except for the fact that they’re next door. But there’s no reason to expect these countries to provide new homes for all of these refugees for the rest of their lives, and there’s no sign that this conflict will end anytime soon. Here’s the thing: How many people actually ask themselves what will happen to these refugees if we dont take them in? I think a lot of people blind themselves to this question. They’re not willing to contemplate the consequences of refusing entry to these desperate people, and thats part of the problem.

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June 27, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

As Austrian Capital Readies for ‘Al-Quds Day’ March, Anti-Fascist Activists Pledge to Confront ‘Antisemitic Agitation’ – Algemeiner

Email a copy of “As Austrian Capital Readies for Al-Quds Day March, Anti-Fascist Activists Pledge to Confront Antisemitic Agitation” to a friend Al-Quds Day 2016 in the Austrian capital of Vienna. Photo: Screenshot. As pro-Iranian and Hezbollah demonstrators prepare for the annual Al-Quds Day march in Vienna on Saturday, anti-fascist activists in the Austrian capital are demanding that the government ban the event. In astatementannouncing a counter-demonstration at Saturdays rally, a wide range of individuals and organizations slammed march participants for their consistent antisemitic agitation against Jews and Israel.In striking contrast to the rest of western Europe, most of the statements signatories came from socialist and Green political circles. Noting that antisemitism was not the sole preserve of the extreme right, and that previous Al-Quds Day marches have been occasions for antisemitic placards and slogans, the statement called upon all anti-Fascist politicians from the parliament and the municipal council as well as civil society to join our alliance and to position themselves clearly and unambiguously against the Al-Quds march! June 23, 2017 3:23 pm Among the signatories of the statement were Austrian parliamentarians Sigi Maurer and Albert Steinhauser of the Green Party and Petra Bayr of the SPO Socialist Party. The head of theSocialist Partys section for the LGBT community, Peter Traschkowitsch, also signed. Several Jewish and pro-Israel groups added their names, including the Austria-Israel Friendship Society, the LaborZionist Hashomer Hatzair and the Austrian branch of the womens Zionist organization, WIZO. Other left-wing groups that endorsed the statement included the Communist Student Union of the Left. One of the organizers of the statement told The Algemeiner that opponents of the Al-Quds Day march were determined that hateful antisemitic ideology should never again be tolerated in the streets of this city. The glorification of terrorism is against the law in Austria, Stefan Schaden a spokesperson for Stop The Bomb, an organization campaigning for democracy in Iran said on Friday. So how come that supporters of the Iranian regime and of Hezbollah can march for the annihilation of Israel in the center of Vienna? For years we have demanded to ban Al-Quds Day, Schaden added. There must be a full ban on Hezbollah in Austria and in all of Europe, in order to effectively counter Iranian regime-sponsored terrorism. Schaden said that the Austrian governments decision to adopt the definition of antisemitismendorsedby the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) an inter-governmental organization gave added impetus to calls for the Al-Quds Day march to be prohibited. The definition includes antisemitism that is directed at the Jewish State of Israel, such as the denial of Israels right to exist, Schaden said. Previous Al-Quds Day demonstrations in Vienna have involved the display of Hezbollah flags as occurred in London last weekend as well as signs juxtaposing the Nazi swastika with a Star of David and inflammatory slogans describing Israel as the Fourth Reich. One of the main organizers of the Vienna Al-Quds Day event is an Austrian convert to Islam Erich Muhammad Waldmann, the imam of a leading Vienna mosque and a member of Austrias Council of Imams. Waldmann, who is said to have close links with the Iranian regime, was filmed at an Al-Quds Day march in 2015 calling for the destruction of the Zionist regime.

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June 24, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

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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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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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


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Under the 'fair use' rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author's work without asking permission. Fair use is based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. The fair use privilege is perhaps the most significant limitation on a copyright owner's exclusive rights.

Fair use as described at 17 U.S.C. Section 107:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phono-records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  • (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for or nonprofit educational purposes,
  • (2) the nature of the copyrighted work,
  • (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
  • (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."