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California Imam under fire after asking Allah to ‘annihilate’ Jews in sermon – Fox News

Jewish groups have asked Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney’s office to investigate a California Imam who gave a sermon calling on Allah to “annihilate” Jews “down to the very last one” — and asked for his congregants to take part in the slaughter.

Imam Ammar Shahin gave the sermon at the Islamic Center of Davis, California on Friday. He asked for Allah to liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Israel from “the filth of the Jews,” according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute, and cited an Islamic text that calls for a Judgement Day fight between Muslims and Jews.

Oh Allah, count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them, said Shahin, who spoke in both Arabic and English during his sermon. Oh Allah, make this happen by our hands. Let us play a part in this. Oh Allah, let us support them in words and in deeds.

ORTHODOX JEWISH GRADE SCHOOL IN UK FAILS INSPECTION FOR REFUSAL TO TEACH ABOUT SEXUAL ORIENTATION

“The sermon is very antisemitic and violent, much like many sermons in the mosques of the Middle East,”MEMRI Executive Director Steven Stalinsky told Fox News in a statement. “It is not surprising that the imam/mosque are denying this and saying that it is incorrect or out of context. In fact, there were two different sermons from California mosques this week, both of them calling for destroying/annihilating the Jews.”

A video of the sermon was posted to the Islamic Center of Davis YouTube channel on Friday. Excerpts of the sermon, which lasted about two and a half minutes, were translated and posted on the MEMRI website.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is on a holy site for both Jews and Muslims in East Jerusalem, and was the scene of a July 14 terror attack during which three Arab gunmen killed two Israeli police officers.

The shrine was closed for several days in the aftermath of the assault, canceling Friday prayers for the first time in decades. New security measures, including metal detectors, were installed, and immediately drew Palestinian condemnation.

Israel said the security measures were necessary to prevent more attacks, while Palestinians claimed Israel was trying to expand its control over the site. The issue has sparked some of the worst street clashes in years.

US MUSLIMS SEE FRIENDLY NEIGHBORS, BUT A FOE IN WHITE HOUSE

In a statement on itswebsite, the Islamic Center of Davis stood behind Shahin and his sermon, saying it was taken out of context.

The ICD will always stand against anti-Semitism similarly to how the Jewish community has always stood against Islamophobia in our close knit community, the statement said. We have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism or any other form of bigotry.

It continued: MEMRI, an extremist agenda driven organization that supports Israels occupation of Palestinian land, and other Islamophobic news organizations, accused Imam Shahin of anti-Semitism, quoting edited, mistranslated, passages of the sermon out of context.

In another statement to theDavid Enterprise, the center said the sermon described the theological issue regarding the apocalyptic battle between Jesus and the Antichrist, or between good and evil not against any particular group.

When people believe in Jesus and hold on to the truth, God will support them. This was the purpose of citing the prophetic tradition, the center said. In the context of the full sermon, it becomes clear that the theme of the sermon was against oppression, and not against Jews or any religion.

Steve Cohan, co-president of Congregation Bet Haverim in Davis, said in a statement that Shahins sermon was deeply concerning but that he looked forward to going beyond the online media reports and sharing his thoughts with the Islamic Center leadership.

But not everyone is being quite so understanding of Shahin’s rhetoric.

TheSimon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization in Los Angeles, has called upon the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to launch an investigation of the Imam for inciting to murder Jews.

By explicitly urging Muslims to annihilate all Jews by their own hands, Shahin has crossed the line beyond protected speech, Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Rabbi Yitzchok Alderstein, both SWC directors, wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

Hamza El-Nakhal, a longtime member of the Muslim community in Davis and a former president of the Islamic Centers executive board, told the Davis Enterprise that he found the video disturbing.

He said he was out of town and did not attend the Friday service.

While I am disgusted by the action of the Israeli government in preventing Muslim people from doing their prayers in the Masjid Al-Aqsa, I am equally disgusted by any religious leader who does not take the chance (during) high unsettling times to calm their congregations, El-Nakhal said.

Some people like Imam Ammar Shahin become angry for injustices. He spoke while angry. He should not have given this sermon while angry.

Fox News’ Pamela Browne and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com.

Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang

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California Imam under fire after asking Allah to ‘annihilate’ Jews in sermon – Fox News

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July 26, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

26 Jews flee Venezuelan crisis to Israel – The Jerusalem Post

Michal Levy with her 3 children and IFCJ coordinator for aliya from Latin America Debbie Ashkenazi (right) at Ben Gurion Airport on July 26, 2017. (photo credit:IFCJ)

Twenty-six Jews from Venezuela immigrated to Israel on Tuesday and Wednesday, part of a general surge in emigration from the country as its political and economic crises have paralyzed parts of the nation.

While thousands of their countrymen are heading over the borders to other Latin American countries, some Jewish Venezuelans have opted to use their eligibility for citizenship in Israel.

On July 30, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is holding a vote to create a legislative super-body that would have the power to rewrite the constitution and dissolve state institutions.

Near daily anti-government protests since April have seen masked youths with stones, Molotov cocktails and homemade mortars battling riot police using tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets.

The situation is very hard, Michal Levy, 35, told The Jerusalem Post over the phone from Ben-Gurion Airport shortly after arriving in Israel with her three children on Wednesday on one of two flights organized by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Seven families arrived on the two flights.

Its hard to get basic things like bread and flour, Levy said, adding that she had been afraid to leave the house due to the riots and for fear that a member of her family could be kidnapped for ransom a common phenomenon in the country.

Levys son suffers from a skin allergy for which he requires medication, but she had not been able to obtain any recently.

Three months ago we understood we couldnt continue living here, she said.

For more than a week you cant leave the house its not simple.

Levy is a returning Israeli citizen, having left for Venezuela five-and-a-half years ago for her husbands work.

She taught at a Jewish school in Caracas and described the Jewish community as very supportive. She said many in the community are wealthy though there is a range of socioeconomic status among them and they always help one another obtain ransom money if there is a kidnapping in the community, making them a desirable target.

Members of the community are constantly leaving the country, some to Panama or the US, others to Israel.

Levys family is heading to Rishon Lezion. I know it will be better for my children here, at home, and thats whats important, she said.

In contrast to Levys remark, the Fellowship maintains that while the majority of the Jewish community in Venezuela used to be wealthy, most of those who had the means have left the country.

Several of the families who made aliya were in severe economic distress, the organization noted. An estimated 5,000-9,000 Jews remain in Venezuela. Within that community, the Fellowship says, are some 1,400 elderly and some 500 children. Seven hundred families, it says, are supported by community welfare agencies.

In addition to the absorption benefits all immigrants receive from the State of Israel, the Fellowship funds the Venezuelans flights to Israel and grants them $400 per child and $800 per adult. The Fellowship also assists the immigrants for half a year, helping place the children in educational institutions and providing social and welfare assistance. By the end of 2017, the Fellowship expects to have brought 100 immigrants from Venezuela.

The Fellowship is focused on helping Jews around the world who are in financial or security distress and helping them immigrate to Israel and build a new and safe life, said the president of the Fellowship, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.

For the last year and a half, the Fellowship has helped 200 Jews immigrate to Israel and is also helping the Jewish community by providing them with medicines that are unobtainable there, he added. Reuters contributed to this report.

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26 Jews flee Venezuelan crisis to Israel – The Jerusalem Post

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July 26, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Compared To Jews, American Muslims Intermarry Far Less And Are More Devout – Forward

NEW YORK (JTA) Since it came out in 2013, the Pew study a landmark survey of American Jewish demographics, beliefs and practices has been at the center of American Jewish scrutiny and handwringing.

Now its American Muslims turn.

On Wednesday, the Pew Research Center released a survey of American Muslims focusing not only on numbers and their way of life, but also on how the community has responded to the election of President Donald Trump.

Comparing the two studies shows a Muslim sector in America that is more religious, growing faster and feels more embattled than American Jews. But both groups voted for Hillary Clinton.

Heres how the Jews and Muslims of the United States stack up.

There are more Jews than Muslims in America, but the Muslim population is growing faster.

Pew found that there are about 3.3 million Muslims in the United States, a little more than 1 percent of the population. U.S. Jews, by contrast, stand at 5.3 million around 2 percent of all Americans.

But Muslims, Pew found, skew younger and have higher birth rates. More than a third of U.S. Muslims are under 30, only 14 percent are over 55 and their birth rate is 2.4, slightly higher than the national average. Most American Jews are over 50 and their birth rate is 1.9. While the median age of U.S. Muslims is 35, the median age of U.S. Jews is 50. Americans in general have a median age of 47.

These numbers explain why a 2015 Pew study found that by 2050, American Muslims will outnumber American Jews. While the Jewish population is expected to stagnate at about 5.4 million, Pew predicts that in a little more than three decades, there will be 8 million Muslims in America.

The respective studies also included some data unique to each religion. While there are sharp internal divides between Shia and Sunni Muslims, Pew did not address the question of who is a Muslim as it did with Jewish Americans.

The study reported demographic data that may contradict popular American stereotypes of Muslims. Only 14 percent of Muslim immigrants are from the Middle East, while one-fifth are from South Asia. And the plurality of American Muslims four in 10 are white.

Only 13 percent of American Muslims are intermarried.

When Pew released its study of the Jews in 2013, American Jewish leaders began fretting about an intermarriage rate of 58 percent since 2000 and they havent stopped. By that measure, American Muslim leaders can rest easy.

Unlike the majority of American Jews, only 13 percent of American Muslims are intermarried. And the number has declined in recent years: In 2011, the number was 16 percent. The numbers are so low that the word intermarriage doesnt even appear in the survey.

But another statistic shows that American Muslims may be following their Jewish neighbors. Among Muslims born in the U.S., the intermarriage rate is nearly 20 percent.

Most Jews say they dont face discrimination. Most Muslims say they do.

Another reason for the difference in intermarriage rates could be the discrimination that Jews and Muslims each face in America. Jews, who are more likely to marry outside their group, are also more accepted in America than Muslims.

In an age when Trump the candidate called for a ban on Muslim immigration, the Muslim study focused heavily on Muslim feelings of discrimination and belonging in America. Questions were asked about Islamophobia, anti-Muslim violence, the president, terrorism, extremism and how Muslims feel about being Muslim and American.

In brief, the study found that nearly half of Muslims have faced discrimination in the past year, and 75 percent feel Muslims face a great deal discrimination in America. But nine in 10 feel proud to be American. Three-quarters of American Muslims say violence against civilians can never be justified, as opposed to 59 percent of Americans in general.

In 2013, most Jews said that Jews do not face a lot of discrimination in America, and only 15 percent personally faced discrimination in the year before the survey.

But Pews Jewish study was published three years before the spike in anti-Semitism that accompanied the 2016 election. A poll by the Anti-Defamation League published in April revealed starkly different numbers, showing that most Americans were concerned about violence against Jews.

Jews graduate college at higher rates than Muslims and earn more.

The graduation rates and household incomes of American Muslims track with the rest of the country. Like Americans in general, 31 percent of Muslim Americans have graduated college. And a quarter of Muslim Americans earn more than $100,000, similar to the national average. But 40 percent of Muslim households earn less than $30,000 eight points higher than Americans in general.

Nearly six in 10 American Jews, meanwhile, have graduated college. And 42 percent have household incomes higher than $100,000, while only 20 percent earn less than $30,000.

Muslims are far more religious than Jews, but both say social justice is central.

American Jews and Muslims are particularly different when it comes to religion. While nearly two-thirds of American Muslims say religion is very important to them, only a quarter of Jews do. A third of Jews believe in God, compared to 85 percent of Muslims who said belief in God is essential to being a Muslim. Nearly six in 10 American Muslims say following the Quran is essential to being a Muslim, compared to less than a quarter of American Jews who say the same about Jewish law.

Four in 10 American Muslims attend mosque at least once a week and eight in 10 observe the monthlong fast of Ramadan. By contrast, two-thirds of American Jews attend synagogue less than once a month and only about half fasted on Yom Kippur.

But there are some commonalities, too. Nearly all American Jews and Muslims say they are proud to be Jewish and Muslim, respectively. And both groups prioritize social justice. Solid majorities of Jews (60 percent) and Muslims (69 percent) see working for justice and equality as an essential part of their religious identity.

Jews are more liberal than Muslims, but a higher percentage voted for Trump.

American Muslims responded to Trumps anti-Muslim rhetoric on the campaign trail by voting for Clinton. Nearly 80 percent of American Muslims voted for the Democrat, while only 8 percent backed Trump. By contrast, Clinton earned 70 percent of the Jewish vote, with Trump garnering 25 percent.

But proportionally more American Jews identify as liberal than do American Muslims. While nearly half of American Jews call themselves liberal, only 30 percent of American Muslims do close to the national average.

But Muslims are trending liberal on at least one issue: A majority believe homosexuality should be accepted in society, compared to just 27 percent who felt that way a decade ago. Four-fifths of American Jews agree.

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July 26, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Are You a ‘Good Jew’ or a ‘Bad Jew’? Too Many US Progressives Want to Know – Haaretz

The anti-Zionism test for Jews is exclusionary at best, Jew-hatred at worst. And it cripples alliances to challenge both injustices against Palestinians and America’s creeping fascism

Ive spent the better part of my rabbinate -stretching over 20 years between New York, Oakland, and now Massachusetts -dedicated to social justice work. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to those whove taught and mentored me, wise and thoughtful activists who have pushed me to recognize and challenge my own privilege, especially as a white, cisgender male rabbi. The anti-oppression principles and practices theyve taught me are deep and varied.

For instance, Ive learned that its insulting to generalize feelings, thoughts, and behaviors to a whole group. Ive learned that, to challenge oppression, its essential to center the voices of marginalized peoples. Ive learned that challenging systems of oppression requires us to measure “impact versus intent”, that words informed by racism and sexism can create psychic pain even when the speaker doesnt intend them that way. Ive learned that those in privileged positions need to honor the lived experiences of marginalized people, rather than challenging or invalidating those experiences. Ive learned that being part of the solution means receiving difficult feedback as a gift.

But a funny thing happened on the way to our collective liberation. We seem to have left out the Jews.

A good number of my non-Jewish activist friends and teachers actively confront anti-Jewish bias. But theres a troubling tendency among progressive activists to forget their own powerful teachings when it comes to Jews.

For instance, anti-oppression principles teach us not to generalize the behaviors of one person to a whole group. But I have stepped off of more than one stage – speaking against the harassment of immigrants or the extrajudicial killings of people of color – only to be confronted by a stranger demanding to know “my thoughts on Palestine.” As if every Jews bears the guilt of any and all Israeli injustices against Palestine.

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And, instead of centering the voices of Jews as a marginalized people, too many progressives neglect to make space for Jews to discuss their experience of anti-Jewish oppression. Moreover, Jews are almost never invited to identify or discuss their relationship to the term “Zionism,” let alone articulate their own personal visions of Jewish nationalism.

Unjust actions of the State of Israel, like any state, require scrutiny and, when appropriate, condemnation. I have joined voices, both Jewish and non-Jewish, that have criticized Israeli treatment of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. But for many of my fellow justice advocates, the message to Jews boils down to a binary: either anti-Zionism or the door.

And when the lived experience of millions of Jews is a personal affinity for Israel, to set anti-Zionism is a litmus test for participating in anti-oppression movements is exclusionary at best and Jew-hatred at worst.

And finally, instead of receiving difficult feedback from like-minded Jews about messaging and language with open hearts, too many progressives discount them as irrelevant, or dismiss them as efforts to silence criticism of Israel.

The most notorious recent example is the Chicago Dyke Marchs inadvertent use of a Neo-Nazi slur, “Zios,: to defend their exclusion of Jewish symbols and chants that they deemed inappropriate. When called out on the violent history of the term, the response was a tweet that opened with a breezy, “Sorry yall!” But “Zio” is a term that does not direct its verbal violence against “yall” it targets only Jews. There was no indication that the group has committed itself to the hard work of rooting out the anti-Jewish bias that could allow such hate speech to be used.

This lack of curiosity, this refusal to learn about the insidious history of Jew-hatred, this refusal to integrate critical voices: From what I have learned in deep conversation with colleagues and teachers, all of these are hallmarks of privilege.

If white people dont get to tell people of color the right way to fight for liberation, if cis and straight people dont get to tell queer folks which expressions of gender and sexuality are “appropriate,” then it follows that non-Jews dont get to tell Jews what symbols and messages are in bounds and which are out of bounds.

Which raises the question: why are there litmus tests and special rules of entry for Jews into anti-oppression movements – requirements for Jews to be accepted in intersectional campaigns and a policing of what constitutes an acceptable Jewish identity – and not for any other group?

Some have made a compelling case in favor of special scrutiny of Jews because of U.S. aid to Israel. Yet Egypt and the Palestinian Authority are also recipients of substantial U.S. aid, and Arab activists are not held to account for injustices in those lands by progressive activists. Anti-oppression activists are often first to point out the Islamophobia inherent in right-wing demands that U.S. Arabs and Muslims condemn totalitarianism in Arab states. And rightly so.

Dont Jews deserve the same respect and consideration?

In the mean time, there are Jewish activists who have taken a different lesson. Last month, Jewish Voice for Peace unveiled a campaign and hashtag, #deadlyexchange, rightly questioning the ethics of U.S.-Israel security exchanges. But the video accompanying the campaign claims that the driving force behind U.S. policing practices are Jews, a shocking blood libel placing the blame for police violence in black and brown communities not on centuries of American white supremacy, but squarely at the feet of Jews.

It is not surprising that progressives who would censure expressions of Jewish ideology and symbolism would flirt with actual expressions of blatant Jew-hatred.

This would all be troubling in a normal political climate. But, as we know, this marginalization of Jews is playing out against the backdrop of repressive regimes both in the United States and Israel. At a time of creeping American fascism, is dividing Jews into the useful and the non-useful, allies and enemies, really the best way forward?

Rather, doesnt it cripple the very alliances that need to be strengthened amongst progressives?

And at a time when the Netanyahu government is showing less and less willingness to move toward anything that looks like justice – when Gazans have electricity for just two hours a day, and non-Orthodox Judaism has equality in Israeli culture for no hours a day – is creating a progressive purity squad really the best way forward?

Rather, doesnt singling out Jews for special scrutiny play right into Netanyahus hands? Doesnt it reinforce the cynical claim that everyone hates the Jews anyway, so “nothing we do for the Palestinians will ever be enough?”

Justice for marginalized people in both the U.S. and Israel/Palestine is long overdue. I pray that I am contributing in some small way to that struggle. I pray, too, that my progressive allies learn the lessons that theyve taught me, and honor the Jews standing next to them in that struggle.

Rabbi Michael Rothbaum serves Congregation Beth Elohim, in Acton, Massachusetts. He lives with his husband, Yiddish singer Anthony Russell, in Concord.Twitter:@rav_mike

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Are You a ‘Good Jew’ or a ‘Bad Jew’? Too Many US Progressives Want to Know – Haaretz

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July 26, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Jews should stand in solidarity with the persecuted Hindus of Bangladesh – The Jerusalem Post mobile website

HINDU DEVOTEES sit together on the floor of a temple to observe Rakher Upabash for the last day, in Dhaka, B. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Throughout history, there are many parallels between the persecution experienced by the Jewish People and the plight of Hindus in Islamic lands, which highlights the moral imperative of both communities uniting to fight against their common oppressors. Both Jews and Hindus are part of ancient faiths that have stood the test of time, and the peoples of both faiths are known for their intellectual achievements. Yet at the same time, in the Islamic world, Jews historically have been treated as dhimmis (a protected minority who paid a poll tax in exchange for religious freedom), which made them second-class citizens. In some areas of the Islamic world, the dhimmi laws were less enforced. Under the Almohads of Spain and in Mashhad, Iran, the Jews were not permitted to practice their faith despite their dhimmi status under Islam and many Jews were massacred.

In the medieval period, Muslims massacred, enslaved and forcefully converted many Hindus, viewing them to be polytheists who dont have a right to exist under Islamic law. However, some Muslim rulers under the Mughal Empire followed the Hanafi school of Islamic law, which treated the Hindus as dhimmis as well. Nevertheless, state-sponsored violence against Hindus existed under the Mughals and other Islamic rulers despite this. Given this, the Hindu and Jewish People today have the roots to create a bond based upon their joint history of suffering in the Islamic world. Like the antisemitism in the Islamic world today, whose roots date back to Islamic idea that Jews should be treated as dhimmis, the history of Hindus being persecuted by Muslims is what helped to shape the present plight of Hindus in Bangladesh, where Hindus face brutal discrimination today.

Shipan Kumer Basu, the head of the Hindu Struggle Committee, stressed that Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina Wazeds government has been using Islamic State (ISIS) in a clandestine way to rid her country of its Hindu population. ISIS has forced Hindus to flee from their ancestral homeland, he stressed. There is massive land grabbing, torture, rape, murder, the destruction of Hindu temples and gods, the threatening of Hindu priests and even the killing of Hindu priests. It is all the handiwork of ISIS jihadists. Forced conversion is another ploy to diminish the minorities. Forcefully, they have converted many Hindu women and girls.

Recently, the HSC issued a report on human rights abuses suffered by the Hindu population within Bangladesh in 2016. The violence against the Hindu community in Bangladesh continues to date and the Bangladeshi government plays a role in this violence. As Basu noted, Through the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, Islam was declared as the state religion of Bangladesh with the provision that other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony. Since then, the minority community (largely Hindus) face discrimination, continuous atrocities and violence. It is also documented that the political process and the political parties are a major source of discrimination against the minorities.

Hindus are being marginalized in Bangladesh, he added. The number of Hindus in Bangladesh is decreasing dramatically.

According to Ananta Kumer Roy, this is because of the Bangladeshi governments attitude towards the Hindus within the country: They know we are a religious minority and are powerless. They make our weakness an advantage and an excuse to threaten us, rape our sisters and mothers, beat and seize our land, turning our happy families into helpless nomad refugees.

The Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council reported that 25 Hindu homes were destroyed, 51 Hindus wounded and 81 Hindu temples, monasteries and statues destroyed between January and June 2017 in Bangladesh. During this past Ramadan especially, Bangladeshi Hindus lived in fear as a 500-year-old Hindu temple was vandalized. Around the same period of time, a Hindu mother and daughter were gang-raped near a riverside on a trawler by vandals, some of them associated with the Bangladeshi government. These are not isolated incidents. According to local sources, attacks upon Hindu people, their homes and their holy sites within Bangladesh have become a daily occurrence.

According to Basu, Sheikh Majubur Rehman, the father of Sheikh Hasina, always despised the minorities and Sheikh Hasina vowed to follow in her fathers footsteps when she came into power: So, her policy is to make Bangladesh free of the minorities. With the government supporting terrorists and jihadists, Muslim fanatics have [raised] their ugly faces. He noted that ISIS is not operating in the open since Sheikh Hasinas government does not want an international backlash but they camouflage themselves with the ruling partys rank and file and Islamic extremist groups. Due to this, they have kept up their dreadful activities at ease. Even if an arrest is made, it is classified as a local minor incident and small charges are made against the terrorist. No stringent anti-terror law is applied.

As Jews, we have an obligation to stand by the Hindus of Bangladesh during their hour of need. Like the Hindu population in India, the Hindu population in Bangladesh is increasingly open to pursuing a relationship with Israel, believing it can be beneficial in helping to liberate their people from the yoke of this horrific oppression. The Bangladeshi Hindus view Israel as a source of inspiration of what they hope that a more tolerant Bangladesh can be one day if there are free and fair elections with international monitoring that will permit the country to move in a more democratic direction. For this reason, the Jewish People should stand in solidarity with them and help them to obtain justice, human rights and to pursue democracy.

The author is a senior media research analyst at the Center for Near East Policy Research and correspondent at the Israel Resource News Agency. She is the author of Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media.

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July 26, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Davis Islamic Center Under Fire After Sermon Translation Surfaces Online – CBS Sacramento

July 25, 2017 5:55 PM By Lemor Abrams

DAVIS (CBS13) The Islamic Center of Davis is under fire after a translation of a sermon posted online said it called for the annihilation of Jews.

The Davis Imams two-hour long sermon is mostly in Arabic. According to a translation from the Middle East Media Research Institute, Ammar Shahin calls for the annihilation of Jews, and asks his higher power to liberate the Al Asqa mosque from their filth.

Hes referring to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem where tensions are high after the Israeli government installed metal detectors when a terrorist shot and killed two Israeli soldiers earlier this month. In English, the Imam is clear- praying for a day of judgment between Muslims and Jews.

He spelled out what he wishes for every Muslim who follows the Quran and the Hadith to follow what the Hadith says which is find the Jews hiding behind trees and stones and kill them, said Sorele Brownstein.

To me, its clear this is direct incitement, said Shmary Brownstein.

Rabbi Shmary Brownstein and his wife Sorele are the leaders of the Chabad in Davis. They say theyve been on guard since the video was posted online. Their family is now being harassed by drivers passing by their home, which is also a house of worship.

Cars driving by screaming eff you!, said Rabbi Mendy Cohen of Chabad in Sacramento.

He worries it will escalate.

This is what we suffered throughout the years. Were not going to let Davis become like the neighborhoods in Paris where police cant go, said Cohen.

The Imam didnt respond to our request for an interview. But the Islamic Center of Davis issued a statement maintaining the sermon was taken out of context.

Officials later issued an apology, saying in part:

If the sermon was misconstrued, we sincerely apologize to anyone offended. We will continue our commitment to interfaith and community harmony.

For now, the Jewish community of Davis- no stranger to hate crimes is still trying to understand what to make of a local sermon now heard around the world.

A Davis police spokesman says the department has no comment. As for reports of harassment against the Jewish community, police say the matter is not under investigation.

Full statement from the Islamic Center of Davis:

In light of recent accusations made against Imam Ammar Shahin, the Islamic Center of Davis (ICD) has issued the following statement:

The ICD will always stand against anti-semitism similarly to how the Jewish community has always stood against Islamophobia in our close knit community. We have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism or any other form of bigotry.

On July 21st, 2017, Imam Ammar Shahin gave a sermon at the ICD. The sermon was about the theological virtues of one of Islams holiest sites, Al-Aqsa Mosque. He also addressed the recent horrific events including the illegal closure, occupation, and attacks against Al-Aqsa Mosque, in addition to the killing and injuring of Muslim worshipers, including the wounding of the Imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the prevention of worship and the call to prayer at the Mosque. Specifically, the Imam was referring to individuals that are contributing to this oppression.

Imam Shahin and the ICD reject any attempt to blame all Jews for Israels policies just like we reject the attempts to blame all Muslims for the acts of fringe groups. In reality, Jews around the world are on the front lines speaking out and protesting Israels repressive policies against Palestinians.

MEMRI, an extremist agenda driven organization that supports Israels occupation of Palestinian land, and other Islamophobic news organizations, accused Imam Shahin of anti-Semitism, quoting edited, mistranslated, passages of the sermon out of context.

If the sermon was misconstrued, we sincerely apologize to anyone offended. We will continue our commitment to interfaith and community harmony.

MEMRIs video included an edited segment about a Prophetic tradition dealing with the apocalyptic battle between Jesus and the Antichrist. Prophetic traditions addressing the end of times are not meant to address modern conflicts, the Imam was using the tradition to address unity and coming back to the faith.

For more background information on this Prophetic tradition, see: The Myth of An Antisemitic Genocide In Muslim Scripture.

During these emotional times its important for all parties to use restrained language and maintain respect.

The ICD welcomes all people to come to our Mosque to find out what we really teach, we have an open-door policy. The community plans to hold an interfaith townhall in the near future.

Twitter: @LemorAbrams Email: labrams@kovr.com Facebook Lemor Abrams is an Emmy-Award winning news reporter, who has interviewed thousands of people, from key political figures to everyday folks who impact their community. Her very f…

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Davis Islamic Center Under Fire After Sermon Translation Surfaces Online – CBS Sacramento

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July 26, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

California Imam: ‘Annihilate’ Filthy Jews – National Review

Not everything needs commentary; sometimes words just speak for themselves. For example, hear what Imam Ammar Shahin told an audience at Islamic Center of Davis, located across the street from the University of California-Davis, in his sermon on Friday:

Oh Allah, liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews. Oh Allah, destroy those who closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Oh Allah, show us the black day that you inflict upon them, and the wonders of your ability. Oh Allah, count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them.

Citing an anti-Semitic verse from the Hadith, Shahin added that Allah does not change the situation of people until they change their own situation. The Prophet Muhammad said: Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews.

Shain then made sure to note that We dont say if it is in Palestine or another place, making clear that Jews will be fought and killed everywhere.

It is hard to believe that Shahin, who is teaching the Muslim faith to impressionable students at a public university in America, is spewing this kind of hate about the filth of the Jews, whom Allah should annihilate. But there you have it. The relevant sections of the video, which was originally posted on the Davis Masjid YouTube channel, is reproduced below, courtesy of the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute.

Fear and outrage is how Michael Gofman, a student senator at UC-Davis, describes the reaction in the local Jewish community. In the last few years, Davis Jewish community has faced a spate of anti-Semitic incidents, including swastikas drawn on the Jewish fraternity house, and tires of Jewish students cars slashed.

Gofman says that when Islamic Center of Davis was vandalized some months ago, the Jewish community rallied in its support. I understand this is not what most Muslims believe, he notes, but now they invite a speaker to call for the annihilation of Jews?

Imam Shahin, who is Egyptian-born, is an instructor for the Zidni Islamic Institute, a California-based organization that provides classical Islamic training in the style of orthodox Sunni Islam, according to its website. I wonder if the institute knows how Shahin feels about Jews. I wonder if they know that he is adding his voice to the massive campaign to incite violence against Jews with lies about the al-Aqsa mosque, lies that have been repeated for almost 100 years now.

In the full video, Shahin even calls on his audience to defend the al-Aqsa mosque, mocking the Muslims who merely watch from afar. His models for action, which he praised, are the Palestinians who fight Israeli soldiers with rocks.

I hope the Zidni Institute and the staff of the Islamic Center of Davis had no clue, but I fear that they knew exactly what he believed only they didnt find it objectionable. I fear that this sort of preaching, bringing Middle Eastern anti-Semitism over to American Muslims, happens more than we know; only American Muslims, who hear these sermons, would know for sure. After all, if this imam was not stupid enough to put their own hate on YouTube for everyone to see, we would never have found out about the extremism being spread in Northern California. Apparently Shahin has been an imam in mosques all over the United States. Did anyone ever object when he said things like this?

Gofman, the student senator, tells me that the response to this incident at UC-Davis has been muted, with many people claiming that the imam was only expressing his anti-Zionism, not anti-Semitism. This, I am afraid, is the usual cowardice and the usual apologia one hears when a favored group has wronged a non-favored group.

It goes without saying that Shahin should be fired, and kept away from students at UC-Davis, if possible. Political indoctrination at American colleges is bad enough do we really need Islamic anti-Semitism added to the mix?

Link:
California Imam: ‘Annihilate’ Filthy Jews – National Review

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July 25, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

California imam caught on video allegedly encouraging American Muslims to annihilate Jews – TheBlaze.com

Imam Ammar Shahin of the Islamic Center of Davis in northern California was caught on camera allegedlyencouraging American Muslims to eliminate Jewish people and praying for the death of Jewish people during a sermon on Friday.

According to Arutz Shiva, Shahin is a well-educated Muslim with a bachelors degreein Islamic studies from Egypt. He came to America in 1999 and obtained a computer engineering degree. Arutz Shiva also reported that Shahin is an instructor at the Zidni Islamic Institute, a California-based organization that teaches Sunni Islam in the West.

During his sermon, Shahin seemingly sought to inspire Muslims to carry out the termination of Jewish people here in America by stating that the Prophet Muhammad saidall Muslims will deal death to the Jewish people, not just those from specific countries, Arutz Shiva reported.

Allah does not change the situation of people until they change their own situation. The Prophet Muhammad said: Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Jews hide behind stones and trees, and the stones and the trees say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah They will not say: Oh Egyptian, oh Palestinian, oh Jordanian, oh Syrian, oh Afghan, oh Pakistani. The Prophet Muhammad says that the time will come, the Last Hour will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews.

Afterward,Shahin is shown in prayer, asking Allah to eliminate the Jews around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, an Islamic holy site in Jerusalem. The mosque suffered a terror attackFriday, killing six, after Israeli officials placed metal detectors around the facility.

This led toprotests from Muslim worshipers, some of which became violent. Israeli officials removed the metal detectorson Monday, and instead are replacing them with smart cameras, capable of detecting hidden objects.

Liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews, Shahin prayed. Annihilate them down to the very last one.

Oh Allah, make this happen by our hands. Let us play a part in this, Shahin added in his prayer.

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California imam caught on video allegedly encouraging American Muslims to annihilate Jews – TheBlaze.com

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How German Jews joined the US Army and helped beat the Nazis – USA TODAY

‘Sons and Soldiers’ by Bruce Henderson(Photo: William Morrow)

Theres a 10-second scene in the movie Saving Private Ryan in which an Army private tauntingly brandishes his Star of David medallion at captured German soldiers passing by and identifies himself as Juden Jewish.

Its a brief but haunting scene, forcing the viewer to wonder what was it like for Jewish soldiers to fight the Germans.

Bruce Hendersons amply titled history Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned With the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler (HarperCollins,448 pp., *** out of four stars)provides one answer.

Henderson meticulously crafts a riveting non-fiction account of young Jewish men who were sent to America by their families to escape Nazi persecution. The eldest sons, Henderson tells us, were often sent away to survive and carry on the family name. These sons became U.S. citizens and some volunteered to fight.

Sons and Soldiers opens in Germany in 1938 with the Nazis in power and escalating the brutality and violence directed toward Jews. The book focuses on a group of young German Jews, the terrible hardships they and their families endure, and how the youths finally make their way to America.

Ritchie Boys Guy Stern, Walter Sears, and Fred Howard (left to right) celebrating the end of the war on V-E Day (May 8, 1945) in the town of Bad Hersfeld, located in the heart of Germany.(Photo: Family photograph)

Many of the arrivals were mistrusted as enemy aliens after arriving in the U.S. With their German accents, the young refugees who volunteered for military service including those who wanted to strike back at the Nazis were often viewed with suspicion and shunted into non-combatant roles.

That was until the U.S. military realized the potential of these young Jewish men as intelligence specialists. Their ability to speak German and their knowledge of Nazi-occupied territory made them invaluable.

The Army recruited about 2,000 of these men. They were trained at Camp Ritchie, Maryland, and were known as the Ritchie Boys.

The Ritchie Boys were trained as information gatherers. They interrogated German prisoners and conducted psychological warfare against German troops in the field. They were credited with extracting vital information on troop strength, movement and other details crucial to the U.S. war effort.

Operations at Camp Ritchie demonstrated the Armys commitment to intelligence gathering. Soldiers became students, immersed in foreign languages, interrogation techniques, house searches, map-making and combat survival.

Author Bruce Henderson.(Photo: Sean Marrs)

The Ritchie Boys also had to learn the German Order of Battle, an exhaustive compilation of German military operations. They had to know the German military hierarchy, number and names of units, military insigniaand dozens of other facts. They had to identify German military weaponry and under what circumstances it was used.

The payoff came when interrogating captured German soldiers:

Such detailed information about German army units was useful not only for improving the questions they could ask prisoners it could also be used as a show of knowledge to impress prisoners; what the Americans already knew might prove unnerving.

Hendersons research and interviews with scores of veterans givesus a richly detailed story that puts readers alongside the Ritchie Boys in some of the darkest moments of history, from Kristallnacht to D-Day to the liberation of the Buchenwald death camp.

In addition to providing sobering insight on how Jewish soldiers fought the Nazis, Sons and Soldiers is a spellbinding account of extraordinary men at war.

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How German Jews joined the US Army and helped beat the Nazis – USA TODAY

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California Imam under fire after asking Allah to ‘annihilate’ Jews in sermon – Fox News

Jewish groups have asked Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney’s office to investigate a California Imam who gave a sermon calling on Allah to “annihilate” Jews “down to the very last one” — and asked for his congregants to take part in the slaughter. Imam Ammar Shahin gave the sermon at the Islamic Center of Davis, California on Friday. He asked for Allah to liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Israel from “the filth of the Jews,” according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute, and cited an Islamic text that calls for a Judgement Day fight between Muslims and Jews. Oh Allah, count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them, said Shahin, who spoke in both Arabic and English during his sermon. Oh Allah, make this happen by our hands. Let us play a part in this. Oh Allah, let us support them in words and in deeds. ORTHODOX JEWISH GRADE SCHOOL IN UK FAILS INSPECTION FOR REFUSAL TO TEACH ABOUT SEXUAL ORIENTATION “The sermon is very antisemitic and violent, much like many sermons in the mosques of the Middle East,”MEMRI Executive Director Steven Stalinsky told Fox News in a statement. “It is not surprising that the imam/mosque are denying this and saying that it is incorrect or out of context. In fact, there were two different sermons from California mosques this week, both of them calling for destroying/annihilating the Jews.” A video of the sermon was posted to the Islamic Center of Davis YouTube channel on Friday. Excerpts of the sermon, which lasted about two and a half minutes, were translated and posted on the MEMRI website. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is on a holy site for both Jews and Muslims in East Jerusalem, and was the scene of a July 14 terror attack during which three Arab gunmen killed two Israeli police officers. The shrine was closed for several days in the aftermath of the assault, canceling Friday prayers for the first time in decades. New security measures, including metal detectors, were installed, and immediately drew Palestinian condemnation. Israel said the security measures were necessary to prevent more attacks, while Palestinians claimed Israel was trying to expand its control over the site. The issue has sparked some of the worst street clashes in years. US MUSLIMS SEE FRIENDLY NEIGHBORS, BUT A FOE IN WHITE HOUSE In a statement on itswebsite, the Islamic Center of Davis stood behind Shahin and his sermon, saying it was taken out of context. The ICD will always stand against anti-Semitism similarly to how the Jewish community has always stood against Islamophobia in our close knit community, the statement said. We have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism or any other form of bigotry. It continued: MEMRI, an extremist agenda driven organization that supports Israels occupation of Palestinian land, and other Islamophobic news organizations, accused Imam Shahin of anti-Semitism, quoting edited, mistranslated, passages of the sermon out of context. In another statement to theDavid Enterprise, the center said the sermon described the theological issue regarding the apocalyptic battle between Jesus and the Antichrist, or between good and evil not against any particular group. When people believe in Jesus and hold on to the truth, God will support them. This was the purpose of citing the prophetic tradition, the center said. In the context of the full sermon, it becomes clear that the theme of the sermon was against oppression, and not against Jews or any religion. Steve Cohan, co-president of Congregation Bet Haverim in Davis, said in a statement that Shahins sermon was deeply concerning but that he looked forward to going beyond the online media reports and sharing his thoughts with the Islamic Center leadership. But not everyone is being quite so understanding of Shahin’s rhetoric. TheSimon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization in Los Angeles, has called upon the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to launch an investigation of the Imam for inciting to murder Jews. By explicitly urging Muslims to annihilate all Jews by their own hands, Shahin has crossed the line beyond protected speech, Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Rabbi Yitzchok Alderstein, both SWC directors, wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. Hamza El-Nakhal, a longtime member of the Muslim community in Davis and a former president of the Islamic Centers executive board, told the Davis Enterprise that he found the video disturbing. He said he was out of town and did not attend the Friday service. While I am disgusted by the action of the Israeli government in preventing Muslim people from doing their prayers in the Masjid Al-Aqsa, I am equally disgusted by any religious leader who does not take the chance (during) high unsettling times to calm their congregations, El-Nakhal said. Some people like Imam Ammar Shahin become angry for injustices. He spoke while angry. He should not have given this sermon while angry. Fox News’ Pamela Browne and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang

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July 26, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

26 Jews flee Venezuelan crisis to Israel – The Jerusalem Post

Michal Levy with her 3 children and IFCJ coordinator for aliya from Latin America Debbie Ashkenazi (right) at Ben Gurion Airport on July 26, 2017. (photo credit:IFCJ) Twenty-six Jews from Venezuela immigrated to Israel on Tuesday and Wednesday, part of a general surge in emigration from the country as its political and economic crises have paralyzed parts of the nation. While thousands of their countrymen are heading over the borders to other Latin American countries, some Jewish Venezuelans have opted to use their eligibility for citizenship in Israel. On July 30, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is holding a vote to create a legislative super-body that would have the power to rewrite the constitution and dissolve state institutions. Near daily anti-government protests since April have seen masked youths with stones, Molotov cocktails and homemade mortars battling riot police using tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets. The situation is very hard, Michal Levy, 35, told The Jerusalem Post over the phone from Ben-Gurion Airport shortly after arriving in Israel with her three children on Wednesday on one of two flights organized by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Seven families arrived on the two flights. Its hard to get basic things like bread and flour, Levy said, adding that she had been afraid to leave the house due to the riots and for fear that a member of her family could be kidnapped for ransom a common phenomenon in the country. Levys son suffers from a skin allergy for which he requires medication, but she had not been able to obtain any recently. Three months ago we understood we couldnt continue living here, she said. For more than a week you cant leave the house its not simple. Levy is a returning Israeli citizen, having left for Venezuela five-and-a-half years ago for her husbands work. She taught at a Jewish school in Caracas and described the Jewish community as very supportive. She said many in the community are wealthy though there is a range of socioeconomic status among them and they always help one another obtain ransom money if there is a kidnapping in the community, making them a desirable target. Members of the community are constantly leaving the country, some to Panama or the US, others to Israel. Levys family is heading to Rishon Lezion. I know it will be better for my children here, at home, and thats whats important, she said. In contrast to Levys remark, the Fellowship maintains that while the majority of the Jewish community in Venezuela used to be wealthy, most of those who had the means have left the country. Several of the families who made aliya were in severe economic distress, the organization noted. An estimated 5,000-9,000 Jews remain in Venezuela. Within that community, the Fellowship says, are some 1,400 elderly and some 500 children. Seven hundred families, it says, are supported by community welfare agencies. In addition to the absorption benefits all immigrants receive from the State of Israel, the Fellowship funds the Venezuelans flights to Israel and grants them $400 per child and $800 per adult. The Fellowship also assists the immigrants for half a year, helping place the children in educational institutions and providing social and welfare assistance. By the end of 2017, the Fellowship expects to have brought 100 immigrants from Venezuela. The Fellowship is focused on helping Jews around the world who are in financial or security distress and helping them immigrate to Israel and build a new and safe life, said the president of the Fellowship, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. For the last year and a half, the Fellowship has helped 200 Jews immigrate to Israel and is also helping the Jewish community by providing them with medicines that are unobtainable there, he added. Reuters contributed to this report. Share on facebook

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Compared To Jews, American Muslims Intermarry Far Less And Are More Devout – Forward

NEW YORK (JTA) Since it came out in 2013, the Pew study a landmark survey of American Jewish demographics, beliefs and practices has been at the center of American Jewish scrutiny and handwringing. Now its American Muslims turn. On Wednesday, the Pew Research Center released a survey of American Muslims focusing not only on numbers and their way of life, but also on how the community has responded to the election of President Donald Trump. Comparing the two studies shows a Muslim sector in America that is more religious, growing faster and feels more embattled than American Jews. But both groups voted for Hillary Clinton. Heres how the Jews and Muslims of the United States stack up. There are more Jews than Muslims in America, but the Muslim population is growing faster. Pew found that there are about 3.3 million Muslims in the United States, a little more than 1 percent of the population. U.S. Jews, by contrast, stand at 5.3 million around 2 percent of all Americans. But Muslims, Pew found, skew younger and have higher birth rates. More than a third of U.S. Muslims are under 30, only 14 percent are over 55 and their birth rate is 2.4, slightly higher than the national average. Most American Jews are over 50 and their birth rate is 1.9. While the median age of U.S. Muslims is 35, the median age of U.S. Jews is 50. Americans in general have a median age of 47. These numbers explain why a 2015 Pew study found that by 2050, American Muslims will outnumber American Jews. While the Jewish population is expected to stagnate at about 5.4 million, Pew predicts that in a little more than three decades, there will be 8 million Muslims in America. The respective studies also included some data unique to each religion. While there are sharp internal divides between Shia and Sunni Muslims, Pew did not address the question of who is a Muslim as it did with Jewish Americans. The study reported demographic data that may contradict popular American stereotypes of Muslims. Only 14 percent of Muslim immigrants are from the Middle East, while one-fifth are from South Asia. And the plurality of American Muslims four in 10 are white. Only 13 percent of American Muslims are intermarried. When Pew released its study of the Jews in 2013, American Jewish leaders began fretting about an intermarriage rate of 58 percent since 2000 and they havent stopped. By that measure, American Muslim leaders can rest easy. Unlike the majority of American Jews, only 13 percent of American Muslims are intermarried. And the number has declined in recent years: In 2011, the number was 16 percent. The numbers are so low that the word intermarriage doesnt even appear in the survey. But another statistic shows that American Muslims may be following their Jewish neighbors. Among Muslims born in the U.S., the intermarriage rate is nearly 20 percent. Most Jews say they dont face discrimination. Most Muslims say they do. Another reason for the difference in intermarriage rates could be the discrimination that Jews and Muslims each face in America. Jews, who are more likely to marry outside their group, are also more accepted in America than Muslims. In an age when Trump the candidate called for a ban on Muslim immigration, the Muslim study focused heavily on Muslim feelings of discrimination and belonging in America. Questions were asked about Islamophobia, anti-Muslim violence, the president, terrorism, extremism and how Muslims feel about being Muslim and American. In brief, the study found that nearly half of Muslims have faced discrimination in the past year, and 75 percent feel Muslims face a great deal discrimination in America. But nine in 10 feel proud to be American. Three-quarters of American Muslims say violence against civilians can never be justified, as opposed to 59 percent of Americans in general. In 2013, most Jews said that Jews do not face a lot of discrimination in America, and only 15 percent personally faced discrimination in the year before the survey. But Pews Jewish study was published three years before the spike in anti-Semitism that accompanied the 2016 election. A poll by the Anti-Defamation League published in April revealed starkly different numbers, showing that most Americans were concerned about violence against Jews. Jews graduate college at higher rates than Muslims and earn more. The graduation rates and household incomes of American Muslims track with the rest of the country. Like Americans in general, 31 percent of Muslim Americans have graduated college. And a quarter of Muslim Americans earn more than $100,000, similar to the national average. But 40 percent of Muslim households earn less than $30,000 eight points higher than Americans in general. Nearly six in 10 American Jews, meanwhile, have graduated college. And 42 percent have household incomes higher than $100,000, while only 20 percent earn less than $30,000. Muslims are far more religious than Jews, but both say social justice is central. American Jews and Muslims are particularly different when it comes to religion. While nearly two-thirds of American Muslims say religion is very important to them, only a quarter of Jews do. A third of Jews believe in God, compared to 85 percent of Muslims who said belief in God is essential to being a Muslim. Nearly six in 10 American Muslims say following the Quran is essential to being a Muslim, compared to less than a quarter of American Jews who say the same about Jewish law. Four in 10 American Muslims attend mosque at least once a week and eight in 10 observe the monthlong fast of Ramadan. By contrast, two-thirds of American Jews attend synagogue less than once a month and only about half fasted on Yom Kippur. But there are some commonalities, too. Nearly all American Jews and Muslims say they are proud to be Jewish and Muslim, respectively. And both groups prioritize social justice. Solid majorities of Jews (60 percent) and Muslims (69 percent) see working for justice and equality as an essential part of their religious identity. Jews are more liberal than Muslims, but a higher percentage voted for Trump. American Muslims responded to Trumps anti-Muslim rhetoric on the campaign trail by voting for Clinton. Nearly 80 percent of American Muslims voted for the Democrat, while only 8 percent backed Trump. By contrast, Clinton earned 70 percent of the Jewish vote, with Trump garnering 25 percent. But proportionally more American Jews identify as liberal than do American Muslims. While nearly half of American Jews call themselves liberal, only 30 percent of American Muslims do close to the national average. But Muslims are trending liberal on at least one issue: A majority believe homosexuality should be accepted in society, compared to just 27 percent who felt that way a decade ago. Four-fifths of American Jews agree.

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July 26, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Are You a ‘Good Jew’ or a ‘Bad Jew’? Too Many US Progressives Want to Know – Haaretz

The anti-Zionism test for Jews is exclusionary at best, Jew-hatred at worst. And it cripples alliances to challenge both injustices against Palestinians and America’s creeping fascism Ive spent the better part of my rabbinate -stretching over 20 years between New York, Oakland, and now Massachusetts -dedicated to social justice work. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to those whove taught and mentored me, wise and thoughtful activists who have pushed me to recognize and challenge my own privilege, especially as a white, cisgender male rabbi. The anti-oppression principles and practices theyve taught me are deep and varied. For instance, Ive learned that its insulting to generalize feelings, thoughts, and behaviors to a whole group. Ive learned that, to challenge oppression, its essential to center the voices of marginalized peoples. Ive learned that challenging systems of oppression requires us to measure “impact versus intent”, that words informed by racism and sexism can create psychic pain even when the speaker doesnt intend them that way. Ive learned that those in privileged positions need to honor the lived experiences of marginalized people, rather than challenging or invalidating those experiences. Ive learned that being part of the solution means receiving difficult feedback as a gift. But a funny thing happened on the way to our collective liberation. We seem to have left out the Jews. A good number of my non-Jewish activist friends and teachers actively confront anti-Jewish bias. But theres a troubling tendency among progressive activists to forget their own powerful teachings when it comes to Jews. For instance, anti-oppression principles teach us not to generalize the behaviors of one person to a whole group. But I have stepped off of more than one stage – speaking against the harassment of immigrants or the extrajudicial killings of people of color – only to be confronted by a stranger demanding to know “my thoughts on Palestine.” As if every Jews bears the guilt of any and all Israeli injustices against Palestine. We’ve got more newsletters we think you’ll find interesting. Please try again later. This email address has already registered for this newsletter. And, instead of centering the voices of Jews as a marginalized people, too many progressives neglect to make space for Jews to discuss their experience of anti-Jewish oppression. Moreover, Jews are almost never invited to identify or discuss their relationship to the term “Zionism,” let alone articulate their own personal visions of Jewish nationalism. Unjust actions of the State of Israel, like any state, require scrutiny and, when appropriate, condemnation. I have joined voices, both Jewish and non-Jewish, that have criticized Israeli treatment of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. But for many of my fellow justice advocates, the message to Jews boils down to a binary: either anti-Zionism or the door. And when the lived experience of millions of Jews is a personal affinity for Israel, to set anti-Zionism is a litmus test for participating in anti-oppression movements is exclusionary at best and Jew-hatred at worst. And finally, instead of receiving difficult feedback from like-minded Jews about messaging and language with open hearts, too many progressives discount them as irrelevant, or dismiss them as efforts to silence criticism of Israel. The most notorious recent example is the Chicago Dyke Marchs inadvertent use of a Neo-Nazi slur, “Zios,: to defend their exclusion of Jewish symbols and chants that they deemed inappropriate. When called out on the violent history of the term, the response was a tweet that opened with a breezy, “Sorry yall!” But “Zio” is a term that does not direct its verbal violence against “yall” it targets only Jews. There was no indication that the group has committed itself to the hard work of rooting out the anti-Jewish bias that could allow such hate speech to be used. This lack of curiosity, this refusal to learn about the insidious history of Jew-hatred, this refusal to integrate critical voices: From what I have learned in deep conversation with colleagues and teachers, all of these are hallmarks of privilege. If white people dont get to tell people of color the right way to fight for liberation, if cis and straight people dont get to tell queer folks which expressions of gender and sexuality are “appropriate,” then it follows that non-Jews dont get to tell Jews what symbols and messages are in bounds and which are out of bounds. Which raises the question: why are there litmus tests and special rules of entry for Jews into anti-oppression movements – requirements for Jews to be accepted in intersectional campaigns and a policing of what constitutes an acceptable Jewish identity – and not for any other group? Some have made a compelling case in favor of special scrutiny of Jews because of U.S. aid to Israel. Yet Egypt and the Palestinian Authority are also recipients of substantial U.S. aid, and Arab activists are not held to account for injustices in those lands by progressive activists. Anti-oppression activists are often first to point out the Islamophobia inherent in right-wing demands that U.S. Arabs and Muslims condemn totalitarianism in Arab states. And rightly so. Dont Jews deserve the same respect and consideration? In the mean time, there are Jewish activists who have taken a different lesson. Last month, Jewish Voice for Peace unveiled a campaign and hashtag, #deadlyexchange, rightly questioning the ethics of U.S.-Israel security exchanges. But the video accompanying the campaign claims that the driving force behind U.S. policing practices are Jews, a shocking blood libel placing the blame for police violence in black and brown communities not on centuries of American white supremacy, but squarely at the feet of Jews. It is not surprising that progressives who would censure expressions of Jewish ideology and symbolism would flirt with actual expressions of blatant Jew-hatred. This would all be troubling in a normal political climate. But, as we know, this marginalization of Jews is playing out against the backdrop of repressive regimes both in the United States and Israel. At a time of creeping American fascism, is dividing Jews into the useful and the non-useful, allies and enemies, really the best way forward? Rather, doesnt it cripple the very alliances that need to be strengthened amongst progressives? And at a time when the Netanyahu government is showing less and less willingness to move toward anything that looks like justice – when Gazans have electricity for just two hours a day, and non-Orthodox Judaism has equality in Israeli culture for no hours a day – is creating a progressive purity squad really the best way forward? Rather, doesnt singling out Jews for special scrutiny play right into Netanyahus hands? Doesnt it reinforce the cynical claim that everyone hates the Jews anyway, so “nothing we do for the Palestinians will ever be enough?” Justice for marginalized people in both the U.S. and Israel/Palestine is long overdue. I pray that I am contributing in some small way to that struggle. I pray, too, that my progressive allies learn the lessons that theyve taught me, and honor the Jews standing next to them in that struggle. Rabbi Michael Rothbaum serves Congregation Beth Elohim, in Acton, Massachusetts. He lives with his husband, Yiddish singer Anthony Russell, in Concord.Twitter:@rav_mike Want to enjoy ‘Zen’ reading – with no ads and just the article? Subscribe today

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July 26, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Jews should stand in solidarity with the persecuted Hindus of Bangladesh – The Jerusalem Post mobile website

HINDU DEVOTEES sit together on the floor of a temple to observe Rakher Upabash for the last day, in Dhaka, B. (photo credit:REUTERS) Throughout history, there are many parallels between the persecution experienced by the Jewish People and the plight of Hindus in Islamic lands, which highlights the moral imperative of both communities uniting to fight against their common oppressors. Both Jews and Hindus are part of ancient faiths that have stood the test of time, and the peoples of both faiths are known for their intellectual achievements. Yet at the same time, in the Islamic world, Jews historically have been treated as dhimmis (a protected minority who paid a poll tax in exchange for religious freedom), which made them second-class citizens. In some areas of the Islamic world, the dhimmi laws were less enforced. Under the Almohads of Spain and in Mashhad, Iran, the Jews were not permitted to practice their faith despite their dhimmi status under Islam and many Jews were massacred. In the medieval period, Muslims massacred, enslaved and forcefully converted many Hindus, viewing them to be polytheists who dont have a right to exist under Islamic law. However, some Muslim rulers under the Mughal Empire followed the Hanafi school of Islamic law, which treated the Hindus as dhimmis as well. Nevertheless, state-sponsored violence against Hindus existed under the Mughals and other Islamic rulers despite this. Given this, the Hindu and Jewish People today have the roots to create a bond based upon their joint history of suffering in the Islamic world. Like the antisemitism in the Islamic world today, whose roots date back to Islamic idea that Jews should be treated as dhimmis, the history of Hindus being persecuted by Muslims is what helped to shape the present plight of Hindus in Bangladesh, where Hindus face brutal discrimination today. Shipan Kumer Basu, the head of the Hindu Struggle Committee, stressed that Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina Wazeds government has been using Islamic State (ISIS) in a clandestine way to rid her country of its Hindu population. ISIS has forced Hindus to flee from their ancestral homeland, he stressed. There is massive land grabbing, torture, rape, murder, the destruction of Hindu temples and gods, the threatening of Hindu priests and even the killing of Hindu priests. It is all the handiwork of ISIS jihadists. Forced conversion is another ploy to diminish the minorities. Forcefully, they have converted many Hindu women and girls. Recently, the HSC issued a report on human rights abuses suffered by the Hindu population within Bangladesh in 2016. The violence against the Hindu community in Bangladesh continues to date and the Bangladeshi government plays a role in this violence. As Basu noted, Through the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, Islam was declared as the state religion of Bangladesh with the provision that other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony. Since then, the minority community (largely Hindus) face discrimination, continuous atrocities and violence. It is also documented that the political process and the political parties are a major source of discrimination against the minorities. Hindus are being marginalized in Bangladesh, he added. The number of Hindus in Bangladesh is decreasing dramatically. According to Ananta Kumer Roy, this is because of the Bangladeshi governments attitude towards the Hindus within the country: They know we are a religious minority and are powerless. They make our weakness an advantage and an excuse to threaten us, rape our sisters and mothers, beat and seize our land, turning our happy families into helpless nomad refugees. The Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council reported that 25 Hindu homes were destroyed, 51 Hindus wounded and 81 Hindu temples, monasteries and statues destroyed between January and June 2017 in Bangladesh. During this past Ramadan especially, Bangladeshi Hindus lived in fear as a 500-year-old Hindu temple was vandalized. Around the same period of time, a Hindu mother and daughter were gang-raped near a riverside on a trawler by vandals, some of them associated with the Bangladeshi government. These are not isolated incidents. According to local sources, attacks upon Hindu people, their homes and their holy sites within Bangladesh have become a daily occurrence. According to Basu, Sheikh Majubur Rehman, the father of Sheikh Hasina, always despised the minorities and Sheikh Hasina vowed to follow in her fathers footsteps when she came into power: So, her policy is to make Bangladesh free of the minorities. With the government supporting terrorists and jihadists, Muslim fanatics have [raised] their ugly faces. He noted that ISIS is not operating in the open since Sheikh Hasinas government does not want an international backlash but they camouflage themselves with the ruling partys rank and file and Islamic extremist groups. Due to this, they have kept up their dreadful activities at ease. Even if an arrest is made, it is classified as a local minor incident and small charges are made against the terrorist. No stringent anti-terror law is applied. As Jews, we have an obligation to stand by the Hindus of Bangladesh during their hour of need. Like the Hindu population in India, the Hindu population in Bangladesh is increasingly open to pursuing a relationship with Israel, believing it can be beneficial in helping to liberate their people from the yoke of this horrific oppression. The Bangladeshi Hindus view Israel as a source of inspiration of what they hope that a more tolerant Bangladesh can be one day if there are free and fair elections with international monitoring that will permit the country to move in a more democratic direction. For this reason, the Jewish People should stand in solidarity with them and help them to obtain justice, human rights and to pursue democracy. The author is a senior media research analyst at the Center for Near East Policy Research and correspondent at the Israel Resource News Agency. She is the author of Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media. Share on facebook

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July 26, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Davis Islamic Center Under Fire After Sermon Translation Surfaces Online – CBS Sacramento

July 25, 2017 5:55 PM By Lemor Abrams DAVIS (CBS13) The Islamic Center of Davis is under fire after a translation of a sermon posted online said it called for the annihilation of Jews. The Davis Imams two-hour long sermon is mostly in Arabic. According to a translation from the Middle East Media Research Institute, Ammar Shahin calls for the annihilation of Jews, and asks his higher power to liberate the Al Asqa mosque from their filth. Hes referring to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem where tensions are high after the Israeli government installed metal detectors when a terrorist shot and killed two Israeli soldiers earlier this month. In English, the Imam is clear- praying for a day of judgment between Muslims and Jews. He spelled out what he wishes for every Muslim who follows the Quran and the Hadith to follow what the Hadith says which is find the Jews hiding behind trees and stones and kill them, said Sorele Brownstein. To me, its clear this is direct incitement, said Shmary Brownstein. Rabbi Shmary Brownstein and his wife Sorele are the leaders of the Chabad in Davis. They say theyve been on guard since the video was posted online. Their family is now being harassed by drivers passing by their home, which is also a house of worship. Cars driving by screaming eff you!, said Rabbi Mendy Cohen of Chabad in Sacramento. He worries it will escalate. This is what we suffered throughout the years. Were not going to let Davis become like the neighborhoods in Paris where police cant go, said Cohen. The Imam didnt respond to our request for an interview. But the Islamic Center of Davis issued a statement maintaining the sermon was taken out of context. Officials later issued an apology, saying in part: If the sermon was misconstrued, we sincerely apologize to anyone offended. We will continue our commitment to interfaith and community harmony. For now, the Jewish community of Davis- no stranger to hate crimes is still trying to understand what to make of a local sermon now heard around the world. A Davis police spokesman says the department has no comment. As for reports of harassment against the Jewish community, police say the matter is not under investigation. Full statement from the Islamic Center of Davis: In light of recent accusations made against Imam Ammar Shahin, the Islamic Center of Davis (ICD) has issued the following statement: The ICD will always stand against anti-semitism similarly to how the Jewish community has always stood against Islamophobia in our close knit community. We have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism or any other form of bigotry. On July 21st, 2017, Imam Ammar Shahin gave a sermon at the ICD. The sermon was about the theological virtues of one of Islams holiest sites, Al-Aqsa Mosque. He also addressed the recent horrific events including the illegal closure, occupation, and attacks against Al-Aqsa Mosque, in addition to the killing and injuring of Muslim worshipers, including the wounding of the Imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the prevention of worship and the call to prayer at the Mosque. Specifically, the Imam was referring to individuals that are contributing to this oppression. Imam Shahin and the ICD reject any attempt to blame all Jews for Israels policies just like we reject the attempts to blame all Muslims for the acts of fringe groups. In reality, Jews around the world are on the front lines speaking out and protesting Israels repressive policies against Palestinians. MEMRI, an extremist agenda driven organization that supports Israels occupation of Palestinian land, and other Islamophobic news organizations, accused Imam Shahin of anti-Semitism, quoting edited, mistranslated, passages of the sermon out of context. If the sermon was misconstrued, we sincerely apologize to anyone offended. We will continue our commitment to interfaith and community harmony. MEMRIs video included an edited segment about a Prophetic tradition dealing with the apocalyptic battle between Jesus and the Antichrist. Prophetic traditions addressing the end of times are not meant to address modern conflicts, the Imam was using the tradition to address unity and coming back to the faith. For more background information on this Prophetic tradition, see: The Myth of An Antisemitic Genocide In Muslim Scripture. During these emotional times its important for all parties to use restrained language and maintain respect. The ICD welcomes all people to come to our Mosque to find out what we really teach, we have an open-door policy. The community plans to hold an interfaith townhall in the near future. Twitter: @LemorAbrams Email: labrams@kovr.com Facebook Lemor Abrams is an Emmy-Award winning news reporter, who has interviewed thousands of people, from key political figures to everyday folks who impact their community. Her very f…

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July 26, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

California Imam: ‘Annihilate’ Filthy Jews – National Review

Not everything needs commentary; sometimes words just speak for themselves. For example, hear what Imam Ammar Shahin told an audience at Islamic Center of Davis, located across the street from the University of California-Davis, in his sermon on Friday: Oh Allah, liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews. Oh Allah, destroy those who closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Oh Allah, show us the black day that you inflict upon them, and the wonders of your ability. Oh Allah, count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them. Citing an anti-Semitic verse from the Hadith, Shahin added that Allah does not change the situation of people until they change their own situation. The Prophet Muhammad said: Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews. Shain then made sure to note that We dont say if it is in Palestine or another place, making clear that Jews will be fought and killed everywhere. It is hard to believe that Shahin, who is teaching the Muslim faith to impressionable students at a public university in America, is spewing this kind of hate about the filth of the Jews, whom Allah should annihilate. But there you have it. The relevant sections of the video, which was originally posted on the Davis Masjid YouTube channel, is reproduced below, courtesy of the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute. Fear and outrage is how Michael Gofman, a student senator at UC-Davis, describes the reaction in the local Jewish community. In the last few years, Davis Jewish community has faced a spate of anti-Semitic incidents, including swastikas drawn on the Jewish fraternity house, and tires of Jewish students cars slashed. Gofman says that when Islamic Center of Davis was vandalized some months ago, the Jewish community rallied in its support. I understand this is not what most Muslims believe, he notes, but now they invite a speaker to call for the annihilation of Jews? Imam Shahin, who is Egyptian-born, is an instructor for the Zidni Islamic Institute, a California-based organization that provides classical Islamic training in the style of orthodox Sunni Islam, according to its website. I wonder if the institute knows how Shahin feels about Jews. I wonder if they know that he is adding his voice to the massive campaign to incite violence against Jews with lies about the al-Aqsa mosque, lies that have been repeated for almost 100 years now. In the full video, Shahin even calls on his audience to defend the al-Aqsa mosque, mocking the Muslims who merely watch from afar. His models for action, which he praised, are the Palestinians who fight Israeli soldiers with rocks. I hope the Zidni Institute and the staff of the Islamic Center of Davis had no clue, but I fear that they knew exactly what he believed only they didnt find it objectionable. I fear that this sort of preaching, bringing Middle Eastern anti-Semitism over to American Muslims, happens more than we know; only American Muslims, who hear these sermons, would know for sure. After all, if this imam was not stupid enough to put their own hate on YouTube for everyone to see, we would never have found out about the extremism being spread in Northern California. Apparently Shahin has been an imam in mosques all over the United States. Did anyone ever object when he said things like this? Gofman, the student senator, tells me that the response to this incident at UC-Davis has been muted, with many people claiming that the imam was only expressing his anti-Zionism, not anti-Semitism. This, I am afraid, is the usual cowardice and the usual apologia one hears when a favored group has wronged a non-favored group. It goes without saying that Shahin should be fired, and kept away from students at UC-Davis, if possible. Political indoctrination at American colleges is bad enough do we really need Islamic anti-Semitism added to the mix?

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July 25, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

California imam caught on video allegedly encouraging American Muslims to annihilate Jews – TheBlaze.com

Imam Ammar Shahin of the Islamic Center of Davis in northern California was caught on camera allegedlyencouraging American Muslims to eliminate Jewish people and praying for the death of Jewish people during a sermon on Friday. According to Arutz Shiva, Shahin is a well-educated Muslim with a bachelors degreein Islamic studies from Egypt. He came to America in 1999 and obtained a computer engineering degree. Arutz Shiva also reported that Shahin is an instructor at the Zidni Islamic Institute, a California-based organization that teaches Sunni Islam in the West. During his sermon, Shahin seemingly sought to inspire Muslims to carry out the termination of Jewish people here in America by stating that the Prophet Muhammad saidall Muslims will deal death to the Jewish people, not just those from specific countries, Arutz Shiva reported. Allah does not change the situation of people until they change their own situation. The Prophet Muhammad said: Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Jews hide behind stones and trees, and the stones and the trees say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah They will not say: Oh Egyptian, oh Palestinian, oh Jordanian, oh Syrian, oh Afghan, oh Pakistani. The Prophet Muhammad says that the time will come, the Last Hour will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews. Afterward,Shahin is shown in prayer, asking Allah to eliminate the Jews around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, an Islamic holy site in Jerusalem. The mosque suffered a terror attackFriday, killing six, after Israeli officials placed metal detectors around the facility. This led toprotests from Muslim worshipers, some of which became violent. Israeli officials removed the metal detectorson Monday, and instead are replacing them with smart cameras, capable of detecting hidden objects. Liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews, Shahin prayed. Annihilate them down to the very last one. Oh Allah, make this happen by our hands. Let us play a part in this, Shahin added in his prayer.

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July 25, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

How German Jews joined the US Army and helped beat the Nazis – USA TODAY

‘Sons and Soldiers’ by Bruce Henderson(Photo: William Morrow) Theres a 10-second scene in the movie Saving Private Ryan in which an Army private tauntingly brandishes his Star of David medallion at captured German soldiers passing by and identifies himself as Juden Jewish. Its a brief but haunting scene, forcing the viewer to wonder what was it like for Jewish soldiers to fight the Germans. Bruce Hendersons amply titled history Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned With the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler (HarperCollins,448 pp., *** out of four stars)provides one answer. Henderson meticulously crafts a riveting non-fiction account of young Jewish men who were sent to America by their families to escape Nazi persecution. The eldest sons, Henderson tells us, were often sent away to survive and carry on the family name. These sons became U.S. citizens and some volunteered to fight. Sons and Soldiers opens in Germany in 1938 with the Nazis in power and escalating the brutality and violence directed toward Jews. The book focuses on a group of young German Jews, the terrible hardships they and their families endure, and how the youths finally make their way to America. Ritchie Boys Guy Stern, Walter Sears, and Fred Howard (left to right) celebrating the end of the war on V-E Day (May 8, 1945) in the town of Bad Hersfeld, located in the heart of Germany.(Photo: Family photograph) Many of the arrivals were mistrusted as enemy aliens after arriving in the U.S. With their German accents, the young refugees who volunteered for military service including those who wanted to strike back at the Nazis were often viewed with suspicion and shunted into non-combatant roles. That was until the U.S. military realized the potential of these young Jewish men as intelligence specialists. Their ability to speak German and their knowledge of Nazi-occupied territory made them invaluable. The Army recruited about 2,000 of these men. They were trained at Camp Ritchie, Maryland, and were known as the Ritchie Boys. The Ritchie Boys were trained as information gatherers. They interrogated German prisoners and conducted psychological warfare against German troops in the field. They were credited with extracting vital information on troop strength, movement and other details crucial to the U.S. war effort. Operations at Camp Ritchie demonstrated the Armys commitment to intelligence gathering. Soldiers became students, immersed in foreign languages, interrogation techniques, house searches, map-making and combat survival. Author Bruce Henderson.(Photo: Sean Marrs) The Ritchie Boys also had to learn the German Order of Battle, an exhaustive compilation of German military operations. They had to know the German military hierarchy, number and names of units, military insigniaand dozens of other facts. They had to identify German military weaponry and under what circumstances it was used. The payoff came when interrogating captured German soldiers: Such detailed information about German army units was useful not only for improving the questions they could ask prisoners it could also be used as a show of knowledge to impress prisoners; what the Americans already knew might prove unnerving. Hendersons research and interviews with scores of veterans givesus a richly detailed story that puts readers alongside the Ritchie Boys in some of the darkest moments of history, from Kristallnacht to D-Day to the liberation of the Buchenwald death camp. In addition to providing sobering insight on how Jewish soldiers fought the Nazis, Sons and Soldiers is a spellbinding account of extraordinary men at war. Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2v4SL1C

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July 25, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed


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