Archive for the ‘Jews’ Category

White Supremacy and Jews as Racialized Other – The Good Men Project (blog)

Embed from Getty Images Jews will not replace us! Jews will not replace us!

The estimated 1500 neo-Nazi white supremacists blared out this disgusting chant as they marched with their Tiki Torches in hand through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia in protest of the scheduled removal of a statue commemorating Civil War General Robert E. Lee. This march was reminiscent of similar events held throughout Germany, and in particular, in Nuremberg during the Nazi era.

So why do self-described white supremacists target Jews, many who appear white? The answer, stemming from a long and complex history, is quite simple: Though Jewish people are members of every so-called race, even Jews of European heritage (Ashkenazim) have been and still continue to be racially othered by some dominant Christian European-heritage communities in some quarters.

For this reason, members of white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups engage in religious, ethnic, and racial bigotry against all groups they consider non-white, including Jews. In other words, anti-Jewish prejudice and discrimination (a.k.a. anti-Semitism) is a form of racism.

The Racialization of Jews

Looking back on the historical emergence of the concept of race, critical race theorists remind us that this concept arose concurrently with the advent of European exploration as a justification for conquest and domination of the globe beginning in the 15th century of the Common Era (CE) and reaching its apex in the early 20th century CE.

Biologists and geneticists tell us that there is often more variability within a given so-called race than between races, and that there are no essential genetic markers linked specifically to race. They assert, therefore, that race is an historical, scientific, biological myth, an idea, and that any socially-conceived physical racial markers are fictional and are not concordant with what is beyond or below the surface of the body.

Though biologists and social scientists have proven unequivocally that the concept of race is socially constructed (produced, manufactured), however, this does not negate the very real consequences people face living in societies that maintain racist policies and practices on the individual, interpersonal, institutional, and larger societal levels.

For millennia, some Christian theologians distinguished Jews as different from and inferior to Christians on religious grounds. A number of passages within the Christian Testaments were used to give justification for persecuting Jews. For example, Matthew 27:24-25, and in 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16:

[T]he Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out, the Jews who are heedless of Gods will and enemies of their fellow man.All this time they have been making up the full measure of their guilt, and now retribution has overtaken the good of all.

They also often equated Jews to the Devil:

And Jesus said: If God were your father, you would love me[but] your father is the devil and you choose to carry out your fathers desires (John 8:44). The Jewsare Satans synagogue (Revelation 2:9). I will make those of Satans synagogue, who claim to be Jews but are lying frauds, come and fall down at your feet (Revelation 3:9).

Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), born Carl Linn, (also know as the Father of Scientific Racism), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, developed a system of scientific hierarchical classification. Within this taxonomy under the label Homo sapiens, (Man), he enumerated five categories based initially on place of origin and later on skin color: Europeanus, Asiaticus, Americanus, Monstrosus, and Africanus.

Linnaeus asserted that each category was ruled by a different bodily fluid (Humors: moistures), represented by Blood (optimistic), Phlegm (sluggish), Cholor (yellow bile: prone to anger), Melancholy (black bile: prone to sadness).

Linnaeus connected each human category to a respective humor, thereby constructing the Linnaeus Taxonomy in descending order: Europeanus: sanguine (blood), pale, muscular, swift, clever, inventive, governed by laws; Asiaticus: melancholic, yellow, inflexible, severe, avaricious, dark-eyed, governed by opinions; Americanus (indigenous peoples in the Americas): choleric, copper-colored, straightforward, eager, combative, governed by customs; Monstrosus (dwarfs of the Alps, the Patagonian giant, the monorchid Hottentot): agile, fainthearted; Africanus: phlegmatic, black, slow, relaxed, negligent, governed by impulse.

Later, although Charles Darwin himself did not assert this, some of Darwins successors, referred to as Social Darwinists, hypothesized that Jews no longer were simply a separate religious, ethnic, or political group, but rather, like black Africans and other groups (including homosexuals), Jews were throwbacks to earlier stages of religious and human development. Social Darwinists forwarded a so-called racial hierarchy placing Aryans on the top, black Africans at the lower end, and other races (including Jews) at various points in between.

In Europe, by the late 19th century CE, Judaism had come to be viewed by the scientific community as a distinct racial type, with essential immutable biological characteristics a trend that increased markedly into the early 20th century CE.

Once seen as largely a religious, ethnic, or political group, Jews were increasingly constructed as members of a mixed race (a so-called mongrel or bastard race), a people who had crossed racial barriers by interbreeding with black Africans during the Jewish Diaspora. If Jews were evil, as thought by many, this evilness was genetic and could not be purged or cured. Jews converting to Christianity, therefore, could no longer solve the Jewish question.

The British psychologist, Francis Galton (1822-1911) a cousin of Charles Darwin was a founder of the Eugenics movement. In fact, Galton coined the term eugenics in 1883 from the Greek word meaning well born. Eugenicists attempted to improve qualities of a so-called race by controlling human breeding.

Galton argued that genetic predisposition determined human behavior. He proposed that the so-called elites in the British Isles were the most intelligent of all the peoples throughout the planet, while [t]he average intellectual standard of the Negro race is some two grades below our own [Anglo-Saxons]. The Australian type is at least one grade below the African Negro and The Jews are specialized for a parasitical existence upon other nations.

Galton asserted that Jews were of a lower racial form, and that they could be easily recognizable by their appearance. He also talked about a supposed cold and calculating Jewish gaze.

The U.S. writer, Madison Grant (1865-1937) codified this supposed racialization of the Jews in his influential book, The Passing of the Great Race, or The Racial Basis for European History (1916), in which he argued that Europeans comprised four distinct races: The Nordics of northwestern Europe sat atop his racial hierarchy, whom Grant considered as the natural rulers and administrators, which accounted for Englands extraordinary ability to govern justly and firmly the lower races.

Next down the racial line fell the Alpines whom Grant referred to as always and everywhere a race of peasants with a tendency toward democracy although submissive to authority. These he followed with the Mediterraneans of Southern and Eastern Europe, inferior to both the Nordics and the Alpines in bodily stamina, but superior in the field of art. Also, Grant considered the Mediterraneans superior to the Alpines in intellectual attainments, but far behind the Nordics in literature and in scientific research and discovery.

On the very bottom he placed the most inferior of all the European so-called races: the Jews. Referring specifically to the Polish Jew, Grant asserted that

the Polish Jews, whose dwarf stature, peculiar mentality and ruthless concentration on self-interest[present themselves in] swarms.

Once seen as largely a religious, ethnic, or political group, Jews were increasingly constructed as members of a mixed race (a so-called mongrel or bastard race).

Analogous to the notion in the United States that one drop of black African blood makes a person black, according to Grant, the mixture of any of the European races and a Jew is a Jew.

By the end of the 19th century CE, the popular image of the Jewish type (portrayed invariably as the Jewish male), according to Sander Gilman in his book The Jews Body, consisted of a hooked nose, curling nasal folds (ali nasi), thick prominent lips, receding forehead and chin, large ears, curly black hair, dark skin, stooped shoulders, [weak flat feet, deflated rump,] and piercing, cunning eyes. In addition, the gaze of the Jew was said to be pathological, searing, cunning, cold, and piercing.

An offshoot of Eugenics was phrenology: the study of the skull emphasizing that its size and shape determined mental abilities and character. Phrenologist practitioners held that a specific section of the Jewish or Hebrew brain was abnormally developed causing Jews to be highly interested in money.

As we know, the Nazis contrived racial arguments as a philosophical cornerstone as justification for their persecutions of Jews, as well as most people of color and people with disabilities. Jews and others they considered descendants from inferior racial stands. Nazi leadership argued vehemently that Jews were polluting the so-called Aryan race. They forced Jews to wear the yellow Star of David as a signifying marker, since to the Nazis, yellow represented a sign of race pollution.

This sentiment extended far beyond the borders of the Third Reich. For example, in 1939, the United States Congress refused to pass the Wagner-Rogers Bill, which if enacted would have permitted entry to the United States of 20,000 children from Eastern Europe, many of whom were Jewish, over existing quotas. Laura Delano Houghteling, cousin of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and wife of the U.S. Commissioner of Immigration sternly warned:

20,000 charming children would all too soon, grow into 20,000 ugly adults.

Once constructed as the Other in European society, Jews and Jewishness while certainly not fully embraced by the ruling elite as one of their own became a sort of middle status, standing somewhere between the dominant position of the White majority and the marginal position of People of Color. And this change in Jewish ethnoracial assignment has occurred only within the last 70 or so years.

Race then must be seen constructed not as a binary with white on one side and people of color on the other, but rather as a continuum. Except by extremists on the racist right, Ashkenazim are primarily constructed in the U.S. today on the white side of the line upon this continuum, and we definitely have white privilege vis-a-vis people of color.

I would argue, however, that we do not have the degree and extent of white privilege in many sections of this country as white mainline Protestants. In fact, in some countries, for example, in Eastern Europe still today, we are not constructed as white. Obviously, so-called white supremacists and neo-Nazis believe this as well.

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

‘Time for Jews to leave Europe?’ Is Barcelona’s chief rabbi right? – Fox News

The reaction ofBDS(Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions)Cataloniato the terrorist onslaughts in Barcelona and across Catalonia this past week was instructive. First, it offered lip-service condemnation of the Barcelona terrorist attacks. Then, with that out of the way, it condemned the European Union for human rights violations and took aim at its real enemies especially the occupiers of Palestina:

We also do not forget the victims of military occupations, of wars and terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestina, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Mali, Nigeria, Cote dIvoire, Burkina Faso and many other places where what happened yesterday in Barcelona is a daily occurrence.

This statement came as a stunned nation of Spain and the rest of the world mourned 14 dead and over 100 wounded, with the shocked understanding that, if not for a premature explosion in an Islamist bomb factory, hundreds more might have been murdered.

The chief rabbi of Barcelona, Meir Ben Chen, is not waiting to find out. Labeling Spain a hub of Islamist terror, he is lamenting that Europe is lost and calling on his flock to leave now.

Now authorities are belatedly trying to figure out if a localimam radicalized the 12-man cell. Whateverthe truth,BDSers would never allow a crisis to go to waste or allow the facts to get in the way. Their 24/7 goal: Demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state.

But did hatred of Jews factor into the Barcelona massacre?Apparently, it was a motivating factor for at least one key player: Moroccan-born Driss Oukabir, the legal EU resident who rented the white Fiat van used to plow down tourists in the popularLas Ramblas district.

Days before the mass murder-by-vehicle attack, Oukabir posted anti-Israel and anti-Semitic tirades on social media. And was it just a coincidence that the van landed in front of a kosher restaurant (a rarity in Barcelona) called Maccabi and near another called Maoz Falafel? Only the driver of the van, who was shot and killed by authorities on Monday, may have known for sure.

The chief rabbi of Barcelona, Meir Ben Chen, is not waiting to find out.Labeling Spain a hub of Islamist terror, he is lamenting that Europe is lost and calling on his flock to leave now.

Panic? Overreaction? Maybe not. Jewish leaders in Europe are reeling from a series of recent attacks by Islamists targeting not only tourists, but also Jewish institutions, including the Jewish Museum in Brussels and the Hypercacher supermarket in Paris.

Meanwhile, bigots have had a field day in their online swamp. One tweeter declared: Jewish-engineered non-white invasion of Europe ends with Muzzies slaughtering Jews. A second speculated that it was most likely planned by Jews. A third drew the lesson that to increase our guard against Jewish Power.

But beyond Islamists and marginal online Jew-haters, anti-Semitism in the Eurozone is now also deeply embedded in the mainstream. There are areas in leading capitals, including London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm, where no Jew dares to wear a yarmulke or a Jewish star necklace in public. In Sweden, anti-Semitic attacks go virtually unchallenged and unprosecuted by authorities.

Just how deeply embedded was highlighted not long ago by Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld, a respected author and researcher on anti-Semitism who attracted headlines and criticism with his assertion that well over 150 million citizens of the European Union (population 400 million) believe Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians. Gerstenfeld based his conclusion on a poll conducted by Germanys University of Bielefeld for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation that asked 8,000 people across eight EU member states whether they agreed. On average, 40 percent responded yes.

Another report estimates that 11 million Spaniards harbor anti-Semitic views. Too many in the European Union, including major media, reflexively and habitually blame civilian Israeli communities (settlements) or Israeli self-defense against Palestinian terrorism for the spread of Islamist terrorism. And in the UK, rather than standing up for a Jewish community reeling from a spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes,Jeremy Corbyns Labour Party has been rife with anti-Semitismand extreme anti-Israel antipathy.

Today, the anti-Jewish bigotry among Islamists who preach bullying, violence and terrorism, combined with the apathy and even open hostility among ruling elites in many European societies to their Jewish neighbors, renders useless the post-World War II pledge of Never Again.

Unless European leaders of state, culture and media dramatically change course,Barcelonas chief rabbi may be right. For the Jews, at least, Europe is lost.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is Associate Dean, Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Follow the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Facebook and on Twitter.

Dr. Harold Brackman, a historian is a consultant to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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Trump admin’s three ‘court Jews’ disgrace themselves – Tahlequah Daily Press

WASHINGTON – What Gary Cohn, Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner did last week – or, rather, what they didn’t do – is a shanda.

They’ll know what that means, but, for the uninitiated, shanda is Yiddish for shame, disgrace. The three men, the most prominent Jews in President Trump’s administration, could have spoken out, to say that those who march with neo-Nazis are not “very fine people,” as their boss claims. Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, and Cohn, the chief economic adviser, were actually standing with Trump when he said it. They said nothing.

All three let it be known through anonymous friends and colleagues that they are disturbed and distressed by what Trump said – Kushner even got out word that he and his wife, Ivanka, had counseled Trump otherwise – but none is speaking publicly about an outrage that makes millions of Americans feel as though they are living a nightmare.

We have seen such a character before in Jewish history: the stadlan. The stadlan, or “court Jew,” existed to please the king, to placate the king, to loan money to the king. He would dress like other members of the court, and he would beg the king for leniency toward the Jews but, ultimately, his loyalty was to the king.

I thought we were past the age of the stadlan. So did my rabbi, Danny Zemel. “These guys are the princes of American business power,” he said. “If they can’t find an ounce of moral fiber from their own Jewish past, we’re in a very sorry way.”

That past is as ancient as the Bible. Abraham argued with God, urging the Almighty not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of the innocent. Moses, seeing an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, struck the offender, buried him in the sand, and fled from Pharaoh. The daily Jewish liturgy includes the 146th Psalm, praying to a God who brings justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry, who lifts up those who are bowed, who upholds the widow and the orphan and who brings the wicked to ruin. Cohn, Mnuchin and Kushner have a particular obligation as Jews, because the violent white supremacists in Charlottesville were targeting Jews with their swastikas and chants of “Jews will not replace us” and “Sieg Heil.” One of their leaders told “Vice News Tonight” it was objectionable that Trump would “give his daughter to a Jew.” A few stood outside a synagogue brandishing rifles, forcing Sabbath worshipers to slip out a back door. But Jews, because of our recent history, know what results from silence in the face of any type of bigotry. Before Trump dabbled in anti-Semitism, he made scapegoats of immigrants, African-Americans, Latinos and, especially, Muslims. Two years ago, when I described the actions that made candidate Trump a bigot and a racist, I noted that he hadn’t yet gone after Jews. That followed soon: the tweeted image of a Star of David atop paper money, and the speech and ads linking Jews to a secret “global power structure.”

This racist demagoguery comes from the president of the U.S. In tweets Thursday, Trump proclaimed his sadness at the removal of “our beautiful” Confederate statues, and he revived the bogus claim that, a century ago, Gen. John J. Pershing dipped bullets in pig blood before shooting Muslim prisoners.

Why is it so hard to condemn such filth? David Shulkin did. Trump’s veterans affairs secretary, who is Jewish (and an Obama holdover), said what needed to be said: “I do feel like as an American and as a member of the Cabinet, that I can speak for my own personal opinions on this, and I am outraged by the behavior that I have seen with the Nazis and the white supremacists.” Shulkin said he will continue to speak. “Staying silent on these issues is not acceptable,” he said. Amen. Even the rabbi who oversaw Ivanka Trump’s conversion, Haskel Lookstein, joined in a statement saying he was “deeply troubled by the moral equivalency and equivocation President Trump has offered.” Amen. Even Sheldon Adelson’s Republican Jewish Coalition called for “greater moral clarity” from Trump, saying “there are no good Nazis.” Amen.

As I write this, my 13-year-old has come into my office and said the neo-Nazis at the Charlottesville synagogue make her reluctant to return to Hebrew school. She asks if our family will be a target because people know I’m Jewish. This is what Trump has done to America. And this is what Cohn, Mnuchin and Kushner allow with their shameful silence. Do they prize their appointments so much? Well then, don’t quit. Speak out. Let him fire you. But don’t play the court Jew.

Dana Milbank writes for The Washington Post.

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2 Israeli Jews converted to Islam, joined IS in Syria – The Times of Israel

Two Israeli Jews have converted to Islam and joined the Islamic State in Syria, according to the Shin Bet security agency.

The two were named on a list of 20 Israeli citizens, one of whom is now deceased, who joined the ranks of the jihadist group, Israels Channel 2 news reported Tuesday.

The two Israelis were born Jewish in the Soviet Union, immigrated to Israel at a young age, grew up in Israel, then converted to Islam as adults and traveled to Syria to join the ranks of IS. It was not immediately clear when the two left the country.

One, a 28-year-old woman, grew up in Ashdod. The other, Alex, a 32-year-old man, grew up in Lod.

Alexs sister, who was not identified, told the TV station the family was in shock and is not in touch with him.

The list was drawn up for Interior Minister Aryeh Deri after a law went into effect this week allowing him to strip members of foreign terror organizations of their Israeli citizenship.

The list was made up mostly of Israeli Arabs, including two each from the towns of Fureidis, Kafr Kassem, Jaljoulya, Beena and East Jerusalem.

One person on the list died recently, while the list was being drawn up.

Deri is expected to formally strip them of their citizenship in the coming weeks.

The security service periodically releases information about individual Israelis who have left the country to join IS.

In March, a Belarusian-Israeli man was arrested as he attempted to join the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria, after expressing support for the group over the past year and a half. The suspect, Valentin Vladmir Mazlevski, a 39-year-old father of five, moved to Israel from Belarus in 1996 at age 18 and converted to Islam four years later, while he was serving in the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet said.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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Why some Jews are paying $500 for an Italian etrog – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Samuel Ekstein from New York City inspecting a citron fruit in Santa Maria Del Cedro, southern Italy, Sept. 14, 2016. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) Fiftyyears ago, leaders of the Chabad movement tasked Rabbi Moshe Lazar of Milan with supervising the local production and export of the Calabria etrog, the citrus fruit used by Jews during the harvest festival of Sukkot.

Lazars job is to make sure the fruit is kosher for the festival, and that local farmers arent cutting corners or using unkosher techniques to boost the yield and their profitsfor what already is Italys most lucrative citrus product.

This year Lazar, now 83, has to be particularly vigilant. A winter frost destroyed 90 percent of this years crop, creating the worst shortage he has seen in Calabria etrogs, which are named for the southern region where they are grown. Italy is one of only three major exporters of the fruit along with Israel and Morocco.

Prices for the kosher fruits, which in normal years can easily fetch $200 ahead of Sukkot, have doubled and tripled, making Chabad communities around the world who strongly favor the Calabria variety fear that they will not be able to afford or obtain a specimen to call their own.

The shortage could also tempt unscrupulous or careless farmers.

The frost just burned the fruit-producing branches, Lazar said.

Due to the shortage, Lazar this year is picking fruit he would have deemed too homely for export in normal years, just as long as the fruit is technically kosher. To be considered as such, an etrog must at least be egg-sized, yellow, elliptical, intact (including its woody stem, or pitom) and possess a tough peel.

But even using the grade B produce, there are not going to be enough Calabria etrogim to go around this year, Lazar said.

Thats bad news for Chabad communities all over the world ahead of Sukkot, which this year begins on Oct. 4. Etrogs are among four species of plants that Jews purchase for the holiday, which is also known as the Feast of Tabernacles.

In the Ukrainian city of Odessa, Rabbi Avraham Wolffs congregants are trying to buy a single Calabria etrog for $500 via a Judaica shop in the United States.

Were worried that even at this high price we wont be able to get one this holiday, Wolff told JTA. So a few of the patrons of the community got together and decided to open a fund to make sure we have enough money, cost what it may, for at least one Calabria.

In previous years, the community bought five Calabria etrogs for Sukkot to be shared by Chabad institutions in Odessa, where some 50,000 Jews live. (Under Jewish law, Jews must possess an etrog during the festival, but a loophole allows them to be shared as gifts among several people. The fruits arent eaten, but carried and held at various points during worship.)

Other communities are able to cut out middlemen by buying the fruit directly from the farmers for about $50 apiece in normal years. But this year, farmers hiked their prices, starting at $150 apiece and all the way up to $350, according to Lazars son, Berel, who is a chief rabbi of Russia. Berel Lazar travels to Calabria each year to pick etrogs from orchards and bring them back to Russia for distribution to communities across the former Soviet Union. The younger Lazar charges congregants only what he pays the farmers.

The day after Sukkot, the price of etrogs drops to $1 a pound, Berel Lazar said. Locals use the fruit to make jam and in the soap industry.

The yield on Calabria etrogs, which are also called yanover etrogim because they used to be shipped from the Italian coastal city of Genoa, makes the fruit an irresistible target for manipulation, Berel Lazar said.

Some growers attempt to increase their margins at the expense of the strict kosher standards that Moshe Lazar has enforced for 50 years. One trick is to secretly graft the relativity vulnerable etrog tree onto the trunk of a hardier citrus tree, rendering it more robust but non-kosher. A cruder ruse involves gluing fruits and branches from a non-kosher tree onto a kosher one.

And while there is an atmosphere of friendship and mutual respect between the local farmers and the small team of supervisors working with Moshe Lazar, sadly there is not a relationship of trust, Berel Lazar said. He noted that the lucrative etrog trade has not escaped the attention of the Italian mafia, which he suggested may be pressuring farmers to try to pass off non-kosher etrogs as kosher to increase profits.

Moshe Lazar, right, explaining to a visitor at an etrog orchard in Calabria in 2015 about how to pick kosher fruit. (Esrogim.info)

Although etrogs are grown in Israel, Morocco and even the United States, Berel Lazar says that the Calabria etrog is clearly and visibly superior to those strands including fruits that grow in Israel on trees descended from Calabria groves. But to Chabadniks, the preference for Calabria etrogs is also based in scripture.

According to Chabad traditions, the Talmud, a central text of Judaism, suggests that God bequeathed southern Italy to Esau, Isaacs firstborn and inheritor of earths richness, as he is designated in the book of Genesis.

This means Calabria etrogim come from the richest soil, making them the best, Berel Lazar said.

The shortage has Berel Lazar this year is sticking to a quota of 300-500 fruits for Russian communities a mere fraction of the yield in normal years, when tens of thousands of etrogs leave the orchards of Calabrias approximately 100 etrog farmers ahead of the Sukkot holiday.

I cant pick as many as I want and send them all to Russia when the rest of the world is left without, he said.

Virtually all Chabad communities eagerly await the Calabria etrogs, and demand is especially high where the movement has many followers primarily in Israel, France, the United States and the former Soviet Union.

Moshe Lazar said he predicts the Calabria orchards will recover fully within a year or two, making the shortage a very temporary difficulty.

But not a new one, his son noted.

Hasidic tradition has many stories of Russian cities where Jews struggled to find an etrog for Sukkot, Berel Lazar said. This year we are reliving also this tradition.

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Secret deal with Nazi leader saved 300000 Jews during WWII, book reveals – CTV News

A Canadian author says he has uncovered compelling documentation that shows a powerful Nazi leader was deceived into halting the mass extermination of Jewish people in concentration camps months before the end of the Second World War.

In his new book, In The Name of Humanity: The Secret Deal to End the Holocaust, Max Wallace says that Nazi SS leader Heinrich Himmler was manipulated into ending the Final Solution, the Nazis plan to annihilate Jews.

In November, 1944, Himmler prohibited further killings of Jews and ordered that the Auschwitz crematoria and gas chambers be destroyed. Most historians have described it as an attempt to hide the scope of the Nazi crimes once it became clear that Germany was losing the war. But Wallace says he has uncovered evidence that Himmler was tricked into believing he could negotiate a separate peace with the Allies as long as the Final Solution plans were scrapped.

I discovered very compelling documentation that links (Himmlers) decree to these secret negotiations, Wallace told CTVs Your Morning on Tuesday.

It appears that these negotiations, these events, may have saved as many as 300,000 Jews.

The incredible woman behind the deal

A key figure in the history of the Holocaust was behind the secret talks with Himmler, Wallace said.

Her name was Recha Sternbuch and she was an Orthodox Jewish woman who helped saved thousands of Jewish lives right before and during the Holocaust.

Wallace said Sternbuch and her husband Isaac, who led a Swiss Jewish rescue committee, enlisted Jean-Marie Musy, former president of Switzerland, to negotiate with Himmler.

At the time, Himmler was desperate to forge a separate alliance with the Allies, Wallace said.

He thinks that Nazi Germany can band together with the western allies against their common enemy Stalin to stamp out Bolshevism. The Bolsheviks were the only people he hated as much as the Jews.

During those secret talks with Musy, Himmler was manipulated into thinking that he would be able to forge a pact with the Allies, as long as he halted further destruction of Jewish people. He worked mostly behind Hitlers back when he issued the orders, Wallace said, even though thousands more Jews died in concentration camps from diseases and starvation before the war came to an end.

Wallaces findings are based on documents discovered in the archives of an Orthodox Jewish group in New York, as well as declassified files from the U.S. War Refugee Board.

He believes other historians may have been reluctant to explore the secret negotiations due to fears that they could be used by Holocaust deniers to claim that Himmler actually saved Jews.

But nothing could be further from the truth, Wallace said.

He certainly didnt have a change of heart about the Jews.

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New York Times Blames the Jews for Donald Trump – Algemeiner

The headquarters of The New York Times. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The New York Times is blaming the Jews for Donald Trump.

Thats what I took away from two pieces in the newspaper over the weekend.

The first was a news article from Jerusalem, headlined, As Trump Offers Neo-Nazis Muted Criticism, Netanyahu Is Largely Silent.

The article faulted the Israeli prime minister for failing to condemn President Trump in a manner that the Times judged to be sufficiently speedy and specific.

This is strange on two fronts. First, its a double standard. When Netanyahu publicly faulted former President Barack Obama for the Iran nuclear deal, the Times complained he was meddling in USpolitics and making an enemy out of an American president. Now that Netanyahu is doing his best to avoid a public fight with an American president, he gets criticized for that, too.

Second, the Charlottesville marchers werent just antisemites, they were also, at least reportedly, racists. It was a Confederate statue that triggered the whole thing, not any Jewish symbol. But the only country whose leader got put on the spot in a full-length Times news article, at least so far as I can tell, was Israel. There was no full-length Times news article I saw about any majority black African or Caribbean countries or majority Asian countries (other than Israel) and their prime ministers or presidents reactions or non-reactions to Trumps response to the Charlottesville events. Maybe there were some such Times articles that I missed. But I usually read the paper pretty carefully, and I sure did not spot any.

In the same Saturday issue of the Times came a column by Bret Stephens headlined President Jabberwock and the Jewish Right, critical of right-of-center Jews who voted for Donald Trump in the election. This is such a small group in proportion to Trumps overall support that its hard to see why it merits an entire column. Not a single one of these right-of-center Jews who voted for Donald Trump in the election is actually named in the column, which claims that such Jews are now subject to moral embarrassment.

The column says Jews should have known not to vote for Trump because of the denunciations of globalism and international banks and the enemy of the American people news media. Yet on July 3, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt sent a message denouncing the old fetishes of so-called international bankers. Plenty of Jews nonetheless voted for FDR without any moral embarrassment. Likewise, Bernie Sanders attacks the press, including CNN and the New York Times, just about as vociferously and directly as Trump does. Plenty of Jews voted for Sanders, too, and Sanders attacks on the press havent been widely interpreted as antisemitic.

In my own view, the danger of antisemitism right now is less in the Oval Office and more in the Times comment section and editorial moderation. It was just days ago that the Times was assuring us that its decision to award a gold ribbon and NYT Pick stamp of approval to a reader comment describing Netanyahu as a parasitic thug was an inadvertent mistake. Yet in the comments on the Stephens column, the Times again awards a gold ribbon and NYT Pick label to a comment that reads in part, It also remains to be seen whether American Zionists have learned to stop prioritizing good for Israel over good for America. That comment, which earned thumbs up upvotes from at least 410 Times readers, could have easily fit into the Times news article about the Charlottesville racists and antisemites in their own words. (It was also consistent with the Stephens column itself, which explicitly mentioned Israel as part of the gist of the Jewish conservatives case for Trump, but omitted taxes, deregulation, or the Supreme Court.)

There was an extended discussion in the Times this weekend about bigoted commenters. That discussion came in a Times magazine article about the website Breitbart. The Times reported:

Breitbart functioned as a legitimizing tether for the most abhorrent currents of the right wing. Benkler referred to this as a bridge phenomenon, in which extremist websites linked to Breitbart for validation and those same fanatics could then gather in Breitbarts comment section to hurl invectives many of the writers and editors at Breitbart really were inclined to a pedestrian politics, but they were happy enough to welcome bigots if it meant increasing traffic. he says he doubts that many of his former colleagues realize how deplorable their commenters can be. Theyre mostly just seen the way a lot of websites see their commenters, which is: Oh, God, these idiots, he said. I think there was a lot of opportunism going on. If they could get traffic from those people, then they got traffic from those people.

When a Times column blaming right-wing Jews for Trump generates a reader comment with 410 upvotes and a gold ribbon NYT pick for asserting that USZionists prioritize Israels interests ahead of Americas, some people might start suspecting the Times itself of engaging in Breitbart-style reader-comment opportunism.

So long as the Times is on the topic of moral embarrassment well, lets just say, if not much of that seems on display among the papers own editors, its not because its entirely unwarranted.

More of Ira Stolls media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be foundhere.

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New York Times Blames the Jews for Donald Trump – Algemeiner

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Is Bannon Planning ‘War’ On Jared And Ivanka Or The Jews? – Forward

Steve Bannon is preparing to launch an all-out war against some of President Trumps closest Jewish advisers but he hopes to avoid it being framed as a fight against the Jews.

The ousted chief White House strategist is already back at the helm of Breitbart, the right-wing news website Bannon ran before joining Trumps campaign. According to reports, Bannon is also in talks with Sinclair Broadcasting, Americas largest network of local TV stations. Joining the two platforms could give Bannon an even more powerful pulpit to go after globalist forces in the Trump White House and the Republican Party.

Topping the list of Bannon targets are Trumps daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as the presidents chief economic adviser Gary Cohn. All three are Jewish. Also on Bannons target list are national security adviser H. R. McMaster and his deputy Dina Powell.

Bannons focus on Trumps Jewish advisers has not gone unnoticed and Bannon himself seems to be struggling with the notion that his fight will be frames as a battle against Jewish influence. According to a detailed behind-the-scenes Vanity Fair report, Bannon is especially galled, according to one of his allies, at being called an anti-Semite.

In fact, he credits himself as being the one who had fought for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem (as indicated on his famous whiteboard task list that was captured in a selfie by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach) and of holding a hard line on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While Kushner argued for postponing the embassy relocation and has spent his time shuffling between Jerusalem and Ramallah, Bannon refused to even enter the room when Trump met with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, telling his aides he does not want to breath the same air as that terrorist.

Could a concerted effort by Bannon against Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Cohn be used to portray him as holding an anti-Jewish bias?

A Jewish Republican source said Bannon will seek to avoid that by stressing the non-Jews on his target list and Jews on his side of the battle line, including senior White House adviser Stephen Miller and Breitbart editor-at-large Joel Pollak.

It may also help to frame the battle as part of a larger struggle for the heart and mind of Trump and his right-wing base.

For some, talking about New York globalists and about Jared and Ivanka will sound like code words for Jews, but for most people this is just part of the culture war inside the White House, said the Republican source.

We are so ridiculously amped up in our condemnation of anything and everyone we dont agree with, said Republican strategist Frank Luntz. Steve Bannon is a hero to some and a villain to others. Hes likely neither of them, but thats the image he wants to project, and the image his detractorswant to promote.

The Vanity Fair report illustrated just how focused Bannon is now on taking his fight against White House moderates to the public sphere. We have a duty to the country to be the vanguard of The Movement, Bannon reportedly told Breitbart staff on a conference call hours after news of his departure spread, singling out Ivanka, Kushner and Cohn, as well as hawks McMaster and Powell. Breitbarts news editor Alex Marlow told Vanity Fair that Bannon wants to beat their ideas into submission.

The mutual animosity between Bannon and Javanka, a nickname describing Jared and Ivanka made popular by Bannon, is no secret. Kushner and Ivanka, alongside Cohn and others in the White House, were engaged in a battle of ideas with Bannon and his allies over the true spirit of the Trump presidency – a mainstream, fiscal conservative one, as the New York wing saw it, or a term defined by populism and economic nationalism.

Bannon had little respect for Javanka, telling his staff, according to the New York Times that the couple had nave political instincts. A Bannon ally used clearer terms, telling Vanity Fair that Bannon called Kushner a dope.

But while the ideological rift between the two rivaling powers in Trumps Oval Office had been clear ever since the inauguration, events in Charlottesville and Bannons ouster highlighted another undertone: the role played by Jared and Ivankas Jewish faith.

A Daily Mail report published over the weekend claimed that Ivanka and Jared pushed out Bannon from the White House, because his far-right views clashed with their Jewish faith. The report was based on unnamed Washington sources and was later denied by the White House as totally false but regardless of its reliability, Breitbart, already under the helm of Bannon, featured the story on its home page.

Breitbarts editorial decisions in recent days offer a peek into the way Bannons war will play out.

The website featured a set of critical reports on General McMaster, on Kushner and on Ivanka. All share a similar theme: these advisers are incompetent and are advancing an agenda that contradicts that of Trump. Bannons challenge would be to intensify this attack line, without being viewed as singling out the Jewish members of the team.

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter @nathanguttman

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Is Bannon Planning ‘War’ On Jared And Ivanka Or The Jews? – Forward

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Jerry Lewis Was the Quintessential American Jew – New York Times

Photo Credit Associated Press

Jerry Lewis, who died Sunday at 91, was not a man often overlooked, or pigeonholed. But in reckoning with his legacy, there is often one surprising omission. Hes rarely featured in discussions of the pantheon of mid-20th century Jewish comedy. Possibly this was because of his overwhelming popularity, tending to remove the necessity for any qualifying adjective. Looking at pictures of the crowds flocking to catch a glimpse of him and his partner, Dean Martin, at their hotels, youd think you were witnessing Beatlemania. Only Martin and Lewis were 10 years earlier.

It certainly had something to do with his comedy itself, which was rarely, if ever, identifiably Jewish in the manner of Lenny Bruce, Mel Brooks or Woody Allen. But Mr. Lewiss most successful work was, in its own way, a fundamental part of the great story of Jewish comedy in America a story that also functions as a microcosm of American Jewish life writ large. It was a metaphor for the successes, and the anxieties, of a generation of postwar American Jews of the 1950s: busily engaged, often extraordinarily successful, and trying to prove they were no different than everyone else. They wanted to believe they were the same, and yet their creative success, paradoxically, was borne of the tension that their very real difference created.

The comedians two most accomplished successes are cases in point. The Martin and Lewis partnership worked (spectacularly) in the way most comic duos do: the juxtaposition of opposites. Mr. Martin was the suave, elegant straight man; Mr. Lewis was manic and kinetic. As far as Mr. Lewis got, maybe a part of him couldnt help but feel that he got there because there was a Mr. Martin to show who he wasnt and, in fact, couldnt be.

Maybe Mr. Lewiss aspiration to Mr. Martins genteel gentility while at the same time realizing and fearing that the very reason people adored him was because of his shtick was part of the tension that eventually broke up the team. Not that there werent many other reasons, and the insecurity certainly flowed both ways, but this aspect wasnt particularly subtle. Its certainly significant, for example, that one of Mr. Lewiss post-Martin and Lewis efforts ventured directly into Mr. Martins territory, recording an album of standards called Jerry Lewis Just Sings. But this tension took on a much wider significance when, a few years later, Mr. Lewis re-addressed his yearnings in his comedic masterpiece, a movie that, without a single rabbi anywhere, has almost as much to say about American Jewish life and particularly the hopes for and anxieties about fitting in and making it than any other movie of the period.

The Nutty Professor, is a 1963 comedy about a nebbishy, klutzy college professor named Julius Kelp, who, taking a page from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, drinks a serum he concocts in order to turn into somebody else. But while Stevensons Victorian doctor wants to allow his less socially accepted urges free rein, Mr. Lewiss comical zhlub a kind of Mad magazine parody come to life turns into a cool nightclub singer, Buddy Love. Whether Buddy Love was based on Mr. Martin or not (opinion is divided: Mr. Lewis said he wasnt, and almost everyone else believed he was), he was certainly the apotheosis of a kind of American Jewish yearning: the man women wanted; the man men wanted to be. Julius Kelp (note that weedy early 20th century Jewish name) was who Jews feared everyone thought they were.

After the movie came out, Mr. Lewis admitted he was surprised at that one aspect of its success. He had written Buddy Love as a bad guy, as a way to help Kelp (and audiences) learn that you have to like yourself to have others like you. The movie ends with the love interest confessing she preferred the nutty genius to the sexy crooner. But audiences preferred Love, in a big way.

Mr. Lewiss bemusement about that phenomenon spoke to an essential American Jewish truth of the period, wrought truer in his film than perhaps he knew: Did a collectively imagined American dream appeal more strongly than your personal history? Can you really have both, without a magic potion, or split personality? And if so, which one would you rather give up?

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

White Supremacy and Jews as Racialized Other – The Good Men Project (blog)

Embed from Getty Images Jews will not replace us! Jews will not replace us! The estimated 1500 neo-Nazi white supremacists blared out this disgusting chant as they marched with their Tiki Torches in hand through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia in protest of the scheduled removal of a statue commemorating Civil War General Robert E. Lee. This march was reminiscent of similar events held throughout Germany, and in particular, in Nuremberg during the Nazi era. So why do self-described white supremacists target Jews, many who appear white? The answer, stemming from a long and complex history, is quite simple: Though Jewish people are members of every so-called race, even Jews of European heritage (Ashkenazim) have been and still continue to be racially othered by some dominant Christian European-heritage communities in some quarters. For this reason, members of white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups engage in religious, ethnic, and racial bigotry against all groups they consider non-white, including Jews. In other words, anti-Jewish prejudice and discrimination (a.k.a. anti-Semitism) is a form of racism. The Racialization of Jews Looking back on the historical emergence of the concept of race, critical race theorists remind us that this concept arose concurrently with the advent of European exploration as a justification for conquest and domination of the globe beginning in the 15th century of the Common Era (CE) and reaching its apex in the early 20th century CE. Biologists and geneticists tell us that there is often more variability within a given so-called race than between races, and that there are no essential genetic markers linked specifically to race. They assert, therefore, that race is an historical, scientific, biological myth, an idea, and that any socially-conceived physical racial markers are fictional and are not concordant with what is beyond or below the surface of the body. Though biologists and social scientists have proven unequivocally that the concept of race is socially constructed (produced, manufactured), however, this does not negate the very real consequences people face living in societies that maintain racist policies and practices on the individual, interpersonal, institutional, and larger societal levels. For millennia, some Christian theologians distinguished Jews as different from and inferior to Christians on religious grounds. A number of passages within the Christian Testaments were used to give justification for persecuting Jews. For example, Matthew 27:24-25, and in 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16: [T]he Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out, the Jews who are heedless of Gods will and enemies of their fellow man.All this time they have been making up the full measure of their guilt, and now retribution has overtaken the good of all. They also often equated Jews to the Devil: And Jesus said: If God were your father, you would love me[but] your father is the devil and you choose to carry out your fathers desires (John 8:44). The Jewsare Satans synagogue (Revelation 2:9). I will make those of Satans synagogue, who claim to be Jews but are lying frauds, come and fall down at your feet (Revelation 3:9). Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), born Carl Linn, (also know as the Father of Scientific Racism), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, developed a system of scientific hierarchical classification. Within this taxonomy under the label Homo sapiens, (Man), he enumerated five categories based initially on place of origin and later on skin color: Europeanus, Asiaticus, Americanus, Monstrosus, and Africanus. Linnaeus asserted that each category was ruled by a different bodily fluid (Humors: moistures), represented by Blood (optimistic), Phlegm (sluggish), Cholor (yellow bile: prone to anger), Melancholy (black bile: prone to sadness). Linnaeus connected each human category to a respective humor, thereby constructing the Linnaeus Taxonomy in descending order: Europeanus: sanguine (blood), pale, muscular, swift, clever, inventive, governed by laws; Asiaticus: melancholic, yellow, inflexible, severe, avaricious, dark-eyed, governed by opinions; Americanus (indigenous peoples in the Americas): choleric, copper-colored, straightforward, eager, combative, governed by customs; Monstrosus (dwarfs of the Alps, the Patagonian giant, the monorchid Hottentot): agile, fainthearted; Africanus: phlegmatic, black, slow, relaxed, negligent, governed by impulse. Later, although Charles Darwin himself did not assert this, some of Darwins successors, referred to as Social Darwinists, hypothesized that Jews no longer were simply a separate religious, ethnic, or political group, but rather, like black Africans and other groups (including homosexuals), Jews were throwbacks to earlier stages of religious and human development. Social Darwinists forwarded a so-called racial hierarchy placing Aryans on the top, black Africans at the lower end, and other races (including Jews) at various points in between. In Europe, by the late 19th century CE, Judaism had come to be viewed by the scientific community as a distinct racial type, with essential immutable biological characteristics a trend that increased markedly into the early 20th century CE. Once seen as largely a religious, ethnic, or political group, Jews were increasingly constructed as members of a mixed race (a so-called mongrel or bastard race), a people who had crossed racial barriers by interbreeding with black Africans during the Jewish Diaspora. If Jews were evil, as thought by many, this evilness was genetic and could not be purged or cured. Jews converting to Christianity, therefore, could no longer solve the Jewish question. The British psychologist, Francis Galton (1822-1911) a cousin of Charles Darwin was a founder of the Eugenics movement. In fact, Galton coined the term eugenics in 1883 from the Greek word meaning well born. Eugenicists attempted to improve qualities of a so-called race by controlling human breeding. Galton argued that genetic predisposition determined human behavior. He proposed that the so-called elites in the British Isles were the most intelligent of all the peoples throughout the planet, while [t]he average intellectual standard of the Negro race is some two grades below our own [Anglo-Saxons]. The Australian type is at least one grade below the African Negro and The Jews are specialized for a parasitical existence upon other nations. Galton asserted that Jews were of a lower racial form, and that they could be easily recognizable by their appearance. He also talked about a supposed cold and calculating Jewish gaze. The U.S. writer, Madison Grant (1865-1937) codified this supposed racialization of the Jews in his influential book, The Passing of the Great Race, or The Racial Basis for European History (1916), in which he argued that Europeans comprised four distinct races: The Nordics of northwestern Europe sat atop his racial hierarchy, whom Grant considered as the natural rulers and administrators, which accounted for Englands extraordinary ability to govern justly and firmly the lower races. Next down the racial line fell the Alpines whom Grant referred to as always and everywhere a race of peasants with a tendency toward democracy although submissive to authority. These he followed with the Mediterraneans of Southern and Eastern Europe, inferior to both the Nordics and the Alpines in bodily stamina, but superior in the field of art. Also, Grant considered the Mediterraneans superior to the Alpines in intellectual attainments, but far behind the Nordics in literature and in scientific research and discovery. On the very bottom he placed the most inferior of all the European so-called races: the Jews. Referring specifically to the Polish Jew, Grant asserted that the Polish Jews, whose dwarf stature, peculiar mentality and ruthless concentration on self-interest[present themselves in] swarms. Once seen as largely a religious, ethnic, or political group, Jews were increasingly constructed as members of a mixed race (a so-called mongrel or bastard race). Analogous to the notion in the United States that one drop of black African blood makes a person black, according to Grant, the mixture of any of the European races and a Jew is a Jew. By the end of the 19th century CE, the popular image of the Jewish type (portrayed invariably as the Jewish male), according to Sander Gilman in his book The Jews Body, consisted of a hooked nose, curling nasal folds (ali nasi), thick prominent lips, receding forehead and chin, large ears, curly black hair, dark skin, stooped shoulders, [weak flat feet, deflated rump,] and piercing, cunning eyes. In addition, the gaze of the Jew was said to be pathological, searing, cunning, cold, and piercing. An offshoot of Eugenics was phrenology: the study of the skull emphasizing that its size and shape determined mental abilities and character. Phrenologist practitioners held that a specific section of the Jewish or Hebrew brain was abnormally developed causing Jews to be highly interested in money. As we know, the Nazis contrived racial arguments as a philosophical cornerstone as justification for their persecutions of Jews, as well as most people of color and people with disabilities. Jews and others they considered descendants from inferior racial stands. Nazi leadership argued vehemently that Jews were polluting the so-called Aryan race. They forced Jews to wear the yellow Star of David as a signifying marker, since to the Nazis, yellow represented a sign of race pollution. This sentiment extended far beyond the borders of the Third Reich. For example, in 1939, the United States Congress refused to pass the Wagner-Rogers Bill, which if enacted would have permitted entry to the United States of 20,000 children from Eastern Europe, many of whom were Jewish, over existing quotas. Laura Delano Houghteling, cousin of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and wife of the U.S. Commissioner of Immigration sternly warned: 20,000 charming children would all too soon, grow into 20,000 ugly adults. Once constructed as the Other in European society, Jews and Jewishness while certainly not fully embraced by the ruling elite as one of their own became a sort of middle status, standing somewhere between the dominant position of the White majority and the marginal position of People of Color. And this change in Jewish ethnoracial assignment has occurred only within the last 70 or so years. Race then must be seen constructed not as a binary with white on one side and people of color on the other, but rather as a continuum. Except by extremists on the racist right, Ashkenazim are primarily constructed in the U.S. today on the white side of the line upon this continuum, and we definitely have white privilege vis-a-vis people of color. I would argue, however, that we do not have the degree and extent of white privilege in many sections of this country as white mainline Protestants. In fact, in some countries, for example, in Eastern Europe still today, we are not constructed as white. Obviously, so-called white supremacists and neo-Nazis believe this as well. __ Photo credit: Getty Images

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

‘Time for Jews to leave Europe?’ Is Barcelona’s chief rabbi right? – Fox News

The reaction ofBDS(Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions)Cataloniato the terrorist onslaughts in Barcelona and across Catalonia this past week was instructive. First, it offered lip-service condemnation of the Barcelona terrorist attacks. Then, with that out of the way, it condemned the European Union for human rights violations and took aim at its real enemies especially the occupiers of Palestina: We also do not forget the victims of military occupations, of wars and terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestina, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Mali, Nigeria, Cote dIvoire, Burkina Faso and many other places where what happened yesterday in Barcelona is a daily occurrence. This statement came as a stunned nation of Spain and the rest of the world mourned 14 dead and over 100 wounded, with the shocked understanding that, if not for a premature explosion in an Islamist bomb factory, hundreds more might have been murdered. The chief rabbi of Barcelona, Meir Ben Chen, is not waiting to find out. Labeling Spain a hub of Islamist terror, he is lamenting that Europe is lost and calling on his flock to leave now. Now authorities are belatedly trying to figure out if a localimam radicalized the 12-man cell. Whateverthe truth,BDSers would never allow a crisis to go to waste or allow the facts to get in the way. Their 24/7 goal: Demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state. But did hatred of Jews factor into the Barcelona massacre?Apparently, it was a motivating factor for at least one key player: Moroccan-born Driss Oukabir, the legal EU resident who rented the white Fiat van used to plow down tourists in the popularLas Ramblas district. Days before the mass murder-by-vehicle attack, Oukabir posted anti-Israel and anti-Semitic tirades on social media. And was it just a coincidence that the van landed in front of a kosher restaurant (a rarity in Barcelona) called Maccabi and near another called Maoz Falafel? Only the driver of the van, who was shot and killed by authorities on Monday, may have known for sure. The chief rabbi of Barcelona, Meir Ben Chen, is not waiting to find out.Labeling Spain a hub of Islamist terror, he is lamenting that Europe is lost and calling on his flock to leave now. Panic? Overreaction? Maybe not. Jewish leaders in Europe are reeling from a series of recent attacks by Islamists targeting not only tourists, but also Jewish institutions, including the Jewish Museum in Brussels and the Hypercacher supermarket in Paris. Meanwhile, bigots have had a field day in their online swamp. One tweeter declared: Jewish-engineered non-white invasion of Europe ends with Muzzies slaughtering Jews. A second speculated that it was most likely planned by Jews. A third drew the lesson that to increase our guard against Jewish Power. But beyond Islamists and marginal online Jew-haters, anti-Semitism in the Eurozone is now also deeply embedded in the mainstream. There are areas in leading capitals, including London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm, where no Jew dares to wear a yarmulke or a Jewish star necklace in public. In Sweden, anti-Semitic attacks go virtually unchallenged and unprosecuted by authorities. Just how deeply embedded was highlighted not long ago by Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld, a respected author and researcher on anti-Semitism who attracted headlines and criticism with his assertion that well over 150 million citizens of the European Union (population 400 million) believe Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians. Gerstenfeld based his conclusion on a poll conducted by Germanys University of Bielefeld for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation that asked 8,000 people across eight EU member states whether they agreed. On average, 40 percent responded yes. Another report estimates that 11 million Spaniards harbor anti-Semitic views. Too many in the European Union, including major media, reflexively and habitually blame civilian Israeli communities (settlements) or Israeli self-defense against Palestinian terrorism for the spread of Islamist terrorism. And in the UK, rather than standing up for a Jewish community reeling from a spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes,Jeremy Corbyns Labour Party has been rife with anti-Semitismand extreme anti-Israel antipathy. Today, the anti-Jewish bigotry among Islamists who preach bullying, violence and terrorism, combined with the apathy and even open hostility among ruling elites in many European societies to their Jewish neighbors, renders useless the post-World War II pledge of Never Again. Unless European leaders of state, culture and media dramatically change course,Barcelonas chief rabbi may be right. For the Jews, at least, Europe is lost. Rabbi Abraham Cooper is Associate Dean, Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Follow the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Facebook and on Twitter. Dr. Harold Brackman, a historian is a consultant to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Trump admin’s three ‘court Jews’ disgrace themselves – Tahlequah Daily Press

WASHINGTON – What Gary Cohn, Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner did last week – or, rather, what they didn’t do – is a shanda. They’ll know what that means, but, for the uninitiated, shanda is Yiddish for shame, disgrace. The three men, the most prominent Jews in President Trump’s administration, could have spoken out, to say that those who march with neo-Nazis are not “very fine people,” as their boss claims. Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, and Cohn, the chief economic adviser, were actually standing with Trump when he said it. They said nothing. All three let it be known through anonymous friends and colleagues that they are disturbed and distressed by what Trump said – Kushner even got out word that he and his wife, Ivanka, had counseled Trump otherwise – but none is speaking publicly about an outrage that makes millions of Americans feel as though they are living a nightmare. We have seen such a character before in Jewish history: the stadlan. The stadlan, or “court Jew,” existed to please the king, to placate the king, to loan money to the king. He would dress like other members of the court, and he would beg the king for leniency toward the Jews but, ultimately, his loyalty was to the king. I thought we were past the age of the stadlan. So did my rabbi, Danny Zemel. “These guys are the princes of American business power,” he said. “If they can’t find an ounce of moral fiber from their own Jewish past, we’re in a very sorry way.” That past is as ancient as the Bible. Abraham argued with God, urging the Almighty not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of the innocent. Moses, seeing an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, struck the offender, buried him in the sand, and fled from Pharaoh. The daily Jewish liturgy includes the 146th Psalm, praying to a God who brings justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry, who lifts up those who are bowed, who upholds the widow and the orphan and who brings the wicked to ruin. Cohn, Mnuchin and Kushner have a particular obligation as Jews, because the violent white supremacists in Charlottesville were targeting Jews with their swastikas and chants of “Jews will not replace us” and “Sieg Heil.” One of their leaders told “Vice News Tonight” it was objectionable that Trump would “give his daughter to a Jew.” A few stood outside a synagogue brandishing rifles, forcing Sabbath worshipers to slip out a back door. But Jews, because of our recent history, know what results from silence in the face of any type of bigotry. Before Trump dabbled in anti-Semitism, he made scapegoats of immigrants, African-Americans, Latinos and, especially, Muslims. Two years ago, when I described the actions that made candidate Trump a bigot and a racist, I noted that he hadn’t yet gone after Jews. That followed soon: the tweeted image of a Star of David atop paper money, and the speech and ads linking Jews to a secret “global power structure.” This racist demagoguery comes from the president of the U.S. In tweets Thursday, Trump proclaimed his sadness at the removal of “our beautiful” Confederate statues, and he revived the bogus claim that, a century ago, Gen. John J. Pershing dipped bullets in pig blood before shooting Muslim prisoners. Why is it so hard to condemn such filth? David Shulkin did. Trump’s veterans affairs secretary, who is Jewish (and an Obama holdover), said what needed to be said: “I do feel like as an American and as a member of the Cabinet, that I can speak for my own personal opinions on this, and I am outraged by the behavior that I have seen with the Nazis and the white supremacists.” Shulkin said he will continue to speak. “Staying silent on these issues is not acceptable,” he said. Amen. Even the rabbi who oversaw Ivanka Trump’s conversion, Haskel Lookstein, joined in a statement saying he was “deeply troubled by the moral equivalency and equivocation President Trump has offered.” Amen. Even Sheldon Adelson’s Republican Jewish Coalition called for “greater moral clarity” from Trump, saying “there are no good Nazis.” Amen. As I write this, my 13-year-old has come into my office and said the neo-Nazis at the Charlottesville synagogue make her reluctant to return to Hebrew school. She asks if our family will be a target because people know I’m Jewish. This is what Trump has done to America. And this is what Cohn, Mnuchin and Kushner allow with their shameful silence. Do they prize their appointments so much? Well then, don’t quit. Speak out. Let him fire you. But don’t play the court Jew. Dana Milbank writes for The Washington Post.

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

2 Israeli Jews converted to Islam, joined IS in Syria – The Times of Israel

Two Israeli Jews have converted to Islam and joined the Islamic State in Syria, according to the Shin Bet security agency. The two were named on a list of 20 Israeli citizens, one of whom is now deceased, who joined the ranks of the jihadist group, Israels Channel 2 news reported Tuesday. The two Israelis were born Jewish in the Soviet Union, immigrated to Israel at a young age, grew up in Israel, then converted to Islam as adults and traveled to Syria to join the ranks of IS. It was not immediately clear when the two left the country. One, a 28-year-old woman, grew up in Ashdod. The other, Alex, a 32-year-old man, grew up in Lod. Alexs sister, who was not identified, told the TV station the family was in shock and is not in touch with him. The list was drawn up for Interior Minister Aryeh Deri after a law went into effect this week allowing him to strip members of foreign terror organizations of their Israeli citizenship. The list was made up mostly of Israeli Arabs, including two each from the towns of Fureidis, Kafr Kassem, Jaljoulya, Beena and East Jerusalem. One person on the list died recently, while the list was being drawn up. Deri is expected to formally strip them of their citizenship in the coming weeks. The security service periodically releases information about individual Israelis who have left the country to join IS. In March, a Belarusian-Israeli man was arrested as he attempted to join the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria, after expressing support for the group over the past year and a half. The suspect, Valentin Vladmir Mazlevski, a 39-year-old father of five, moved to Israel from Belarus in 1996 at age 18 and converted to Islam four years later, while he was serving in the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet said. Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Why some Jews are paying $500 for an Italian etrog – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Samuel Ekstein from New York City inspecting a citron fruit in Santa Maria Del Cedro, southern Italy, Sept. 14, 2016. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images) (JTA) Fiftyyears ago, leaders of the Chabad movement tasked Rabbi Moshe Lazar of Milan with supervising the local production and export of the Calabria etrog, the citrus fruit used by Jews during the harvest festival of Sukkot. Lazars job is to make sure the fruit is kosher for the festival, and that local farmers arent cutting corners or using unkosher techniques to boost the yield and their profitsfor what already is Italys most lucrative citrus product. This year Lazar, now 83, has to be particularly vigilant. A winter frost destroyed 90 percent of this years crop, creating the worst shortage he has seen in Calabria etrogs, which are named for the southern region where they are grown. Italy is one of only three major exporters of the fruit along with Israel and Morocco. Prices for the kosher fruits, which in normal years can easily fetch $200 ahead of Sukkot, have doubled and tripled, making Chabad communities around the world who strongly favor the Calabria variety fear that they will not be able to afford or obtain a specimen to call their own. The shortage could also tempt unscrupulous or careless farmers. The frost just burned the fruit-producing branches, Lazar said. Due to the shortage, Lazar this year is picking fruit he would have deemed too homely for export in normal years, just as long as the fruit is technically kosher. To be considered as such, an etrog must at least be egg-sized, yellow, elliptical, intact (including its woody stem, or pitom) and possess a tough peel. But even using the grade B produce, there are not going to be enough Calabria etrogim to go around this year, Lazar said. Thats bad news for Chabad communities all over the world ahead of Sukkot, which this year begins on Oct. 4. Etrogs are among four species of plants that Jews purchase for the holiday, which is also known as the Feast of Tabernacles. In the Ukrainian city of Odessa, Rabbi Avraham Wolffs congregants are trying to buy a single Calabria etrog for $500 via a Judaica shop in the United States. Were worried that even at this high price we wont be able to get one this holiday, Wolff told JTA. So a few of the patrons of the community got together and decided to open a fund to make sure we have enough money, cost what it may, for at least one Calabria. In previous years, the community bought five Calabria etrogs for Sukkot to be shared by Chabad institutions in Odessa, where some 50,000 Jews live. (Under Jewish law, Jews must possess an etrog during the festival, but a loophole allows them to be shared as gifts among several people. The fruits arent eaten, but carried and held at various points during worship.) Other communities are able to cut out middlemen by buying the fruit directly from the farmers for about $50 apiece in normal years. But this year, farmers hiked their prices, starting at $150 apiece and all the way up to $350, according to Lazars son, Berel, who is a chief rabbi of Russia. Berel Lazar travels to Calabria each year to pick etrogs from orchards and bring them back to Russia for distribution to communities across the former Soviet Union. The younger Lazar charges congregants only what he pays the farmers. The day after Sukkot, the price of etrogs drops to $1 a pound, Berel Lazar said. Locals use the fruit to make jam and in the soap industry. The yield on Calabria etrogs, which are also called yanover etrogim because they used to be shipped from the Italian coastal city of Genoa, makes the fruit an irresistible target for manipulation, Berel Lazar said. Some growers attempt to increase their margins at the expense of the strict kosher standards that Moshe Lazar has enforced for 50 years. One trick is to secretly graft the relativity vulnerable etrog tree onto the trunk of a hardier citrus tree, rendering it more robust but non-kosher. A cruder ruse involves gluing fruits and branches from a non-kosher tree onto a kosher one. And while there is an atmosphere of friendship and mutual respect between the local farmers and the small team of supervisors working with Moshe Lazar, sadly there is not a relationship of trust, Berel Lazar said. He noted that the lucrative etrog trade has not escaped the attention of the Italian mafia, which he suggested may be pressuring farmers to try to pass off non-kosher etrogs as kosher to increase profits. Moshe Lazar, right, explaining to a visitor at an etrog orchard in Calabria in 2015 about how to pick kosher fruit. (Esrogim.info) Although etrogs are grown in Israel, Morocco and even the United States, Berel Lazar says that the Calabria etrog is clearly and visibly superior to those strands including fruits that grow in Israel on trees descended from Calabria groves. But to Chabadniks, the preference for Calabria etrogs is also based in scripture. According to Chabad traditions, the Talmud, a central text of Judaism, suggests that God bequeathed southern Italy to Esau, Isaacs firstborn and inheritor of earths richness, as he is designated in the book of Genesis. This means Calabria etrogim come from the richest soil, making them the best, Berel Lazar said. The shortage has Berel Lazar this year is sticking to a quota of 300-500 fruits for Russian communities a mere fraction of the yield in normal years, when tens of thousands of etrogs leave the orchards of Calabrias approximately 100 etrog farmers ahead of the Sukkot holiday. I cant pick as many as I want and send them all to Russia when the rest of the world is left without, he said. Virtually all Chabad communities eagerly await the Calabria etrogs, and demand is especially high where the movement has many followers primarily in Israel, France, the United States and the former Soviet Union. Moshe Lazar said he predicts the Calabria orchards will recover fully within a year or two, making the shortage a very temporary difficulty. But not a new one, his son noted. Hasidic tradition has many stories of Russian cities where Jews struggled to find an etrog for Sukkot, Berel Lazar said. This year we are reliving also this tradition.

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Secret deal with Nazi leader saved 300000 Jews during WWII, book reveals – CTV News

A Canadian author says he has uncovered compelling documentation that shows a powerful Nazi leader was deceived into halting the mass extermination of Jewish people in concentration camps months before the end of the Second World War. In his new book, In The Name of Humanity: The Secret Deal to End the Holocaust, Max Wallace says that Nazi SS leader Heinrich Himmler was manipulated into ending the Final Solution, the Nazis plan to annihilate Jews. In November, 1944, Himmler prohibited further killings of Jews and ordered that the Auschwitz crematoria and gas chambers be destroyed. Most historians have described it as an attempt to hide the scope of the Nazi crimes once it became clear that Germany was losing the war. But Wallace says he has uncovered evidence that Himmler was tricked into believing he could negotiate a separate peace with the Allies as long as the Final Solution plans were scrapped. I discovered very compelling documentation that links (Himmlers) decree to these secret negotiations, Wallace told CTVs Your Morning on Tuesday. It appears that these negotiations, these events, may have saved as many as 300,000 Jews. The incredible woman behind the deal A key figure in the history of the Holocaust was behind the secret talks with Himmler, Wallace said. Her name was Recha Sternbuch and she was an Orthodox Jewish woman who helped saved thousands of Jewish lives right before and during the Holocaust. Wallace said Sternbuch and her husband Isaac, who led a Swiss Jewish rescue committee, enlisted Jean-Marie Musy, former president of Switzerland, to negotiate with Himmler. At the time, Himmler was desperate to forge a separate alliance with the Allies, Wallace said. He thinks that Nazi Germany can band together with the western allies against their common enemy Stalin to stamp out Bolshevism. The Bolsheviks were the only people he hated as much as the Jews. During those secret talks with Musy, Himmler was manipulated into thinking that he would be able to forge a pact with the Allies, as long as he halted further destruction of Jewish people. He worked mostly behind Hitlers back when he issued the orders, Wallace said, even though thousands more Jews died in concentration camps from diseases and starvation before the war came to an end. Wallaces findings are based on documents discovered in the archives of an Orthodox Jewish group in New York, as well as declassified files from the U.S. War Refugee Board. He believes other historians may have been reluctant to explore the secret negotiations due to fears that they could be used by Holocaust deniers to claim that Himmler actually saved Jews. But nothing could be further from the truth, Wallace said. He certainly didnt have a change of heart about the Jews.

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

New York Times Blames the Jews for Donald Trump – Algemeiner

The headquarters of The New York Times. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. The New York Times is blaming the Jews for Donald Trump. Thats what I took away from two pieces in the newspaper over the weekend. The first was a news article from Jerusalem, headlined, As Trump Offers Neo-Nazis Muted Criticism, Netanyahu Is Largely Silent. The article faulted the Israeli prime minister for failing to condemn President Trump in a manner that the Times judged to be sufficiently speedy and specific. This is strange on two fronts. First, its a double standard. When Netanyahu publicly faulted former President Barack Obama for the Iran nuclear deal, the Times complained he was meddling in USpolitics and making an enemy out of an American president. Now that Netanyahu is doing his best to avoid a public fight with an American president, he gets criticized for that, too. Second, the Charlottesville marchers werent just antisemites, they were also, at least reportedly, racists. It was a Confederate statue that triggered the whole thing, not any Jewish symbol. But the only country whose leader got put on the spot in a full-length Times news article, at least so far as I can tell, was Israel. There was no full-length Times news article I saw about any majority black African or Caribbean countries or majority Asian countries (other than Israel) and their prime ministers or presidents reactions or non-reactions to Trumps response to the Charlottesville events. Maybe there were some such Times articles that I missed. But I usually read the paper pretty carefully, and I sure did not spot any. In the same Saturday issue of the Times came a column by Bret Stephens headlined President Jabberwock and the Jewish Right, critical of right-of-center Jews who voted for Donald Trump in the election. This is such a small group in proportion to Trumps overall support that its hard to see why it merits an entire column. Not a single one of these right-of-center Jews who voted for Donald Trump in the election is actually named in the column, which claims that such Jews are now subject to moral embarrassment. The column says Jews should have known not to vote for Trump because of the denunciations of globalism and international banks and the enemy of the American people news media. Yet on July 3, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt sent a message denouncing the old fetishes of so-called international bankers. Plenty of Jews nonetheless voted for FDR without any moral embarrassment. Likewise, Bernie Sanders attacks the press, including CNN and the New York Times, just about as vociferously and directly as Trump does. Plenty of Jews voted for Sanders, too, and Sanders attacks on the press havent been widely interpreted as antisemitic. In my own view, the danger of antisemitism right now is less in the Oval Office and more in the Times comment section and editorial moderation. It was just days ago that the Times was assuring us that its decision to award a gold ribbon and NYT Pick stamp of approval to a reader comment describing Netanyahu as a parasitic thug was an inadvertent mistake. Yet in the comments on the Stephens column, the Times again awards a gold ribbon and NYT Pick label to a comment that reads in part, It also remains to be seen whether American Zionists have learned to stop prioritizing good for Israel over good for America. That comment, which earned thumbs up upvotes from at least 410 Times readers, could have easily fit into the Times news article about the Charlottesville racists and antisemites in their own words. (It was also consistent with the Stephens column itself, which explicitly mentioned Israel as part of the gist of the Jewish conservatives case for Trump, but omitted taxes, deregulation, or the Supreme Court.) There was an extended discussion in the Times this weekend about bigoted commenters. That discussion came in a Times magazine article about the website Breitbart. The Times reported: Breitbart functioned as a legitimizing tether for the most abhorrent currents of the right wing. Benkler referred to this as a bridge phenomenon, in which extremist websites linked to Breitbart for validation and those same fanatics could then gather in Breitbarts comment section to hurl invectives many of the writers and editors at Breitbart really were inclined to a pedestrian politics, but they were happy enough to welcome bigots if it meant increasing traffic. he says he doubts that many of his former colleagues realize how deplorable their commenters can be. Theyre mostly just seen the way a lot of websites see their commenters, which is: Oh, God, these idiots, he said. I think there was a lot of opportunism going on. If they could get traffic from those people, then they got traffic from those people. When a Times column blaming right-wing Jews for Trump generates a reader comment with 410 upvotes and a gold ribbon NYT pick for asserting that USZionists prioritize Israels interests ahead of Americas, some people might start suspecting the Times itself of engaging in Breitbart-style reader-comment opportunism. So long as the Times is on the topic of moral embarrassment well, lets just say, if not much of that seems on display among the papers own editors, its not because its entirely unwarranted. More of Ira Stolls media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be foundhere.

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Is Bannon Planning ‘War’ On Jared And Ivanka Or The Jews? – Forward

Steve Bannon is preparing to launch an all-out war against some of President Trumps closest Jewish advisers but he hopes to avoid it being framed as a fight against the Jews. The ousted chief White House strategist is already back at the helm of Breitbart, the right-wing news website Bannon ran before joining Trumps campaign. According to reports, Bannon is also in talks with Sinclair Broadcasting, Americas largest network of local TV stations. Joining the two platforms could give Bannon an even more powerful pulpit to go after globalist forces in the Trump White House and the Republican Party. Topping the list of Bannon targets are Trumps daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as the presidents chief economic adviser Gary Cohn. All three are Jewish. Also on Bannons target list are national security adviser H. R. McMaster and his deputy Dina Powell. Bannons focus on Trumps Jewish advisers has not gone unnoticed and Bannon himself seems to be struggling with the notion that his fight will be frames as a battle against Jewish influence. According to a detailed behind-the-scenes Vanity Fair report, Bannon is especially galled, according to one of his allies, at being called an anti-Semite. In fact, he credits himself as being the one who had fought for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem (as indicated on his famous whiteboard task list that was captured in a selfie by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach) and of holding a hard line on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While Kushner argued for postponing the embassy relocation and has spent his time shuffling between Jerusalem and Ramallah, Bannon refused to even enter the room when Trump met with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, telling his aides he does not want to breath the same air as that terrorist. Could a concerted effort by Bannon against Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Cohn be used to portray him as holding an anti-Jewish bias? A Jewish Republican source said Bannon will seek to avoid that by stressing the non-Jews on his target list and Jews on his side of the battle line, including senior White House adviser Stephen Miller and Breitbart editor-at-large Joel Pollak. It may also help to frame the battle as part of a larger struggle for the heart and mind of Trump and his right-wing base. For some, talking about New York globalists and about Jared and Ivanka will sound like code words for Jews, but for most people this is just part of the culture war inside the White House, said the Republican source. We are so ridiculously amped up in our condemnation of anything and everyone we dont agree with, said Republican strategist Frank Luntz. Steve Bannon is a hero to some and a villain to others. Hes likely neither of them, but thats the image he wants to project, and the image his detractorswant to promote. The Vanity Fair report illustrated just how focused Bannon is now on taking his fight against White House moderates to the public sphere. We have a duty to the country to be the vanguard of The Movement, Bannon reportedly told Breitbart staff on a conference call hours after news of his departure spread, singling out Ivanka, Kushner and Cohn, as well as hawks McMaster and Powell. Breitbarts news editor Alex Marlow told Vanity Fair that Bannon wants to beat their ideas into submission. The mutual animosity between Bannon and Javanka, a nickname describing Jared and Ivanka made popular by Bannon, is no secret. Kushner and Ivanka, alongside Cohn and others in the White House, were engaged in a battle of ideas with Bannon and his allies over the true spirit of the Trump presidency – a mainstream, fiscal conservative one, as the New York wing saw it, or a term defined by populism and economic nationalism. Bannon had little respect for Javanka, telling his staff, according to the New York Times that the couple had nave political instincts. A Bannon ally used clearer terms, telling Vanity Fair that Bannon called Kushner a dope. But while the ideological rift between the two rivaling powers in Trumps Oval Office had been clear ever since the inauguration, events in Charlottesville and Bannons ouster highlighted another undertone: the role played by Jared and Ivankas Jewish faith. A Daily Mail report published over the weekend claimed that Ivanka and Jared pushed out Bannon from the White House, because his far-right views clashed with their Jewish faith. The report was based on unnamed Washington sources and was later denied by the White House as totally false but regardless of its reliability, Breitbart, already under the helm of Bannon, featured the story on its home page. Breitbarts editorial decisions in recent days offer a peek into the way Bannons war will play out. The website featured a set of critical reports on General McMaster, on Kushner and on Ivanka. All share a similar theme: these advisers are incompetent and are advancing an agenda that contradicts that of Trump. Bannons challenge would be to intensify this attack line, without being viewed as singling out the Jewish members of the team. Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter @nathanguttman

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Jerry Lewis Was the Quintessential American Jew – New York Times

Photo Credit Associated Press Jerry Lewis, who died Sunday at 91, was not a man often overlooked, or pigeonholed. But in reckoning with his legacy, there is often one surprising omission. Hes rarely featured in discussions of the pantheon of mid-20th century Jewish comedy. Possibly this was because of his overwhelming popularity, tending to remove the necessity for any qualifying adjective. Looking at pictures of the crowds flocking to catch a glimpse of him and his partner, Dean Martin, at their hotels, youd think you were witnessing Beatlemania. Only Martin and Lewis were 10 years earlier. It certainly had something to do with his comedy itself, which was rarely, if ever, identifiably Jewish in the manner of Lenny Bruce, Mel Brooks or Woody Allen. But Mr. Lewiss most successful work was, in its own way, a fundamental part of the great story of Jewish comedy in America a story that also functions as a microcosm of American Jewish life writ large. It was a metaphor for the successes, and the anxieties, of a generation of postwar American Jews of the 1950s: busily engaged, often extraordinarily successful, and trying to prove they were no different than everyone else. They wanted to believe they were the same, and yet their creative success, paradoxically, was borne of the tension that their very real difference created. The comedians two most accomplished successes are cases in point. The Martin and Lewis partnership worked (spectacularly) in the way most comic duos do: the juxtaposition of opposites. Mr. Martin was the suave, elegant straight man; Mr. Lewis was manic and kinetic. As far as Mr. Lewis got, maybe a part of him couldnt help but feel that he got there because there was a Mr. Martin to show who he wasnt and, in fact, couldnt be. Maybe Mr. Lewiss aspiration to Mr. Martins genteel gentility while at the same time realizing and fearing that the very reason people adored him was because of his shtick was part of the tension that eventually broke up the team. Not that there werent many other reasons, and the insecurity certainly flowed both ways, but this aspect wasnt particularly subtle. Its certainly significant, for example, that one of Mr. Lewiss post-Martin and Lewis efforts ventured directly into Mr. Martins territory, recording an album of standards called Jerry Lewis Just Sings. But this tension took on a much wider significance when, a few years later, Mr. Lewis re-addressed his yearnings in his comedic masterpiece, a movie that, without a single rabbi anywhere, has almost as much to say about American Jewish life and particularly the hopes for and anxieties about fitting in and making it than any other movie of the period. The Nutty Professor, is a 1963 comedy about a nebbishy, klutzy college professor named Julius Kelp, who, taking a page from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, drinks a serum he concocts in order to turn into somebody else. But while Stevensons Victorian doctor wants to allow his less socially accepted urges free rein, Mr. Lewiss comical zhlub a kind of Mad magazine parody come to life turns into a cool nightclub singer, Buddy Love. Whether Buddy Love was based on Mr. Martin or not (opinion is divided: Mr. Lewis said he wasnt, and almost everyone else believed he was), he was certainly the apotheosis of a kind of American Jewish yearning: the man women wanted; the man men wanted to be. Julius Kelp (note that weedy early 20th century Jewish name) was who Jews feared everyone thought they were. After the movie came out, Mr. Lewis admitted he was surprised at that one aspect of its success. He had written Buddy Love as a bad guy, as a way to help Kelp (and audiences) learn that you have to like yourself to have others like you. The movie ends with the love interest confessing she preferred the nutty genius to the sexy crooner. But audiences preferred Love, in a big way. Mr. Lewiss bemusement about that phenomenon spoke to an essential American Jewish truth of the period, wrought truer in his film than perhaps he knew: Did a collectively imagined American dream appeal more strongly than your personal history? Can you really have both, without a magic potion, or split personality? And if so, which one would you rather give up?

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed


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