I just returned from a week-long journey through Hell! It began with a visit to the Auschwitz and Birkenau death camps in German occupied Poland, as a participant of the March of the Living, following a Conference commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Nuremberg laws and the 70th Anniversary of the Nuremberg trials. My week was consumed with recurring evidence of the worst crime ever perpetrated by human beings on other human beings – the Holocaust
I travelled from the death camps to several small Polish towns from which my grandparents emigrated well before the Holocaust, leaving behind relatives and friends. During the course of my travels, I discovered the fate of some of my relatives. Hanna Deresiewicz (an original spelling of my family name) was a 16 year old girl living in the small town of Pilzno when the Nazis arrived; she was separated from her siblings and parents. “The soldiers took several of the most beautiful Jewish girls for sex, and then killed them. [Among those] taken [was] Hanna Deresiewicz, 16.” I also learned that another Deresiewics, named Benjamin, survived, though his wife and five children, along with his parents and siblings were all murdered. He may have been Hanna’s father, although I can’t document that. In the book Schindler’s Ark, on which the movie Schindler’s List was base, the following account is given: “[The Commandant of Auschwitz] suspended his 15 year old orderly, Poldek Dereshowitz, from the ringbolts in his office …” Although the book is fictionalized account, it is based on the
recollections of an eyewitness. I cannot, therefore, be sure of the veracity of that episode. But seeing the name Dereshowitz associated with Auschwitz had an impact on me.
This is not the first time I have visited Nazi death camps. I was fully familiar with the statistical evidence of how six million Jews were systematically murdered. I was also familiar with how the Nazi death machine searched out Jews in the furthest corners of Nazi occupied Europe, even as far as the Island of Rhodes, and transported them to Auschwitz to gas them. I also knew that this was the only time in human history when people were brought from far distances to camps designed for one purpose only – to kill every possible Jew they could find no matter where they lived. And I knew that because this was part of a planned genocide of the Jewish People, it was most important to kill every child, woman and man capable of producing future Jews.
But this visit, during which I learned the fate of members of my own family, brought the horrors home to me in a manner more personal than any statistic could provide. I was travelling with my wife and daughter, and I repeatedly imagined what it must have felt like for the parents and spouses of the murdered Jews to realize that everything precious to them was being annihilated and that there would be no one left to morn them or to carry their seed to future generations.
From the old Hell, Poland, I traveled to a new Hell, called Hungary. Budapest is a beautiful city, but it too, provided a hellish end to its Jewish residents in the final months of the Second World War when Hungarian Nazis turned the Blue Danube into a red mass grave. They shot their Jewish neighbors and dumped their bodies into the Danube River, even as the Nazis were retreating. And now in modern day Budapest, I was told of the resurgence of Nazism among many ordinary Hungarians. The increasingly popular Fascist party boasts of its anti-Semitism and of its desire to rid Hungary of its few remaining Jews. The Fascist Party in Hungary also hates Israel, and everything else that is a manifestation of Jewishness.
I ended my trip meeting with a Jewish man of Greek background who told me that his grandfather was murdered by the Nazis and that he was now being targeted by Greek Fascists for his outspoken defense of Israel and the Jewish people. Athens, too, has become a hotbed of Jew-hatred, with its popular Fascist Party.
There was not a moment during my visit to Europe that I was not reminded of that continent’s sordid history with regard to the Jewish people. Now, many Europeans—the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who were complicit in the murder of six million Jews—have turned against the Nation State of the Jewish People with a vengeance. This time the bigotry emanates mostly from the hard left, but has the support of many on the new Fascist hard right. The British Labor Party is as rife with hatred of the Jewish People and Jewish Nation as is the Hungarian Fascist Party. Once again, European Jews are caught between the extremes of the Black and the Red. Extremists on both sides seek the demise of Israel, arguing that there is no place in this world for one state that is overtly Jewish in its character, despite the universal acceptance of multiple Muslim and Christian nations. Other Europeans seek to boycott Israel’s products, its professors, and its performers. While still others simply apply a double standard to its actions — a standard they apply to no other nation, including their own.
My visit to Europe made one thing unmistakably clear: if there is any group in the world that needs a safe homeland—a sanctuary from bigotry and hatred—it is the Jewish people. When Hitler was willing to expel them from Europe, before deciding to exterminate them, no country – not even the United States or Canada – would give them asylum. Britain closed the doors of what is now Israel to them. They had no place to go. So they were murdered by the Nazis and their willing executioners throughout Europe. There is no group whose history entitles it to a safe and secure homeland more than the Jewish people. For reasons that are difficult to explain, the hatred of the Jewish people and its nation defies rationality, but it is as real as the gas chambers of Auschwitz -Birkenau and the emerging
Fascist parties of Greece and Hungary. Jews today continue to be scapegoated in many parts of the world, and their nation state is demonized at the United Nations, on university campuses, in the media and in legislative assemblies. Following the Holocaust, there seemed to be an understanding that Jews would no longer be victimized. Now less than a century after the Nazis came to power, that moratorium on Jew-hatred seems to have expired, as the memory of the Holocaust grows dim in most parts of the world.
My weeklong visit to Hell reaffirmed my commitment to defend Israel’s right to exist, to speak out for Israel when it is unfairly attacked, and to defeat its enemies in the marketplace of ideas. We owe nothing less to the victims of the worst crime in the history of humanity—a crime that could not have occurred without the complicity of most of the world. And a crime that will not recur if there is a
Author and undercover reporter Tuvia Tenenbom joins Yishai to tell the tale of his very serious, but very funny infiltration into the heart of the anti-Israel propaganda machine. Guess what? It’s not only the Jihad, its also mainstream Europe that is complicit with the Israel delegitimization campaign. Then, Rabbi Mike joins Yishai on Spiritual Cafe to discuss Biblical economics and the brotherhood of the Jewish people that can only come about in the Land of Israel.
A 50-year-old Wasserburg man was murdered and three others wounded, one seriously, after being stabbed at around 5 am local time Tuesday at a railway station in the suburb of Grafing, 25 miles southeast of central Munich.
Witnesses allege the attacker yelled “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Great! in Arabic) during the incident, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.
The 27-year-old suspected attacker captured and arrested by German police shortly after “made remarks at the scene of the crime that indicate a political motive — apparently an Islamist motive,” said a spokesperson for the Bavarian prosecutors’ office who was quoted by The Guardian.
“We are still determining what the exact remarks were,” the spokesperson added. The railway station was cordoned off, leading to restrictions on the Munich S-Bahn rail network.
Germany is participating in the U.S.-led coalition fight against Da’esh (ISIS), which has methodically set about attacking targets in every country participating in the coalition air strikes against its bases in Syria.
At this point, it is difficult to know what to make of this astounding and troubling incident. I won’t try to frame confident conclusions in this post, but I do think it unquestionably bears looking into by at least three national governments: those of Spain, where the incident occurred; the UK, where EasyJet is a registered company; and France, whose citizens were the ones quite remarkably inconvenienced.
The incident took place on 1 May in Barcelona, and involved a flight from Barcelona to Paris. Most of the passengers were French Jews who had been in Spain for the Passover celebration, and were headed home. I won’t rehash the entire drama, because what I am presenting at the end of this post is the account of a Jewish man on the flight, a Mr. Alain Sayada. His post is in French, but I’ve prepared a rough translation and am copying it below. You can read it to get the full story.
Several English-language media outlets have picked up on this report, including the Jewish Press. The bottom line appears to be that a situation blew up that probably didn’t have to, in part due to a language barrier. (The flight crew had no one in it who spoke French. Mr. Sayada was able to communicate in English with the captain, but the Spanish cabin attendants’ English was very poor.)
Depending on their attitude going in, some readers will no doubt think Mr. Sayada’s take on the events is a little overheated, and will assume that there may have been some fault on both sides. The flight crew was defensive, apparently somewhat rude, and seemed to retreat behind excuses. A 15-year-old among the passengers may not have comported himself in a 100% saintly manner, and at least one adult passenger apparently raised his voice. It would be as biased to over interpret those things with prejudice for one side as to do so for the other — which is why I’m presenting the whole summary from Mr. Sayada below, so you can form your own opinion.
What concerns me about the incident is that, with two or perhaps three people on the flight whom the crew seemed to take exception to, the decision was made to offload everyone on the flight. According to Mr. Sayada’s report, the passengers were then held under armed guard in a room in the terminal for hours, being told nothing. The implied thinking is hard to miss: They’re all Jews, so take them all off the flight and hold them together.
Unfortunately, that’s a rational conclusion, in default of any actual information from EasyJet (see below for a link to the company’s statement). When individual passengers are determined to be troublesome, the authorities don’t typically offload everyone. They remove only the passengers identified by the crew. Whether that judgment about “troublemakers” was fair or not in this particular case, it would normally lead only to the specific individuals being removed from the plane. As Mr. Sayada points out, the demographic nature of the passengers was as low-risk as it could possibly be: a lot of children, parents, and old people. Most of us are well enough acquainted with security standards to recognize that it made no sense to empty the entire plane because of one or two “disruptive passengers.”
Why were all the passengers required to de-board? Why did they have to be held under armed guard in the terminal for six hours, with their passports taken from them? Why did the Spanish police threaten a young woman who had made recordings with her phone, demanding that she erase them or she would not be allowed to leave when the passengers were finally put on another plane?
These and other questions have no satisfactory answers at this point. There are some things we don’t know, such as how many of the passengers were non-Jewish. (Some sources say that of the 180 passengers that could have been accommodated on the aircraft, 150-some were Jews from France. You will note that Mr. Sayada has the number of passengers wrong, referring to it several times as “250.”)
EasyJet, in an official statement about the incident, claims that passengers were given vouchers for refreshments and were allowed to move about the terminal during the time they waited for a follow-on flight. This statement is at odds with what the Jewish passengers have reported, but that seems to be accounted for by this passage from EasyJet:
The police took a number of passengers for questioning. All other passengers were able to go back into the terminal and were provided with refreshment vouchers and received regular updates on the new departure time.
It sounds on the face of it like the Jewish passengers were “taken for questioning,” and the 20 or 30 others were allowed to roam the terminal. That, at least, would be the obvious way of reconciling the conflicting accounts. We won’t hear more from EasyJet at this point, according to their spokeswoman:
“As to the nature of the incident, as this is now in the hands of the Spanish police and part of an on-going investigation we are unable to comment further,” she said.
Having traveled through Spain a number of times, I don’t need to be told that the Guardia Civil is by no means “civil,” and is often hard to deal with. But, parse this as you will, it still doesn’t make sense to take everyone off the plane and keep dozens of passengers under armed guard for hours based on the allegedly “disruptive” behavior of a few.
So far, little multimedia coverage of the flight has emerged on the web. Video taken by a passenger has been incorporated in a YouTube video by Zionist Radio:
The passengers certainly don’t look like an unruly mob in this clip. The governments in question need to be held publicly accountable for a thorough investigation, and although I’m not a friend of reflexive lawsuits over every annoyance, this incident needs to be poked and prodded with a sharp stick until we all know what happened. Frankly, if you look for excuses for EasyJet or the Spanish authorities about this one, you’re deluding yourself. These are not normal times, and there need to be facts and specific, straightforward answers, not euphemisms, complacent assumptions, and half-truths.
Here is the translation of Alain Sayada’s post. (It’s in rough and ready form; in a number of places, I have colloquialized it for sense rather than making a word-for-word translation. For readability, I’ve tried to keep embedded commentary on the translation — in brackets — to a minimum.)
What really happened on EasyJet flight EZY 3920 from Barcelona to Paris
My turn to tell what happened on EasyJet flight EZY 3920 from Barcelona to Paris, [which was scheduled to depart] 1 May 2016 at 13:05 [1:05 PM].
May wife and two children (aged 3 and 1) and I boarded with more than 150 other Jewish people after a superb trip to Spain organized for the Jewish Passover celebration. We were all very relaxed, in good humor and cheerful.
Everyone was seated, with seatbelts on, the plane was on the runway. It was near takeoff.
During the security briefing [to the passengers], one of the flight attendants named OMAR allowed himself to say “CHUTT” in a loud voice [i.e., “shush!” in an implicitly rude manner] to an old person who was speaking quietly to his 15-year-old grandson, blasting instructions at him in Spanish and not English. The old man, not understanding Spanish, stopped talking.
I was seated at the front of the plane in seat 3C and I saw OMAR complain to the cabin chief about the bad behavior of a passenger; the cabin chief responded in English that they [would] see about that in Paris.
About 30 minutes later, the attendants complained over the microphone that a person didn’t want to secure her children and [therefore] we couldn’t take off. One of my neighbors offered to go speak to this family, as perhaps they couldn’t speak English.
This man got up and I saw him return a minute later telling me he didn’t understand: everyone was secured, there was no problem.
And for another 20 minutes, we waited. An attendant named Christina went back and forth with the one named Omar, and spoke constantly over the microphone in a hurried and [unhealthy; probably “unprofessional”] manner. She spoke in Spanish or a really inferior English, proclaiming that she didn’t speak a word of French.
Not understanding, a teenage boy of 15 asked with hand gestures “What’s going on? What are you saying?” while this Christina person spoke in the microphone in SPANISH, knowing perfectly well that not one passenger understood the language.
Then, with the passengers as a whole completely confused, after an hour of waiting the cabin chief and the captain decided to return [to the Barcelona airport terminal] to remove the teenager [from the plane].
After 20 minutes, the plane stopped next to 4 Guardia Civil vehicles [apparently next to the terminal].
A half dozen men climbed into the plane wanting to [take the 15-year-old for questioning]. His mother intervened, saying he was not an adult, if they wanted him to take him, they’d have to take her too. They [the men] refused. They wanted the young man, by himself.
The police not speaking a word of English, the language barrier was a real problem.
During this time, the captain remained silent, leaning against the wall, letting the situation deteriorate.
The family [of the 15-year-old, apparently] was trying to understand and explain, but the attendants were vile and heartless and demonstrated a really overzealous [attitude].
5 minutes later, a lady succumbed to a panic attack and fainted amidst the tension, panic, and crying of numerous children.
So I decided to go speak to the captain and ask him to make a decision and take managerial responsibility for the situation; he looked at me and said in English that he didn’t really know what to do and he didn’t want to take off if everyone wasn’t seated. An inadequate response in view of the situation with 250 agitated passengers [the real number would not have exceeded 180 on this flight. – J.E.].
Behind me, a man, the father of 6 children, raised his voice although without unseemly gestures or vulgar words, I tried to calm him down but the [heat of confinement in the plane; i.e., the emotional agitation] made the atmosphere electric.
The police made the decision to disembark everyone and to take us to a place in the airport apart from everyone else.
We had all been sequestered and left stuck (prohibited from going out to smoke a cigarette or stretch or get some air) in a room without air conditioning. We were very hot. The babies were red and hot and many of the mothers had nowhere to sit. They [the babies, children] were hungry and crying, as the parents had not expected to have to plan for a 9-hour trip, but only for 3. A pregnant woman was crying on the phone. Children ran around and cried, not understanding… An older person felt ill… It was a nightmare! All this while in the room, we were surrounded by Guardia Civil officers, with guns and batons, as if we were terrorists!
Yet there were only families and old people on this flight, we have proof of that with photos. Next, we waited 5 hours, from 1400 to 1900 [2 PM to 7 PM] in this room, in horrible conditions. Parents went to ask the Spanish law enforcement officers for information, and if they knew when we might [be allowed to board again]? And if there was a reason why were all stuck under guard in this room for an indefinite period? They [the officers] didn’t answer. One of the Guardia Civil men violently shoved a father when he went to ask a question… To document this, a woman began to record his violent actions. One of the men [i.e., a Guardia Civil officer] literally leaped on her, shoving her violently and taking her phone from her.
Around 1730 [5:30 PM], 12 Guardia Civil officers, batons in hand, forcibly took away a 40-year-old father of 6 with a kippa on his head who merely raised his voice a bit in requesting that someone explain to us [what was going on], help us in this situation.
I fully understood at that moment that anyone who didn’t do exactly as they said [i.e., the Guardia Civil officers] would be immediately set upon.
An old man [among the passengers from the flight], a Holocaust survivor, said of these [Spanish law enforcement] men, “These guys, this is what the SS was like during the Shoah.” Needless to say, they made us all think of the SS and the Gestapo.
We remained uncertain of when we would be able to get home for six long hours. In this room where we were stifled by the heat and weren’t allowed to leave. I think at this stage, we could call this nightmare a hostage situation. Sequestration in atrocious conditions. And we were helpless. We contacted [Assembly] Deputy Meyer Habib from there. He notified the Quai d’Orsay [the French foreign ministry] and [Foreign Minister] Manuel Valls. We also tried to contact France 3 [media network] and BfmTv from the room, without much success.
Finally, after six long and interminable hours, they decided to let us reembark, they assembled the passengers. They wouldn’t let the 15-year-old young man or his 70- and 80-year-old grandparents on this flight, or the 40-year-old father [i.e., the one who raised his voice]. [Those particular passengers] had to take another flight, scheduled for 2 hours later. More interminable waiting.
As we were reboarding, they stopped a young woman of 22 and told her that if she didn’t erase the videos and photos she had taken, she wouldn’t be allowed to fly. Her mother begged them on her behalf. They [the authorities] kept our passports and ID cards so they could threaten us that way.
It was my turn to board, and at that point, to my great surprise, I was denied boarding, for the sole reason that the captain asked something of the police [apparently about the narrator].
I went to see the police officers at the departure point, who promised to see the captain and let him know I’d rather help them all out by translating between English and French [i.e., speak to the captain directly], but the captain didn’t want to hear about it.
The policeman said quietly in my ear: here, we are under the captain’s order, if he doesn’t want you, you don’t go.
My wife would have to travel alone, 5 months pregnant and with two children 1 and 3 years old.
She [melted down, basically – panicked, screamed, cried] but they came back again to look for me [apparently with batons out].
At 5 months along, any shock or major stress could be fatal for the baby.
Seeing that I remained calm and impassive, 5 officers went again to explain my situation and that of my wife to the captain who apparently didn’t have the guts to make a sensible decision all day, but fortunately, I was allowed on the flight at the last minute.
Entering into the plane, the flight crew had changed out, one attendant spoke excellent French, the two others fluent English and everything went fine with them. Needless to say, what we had just lived through was shocking and traumatic for each one of us. Let it not be forgotten that the 250 passengers [it was actually 180 max] were women, children, parents, old people, babies, etc. There could hardly be anyone more inoffensive! And we were treated like common animals.
Having arrived 2 May in Paris, my wife had a visit with the gynecologist and the verdict came down, a situation like this put the health of our future child in grave danger.
I am lodging today a complaint against EasyJet for discrimination suffered during flight EZY 3920.
A group of concerned British ex-pats and Israelis has launched a public campaign to encourage pro-Israel Britons to “vote leave” in the upcoming EU Referendum.
The “Support-Israel — Leave Europe” website focuses on four major reasons why Zionists should oppose the EU and seek to weaken it by encouraging Britain to leave. The first reason is the fact that the EU has spent millions on aid money to the Arabs, much of which has ended-up in the hands of convicted terrorist murderers, including those who brutally killed five members of the Fogel family. Second, the illegal EU funded building of more than 1,000 structures for Arabs across Area C in an attempt to establish a de-facto Palestinian State. Third, the recent EU directive encouraging the labeling of Israeli goods made in Judea and Samaria, which amounts to state-sponsored anti-Semitism. Fourth, the hundreds of anti-Israel NGOs that receive hundreds of millions of pounds directly and indirectly from the European Union in an effort to de-legitimize the Jewish State.
Ari Briggs, international director of land monitoring and legal advocacy NGO Regavim, explained the rationale behind the campaign: “For decades the European Union has meddled in Israeli affairs to the detriment of the Jewish State. For thousands of Israel supporters in the United Kingdom and ex-pats around the globe, it’s pay back time. We call on everyone that supports Israel to “vote leave’ and deal a major blow to this mammoth bureaucracy that has an unhealthy obsession with Israel.”
“We encourage all eligible ex-pats in Israel and elsewhere to make sure they are on the electoral registry before the June 7 deadline to ensure they can vote,” Briggs added, saying “all the information needed is provided on our website: supportisraelleaveeurope.com”
Regavim is dedicated to ensuring responsible, legal and accountable use of Israel’s national land. By investigating claims on the ground level, Regavim protects national land interests, presenting its findings in the form of white papers and legal action, in addition to briefing the press and diplomatic corps.
Israel unlocked its temporary ban on incoming flights from Europe at about 12 noon on Tuesday following a massive terror attack at the departure hall of Zaventem Airport in Brussels a few hours earlier.
However, it is not clear whether the incoming flights will be allowed by the local airports to depart, depending on the various security restrictions currently in place. In addition, there may be restrictions on which air space may be used in flights out of Europe due to the security situation.
Ashdod (TPS) – An Israeli company has been authorized to export plastic foam safety surfaces for childrens’ playgrounds to countries in the European Union. Hundreds of thousands of surplus foam packagings, originally used to protect new products from damage during their delivery, will thus be transformed into safety surfaces for children’s playgrounds in Europe.
The surfaces, called ‘Shockpads,’ are produced by the Israeli company Pashut Yarok (“Simply Green” in Hebrew), and installed under synthetic grass. This way if a child falls from a playground apparatus, the spongy layer will absorb the shock, potentially saving the child’s life.
“We hope to be closing deals with European facilities in the near future,” said Guy Saar, CEO of Pashut Yarok to Tazpit Press Service (TPS).
“The export of the ‘Shockpad’ holds great economic potential,” he added. “The EU countries invest a huge amount of resources to protect children in playgrounds. The combination of safety with recycling and protecting the environment, is very important to European decision makers.”
The plastic foam used to make the surfaces is considered an ecological nuisance all over the world, since recycling the material is too costly. It is estimated that in Israel alone, more than one thousand cubic meters of packaging are discarded every month. Using a special and unique process developed by “Pashut Yarok”, this surplus packaging can now be economically recycled.
The surfaces have already been successfully installed over the past year in parks, kindergartens and schools all over Israel. Now, the product has received a green light to be exported to Europe following examinations by Labosport, a lab authorized to approve safety surfaces in Europe.
There are two different ‘Shockpad’ surfaces, one made of 20mm-thick layers and the other from 25mm-thick layers. The lab examinations confirmed that the surface reduces the force of the impact, and can continuously cushion repeated falls.
“We were approved to export to all countries in the EU, but we are specifically aiming at economically strong countries like Germany, France, Britain and the Netherlands, in which we have more options to enter the market,” concluded Saar to TPS.