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November 25, 2015 / 13 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘genocide’

Plight of Syria’s Druze Population Strikes Chord in Israel

Monday, June 15th, 2015

By Zack Pyzer

Syria’s ever-deepening civil war has for the first time put the country’s 800,000 strong population under threat of genocide by Islamic extremists.

Prominent Israeli Druze MK Ayoub Kara, speaking to Tazpit News Agency on Monday, said that the situation was complicated both for the Druze in Syria, as well as for Israel.

Last Wednesday, members of the al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front slaughtered 20 Druze civilians. This quickly raised fears that the Druze could meet the same violent persecution as other religious minorities under Islamic extremists.

Druze protestors and politicians in neighboring Israel are now trying to help their plight. However, the matter has caused a lot of
“I wear two hats, as a Druze, and as a member of Israel’s government,” Kara, who is a member of the ruling Likud party, said to Tazpit.

The Druze community in Israel have a high rate of conscription into the IDF, and are generally regarded as well integrated into society.

On Monday evening, around 4,000 protestors in the largely Druze town of Isfiya took to the streets to urge Israel to protect their brethren across the border.

Many Israeli Druze have close family relations in Syria, especially those from villages in the Israeli Golan Heights.
In addition to protests, Druze communities in Israel are said to have raised more than $2.6 million (NIS 10 million) to transfer to Syria, via Jordan.

The money will likely be used to buy weapons for the protection of the community, Kara suggested.

The MK explained that Israel cannot act like the USA and a coalition of nations are doing against the Islamic State. If the Jewish state is seen to be on the side of the Druze in Syria, “it would make it worse for our people,” Kara concluded.

Rabbi Boteach Shoots Back at Critics and Calls Susan Rice a ‘Bully’ [video]

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach delivered a masterful response on CNN Sunday night to critics of his organization’s New York Times full-page advertisement that described National Security Adviser Susan Rice as “blind to genocide.”

The advertisement was a response to Rice’s statement that Netanyahu’s speech to Congress tomorrow is “destructive” for the relationship between the United States and Israel.

Major American Jewish organizations and the White House harshly criticized the advertisement with adjectives ranging from “outrageous” to “perverse.”

The advertisement hit a raw nerve, and Rabbi Boteach explained to CNN’s Poppy Harlow that the goal of the publicity was “to raise consciousness in Americans to the indiscriminate slaughter of innocents around the world.”

He clearly illustrated that the Iranian threat to destroy Israel is only one of several threats or realities of genocide that the United States has not tried to stop. The problem is not the details of a deal with Iran. The problem is the fact that the Obama administration is even talking with Iran.

Harlow asked him to explain his goal by placing in the advertisement a picture of Rice next to skulls, with the headline “blind to genocide,” which smacked right in the middle of America’s conscience.

He answered:

We all have a blind spot when it comes to genocide, which is why we had Cambodia and Rwanda…. We have seen too many slaughters. This administration needs to step up and do something.

Iran is threatening the annihilation of the Jewish People. It is perverse that these negotiations are taking place without a demand that Iran first totally renounce their genocidal intentions against Jews.”

Rabbi Boteach justified his association of Rice with being blind to genocide based on a statement attributed to her by Samantha Power, her predecessor and now the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

He said that Power stated in 1994 that Rice, who was an adviser to Bill Clinton, had declared that genocide in Rwanda could not labeled as such because it would harm Democrats in mid-term elections.

“The reason those pictures [of skulls] are there – those are skulls…from a church…in Rwanda. I was in that church. 800,000 people were hacked to death, and the United States did nothing.

We have to begin to intervene in genocide.

Rabbi Boteach added, “God gave us this military power…. That is our responsibility.”

As for the criticism of Jewish organizations, the ones who are armchair Zionists and carry the traditional torch of die-hard Diaspora Jews who want Israel to make them feel comfortable where they are, Rabbi Boteach said:

We don’t have our principles and convictions determined by popularity or by praise. We believe in the infinite human value and dignity of human life. We believe the United States has to intervene when it comes to genocide.

We believe Susan Rice should not be condemning the leader of a tiny little Middle East country, which is facing a nuclear threat from the foremost sponsor of terrorism around the world. She should not be saying on national TV that he has no right to speak out and [that] if he does he will harm the relationship with the United States.

That is a form of bullying… It is unfair. This country believes in the freedom of speech.

The interview with Rabbi Boteach on CNN can be seen here.

European Jewish Leaders: Court Decision on Hamas ‘Legitimizes Murder’

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) has expressed outrage over the removal of Hamas from the European Union’s list of officially designated terror organizations, after the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg accepted an appeal filed by Hamas against its inclusion in the list.

“We have reached a new low in moral relativity if an organization explicitly dedicated to the destruction of a nation and people, which actively target and commit terrorist acts against civilians, is no longer considered a terrorist organization,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC, said. “One just needs to look at Article Seven of the Hamas Charter to know their proudly stated genocidal aspiration to the mass murder of Jews all over the world.”

“If an organization like that can be removed from a terror list then there is something very wrong with a system, because this decision legitimizes murder and genocide.”

The appeal was accepted because it was argued that Hamas’ inclusion on the list of terror organizations was conducted against EU procedures and does not include sufficient legal evidence to brand Hamas a terror organization.

“It is a ridiculous assertion that there is insufficient legal evidence to brand Hamas a terror organization,” Dr. Kantor continued. “All the judges had to do was read the Hamas Charter and then have someone translate the thousands of videos and statements released to the public in Arabic which openly call for and glorify the murder of innocent civilians, men, women and children.

“This is a very dark day for the European Union and thanks to this decision we as European Jews, who Hamas openly declares as targets for annihilation, feel less secure on our continent.”

Abbas’ United Nations Speech Throws Obama under the Bus

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Mahmoud Abbas roared into the United Nations Friday with an incendiary speech against Israel that re-buried – again – the American-led “peace process,” cast Israel as a war criminal and managed to provoke a hasty and unusually angry American response that smacked his rhetoric as “provocative.”

The Palestinian Authority chairman, who carried out a brilliant world-wide diplomatic campaign against Israel after he took power following Yasser Arafat’s death in 2004, has been hell-bent on self-destruction ever since it was clear to him that he could not hijack the so-called peace process to put an end to Israel as a Jewish state.

His speech, which called Israel “genocidal,” was a statement that the Obama can go fly a kite while he relies solely on the pro-Arab U.N. General Assembly to reach his objective. Abbas’ diplomatic Kamikaze operation somewhat parallels the Arab world’s wars against Israel in 1949 and 1967. They circled the wagons and poised for a victory, but then saw blood in their eyes and banked on total annihilation of the Zionists.

A hint of what was coming at the United Nations began when Abbas entered to the United Nations Wednesday. U.N. personnel, operating under standing operating procedures, prevented Abbas’ security forces from entering through the same doors.

Abbas’ aides did what they know best to do – use violence, which didn’t work.

On Friday, Abbas spoke and everyone waited for the “bomb” that his aides said he would drop. Maybe he would demand that Israel be tried in the international court for war crimes? Maybe he would announce a new peace proposal? Maybe he would pull out a new trick to put Israel in the corner?

The bomb was suicidal.

Peace talks?

“It is impossible, and I repeat – it is impossible – to return to the cycle of negotiations that failed to deal with the substance of the matter and the fundamental question,” Abbas declared. “There is neither credibility nor seriousness in negotiations in which Israel predetermines the results via its settlement activities and the occupation’s brutality…

“During the past two weeks, Palestine and the Arab Group undertook intensive contacts with the various regional groups in the United Nations to prepare for the introduction of a draft resolution to be adopted by the United Nations Security Council on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to push forward the efforts to achieve peace….

“This endeavor aspires to correct the deficiency of the previous efforts to achieve peace by affirming the goal of ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the two-state solution, of the State of Palestine, with east Jerusalem as its capital, over the entire territory occupied in 1967, alongside the State of Israel and reaching a just and agreed upon solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees on the basis of resolution 194, with a specific timeframe for the implementation of these objectives as stipulated in the Arab Peace Initiative.”

Abbas proved he was more bark than bite because he did not even hint of a deadline “or else” for Israel to surrender.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a peace partner?

“There is no credibility or seriousness” in the Prime Minister’s statements that he wants a “two-state solution.”

Settlers as Jews who could live in peace with the PA if they only would go back to Tel Aviv?

No. Settlers are “racist and armed gangs’ who have “persisted with their crimes against the Palestinian people.”

He said what every person with an IQ over 30 knows – “negotiations” with Israel means that that talks resume based on the “agreed objective” of “ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the independence of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the entire Palestinian Territory occupied in the 1967 war.”

Is A Second Holocaust Possible?

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Is a second Holocaust possible? While not all hate-mongering leads to mass murder, history shows that genocide is usually preceded by continuous demonization of the eventual victims.

Never in history had the psychological infrastructure for genocide been prepared more thoroughly than it was before the Holocaust. In his book The Devil and the Jews, Joshua Trachtenberg summarized how Medieval Christendom viewed the Jew: as a “sorcerer, murderer, cannibal, poisoner, blasphemer.”

Experts on Jesus’s lifetime know that in Roman times the Jews had no power to kill anyone. However, the false accusation of deicide persists to this day. The Nazis and their allies added another accusation of absolute evil: “Jews are subhuman.” The culmination of the extreme defamation was the slaughter of six million Jews.

The newest accusation against the Jews of absolute evil is the claim that they behave like Nazis. As I pointed out in my recent book Demonizing Israel and the Jews, at least 150 million people in the European Union think Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians or, alternatively, behaves toward them like the Nazis did to the Jews.

A major study in 2013 by the Fundamental Rights Agency shows that due to increasing anti-Semitism in Europe a substantial number of Jews frequently or always hide their identity in public. In Sweden and France, the majority of Jews do so.

This is not to suggest that European Jewry is in danger. It remains highly unlikely that there will be a second European Holocaust against the Jews in the foreseeable future, as there is far too much resistance to that very notion in society at large.

That same resistance, however, does not exist in large parts of the Muslim world. An Iranian nuclear bomb is not the only potential source for a second Holocaust. One just has to watch the atrocities committed almost daily by Muslims, mainly against other Muslims, in Syria and Iraq.

If they were ever to gain sufficient power, there are enough Palestinians who, in league with organized jihadists, would attempt to do the same to Israel’s Jewish population.

In order to prevent such a scenario, Israel must work with sympathetic journalists and other opinion makers to educate the West about the duplicity and cruelty that has become endemic to much of the Muslim world.

Suffolk University Defends Honoring Foxman as Commencement Speaker

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Suffolk University has rejected protests from some student groups and has affirmed its selection of Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman as the law school’s commencement speaker.

Foxman, who will step down from his position in July 2015, also will receive an honorary degree at the May 17 graduation ceremony of the private university located in downtown Boston.

More than 800 people signed an online petition criticizing Foxman for his opposition of U.S. congressional recognition of the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians on the eve of World War I as genocide. The petition, initiated by the law school’s chapter of the National Lawyers’ Guild, states that comments by Foxman on the genocide may make families of students of Armenian descent feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.

The petition also cites Foxman’s published comments about racial profiling of Muslims for purposes of national security, and his opposition of the construction of a Muslim Community Center near the site of the former World Trade Center.

In 2007, after coming under fire for not acknowledging the Armenian massacre as genocide, the national ADL organization changed its position, though some in the Armenian community said its language was ambiguous and did not go far enough.

Foxman later wrote, “ADL has never denied the tragic and painful events perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians, and we have referred to those massacres and atrocities as genocide.”

Nonetheless, the issue continues to dog the outspoken leader and cause controversy for the ADL, especially in the Boston area, home to a large Armenian community.

In a statement issued to the Boston Globe, Suffolk University President James McCarthy’s administration praised Foxman for contributions to the organization for nearly 50 years. The statement said the administration has examined the concerns raised by students but that “Foxman’s body of work is well deserving of recognition. . . It is our hope that Mr. Foxman’s personal story as a Holocaust survivor and attorney who has dedicated his life to public service will inspire our graduates as they embark on their professional careers.”

Suffolk has nearly 9,000 full- and part-time students, with 1,500 law students.

Matthew Smith, a member of the school’s Jewish Law Students Association, told JTA he is disappointed “that a small group” has “attempted to create a controversy” over the commencement speaker,” and that he is proud that the university is standing by Foxman.

In an email, Smith, a third-year graduating law student wrote that many members of the Jewish community are alarmed by some of the rhetoric attacking Foxman. “Some supporters of the petition have attacked Foxman for his support of Israel and … inappropriately referenced Foxman’s Jewish heritage,” he wrote. He added: “It is difficult to listen to a student inaccurately label a Holocaust survivor and civil rights leader as a “racist.”

Sammy Nabulsi, president of the Student Bar Association at Suffolk acknowledged that Foxman has done good work in fighting discrimination. But he told the Boston Globe that Foxman’s selection is stirring division among the graduating class.

Nabulsi, who is Muslim-American, told the Globe he is speaking out on behalf of the student body as a whole. “My concern is there’s a very dangerous conversation happening among the graduating class,” he said. He suggested that Foxman would make a more appropriate guest speaker on campus and not a recipient of an honorary degree.

Elie Wiesel and Kagame of Rwanda Discuss Genocide & Syria

Monday, September 30th, 2013

There were several important news making items that emerged from our historic discussion on genocide that our organization, This World: The Jewish Values Network, together with NYU Hillel, staged on Sunday night, 29 September, at Cooper Union’s Great Hall in New York City – the venue that brought Abraham Lincoln to national prominence in 1860 – before 1000 people. The event – introduced by philanthropists Sheldon Adelson and Michael Steinhardt and which I moderated – was historic because it brought together the two biggest names in global genocide remembrance: Prof. Elie Wiesel, the living embodiment of the martyred six million of the holocaust, and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the only man alive who can claim to have stopped a genocide when his RPF forces conquered Rwanda in 1994 and ended the slaughter that had taken the lives of nearly one million Tutsis.

As to the discussion of whether President Franklin Roosevelt did enough to stop the murder of Europe’s Jews, Elie Wiesel came down firmly on the side of those who say he failed at this great moral responsibility. He deserves credit for defeating Hitler, Wiesel said, but as a someone who confronted a genocide and did not limit it, he deserves to be severely criticized.

I then turned the question to Kagame, adjusted to the Rwandan genocide. Did he harbor anger toward the United States, a moral and righteous superpower who blew it completely in Rwanda, doing next to nothing to stop the genocide and, arguably, even obstructing the efforts of other nations to assist. No, the President said. We’re way past that. It’s not about anger but our conclusion that we alone can protect ourselves and can never rely on a fickle world for our defense. Rwandans can rely on Rwandans for their defense.

I pointed out to the president that Israel came to the same conclusion about its defense in general, and is now pondering whether it will apply that principle by striking Iran alone, now that President Obama has decided to engage the Iranian president even as he continues to enrich Uranium and fund Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists.

I asked Elie Wiesel about Syria. Given the Bible’s commandment ‘not to stand idly by the blood of your neighbor,’ did the United States have a moral obligation to punish Assad for gassing children, even if he surrenders his chemical arsenal? Wiesel was unequivocal. Both the American political, and Jewish communal leadership had failed on Syria. Chemical gas was a trigger point for genocide and mass murder. The fact that Assad had paid no price for gassing children was a tremendous moral failure that had to be corrected, and the Jewish community should have been at the forefront of saying so.

President Kagame echoed that sentiment. Those who use either chemical, or even conventional weapons to slaughter innocent people must be held accountable or nothing will check further aggression and murder. Here were the world’s two leading voices on genocide were being jointly critical of the American government’s decision to commute the military attack on Assad to simply destroying his arsenal. Even if he did so he still had to pay a personal price for mass murder.

My close friend Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo had already announced, at a press conference we convened in October of last year, that Rwanda would be opening an embassy in Israel. I turned to the President and said to him that countries like Rwanda can understand Israel’s security situation in ways that few others could. The similarities between the two countries is striking. They are of similar size. They have terrorist enemies on their borders. Israel has Iran-funded Hezbollah and Hamas and Rwanda the FDLR in Eastern Congo. Both are regularly criticized unfairly by the UN. Both have had frictions with France which has at times assumed a curiously negative posture toward both countries. And, of course, both have experienced genocides of staggering proportions.

In light of the unique relationship between the two countries, I asked the President would it not be proper for Rwanda to open its embassy not in Tel Aviv but in Jerusalem, becoming one of the first nations to affirm the holy city as Israel’s eternal and undivided capitol? The President was surprised by the question but answered graciously. Rwanda and Israel indeed share similar histories and security challenges. He was very happy that they were increasing their bilateral relations with Rwanda opening an embassy in Israel. It was an important step in an evolving relationship and opening an Embassy in Jerusalem would be too great a leap for now. He and I both smiled at his response, with the President knowing I had put him on the spot and with me knowing that he had artfully dodged my question.

I turned to Professor Wiesel and told him that the full page ads he took out in America’s major publications in March, 2010, mildly rebuking President Obama, with whom he is close, for his pressure on Israel to cease building in parts of Jerusalem were widely credited with reversing the Administration’s policy. Would he be consider taking out similar ads questioning the President’s decision to open diplomatic relations at the highest level of the Iranian leadership without first demanding that Iran cease funding Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists, or enriching Uranium? Wiesel said that Iran’s holocaust denial was dangerous and delusional, and that opening diplomatic relations with the Iranians before they had formally renounced their genocidal aspirations against the Jewish state was unacceptable. He would consider the ads.

At last, I asked Professor Wiesel about a subject he and I had discussed many times. Why was it inappropriate to hate those who have committed genocide? Should we not despise the SS who murdered his family, or Hutu genocidaires who hacked children to death with machetes? Wiesel was adamant. Once you start hating, the emotion is internalized and you cannot control its spread and growth. It’s not long before it is directed even at those whom it is inappropriate to hate.

I have been close to Wiesel for 25 years. He is my hero and teacher. But on this one point, I remain unsure, and continue to despise those monsters who would murder a child because of his nationality, religion, or race. Never again must mean just that, Never again.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/america-rabbi-shmuley-boteach/elie-wiesel-and-kagame-of-rwanda-discuss-genocide-syria/2013/09/30/

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