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August 29, 2016 / 25 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

Venezuela’s UN Ambassador Compares Israel to Nazis

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Israel was accused in the United Nations on Friday by Venezuela of preparing a ‘final solution’ for Arabs from the Palestinian Authority.’

“What is Israel planning to do with the Palestinians?” asked Venezuela’s UN Ambassador Rafael Ramirez. “Do the Israelis want the Palestinians to disappear? Is Israel preparing a ‘final solution’ for the Palestinians similar to that which was perpetrated against them?”

Venezuela holds one of the ten rotating seats on the UN Security Council.

Ramirez was present at a meeting of the council where Michael Sfard, a member of the far-left Yesh Din organization, described ‘price tag’ attacks by Israelis against Arab targets and the response by law enforcement.

Sfard suggested that price tag attacks are an attempt by Jews to drive Arabs out of the country. Ramirez asked during his presentation whether the State of Israel had a similar agenda.

The comparison, drawing a link between Israel and Nazi Germany, drew immediate outrage from Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon.

“This statement by the Venezuelan ambassador is straightforward anti-Semitism against the Jewish state,” said Danon,” according to a statement by the Israeli mission to the UN. “His remarks are a direct continuation to the Palestinian representative’s statement a few days ago comparing Israel to the Nazis,” Danon said, adding the remarks were “unequivocally condemned” by the U.S., the UK and France.

Ramirez subsequently apologized to the “Jewish People if they were offended by the remarks,” according to the statement.

“The Palestinians are bringing anti-Semitism into the halls of the UN and are legitimizing racists and crass language in the parliament of nations,” Danon noted.

Last month Palestinian Authority representative to the UN Riyad Mansour drew a parallel between the Jewish resistance fighters during the Holocaust and the Arab attackers in the current wave of terror.

The attempt to compare the two was roundly condemned at the time by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations as “offensive, hateful anti-Semitism.”

Hana Levi Julian

Pro-Israel Christian Leader Compares UNESCO Temple Mount Resolution to Holocaust Denial

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

In recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Laurie Cardoza-Moore, UN Special Envoy for the World Council of Independent Christian Churchs (WCICC) and President of Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN), attended meetings at the United Nations to condemn UNESCO’s effort to deny the historic, cultural and religious connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount.

The WCICC sponsors and promote meetings at the UN with countries and organizations that support Israel. The group represents more than 40 million Evangelical Christians worldwide, who, together with more than 13,000 global PJTN Watchmen are calling on UNESCO to condemn the strategic and deliberate destruction of ancient artifacts buried beneath the Temple Mount. This destruction has been carried out by the Islamic Waqf for over a decade now, in an attempt to physically eradicate and deny Jewish history connected to the holiest site in Judaism and Christianity.

This message is particularly important on Holocaust Remembrance Day, argues Cardoza-Moore, because “we cannot afford to stand by as Jewish history is publicly denied by an organization of the United Nations. Denying the Jewish people’s connection to the Temple Mount is tantamount to denying the existence of the Jewish people and is therefore even more grave than Holocaust Denial.”

Part of UNESCO’s mission is to promote and educate about religious tolerance, says Cardoza-Moore, noting that “with it’s denial of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and its holy sites, UNESCO harms any prospect of peace and vicariously supports a radical ideology that denies the Jewish connection to the land of Israel and its holy sites.”

“We recognize UNESCO’s responsibility to promote culture and religious diversity by respecting the heritage of all nations,” she says, “Therefore, we call upon UNESCO to recognize the deep historic and religious Jewish connection as well.”

According to Cardoza-Moore, “Christians recognize the historic Jewish connection to Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and all of the ancient biblical sites in Israel. Christians also recognize that if we do not defend Israel’s biblical and historic connection to the Land, Christians will ultimately lose their historic connection as well. We are calling on all Christians to contact UNESCO and condemn this attempt to re-write biblical history and replace it with political propaganda.”

Cardoza-Moore concludes that “with the rise of global, genocidal anti-Semitism, as well as the global push to boycott, divest and sanction Israel, on this Yom HaShoah, as the world remembers one of the most horrific events in modern history, Christians, Jews and people of conscience must commit to make a stand and say never again.”

JNi.Media

Analysis: Sec. Kerry’s Holocaust Memorial Day Message Minimizes Jewish Loss

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day which opened with drowning the memory of the Jewish victims—undeniably the focal target of the Nazi state death industry—by mixing them with all the many other, PC approved victims. And so, Jewish survivors and children of survivors were told by the honorable Mr, Kerry that “On this day, we pause to reflect on the irredeemable loss of six million Jews and countless Poles, Roma, LGBT people, J Witnesses, and persons with disabilities brutally murdered by the Nazis because of who they were or what religion they practiced.”

And so, with one infuriating paragraph, Mr. Kerry eliminated the memory of the years 1933-1939, in which the Nazi propaganda machine concentrated on the Jews of Germany and the rest of Europe, dehumanized them and prepared the citizens of the future Nazi empire for the systematic removal, processing and methodical killing of the most productive, prosperous and moral national group on the planet.

Everyone else — Polish civilians, Gypsies, Homosexuals and the infirm — were mere footnotes in the global Nazi enterprise of the “final solution.” By opening his remarks on Holocaust Remembrance Day with deliberately discounting the Jewish loss as being part of the overall sadness of the human condition, Kerry is, in effect, acting as a Holocaust denier, even as he mourns the Holocaust.

The Nazi Holocaust was planned against the Jews, only the Jews, and saying otherwise suggests the Nazis were merely those bad people who caused a lot of pain. But that was not the case at all. The Holocaust was an experience in which humanity was divided, essentially, into two groups: those who actively hunted and gathered Jews, and those who stood by and let the hunt last for as long as they could.

The US government was aware of the anti-Jewish Nazi atrocities starting in 1933, when they began, when Jews with US citizenship started filing up in the Berlin embassy to report the beating, flogging, torture and murder of Jewish American citizens who had the misfortune to be in Germany in those satanic years. It was followed by US rejection of Jewish refugees seeking shelter on American shores, and was culminated by the US military actively prolonging the operations of the death camps by refusing to bomb the camps and the railroad tracks used to haul the last remaining members of our Jewish families.

“We draw strength from the heroic survivors who summoned the courage to share what they endured so others might draw from their wisdom and experience and who answered evil in the most powerful way possible – by living full lives, raising children and grandchildren, and advancing the ideals of equality and justice,” writes Kerry with some eloquence. This after having spent last summer bringing back into the fold of civilized nations the Islamic Republic, which is engaged in the most public and unabashed fashion in a state-sponsored effort to annihilate Jews. Kerry was indefatigable in his ceaseless work, spanning several years, to endow the Islamic Republic with the hundreds of billions of dollars it will require to complete its Jew-killing endeavor. Has the man no sense of shame at all?

Kerry concludes: “It is our solemn obligation to not only preach compassion, but practice it – and to do all we can to ensure that ‘never again’ is a promise not only made, but kept.”

For one thing, never again will John Kerry serve as Secretary of State; and never again will he come barreling through Jerusalem and Ramallah trying to win a Nobel prize for himself on the backs of Jewish homesteaders. Other than that, statements like Never Again should be relegated to when you wake up after the all-night binge and can’t find the Alka Seltzer.

David Israel

Israel Stops and Remembers

Thursday, May 5th, 2016
Photo of the Day

Remember The Holocaust

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Do you want your family to be part of the forthcoming Holocaust Remembrance Campaign? The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and In My Hands, two books on the Holocaust, republished as part of Random House Children’s Books Read to Remember, will help your family appreciate the tragedy in two very different ways.

 

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas Lewis-050616-Pajamas
A Fable
By John Boyne
216p. Random House. $9.99
ISBN 978-0-385-75153-7

 

In this simple and seemingly effortless book, which topped the New York Times bestseller list and was made into a movie, Boyne shows us how war destroys the experience of childhood and, without gruesome graphics, brings us close to the horrors of the Holocaust. Marketed for young adults, the book is a must-read for all ages.

One day, in 1942, naïve, nine-year-old Bruno returns home from school and discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their five-story mansion in Berlin far away to a bleak, forbidding house that is so unpleasant that “nothing, not even the insects” would choose to stay here. From his bedroom window in his new home, on the other side of a tall, infinitely-long fence, likeable and well-mannered Bruno notices huddled groups of strange-looking people. Intent on fulfilling his longing to be an explorer, Bruno follows the fence and meets Shmuel, a boy his age, who lives on the other side of the fence. Their meeting results in a friendship. When Shmuel reveals that his father has gone missing, Bruno offers to help his friend find him – an offer which leads to devastating consequences.

A master writer, Boyne takes us right into the lives of children by immersing us in their language and experiences. In Bruno’s limited understanding, Auschwitz and the Fuhrer become “Out-With” and “the Fury” – puns that cleverly convey the essence of what they describe. Vague terms such as “the foreseeable future” cover over ominous tidings. The repetition of key phrases and rules of conduct (Bruno refers to his sister Gretel as a “Hopeless Case” and his father’s study is “Out of Bounds At All Times and No Exceptions”) are Bruno’s buoys in a world that has become topsy-turvy. We grow to love Bruno as we watch him strive to maintain his nascent humanity in the horrible reality that surrounds him. We admire him for his continual attempts “to be honest with himself.” These very characteristics render the ending of the fable all the more shocking.

As a fable, the book is not historically accurate. There were no nine-year-old boys in Auschwitz; the Nazis immediately gassed those unable to work. Furthermore, although the absence of explicit visual detail (beatings are referred to, but glossed over; the horrors of the camp aren’t clearly seen) makes the reading emotionally easier, it trivializes the horrors and allows for a false representation of the abominations. Despite this, the book still manages to make us shiver.

 

 

In My Hands: Memories Of A Holocaust RescuerLewis-050616-Hands
A Memoir
By Irene Gut Opdyke
As told to Jennifer Armstrong
279p. Random House. $10.99
ISBN 978-0-553-53884-7

 

“I did not ask myself, ‘Should I do this?’, but ‘How will I do this?” says Irene Gut Opdyke. Irene, a Polish patriot and a good Catholic girl, had a burning desire to stand up for what was right. It became the impetus that drove her to save Jewish lives even though throughout Ternopol, Ukraine, posters and loudspeakers declared: Whoever helps a Jew shall be punished by death. While In My Hands is marketed for teenagers, we highly recommended parents read the memoir first and make their own decision concerning its suitability for their children, as Irene was prepared to pay a high price for her defiance.

Rhona Lewis

Shiloh Musings: Holocaust Memorial Day, When Even Mourners May Watch TV in Israel

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

One of the big adjustments for me as a mourner of a parent, a status that lasts a Jewish Year, is that I’m not permitted to watch my usual entertainment on the television, or my favorite movies–mostly old musicals– on DVD. I’ve been listening to a lot of shiurim, Torah and Tanach (Bible) classes from the computer, mostly Matan where I study, and I have no problem with newscasts.

In Israel there are two days a year when all the television programs suit the restrictions of mourners. As according to Jewish Tradition, the day begins at night, so last night on the Eve of Holocaust Memorial Day there were all sorts of television shows about the Holocaust, survivors etc. One I found particularly annoying and political; it was on Israel’s Chanel 1. Their news editors do their best to turn even the weather into complaints about the government, and they had an “expose`” of sorts emphasizing the difficulties many elderly “survivors” have financially and how some sort of fall between the bureaucratic cracks, because they don’t fit the clerical and/or legal definition of “survivor.”  They may have been too young or escaped too early or stayed in Europe too long to get German reparations which helped so many people financially. And now they are decades past retirement age, and like many elderly, have serious financial problems which they hope the Israeli Government can solve.  I changed channels.

I caught another program with interviews and films of survivors returning to their “former homes/countries” where they had suffered. There was also a Holocaust movie with Daniel Craig that I watched a bit until they had a crazy scene that meshed together Jewish wedding music and a battle.

Everyday fewer and fewer survivors, witnesses to the atrocities of the Nazis and too many others remain alive and/or capable of telling their tales. Yad Vashem and the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive are rushing to film and tape everyone who can possibly tell a first person tale of the Holocaust and survival. A friend of mine and her siblings recently accompanied their father back to Europe on a trip filmed by one of these groups.

The Holocaust was a very black and evil time in World History, and we shouldn’t forget that it happened in advanced and cultured Europe. That’s a message we must take to heart, and that is why I consider the terrible anti-Israel/antisemitic rhetoric coming out of even the most respected, academic and “open/Liberal” universities all over the world so troubling. The distortions in their thinking, teaching and ideologies are even more dangerous than  Hitler’s rantings and Mein Kampf.

I see myself as a realist, a pragmatist. Do you agree?

Batya Medad

How to Understand the Holocaust

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

In Israel this evening on Holocaust Memorial Day, restaurants, bars, and cinemas will all be closed in respect for the millions who were murdered in the gas chambers of modern enlightened Europe. At ten o’clock in the morning, a memorial siren will blare out for two minutes all over the country. Hearing it, everything will stop. Schoolchildren will stand quietly in school playgrounds; pedestrians will stand frozen on sidewalks; motorists will stop their cars in the middle of highways. For those two minutes, the hearts of all the country are united. There is nothing like it in the world. True, in some of Israel’s institutions for the insane and mentally handicapped, some patients won’t notice the siren, and there are some mentally deranged still at large who will continue about their business, detached in their psychopathic cocoons from the real world around them, but the overwhelming nationwide feeling is one of profound respect and remorse. Our Sages tell us that it is the person who shares in the sorrows and struggles of Jerusalem who shall merit to share in its joys. May the memory of the martyrs be for a blessing.

Many writers and scholars have put forth theories which attempt to explain the Holocaust. One Haredi point of view focuses the blame on the reform Jews in Germany who broke away from the Torah. Another attitude blames the secular Zionists for having brazenly established a non-religious settlement in the Land of Israel before the Mashiach’s coming. Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaCohen Kook had a different understanding. These theories, he said, failed to embrace the whole sweep of history. The workings of Divine Providence cannot be isolated to any one moment, or group, but must be seen in the context of the Divine historical plan which spans generations. Accusations that blame this group or that group, fracture the unity of the Jewish Nation. Just as G-d is One, the Nation of Israel is one. Only from this encompassing perspective, which embraces all of Jewish history, can one hope to fathom the Divine Will in the horror of the Holocaust. Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda spoke these following words on Holocaust Memorial Day at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem. I took the trouble to translate his lecture because of its incredible depth and poignancy. Yes, it is long. Yes, it is serious. But for readers searching for understanding in the darkness and confusion which the Holocaust caused, the answer lies in his teaching:

“Everything that happens in the world is a Divine mystery. The understanding of Divine Providence, in all of its complexity, is not revealed to us. Analytical studies of the Holocaust are a juvenile activity. Only with great sensitivity, and with a mature spiritual perspective, is it possible to approach this awesome topic. First, one must remember that there is a difference between human comprehension and Divine reckoning. The true understanding of the world, and the true understanding of faith, demand an understanding of the Torah verse, ‘Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations’ (Devarim, 32:5.) This sweeping historical perspective includes a deep faith that everything comes from G-d. But along with this, one must remember that, ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts; My ways are not your ways, says the L-rd. For My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts are higher than your thoughts’ (Yishayahu, 55:8-9.)

“A weakness of faith, and a narrow world outlook, causes one to measure Divine Providence according to the yardstick of our understanding, which is limited. Human understanding is finite and cannot grasp the workings of ‘Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom’ (Tehillim, 145:13.) Our reckoning is a reckoning of the here and now, whereas the Divine reckoning is an accounting of ages. Sometimes, man forgets that matters are not dependent on, nor begin with him. In truth, events are connected by a Divine historical plan. Thus our comprehension of them is dependent upon our ability to elevate ourselves and recognize the overall Divine reckoning.

“Rising to this level is not easy. Therefore, there were people who abandoned their faith on the heels of the Holocaust, because they did not succeed in lifting themselves up to the knowledge of the true G-d. Obviously, one sympathizes with them. As our Sages said about Job, ‘A man is not blames for what he utters in his agony’ (Baba Batra 16B.) There is room to understand errors committed in an hour of suffering. Yet difficulties do not justify abandoning faith. One must not subject G-d to our reasoning and perception. Only with this understanding is it possible to approach, in fear and awe, a comprehension of a tiny part of the Holocaust. In our generation, we have seen an awesome new form of destruction (the Holocaust) and an incredible new revival and building (the State of Israel). There are people who don’t agree with this order of Divine Providence. They become confused when they encounter these events. But nothing happens randomly. There is not a thing which transpires that isn’t carried out according to the Providence of the Almighty. Not only the good events, but also the things which appear evil to us, they all happen according to the Divine plan.

“There are not words to describe the shocking, frightening, and horrifying atrocity of the Holocaust. It will remain this way forever. It is impossible to stop the anger one feels against the Nazis, may their names be erased. They not only perpetuated an unspeakable evil against us, they also damaged our psyches, leaving us psychologically scarred. All of our national identity and pride was uprooted by them. This is even more pernicious than the killing and murder. All of the national, social, and political uncertainty we now experience, all of our confusion in our world outlook and lifestyle, follow from this destruction of the Israeli community. The Holocaust caused an upheaval in our attitudes and worldview, and it damaged our faith in G-d.

“We are commanded to rise up to a sublime vision, to ‘Contemplate the years of many generations,’ to rise up over trivial explanations, to peer beyond mere superficial perception. One must guard against thinking in a condensed and myopic fashion when clarifying the historic reckonings of Clal Yisrael. The nation of Israel is a single unity which arrives at its wholeness only after a continuum which spans all ages. The whole truthful vision beholds the entire Nation of Israel in all of its generations. It is true that there are many levels in the Nation of Israel, from the completely righteous, to people average deeds, to doers of evil. However, all of these categories compose one complete entity. Just as ‘The Torah of the L-rd is whole’ (Tehillim, 19:18,) so is the Nation of Israel whole. Like the body of a man that is made up of different organs having various functions and levels of importance, yet which together, each performing its task, constitute the complete man – so is the Nation of Israel, each tribe has its unique value, and all of them together make up the nation. A perspective of the Nation of Israel which divides the whole into parts (religious and secular, Zionist and anti-Zionist), without sensitivity to the overall oneness of the Nation, is a narrow-minded perspective that brings many divisions and crises in its wake. All of Israel’s millions are bound together, in one body, in one soul.

“This single, complete body of the Nation of Israel is whole only in Eretz Yisrael. In the exile, we are not in our normal national situation, nor in our vibrant state. The return to the Land of Israel is a return to national normalcy and to health. G-d’s presence among the Jewish People on appears in its true form in Eretz Yisrael. There is even a difference in the value of a mitzvah which a Jew performs in the Land of Israel, compared to the value of the same precept when performed outside the Land. The actualization of Israel in all of its wholeness is only in Eretz Yisrael. Outside of the Land, we are not healthy because the national component of Clal Yisrael is shattered, and we only exist as solitary individuals, the remnants of Israel. The exile causes a delay in G-d’s light on the Nation. Galut destroys our national format, and we remain isolated souls. However, the bones of Yechezkel’s prophecy do not disintegrate forever, and we wait the appearance of a new burst of life (Yechezkel, 37:3-5.) And now the time has come to return to health. The end of exile has arrived. Everything has stages, and the Redemption does not appear all at once, but gradually, a little at a time (Jerusalem Talmud, Berachot 1:1.) The Master of the World arranges history in such a way that for a certain time we are confined to exile, and afterwards He brings about historical events which cause the national body of the Jewish People to awaken in a developing process spanning generations. This awakening builds in momentum toward a complete revival.

“There are situations where it is difficult to separate from the galut. However, the time has arrived for our Nation’s revival, and for the Redemption of our Land. The Revealed End has come, the time when, ‘You O mountains of Israel shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they will soon be coming’ (Sanhedrin 98A.) The time approached for Israel’s return to Zion, and this caused the rebirth of the Land. But as the time arrives for our departure from the darkness of the exile, situations arise which resemble the Hebrew slave who rejects freedom and says, ‘I loved my master’ (Shemot, 21:5.. Jews fell in love with the exile and refused to come back to Israel. But the Diaspora cannot continue forever. The Diaspora is the worse Desecration of G-d that there is, as we find in Yechezkel: ‘And when they came to the nations into which they came, they profaned My holy Name, in that men said of them, these are the people of the L-rd, and they are gone out of His Land’ (Yechezkel, 36:20..

“When the time comes for Redemption, complications arise and large portions of the nation are embedded in the tar of the galut. The facts bear witness – multitudes of Jews grew accustomed to the impurity of the Diaspora, and refused to extricate themselves from it. Thus begins a Divine surgery, a deep inner, esoteric purification from this decay, a treatment of amputation and healing. All of Israel’s millions are one single body, an indivisible organism, and when it is delayed from returning to health because of its clinging to a foreign land, then a cruel Divine amputation is needed. The time came for the Jewish People to return to their Land, but since they refused, there was no way to bring them back other than, ‘He took me by the side-lock of my head’ (Yechezkel, 8:3,) in order to bring them against their will to Eretz Yisrael. When the end of exile arrives, and all of Israel fails to recognize it, there is a need for a cruel Divine amputation and severance. We are not speaking here about a reckoning against this person or that person, since this is a secret matter of G-d belonging to the secret world of souls. We are speaking of a reckoning that encompasses all of the Nation, which arises from a situation of, ‘They despised the desirable Land’ (Tehillim, 106:24.) This is an amputation which causes the Nation as a whole to separate from the Diaspora and return to its life in the Land of Israel.”

A Holocaust can transpire by mass murder, or a Holocaust can transpire by mass assimilation. One way or other, to save the Jewish People, it is time for our exiles to come home.

Tzvi Fishman

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/history/how-to-understand-the-holocaust/2016/05/05/

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