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May 4, 2015 / 15 Iyar, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota’

Minnesota Univ. Student Official Compares Group Backing Israel with KKK

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

A University of Minnesota’s graduate student representative to the Board of Regents has compared Students Supporting Israel (SSI) to the Ku Klux Klan, the Campus Reform website reported.

Student representative Damien Carriere labeled SSI a “hate group” in emails sent to the university’s student government executive board in a campaign to remove the founder of the pro-Israel group from the Student Services Committee.

Campus Reform reported that the committee “is responsible for the distribution of millions of dollars in funds to various student groups.”

“He is a member of a hate group (SSI) and I think he comes in with a fishy agenda,” Carriere wrote in a series of e-mails Campus Reform obtained. “[Ilan Sinelnikov’] is a member of a hate group (SSI) and I think he comes in with a fishy agenda.”

After members of the executive board of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) began questioning his classification of SSI as a hate group, Campus Reform stated that Carriere wrote that the Student Services Committee “would fund a KKK group if they justify their request well. So let us consider that they do pass the student group test.”

The GAPSA later removed Sinelnikov because they were not convinced he had “demonstrated the ability to remain impartial.”

“I was the only candidate singled out for questioning and such bias scrutiny by the certain members of the Assembly,” Sinelnikov told Campus Reform.

“It is unfortunate that they were unable to put aside their bigotry towards my national origin when performing their duties as student representatives,” he added. “GAPSA proved its bias and ignorance against me because of my political beliefs and my ethnic background. Being singled out based for those reasons after a long campaign against Students Supporting Israel reminds me why Students Supporting Israel was founded–to fight anti-Semitism and bias on college campuses”

The university’s undergraduate student body president told Campus Reform, whose self-stated mission is to be “a watchdog to the nation’s higher education system” and expose “bias and abuse on the nation’s college campuses.” that she will take action in defense of Sinelnikov, who she believes has been discriminated against.

Carriere’s reasoning for comparing SSI with KKK is that members of the group who support Israel belong “to a certain ideology which is present among some citizens of that state that has been refusing rights to minorities outside of the recognized borders of that country.”

In another e-mail, Carrier said Christian Crusaders for Christ also is a hate group because it “is named after a bloody and inherently racist episode in European history.”

The term crusade is considered by many as offensive because it refers to the will of chasing the Muslims from their land by mean [sic] of war,” Carriere wrote.

Now that it is Thanksgiving, perhaps Carriere will demand that the United States return the Land of the Free to the Indians and move to a reserve.

Minnesota Nazi Uniform Party Was Just an ‘Historical Exercise’

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The owner of a Minneapolis, Minnesota restaurant has defended a private party in which men dressed up in SS uniforms and said it was only an exercise for actors who play historical roles and was not meant to praise Hitler.

No one outside of the restaurant knew about the party, or the “event” as the actors called it, until the local City Pages website posted on line a picture of the men in Nazi uniforms in the restaurant, called Gasthof zur Gemutlichkeit.

“By no means do we glorify the edicts of the Third Reich,” said Scott Steben, who characterized himself as a history buff who has landed movie parts as a German soldier. “I understand the sensitivity of the subject matter and everything but it did occur and it is history,” according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Steben doesn’t see any difference between actors dressing up as Star Trek characters and as Nazis. It’s all in a day’s work, but where have we heard that before?

The party was held on – are you ready for this – Martin Luther King Day, in late January. Steben said that the event was actually the group’s annual Christmas party, which was booked on a Monday because it is the only day the restaurant is closed.

Wouldn’t it have been interesting to hear the reaction of the actors if they had dressed up as KKK members, not for any reasons of racism, God forbid, but just to act out a bit of American history.

The party was photographed by one of the restaurant’s workers who showed them to his friends. The restaurant owner promptly fired the worker, and it remains to be seen if that is reasonable grounds for dismissal.

The photos showed four Nazi banners hanging in one dining room, and another picture reveals a staff member receiving a black T-shirt with a swastika – all for the sake of history, of course.

Local Jews were understandably upset. “Glorification and/or celebration of Nazi Germany and its military would appear to be incongruous with the nature of a family restaurant and its surrounding neighborhood,” wrote Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas Executive Director Steve Hunegs in a statement.

Two Jewish organizations said they are offering to help the restaurant find a way to honor Minnesota’s World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors by not associating with German military re-enactors.

The restaurant owner Mario Pierzchalsk, a native of Poland, said he has hosted the party for six years. Following the bad publicity, he will not allow the group to stage a similar party next year but said the people who attended “are very peaceful” and are “just actors.”

He was angry at the negative reaction. “We live in a free country…but from the comments I see, a lot of people they don’t see what freedom is. If I break the law, punish me. But we did this for so many years and everything was fine,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

However, he did apologize on Wednesday.” On behalf of everyone who participated in a World War II reenactment dinner last January, I apologize,” read a statement issued by Steben and published in the Star Tribune. “We understand that some of the items we displayed at the dinner have made people feel uncomfortable. That was not our intent.”

Below is the local CBS outlet’s report.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/minnesota-nazi-uniform-party-was-just-an-historical-exercise/2014/03/20/

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