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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘minorities’

Remembering Babe Ruth’s Concern For Jews During The Holocaust

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

The New York Yankees and their fans observe April 27 as Babe Ruth Day to remember the home run slugger’s exploits on the baseball diamond. Jewish New Yorkers, however, this year marked the day by remembering another side of Ruth – his little-known efforts to aid African-Americans and other minorities, including Jews in Europe during the Holocaust.

In a program at Temple Israel in Manhattan, Ruth’s granddaughter, Linda Ruth Tosetti, joined with Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, to describe their research on Ruth’s social activism. Rabbi William Gelfand, sporting a baseball cap with “Yankees” embroidered on it in Hebrew, emceed the event.

Tosetti shared with the standing-room-only audience a number of family stories illustrating her grandfather’s concern for the less fortunate. She also showed an excerpt from her forthcoming documentary film, “Universal Babe,” concerning Ruth’s efforts on behalf of minorities.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Ruth courted controversy in the off-season by barnstorming with players from the Negro Baseball League. At a time when racial segregation was rampant in the United States, Ruth defied convention and took part in exhibition games with African-American players.

“My grandfather made a powerful statement against racism,” Tosetti said. “Many people resented his actions – but they couldn’t lynch Babe Ruth. He was an American icon. And he used his status to demand equality for blacks.”

Ruth also actively assisted the Women’s Baseball League, which was later immortalized in the Tom Hanks film “A League of Their Own.”

Dr. Medoff spoke of Ruth’s key role in a full-page advertisement in the New York Times in December 1942, in which he and other German-Americans denounced the Nazis’ persecution of European Jewry.

“At a time when most Americans still doubted the truth about reports about the Holocaust, and few were interested in helping Jewish refugees, Ruth spoke out and tried to shatter the silence,” he said.

The ad, headlined “A Christmas Declaration by Men and Women of German Ancestry,” declared, in part: “[W]e Americans of German descent raise our voices in denunciation of the Hitler policy of cold-blooded extermination of the Jews of Europe and against the barbarities committed by the Nazis against all other innocent peoples under their sway,” the declaration began.

“These horrors … are, in particular, a challenge to those who, like ourselves, are descendants of the Germany that once stood in the foremost ranks of civilization.”

The ad went on to “utterly repudiate every thought and deed of Hitler and his Nazis,” and urged the people of Germany “to overthrow” the Nazi regime.

Medoff, who has written extensively about the involvement of athletes in political and social policy controversies, said Ruth’s willingness to participate in a protest against the persecution of European Jewry was “a welcome contrast with today’s athletes, whose off-field activities are too often sources of scandal and embarrassment.”

Widely regarded as the greatest baseball player in history, Ruth in his time held the records for most home runs in a season (60) and most home runs in a career (714) as well as other records – including the pitching record for the most shutouts in a season by a left-hander. The Sultan of Swat, as he was known, was one of the first players elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The audience at Temple Israel also had a few standard questions for the baseball legend’s granddaughter. One attendee asked if there was any truth to the story that on one occasion Ruth gestured with his bat toward the center field fence, and then hit a home run in exactly in that place.

“Absolutely true,” said Tosetti.

Jason Maoz

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

WikiLeaks Co-Founder Charges Website
With Selling Classified Information
   One of the early members and co-founders of the tight-knit, secretive WikiLeaks operation charged today that the website and its co-founder, Julian Assange, sold intelligence information the site had obtained.
   John Young, whose name was listed as the public face of WikiLeaks in the site’s original domain registration, also alleged that the website is a lucrative business. Young said he left the site in 2007 due to concerns over its finances and that WikiLeaks was engaged in the selling of documents.
   Young was speaking in an exclusive interview on this reporter’s show on New York’s WABC Radio.
   “I think it is a money-making operation, no doubt,” Young said of WikiLeaks. “It follows the model of a number of other business intelligence operations. Selling intelligence information is a very lucrative field, and so they are following that model, usually cloaked in some kind of public benefit.”
   “But they are far from being the only one that does that,” Young added. “It’s a well-known business model.”
   Asked specifically whether he was charging WikiLeaks with selling classified information and documents, Young replied, “Yes.”
   This reporter then asked, “When you were at WikiLeaks initially, was your impression they were trying to sell information?”
   Young responded, “Well, it only came up in the topic of raising $5 million the first year. That was the first red flag that I heard about. I thought that they were actually a public interest group up until then, but as soon as I heard that, I know that they were a criminal organization.”

   Young stated Assange was a “narcissistic personality. He craves attention and he’ll do about anything to get it.”


WikiLeaks Documents Reveal U.S. Concern

For France’s Muslim Minority
   The U.S. State Department directed its staff to “engage” and help to “empower” France’s Muslim minorities, according to classified documents released by WikiLeaks and reviewed by this column.
   The cables reveal U.S. government staff were instructed to use the French media to educate that country’s public on minority issues and to improve the lot of French Arabs and Muslims. The process called for “considerable discretion, sensitivity and tact.”
   A cable dated January 2007 and directed to various U.S. missions in France outlined that the U.S. government must show it “takes seriously the threat of disenfranchised and disadvantaged minorities around the world, including in France, and we are committed to empowering minorities as part of our fundamental belief in participatory democracy.”
   The directive accused the French news media of “falling short both in its coverage of discrimination towards them (French Arab and Muslims) and of juvenile delinquency among them.”

   France’s five million-plus Muslims largely are North African (Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian) in origin. The country has faced serious unrest from its Arab and Muslim minority, including attacks against French Jews and two months of civil riots in France in October and November of 2005 when minorities burned cars and public buildings, leading to the declaration of a general state of emergency.


U.S. Worried About Iran Involvement

In Latin America
   The U.S. government is deeply concerned that Iran and Hizbullah are gaining a foothold in Latin America, according to classified documents released by WikiLeaks and reviewed by this reporter.
   Among the U.S.’s concerns is that Iranian-backed militants may attempt to infiltrate the U.S. or use Latin America as a staging ground for anti-American attacks, it has emerged.
   The U.S. caught Iran shipping explosives and attempting to ship unmanned aerial vehicles to Venezuela, the cables revealed.

   “Washington analysts assess that Tehran is reaching out to Latin American countries in order to reduce its diplomatic isolation and increase ties to leftist countries in the region that Tehran perceives may share its anti-U.S. agenda,” read a cable from the State Department.


Kerry: Arafat Proved That Reform Is Possible


   Sen. John Kerry upheld late PLO leader Yasser Arafat as the prime example of a former terrorist who can be transformed to advance peace, according to classified documents released by WikiLeaks and reviewed by this column.
   In a classified diplomatic cable, Kerry was quoted as stating: “Yasser Arafat went from living as a terrorist in Tunisia to signing an agreement with Israel on the White House lawn. The transformation of Arafat is an example of how actors in the region need to take risks if we are to move forward in advancing regional peace.”
   Kerry was speaking in a meeting this past February with Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the ruler of the Arab state of Qatar.
   Kerry implied Arafat was “transformed” into a statesman after he signed the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn.
   However, Arafat founded the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group – the official military wing of his Fatah organization. He is accused of routinely fomenting and directing violent terrorist attacks against Israelis throughout his tenure as PLO leader. This included the Second Palestinian Intifada, initiated by Arafat after he turned down an offer of a Palestinian state at the Camp David peace talks in the summer of 2000.
   Multiple Palestinian officials, including Fatah strongman and Al Aqsa Brigades co-founder Marwan Barghouti, admitted Arafat himself planned the Intifada, in which more than 1,000 Israeli civilians were murdered in terrorist attacks, including scores of notable suicide bombings.

   Arafat’s PLO-run media routinely incited violence against Israel while his Fatah-run school system indoctrinated anti-Israel hatred and violence.


   Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for Internet giant WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York’s 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2-4 p.m.

Aaron Klein

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/quick-takes-news-you-may-have-missed-71/2010/12/08/

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