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Posts Tagged ‘Simon Wiesenthal Center’

SWC: Where are the Condemnations from Muslim Religious Leaders?’

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Continuing threats from French-born jihadists returning from Syria was the main issue raised today by leaders of an international delegation of Jewish leaders from the Simon Wiesenthal Center during a meeting today with French President François Hollande.

The 20-member delegation is in Paris to inaugurate the Wiesenthal Center’s new historic exhibition on the 3,500 Relationship Between the Jewish People and the Holy Land opening this evening at UNESCO World headquarters.

President Hollande confirmed that some 1,000 French citizens were or are in Syria, and that 31 were reported to have died there. Some of those who returned from Syria were scared by what they had experienced, but others have spread out among the French population, many of them armed.

The French President then outlined steps taken to protect the Jewish community, especially Jewish schools, and said that French authorities are also in contact with police and Intelligence services to better fight anti-Semitism.

“We would like to set an example to the world in fighting anti-Semitism,” but admitted the current situation reflected a “new, heavy context.”

As for the murderous attack by a French-born terrorist in Belgium, President Hollande said it was too early to conclude the terrorist had acted as a “lone wolf,” in what the president labeled a “barbaric act” that targeted the Brussels Jewish Musuem.

In his remarks, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder of the leading Jewish Human Rights NGO, said:

We meet at a pivotal time in history, when the Jewish community and France’s democratic values are under unprecedented attack by the forces of extremism both from the Far-Right and from extreme Islamist purveyors of religious intolerance violence and murder.”

We appreciated that in the immediate aftermath of the murders of a Rabbi and young children on the grounds of a Yeshiva in Toulouse, you and then President Sarkozy suspended your campaigns to come to Toulouse and denounce the savagery. But unfortunately, today, Mohammed Merah along with the French-born murderer of innocents at the Brussels Jewish Museum, are revered by many young Muslims, here in France and around the world.

–Why is this so?

Certainly, the Internet plays a role, but we believe the main reason is that religious leadership of the Muslim communities remains part of the problem, not part of the solution…

Mr. President, in our time these French-born terrorists, like other terrorists, were not born with hate in their hearts…In the presence of French, American, Canadian and British Jewish leaders gathered here today, I declare with certainty that if G-d forbid, a terrorist attack was carried out by a Jew against innocent civilians, there would be wall-to-wall public condemnation by every Jewish leader in the world.

No less should be expected from the leaders of the largest Muslim population in Europe.

Among the leaders of the delegation were senior Wiesenthal Center officials, Rabbis Abraham Cooper and Meyer May from Los Angeles, Dr. Shimon Samuels ( Paris) and Avi Benlolo (Toronto). Also in attendance was French Jewish leader, Baron Eric de Rothschild and Canadian MP and former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler.

US decision to work with PA-Hamas Government Victory for Terrorism

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights organization, expressed its shock and deep disappointment that the Obama Administration declared it will work with the new hybrid PA-Hamas government.

“The mirage of technocrats in charge of the economy cannot disguise the reality that terrorists remain in charge of the rockets. Today, no one in the Middle East believes this is anything but a victory for Hamas, a terrorist organization that has consistently shown through words and deadly actions that it has not backed away from its founding charter seeking the Jewish State’s destruction,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, dean and founder and associate dean of the human rights NGO.

“There is no fig leaf large enough to cover Hamas’ blood-drenched legacy. No Israeli leader, left, right, or center, would ever agree to a Palestinian State as its immediate neighbor that includes lackeys of the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, who have lobbed thousands of rockets at Israeli population centers and unleashed suicide bombers murdering and maiming innocent men women and children in Israel,” they added.

“We applaud US Secretary of State John Kerry’s tenacity in trying to bring Israeli and Palestinians closer to peace. Unfortunately, the decision to defacto legitimize an unrepentant Hamas empowers not the peacemakers but the bomb throwers,” Hier and Cooper added.

“The table for peace in the Middle East will be set when the US and the European Union hold President Abbas’ PA accountable for the billions in aid they received, foreswear violence and introduce a curriculum of peace instead of one that demonizes and delegitimizes its Jewish neighbors,” they concluded.

Wiesenthal Center: European Leaders Must Act Following Belgian Attack

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

A gunman walked into the Jewish Museum of Belgium on Saturday, May 24. He opened fire and shot four people. Three died almost immediately; a fourth died later, at the hospital. The police arrested one man in connection with the shooting, and a second is being sought.

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemns the murderous terrorist attack today at the Jewish Museum in Brussels that left four innocents dead and a community in shock,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate Dean of the leading Jewish human rights NGO, who will be addressing an international Conference on Anti-Semitism starting this Sunday at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

“While Belgian authorities have raised the terror alert to level 4 ( highest), the fact is that a terrorist—who shot—to kill—all too accurately, remains on the loose, leaving a shocked Jewish community deeply shaken,” Cooper said.

“At this point, it is not known if the terrorist is tied to an organized group, or like the Toulouse French Jewish School murders or the Passover Eve attack on the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City, carried out by a lone-wolf who may have honed his skills in the Middle East or online. Either way, this clinical, cold-blooded attack takes place against the backdrop of a massive spike in anti-Semitic attitudes and acts across much of Europe.”

“Of course we expect Belgian authorities to take all necessary measures to protect Jewish lives and Jewish Life in their nation but is all time for them and all the European leaders to also take measures to reverse the extreme anti-Israel and anti-Jewish attitudes held by as many as 150 million European citizens,” Rabbi Cooper concluded.

Rabbi Cooper spoke tonight with Joel Rubinfeld, who heads up the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism and asked him to express condolences to the victims’ families and the Jewish community on behalf of the 400,000 members of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Approximately 40,000 Jews live in Belgium, about half of whom live in or near Brussels.

Why We Should Never Forget the Holocaust

Monday, May 19th, 2014

On the first part of this week’s podcast, show host Douglas Goldstein meets Rabbi Marvin Heir, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and the Center’s documentary film division, Moriah Films. Rabbi Hier explains why he founded the Center, the lessons that need to be learned from the Holocaust, and why it is important never to forget.

Pro-Israel Groups Blast SJP for Racism and UCLA for Fecklessness

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Seven staunchly pro-Israel organizations told the California Board of Regents at a hearing on Thursday, May 15, that its failure to stand up to the thuggery and blatant racism of the UCLA Students for Justice in Palestine against pro-Israel students was a failure of leadership and of morality.

What was so egregious that these pro-Israel organizations were protesting?

JUDICIAL BOARD INVESTIGATE STUDENT COUNCIL MEMBERS WHO WENT ON ISRAEL TRIPS

The UCLA-SJP introduced an initiative which calls for a Judicial Board investigation of student council members who have taken trips to Israel sponsored by groups which the SJP deems to have “political agendas that marginalize multiple communities on campus.” The groups on SJP’s hit list are the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and Hasbara Fellowships.

As Dumisani Washington, the Pastor-leader of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, said in his remarks at the hearing Thursday morning, the SJP’s denunciation of pro-Israel groups for having a political agenda is not just hateful, it is hypocritical.

“One wonders exactly what SJP assumes itself to be, if not an organization with a ‘political agenda,’” Washington told the Regents.

STUDENTS MUST TAKE A PLEDGE NOT TO GO ON PRO-ISRAEL SPONSORED TRIPS TO ISRAEL

The second initiative promoted by the SJP to deprive pro-Israel students of a voice in campus discussions was its demand that candidates for student government positions sign a statement pledging that they will not go on any trip to Israel sponsored by the three Jewish organizations.

Washington boldly labeled SJP’s efforts reminiscent of the worst racism in American public life.

SJP’s wanton arrogance and blatant antisemitism in this manner is telling.  I am beyond appalled.  As an African-American, I could only imagine an anti-Black student group attempting to restrict my travel to Ghana or Senegal.  Such gall is reminiscent of the grotesque persecution my people suffered earlier in America’s history, when the US government restricted everything from which schools we could attend to which public restrooms we could use.

The SJP, as everyone knows who closely follows the way the Middle East is discussed on U.S. Campuses, is the most aggressively anti-Israel of any of the many anti-Israel organizations on campuses. The SJP’s antics include the mock eviction notices, “die-ins,” and promotions of virulently anti-Israel speakers and events.  In addition, the SJP, aided by lawyers happy to write intimidating letters to academic institutions, consistently claims that the behavior of its members is protected by free speech, whereas any criticism or objection to their activities is a violation of academic freedom and are constitutional violations.

Sadly, most school administrators and even some Jewish campus professionals are cowed by the lofty-sounding legalese. As a result, the views and sensibilities – and sometimes even the Constitutional rights – of pro-Israel students have been a casualty as administration after administration has caved to the outrageous positions and behaviors engaged in by SJP members.

BROOKLYN COLLEGE SJP THUGGERY

Perhaps the best example of SJP’s stranglehold over the better judgment people expect from university officials was a forum held at Brooklyn College last year. At that event, two promoters of the legal and economic warfare against Israel, the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel movement, were given free rein at an unbalanced forum which was co-sponsored and co-endorsed by the College’s Political Science Department.

Four pro-Israel Brooklyn College students who came to ask questions were ejected from the event on the say-so of the SJP event organizer, someone who was not even a student and had no affiliation at all with Brooklyn College. The leader claimed the four students were disruptive and disrespectful, and college administration and security personnel did his bidding despite being in the room and knowing full-well, as later proven in audio recordings, that the pro-Israel students were sitting quietly when they were ejected.

California School District Cancels Lesson on Holocaust Denial

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Students at a school in California who were given an assignment to compare propaganda with actual evidence on the Holocaust have instead been told to abandon the project.

The order came following a firestorm of criticism and at least one death threat aimed at Southern California’s Rialto Unified School District, which assigned the homework.

According to a report published in The Daily Bulletin newspaper, the project was assigned in April to 2,000 13-and-14 year old eighth grade students, as follows:

Shen tragic events occur in history, there is often debate about their actual existence. For example, some people claim the Holocaust is not an actual historical event, but instead is a propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain.  Based upon your research on this issue, write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain. Remember to address counterclaims (rebuttals) to your stated claim. You are also required to use parenthetical (internal) citations and to provide a Works Cited page.”

It had first been reviewed by a committee of eighth grade teachers, and sent to middle school sites in February for comment prior to distribution to the students. No objections were raised at the time, according to the spokesperson.

But the district found itself under siege on Monday, with the switchboard lines ringing off the hook.

At least one person called police repeatedly threatening death to a district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri and the interim school superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam. The incident is under investigation.

But also among the critics was Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, who slammed the assignment as inappropriate.

Rabbi Cooper told FoxNews.com on Monday, “Whatever the motivation, it ends up elevating hate and history to the same level… We should train our kids to have critical thinking, but the problem here is the teacher confused teaching critical thinking with common sense, because common sense dictates you don’t comingle propaganda with common truth.”

The rabbi advised the district to instead assign students to research the issue of Holocaust denial and meet with local survivors of the Nazis.

The school district responded in a statement saying the interim superintendent will speak with its educational services department to “assure that any reference to the Holocaust ‘not occurring’ will be stricken from any current or future argumentative research assignments. The Holocaust is and should be taught in classrooms with sensitivity and profound consideration to the victims who endured the atrocities committed,” the statement continues. “We believe in the words of George Santayana, ‘Those who cannot learn from history are bound to repeat it.”

The Los Angeles office of the Anti-Defamation League said it was satisfied with the district’s actions by Monday. “It is ADL’s general position that an exercise asking students to question whether the Holocaust happened has no academic value; it only gives legitimacy to the hateful and anti-Semitic promoters of Holocaust denial,” Associate Regional Director Matthew Friedman was quoted as saying, after having spoken with the interim superintendent on Friday.

“ADL does not have any evidence that the assignment was given as part of a larger, insidious, agenda,” a blog post quoting Friedman continues. “Rather, the district seems to have given the assignment with an intent, although misguided, to meet Common Core standards relating to critical learning skills.”

In a number of European countries today — including Germany — Holocaust denial is a criminal offense for which one can be sentenced to prison. The Nazis exterminated six million Jews out of a total of some 11 million victims murdered between 1933 and 1945, in the Holocaust that took place prior to and during World War II. Some two-thirds of European Jewry was wiped out in the slaughter, which ended with the defeat of Nazi Germany by the U.S., UK and their Allies.

‘Jews Must Register’ Flyer in Ukraine an Echo of Babi Yar

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Many Jews reacted with horror when the news began to spread on Wednesday, April 15, that the Jews of a particular area in Ukraine are being required to register with local authorities.

Those requests were allegedly made in flyers distributed to Jews leaving shul on Passover. The flyers informed “Ukraine nationals of Jewish nationality” to report to a particular location in order to register their religion and to provide documentation of their ownership of any property. All Jews had to pay a registration fee or lose their citizenship and face deportation, according to the leaflet.

The leaflets were distributed in Donetsk, where pro-Russian militants have commandeered government buildings.

The Jewish Press covered the story, with appropriate notations that there was some uncertainty about the authenticity of the flyers, coupled with a dramatic increase in anti-Semitism in Ukraine in just the past few months.

The flyer – authentic or not – constitutes the 17th anti-Semitic incident to have taken place in Ukraine since the beginning of 2014. Most were violent attacks. Several were aimed at Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries and a few were life-threatening. Five took place in Kiev alone, according to statistics gleaned from the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism(CFCA) website.

The story resulted in a huge outcry.

Secretary of State John Kerry called the demand for Ukranian Jews to register “intolerable” and “grotesque.”

Reporters at BuzzFeed pooh-poohed the story. One of the reporters, Max Seddon, tweeted a link to their article,  “Signal and noise in Donetsk over nonexistent Jew registration scandal.”

But actually, the leaflets – which were written in Russian, marked with a Russian symbol and one of the Donetsk People’s Republic, and allegedly signed by Denis Pushilin, chairman of the Donetsk interim government, were distributed in Donetsk. And they were distributed to Ukranian Jews.

A Daily Beast reporter in Ukraine went to the office in the building in Donetsk designated in the leaflet at which Jews were told to register and pay their fee. She wrote that it was empty.

In a statement issued on Thursday, April 16, the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote that Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. Ambassador in Kiev, told a senior SWC official that no one currently knows who created the “Jewish Registration Leaflets.”

Pyatt said the leaflets were “clearly part of a general effort to sow fear among Ukranian Jews.”

The SWC denounced “this grotesque action that is clearly designed to spread more fear among the Jewish community, already reeling from the increased instability that has racked the region for the past few months.”

Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, the two most senior officials of the Wiesenthal Center, urged “authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of Jewish communal institutions.”

According to a reputable Russian blogger, “this is a fake intended to present the pro-Russian forces in Donetsk as a dark antisemitic power with the worst intentions.”

On September 28, 1941, notices were posted informing all of the Jews of Kiev that they were to appear the following day, with all of their belongings, to a particular location. The next day, September 29, tens of thousands of Jews showed up at the designated location. They were marched to the forest, to the ravine known as Babi Yar. All of those Jews were stripped of their belongings and their clothing, and then shot. By the following day, more than 34,000 Jews were murdered.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jews-must-register-flyer-in-ukraine-an-echo-of-babi-yar/2014/04/18/

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