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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Warsaw’

Report: Hundreds of UN Accredited NGOs Promoting Anti-Semitism, Terrorism

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Human Rights Voices, an organization monitoring the United Nations, on Wednesday published a report titled, “UN Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): Inciting Hatred, Antisemitism and Violence from the World Stage,” reporting that an examination of the 6,150 non-governmental organizations which have been “invited to participate on a year-round basis in UN activities, and have thus been handed a coveted global megaphone,” it appears that, “both by design and gross negligence on the part of UN member states, the NGOs’ ranks include bigots, anti-Semites, and terrorist advocates who are now spreading hatred and inciting violence from the world stage.”

According to the report, “accredited non-governmental organizations have been allowed to flaunt the core of the UN mission by advocating terror and intolerance. At the same time, they have been permitted to draw closer to the world of international diplomacy and gain access to the international media platforms associated with it.”

“Most striking for an organization founded on the ashes of the Holocaust, the UN enables its accredited NGOs to play a central role in promoting modern anti-Semitism,” charges Human Rights Voices, noting that “although the preamble of the UN Charter promises the equal rights of nations large and small, UN-accredited NGOs foster the destruction of the UN member state of Israel.”

The report says there are numerous examples of UN-accredited NGOs engaging in antisemitism, promoting violence and terror, demonizing the UN member state of Israel, and advocating its destruction. The report provides a range of examples of these activities. It notes that “regardless of when the materials were first disseminated, they continued to be distributed and made publicly accessible in 2016.” The report provides screenshots of the sources for every entry, with the examples drawn from a variety of sources: websites and other online presence of UN-accredited NGOs, statements made by UN-accredited NGOs at UN events, materials distributed by UN-accredited NGOs on UN premises, and material that is not only found on UN-accredited NGO websites but that is trumpeted via direct links located on UN websites.

Excerpt from "The Paradox of Using the Law of the Oppressor," BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC, last accessed on August 15, 2016.

Excerpt from “The Paradox of Using the Law of the Oppressor,” BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC, last accessed on August 15, 2016.

Here are a few examples from UN-accredited NGOs cited by the report:

“‘[T]errorism’ is a political term used by the colonizer to discredit those who resist as the Afrikaaners and Nazis named the Black and French freedom fighters, respectively…Armed resistance was used in the American Revolution, the Afghan resistance against Russia (which the U.S. supported), the French resistance against the Nazis, and even in the Nazi concentration camps, or, more famously, in the Warsaw Ghetto. Palestinian resistance arises out of a similarly oppressive situation…” (Excerpt from “The Palestinian Resistance; Its Legitimate Right and the Moral Duty,” If Americans Knew, Accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 28, 2016)

“The main obstacle to the advancement of Zionism is the heroic daily resistance of the Palestinians, manifested in the recent “youth intifada”…Zionism instrumentalizes the memory of the Holocaust as a tool to legitimize war crimes…We must expose the fallacy of partition and the two-state solution…” (Excerpt from – “BDS: exposing the contradications of Zionism,” Alternatives, Action and Communication Network for International Development, Accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 25, 2016)

“Never forget or forgive! We will fight until total liberation of #Palestine from the River to the Sea! #Nakba67” (Excerpt from Facebook Page Entry: “Al-Awda, May 15, 2015,” Al-Awda, The Palestine Right To Return Coalition, Accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 25, 2016)

“I have walked through the killing fields of Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Sri Lanka and seen death close up…I have never before witnessed one group of people deriving so much pleasure and joy from inflicting so much pain and suffering on another group of people including their babies and infants. The injustice that is Palestine is there for all to see if only you will look…” (Excerpt from “The Palestinian Nakba, 1948-2008: 60 Years of Catastrophe,” Friends of Al-Aqsa, Accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 28, 2016)

Excerpt from “Gaza – One Year On,” Islamic Human Rights Commission, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC and accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 25, 2016.

Excerpt from “Gaza – One Year On,” Islamic Human Rights Commission, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC and accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 25, 2016.

“[T]oday the Gaza Strip cannot anymore [sic] considered just as an open air prison. It has become a concentration camp…” (Excerpt from “Oral statement by the American Association of Jurists to the UN Human Rights Council, Agenda Item 7, March 23, 2015,” American Association of Jurists, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC, last accessed on August 25, 2016)

“The most important feeling is when you feel your soul and the souls of the people you love are so cheap, and your suffering and your blood so cheap, and there is only one blood and soul that is holy, which is Israeli Jews, you just lose your mind.” (Excerpt from “NGO Action News, July 18, 2014,” Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC and accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 25, 2016)

“This year uncovered, for the first time, the practice of extracting human organs from killed Palestinians whose bodies were in the hands of Israeli forces and the sale of these organs.” (Excerpt from “2011 — Palestine: Hopes, Frustrations and Hypocrisy,” International Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD), Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC, last accessed August 25, 2016)

“The deliberate targeting of Palestinian children has become a notable feature of the Israeli occupation in the OPT [“Occupied Palestinian Territories”]…[T]he Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have long killed, beaten, tortured, arrested and arbitrarily detained Palestinian children.” (Excerpt from “Special Focus on Palestinian Children: Targeting Palestine Through Its Future,” Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC, last accessed on August 25, 2016)

“Zionist ideology is the driving force behind the ongoing Palestinian reality of apartheid.” (Excerpt from “Zionist apartheid: a crime against humanity,” BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Accredited with Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC, last accessed on August 25, 2016)

“To boost Israeli arms sales, Palestinian families have suffered three onslaughts of ‘systematic genocide’ wars in six years.” (Excerpt from “Saving Palestine’s Children Under The Arms Trade Treaty,” Third World Network, Accredited with Roster Status by ECOSOC and accredited by CEIRPP, last accessed on August 25, 2016)

Click here to read and download the full report.

JNi.Media

The Nozyk Genizah Of Warsaw: Historic Torah Fragments Discovered In Poland

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

More than seven decades after the devastation of the Jewish community of Poland, there are still new discoveries being made on a regular basis.

The genizah before examination.

The genizah before examination.

Recently a genizah of old Torah fragments called yeriot was discovered in the Nozyk Synagogue in Warsaw. The Nozyk Synagogue was the only synagogue out of some 400 in Warsaw to survive the Shoah because the Germans decided to desecrate it by turning the beautiful, sacred place into a stable for their horses.

“We don’t know the exact origins of the genizah,” said Rabbi Moshe Bloom, rosh kollel of Nozyk, “but we can conjecture that after the Shoah the Nozyk Synagogue was returned to the Jewish community of Warsaw and it became a magnet for all things Jewish.

“Over the years, non-Jewish Poles would at times approach the synagogue, sometimes to honor lost friends, sometimes out curiosity, sometimes out of guilt. Some brought with them artifacts that they had kept hidden in their homes and felt a responsibility to return them. The Torah fragments were collected for eventual burial as prescribed by Jewish law.”

Special embellishments found on the last words of the Torah.

Special embellishments found on the last words of the Torah.

When I was recently in Warsaw Rabbi Bloom asked if I would be able to raise money to bury them with proper kavod and ceremony.

I wondered whether anybody had examined them.

“Why?” he asked.

Because, I told him, Torah scrolls from the pre-Shoah period had often been used for hundreds of years and therefore might have unique characteristics that are no longer in use. I asked Rabbi Bloom if I could examine the scrolls. He gave me permission to look them over and even photograph them.

A fragment showing unique tagim in Az Yashir.

A fragment showing unique tagim in Az Yashir.

The genizah consists of about 30 fragments (there are no complete scrolls), some only one or two columns and others much larger. Some showed signs of fire or water damage, slashes from knives, and other ravages of age and war. Almost all sections of the Torah are represented in the collection, from Bereishit to the end of Devarim.

Upon examination, I found that most of the fragments were very similar to those one would find in any synagogue today. A few of them looked to be over five hundred years old due to some of the variant letter shapes and tagim (crowns) that are no longer used.

When I returned to New York I visited with Rabbi Traube of Bais Hastam on 13th Avenue in Boro Park. An expert in the laws, and lore of Torah scrolls, he helped me understand some of the history behind the strange letter forms.

He explained that tradition tells us that the form of the Torah we have today was copied by Eli HaKohen off the stones that Joshua had set up when he brought the Jews into the land of Israel after the death of Moses.

A burnt Torah fragment from the genizah.

A burnt Torah fragment from the genizah.

For thousands of years these letter forms were the way all Torah scrolls were written; it was only about 400 years ago that they began to be used less and less frequently. The Chatam Sofer in his Teshuvah 265 says that Jews stopped using them after a Torah scroll from Tzefat was found without them. He explains that the special letters and tagim were used to remind people of certain lessons in the Torah but since we do not learn from Torah scrolls (other than during prayers) they should no longer be used.

There are many books that describe the different letters and tagim. Torah Sheleimah by Menachem Mendel Kasher covers many of the letter forms and lists many sources. Sefer Tagi lists different letters and reports that the letter peh with the special shape can be found 191 times, the letter lamed 26 times, and the letter ayin eight times.

A fragment with the peh lafufa in the Torah portion describing the fight between Jacob and the angel.

A fragment with the peh lafufa in the Torah portion describing the fight between Jacob and the angel.

The final disposition of the Nozyk genizah is still being decided. Many of the badly damaged yeriot will be buried while some of the others will be put on display thanks to generous support from Monika Krawczyk of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland (www.fodz.pl). The proposed exhibit will be located in the synagogue in the town of Leczna and hopefully include the complete story of stam — the writing of Torahs, mezuzahs, and tefillin.

Rabbi Traube of Bais Hastam was excited about the exhibit and is looking forward to making a special trip to Poland to examine the fragments for himself.

“It is rare enough to find a genizah,” he said. “We would be lucky to find one or two interesting items in a genizah but here they have so many it is truly a historic find.”

 

Editor’s Note: For more information, to organize a lecture, or help support the genizah project, contact Shmuel Ben Eliezer, who serves as the project’s director of research and development, at nozykgeniza@aol.com.

Shmuel Ben Eliezer

Coming to Jerusalem: Louis C.K. and his Jewish Root

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

The paternal grandfather of Louis Székely (pronounced se-kei), a.k.a. Louis C.K., Dr. Géza Székely Schweiger, was a Hungarian Jewish surgeon who immigrated with his family to Mexico, where he met C.K.’s paternal grandmother, Rosario Sánchez Morales. Morales was Catholic, and Schweiger agreed to raise their children Catholic, but, according to C.K., his grandfather remained “quietly Jewish.” C.K. is Catholic on his Irish American mother’s side. On August 18 C.K., possibly the most influential American standup comedian living today, will give two back-to-back concerts in Jerusalem’s Payis Arena. According to the show’s promoters, demand has been so great, they added more seats to the arena, with tickets going for as much as $180.

The gifted comic, whose capacity for self-deprecation and intimate exposure is extraordinary, is not focused on Jews and Jewish issues, but he has included enough comments over the years about Jews and things Jewish to reveal an intriguing understanding of both being and observing the most tense minority group in America.

In his 2010 special, “Hilarious,” Louis C.K. noted that the word “Jew” is “the only word that is the polite thing to call a group of people and the slur for the same group. … It’s the same word, just with a little stank on it, and it becomes a terrible thing to call a person.”

One of C.K.’s funniest Jewish-related jokes has him watching Schindler’s List on TV, at the point where the Warsaw Ghetto Jews are marched through the streets, and a little girl yells out at them: “Good bye, Jews!” C.K. is convinced the vignette was real, someone had probably told director Steven Spielberg about it and he decided he wanted it in the movie. And so, knowing how films are made, C.K. is convinced there’s an auditions tape out there, of fifty adorable little girls yelling “Good bye, Jews” at the camera.

At the 2011 Louis C.K. concert Live at the Beacon Theater, the comic opened with a lengthy request that the audience not use their flash cameras during the show, and as he is making these pre-show requests, he adds, “What else… No Jews, I think they said that earlier, but they told me I have to say it. Jews aren’t allowed. If you’re Jewish, this is a good time to leave, If you see someone Jewey looking, please tell an usher and they will…” at which point he turns to a member of the audience, saying, “Sir, come on, let’s go…”

Like all comedy, context here is everything: while the very same lines from French Black anti-Semitic comic Dieudonné M’bala M’bala could land him in jail, no one suspects Louis C.K. of anti-Semitism, despite the obvious edginess of his material. Because C.K. does not single out Jews for his poking, his references to things Jewish are part of a rich tapestry of social and personal references. In fact, one has to dig far and wide to come up with actual Louis C.K. Jewish jokes.

Last Friday night, at the Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY, C.K. talked about being revolted by his uncircumcised non-Jewish father. Also that night, according to the NY Daily News, C.K. did minority accents which were pretty insulting, about which he commented: “Stereotypes are harmful, but the voices are funny.” And it’s that quality of being an equal opportunity ethnic insulter that permits C.K. to include Jews in his circle of often dark humor.

JNi.Media

Drying Polish River Reveals Ancient Jewish Tombstones

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

(JNi.media) Polish rivers’ water levels have fallen to record lows this summer, revealing the remains of even more of that country’s history of misery and suffering, including Jewish tombstones and long dead Soviet fighter pilots and their plane, AP reported.

“The Vistula River is hiding no end of secrets. They are everywhere,” said Jonny Daniels, head of a Jewish foundation called From the Depths, who’s been examining the shallow parts of the Vistula river—which runs through the capital city of Warsaw—discovering stone fragments adorned with Hebrew lettering.

“From the Depths was set up to bridge the past to the future,” according to Daniels’ website.​ “The past has brought some tremendously dark and difficult times. However, rather than forget these difficult times we must learn from the past in order to shape and build a better future.” The organization’s mission is to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and “to give a name to those who were brutally murdered in the dark days of the Holocaust and to continue the message to the next generations of those who survived.”

Two weeks ago, according to AP, a man who had spotted those fragments of Jewish tombstones took Daniels there. Some have already been taken, but a few fragments are still lying on the riverbed. Daniels is planning to take volunteer students there to search and return as much as they can find to the Brodno cemetery in Warsaw’s Praga district, on the “Jewish” side of the city.

“Jewish history is buried in the Vistula,” Daniels told AP.

The Brondo was the resting place of some 300,000 Jews, but only 3,000 tombstones remain there today. Some of the original stones were taken to be used as building materials or to reinforce the river banks.

JNi.Media

Rivlin: Poland ‘Breeding Ground for Soul of Jewish Nation, Grounds to Largest Jewish Cemetery’

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

At an emotional ceremony in Warsaw, Poland today (Tuesday, Oct. 28), Israeli President Reuven Rivlin inaugurated the Museum of the History of Polish Jews together with his counterpart, Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski.

It was at Komorowski’s invitation that Rivlin participated in the opening of the museum, which spans the history of the Jews of Poland throughout one thousand years of the community’s life in the country.

The president also laid a wreath in memory of the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on the street at the entrance to the museum.

“I do not stand here today as an individual, but rather as the representative of an entire nation,” Rivlin said in his speech, “a nation whose collective journey delves deep into the foundations of Jewish and human existence and into the depths of evil.

“As a Jew, even if you were not born in Poland, the very name, Poland, gives rise to a shuddering in your body and a longing in your heart. This country was breeding ground for the soul of the Jewish nation, and unfortunately, also grounds to the largest Jewish cemetery.

“Here the Jewish town, the shtetl, was born and here it died, converged unto itself in ghettos until it was ultimately murdered by the Nazis.

“Jews fought here as soldiers carrying weapons in the King’s army, decorated heroes of the Polish Army; and here too they marched to their deaths wearing yellow Stars of David, raising the banner of revolt of the Warsaw Ghetto… We can never think of Poland with equanimity. “Even if the Jews were disconnected from Poland it is difficult to impossible to disconnect Poland from the Jews. A history so rich, so full and so painful cannot be erased.

“Jewish history did not begin in Warsaw, and doesn’t end at Auschwitz. Auschwitz is its horrible pit, a horror of humanity, but the Jewish journey does not start there, just as it does not end there.

“The Jewish journey begins in the Land of Israel and it is there that we always strive to return to, against all odds and restrictions.

“There are those who mistakenly think that the State of Israel is compensation for the Holocaust. There is no greater mistake. The State of Israel is not a compensation for the Holocaust. The State of Israel was established in its own right.

“We forever remain aware of the danger,” he added. We build our future with eyes wide open and alert. We do not belittle threats. The Holocaust continues to serve as a warning sign against non-banal evil. Nevertheless, the horrors of the past and the threats of the present will not dictate our lives nor shape the lives of our children, and won’t dim the hope for a creative and prosperous future.

In my country, we have a bright red floor called ‘blood of the Maccabees.’ Legend has it that wherever a freedom fighter for Israel fell, a flower grew, red as his blood. Even in the world of Nazi evil, flowers continued to bloom. Among the ruins and rubble through the evil of hatred, betrayal and destruction, flowers bloomed.

These flowers are the Righteous Among the Nations, human freedom fighters who wrote a chapter on human dignity in the shared history of the nations. In Poland, they say, many such flowers bloomed.

“I cannot conclude without thanking all those who didn’t stand aloof, who saved lives that are worlds unto their own,” the president added, praising the Righteous Among the Nations, gentiles who saved Jews from the Nazi murderers.

“Thank you for your courage. You have a large warm family in Israel: grandparents, parents, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who owe you their lives.”

Hana Levi Julian

President Rivlin to Inaugurate Jewish Museum of Warsaw

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

President Reuven Rivlin is set to inaugurate the Jewish Museum of Warsaw next month during his first state visit to Poland.

Rivlin was invited by his counter part, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, with whom he will meet together with other senior state officials.

Rivlin is also scheduled to address Poland’s governing parliament during his visit, in Hebrew.

Israeli high school students travel to Poland every other year to participate in the “March of the Living.” The pilgrimage honors the fallen Jews who were murdered at concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Hana Levi Julian

Polish Righteous Gentile Donates Memorabilia to Jewish Museum

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

A Polish historian and statesman who was imprisoned at Auschwitz and recognized as a Righteous Gentile for saving Jews in World War II has donated a collection of his memorabilia to a museum in Poland.

Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, 91 and a  former member  of the underground “Żegota” Polish Council to Aid Jews during the Holocaust, presented his donations to the new Museum of the History of Polish Jewish in Warsaw at a ceremony on Wednesday.

He also has twice served as Poland’s foreign minister and has held other senior positions and received many international honors.

The museum said the memorabilia include his Righteous among Nations medal, which he received in 1966; a certificate of his planting of a tree in honor of “Żegota” at Yad Vashem; his honorary citizenship of the State of Israel; the Elie Wiesel Award, which he received this year from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington; an original ring made in the Litzmannstadt (Lodz) Ghetto; as well as various books and historical documents from the period of World War II.

“One never knows what will and what will not pay off in life, but one always knows what is worth doing,” he said during the ceremony, recalling his experience in “Żegota.”

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/polish-righteous-gentile-donates-memorabilia-to-jewish-museum/2013/10/10/

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