by Tom Gross 23-01-2020
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Video Of The Week - Powerful Speech- Auschwitz Liberation After 75 Years- https://tinyurl.com/uf42lv7For full Article and videos go to - https://tinyurl.com/uvwfrat
by Tom Gross 23-01-2020
There were some important speeches at today’s World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
I attach videos of some of them below. They are short so you may want to make time to watch them.
If you only have time to watch one, I suggest you watch the last one, delivered in a heartfelt way without notes by former Israeli Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau.
Lau was liberated aged 7, in April 1945, by the 89th Infantry Division of the United States army, having already lost both his parents in the Holocaust.
He was the only Holocaust survivor speaking today to the dozens of assembled presidents, prime ministers, kings and princes and in effect he is speaking for the 6 million. (In fact, research and newly opened archives since the fall of communism in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union mean that the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust is much closer to 7 million.)
Previous Nazi camps had already been liberated, starting with Majdanek, freed by the Red Army on July 24, 1944.
But Russian, Polish, French and British officials didn’t want any public knowledge of the camps to be made, or photos released, so as (supposedly) not to alarm people, and strict censorship was imposed.
It was only after US forces arrived in Buchenwald on April 6, 1945 (where Yisrael Lau was imprisoned) and the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, Dwight Eisenhower, visited the camp on April 12, that he said these “conditions of indescribable horror” must be made public, and he ordered all censorship of Nazi atrocities lifted.
Later that month, on April 20, 1945, the BBC radio correspondent Richard Dimbleby accompanying British and Canadian forces into Belsen, said in his report: “This day when we reached Belsen was the most horrible day of my life”:
“Here over an acre of ground lay dead and dying people. You could not see which was which... The living lay with their heads against the corpses and around them moved the awful, ghostly procession of emaciated, aimless people, with nothing to do and with no hope of life, unable to move out of your way, unable to look at the terrible sights around them ... Babies had been born here, tiny wizened things that could not live ... A mother, driven mad, screamed at a British sentry to give her milk for her child, and thrust the tiny mite into his arms, then ran off, crying terribly. He opened the bundle and found the baby had been dead for days. This day at Belsen was the most horrible of my life.”
The last of the dozens of Nazi camps to be liberated was Theresienstadt (Terezin) north of Prague, when Soviet forces arrived on May 8, 1945, over a week after Hitler was dead and Berlin occupied. It could have been liberated earlier and lives of prisoners would have been saved, but American forces (on the order of President Roosevelt in agreement with Stalin) deliberately stopped in Plzen in the west of Czechoslovakia to allow the Red Army time to move westwards and take over the country.
(Several members of my own family were imprisoned in Terezin before being killed there or taken on in packed cattle trains to be murdered in other camps.)
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Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Video Of The Week - Stop the PA’s Funding of Terrorism - https://tinyurl.com/qub45fj
Lord Baron Stuart Polak tells House of Lords: "I have no problem with legitimate criticism where it is due, but this obsession with Israel needs to be addressed. This singling out of the Jewish state is wrong, unjustified, and plays a role in the rise and rise of anti-Semitism."
"Israel is being singled out ‘with nauseating frequency,’ to borrow a phrase, and we are joining in," said Lord Baron Stuart Polak, president of Conservative Friends of Israel, in a House of Lords speech on Jan. 7.
"I have no problem with legitimate criticism where it is due, but this obsession with Israel needs to be addressed. This singling out of the Jewish state is wrong, unjustified, and plays a role in the rise and rise of anti-Semitism," he said.
"Whether it manifests itself in Monsey [New York] in the United States or just down the road in South Hampstead, it arises, as we have seen in the Labour Party, when there is a failure of leadership on the grandest scale," added Polak.
The baron also raised the question of the Palestinian Authority’s terroristic practice of "pay to slay," making it clear that the government has an obligation to ensure that British taxpayer money go to those in need, as opposed to rewarding terrorists convicted of heinous crimes and their families.
"In 2018, the Palestinian Authority paid over £260 million [$338 million] – around 7% of its annual budget – on salaries to killers and murderers," said Polak.
Referring to the Netherlands’ discontinuation of direct aid to the PA in November because of this terror reward policy, he urged, "We must pay our way, but not when our aid is used to pay for slay. We must find a method by which aid payments serve the recipients who need our support in Palestinian society, and at the same time, serve the interests of the British taxpayer."
Though these issues have been ongoing, Polak told Jewish News Syndicate that with a new British Parliament, now is the time to raise the issues they want and "set an agenda."
"My speech was a signal that this is a priority for the pro-Israel community," he said.
In the context of a rise of anti-Semitism and violence against Jews worldwide, Polak said that he will "again raise the issue of payment to Palestinian prisoners and continue to push."
In his speech, Polak took the opportunity to congratulate the government on its new legislation making it illegal for local councils to implement boycotts against Israel. "The promise by the government to legislate against BDS was a first and shows where the new government is at in relation to these sorts of issues," he told JNS.
He then rebuked the United Nations for fixating on the world’s only Jewish state. "There was one resolution on North Korea, one on Syria, one on Iran and two on Russia. There were no resolutions on China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. But there were no less than 18 resolutions on Israel. That is totally unacceptable and, what is more, far too often the UK votes for these resolutions," he said in his speech.
Polak critiqued a resolution that was passed at the UN General Assembly on Dec. 13 called "Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem," saying, "suffice it for me to say that the resolution totally ignored terror attacks against Israeli civilians in Israel, referring to them as "tensions and violence."
It also negated deadly rocket and missile attacks by Palestinians on Israeli cities and towns over the years, and sought to strip Israel of its inherent right to self-defense by classifying every defensive measure as "a violation of international law."
In addition, he continued, "it referred to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem only by its Islamic name, Haram al-Sharif. What did we do? We voted for the resolution, whereas our allies and friends in Canada, Australia and the US had the courage to vote against it."
Polak concluded with a request that the United Kingdom look "very carefully" in the future before voting against Israel at the United Nations.
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Video Of The Week - Fighting Anti-Israel Bias - https://tinyurl.com/sfh3of8
From Times Of Israel, 8-1-2020
For the full (quite long) article go to https://tinyurl.com/t3px5uz
The word “colonialism” brings to mind many things. Most notably, it is a term associated with European imperialist adventures in the “New World” and all of the attendant horrors that followed. It invokes, in specie, mental images of white-European settlers, armed with Bibles and bayonets, dominating “less advanced” indigenous populations
And since nearly all of these and other more infamous examples of colonialism were specifically white-European, the concept itself has come to be seen as associated with white supremacism. It is under this rubric, and in conjunction with the postmodern progressive fixation on racial justice that Zionism has been cast as a “colonial” movement, while the ongoing Arab effort to reverse the gains made by the indigenous Jewish people in 1948 is championed as “anti-colonialism”.
Zionism, however, is not colonialism, but the polar opposite thereof. To understand why this is so, it is important to clearly define both of these concepts.
Colonialism is, at a baseline level, the practice of expropriating foreign territory and incorporating it into a metropole, or “mother country” (e.g. the British Crown). This process typically entails occupying these new lands with settlers, suppressing local indigenous populations, and enforcing the tongue, culture, and lifestyle of the metropole on the aforementioned indigenous inhabitants.
Zionism is an indigenous people’s repatriation/liberation movement. The yearning to return to our homeland has been ingrained in our culture ever since we were jettisoned from our soil by foreign occupiers, primarily into Europe, North Africa, and other parts of the Middle East.
Zionism is, at its core, an indigenous rights project, and has been since day one. The Jews returning from exile had no mother country to “colonize” on behalf of. Israel IS the mother country.
It is commonly alleged by anti-Zionists that the early Israelites were themselves conquerors (of Mesopotamian stock), but this is not corroborated by scholarship.
Now let’s discuss the real colonialism occurring within Palestine – specifically, that conducted by Arab Palestine itself.
The Arabs sought to expand their holdings and their power through acquisition of foreign territory. Conquest, war, and totalization were the popular mode of “progress” in that era, so it isn’t surprising that the Arabs sought to build an empire of their own. Their first conquests included, by dint of proximity, the upper parts of Middle East, specifically Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, and Syria. They immediately set about the project of “Arabization”: raising taxes on indigenous peoples, restricting our government access, curtailing our civil liberties, replacing our sacred sites with mosques (the most notable example being the Al-Aqsa compound, which sits on the very location where our Temple once was),
What, then, is the Palestinian cause? It is, in essence, a reaction to Zionism and the State of Israel itself. Although it ludicrously presents itself as an indigenous rights-oriented cause, it is really nothing more than a front for Arab imperialism. It is hoped that, by repatriating the 6 million or so descendants of Arab refugees into Israel, the Jews in Israel will be demographically overwhelmed and we will be robbed of our self-determination once more, transforming our country into a de facto Arab state.
The Palestinian cause has nothing whatsoever to do with human rights or “anti-colonialism”. It is about nothing more than the Arab world’s desire to regain its lost “honor” by accomplishing through stealth what it failed to do by force: restoring their hegemony over Israel and putting the “uppity” Jews back in their place.
It is a claim that has been weaponized against indigenous peoples and used to sweep us under the rug, all in the hope of removing us from our homelands and ensuring that they remain “Arab”. They’ve appropriated the Jews histories and identities as their own without actually belonging to our cultures or suffering for them, and despite centuries of benefiting from the very same system of colonial domination that led to our dispossession in the first place.
I think we have every right to be pissed off about that.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Video Of The Week - Israel Braces for Possible Iranian Retaliation - https://tinyurl.com/yz3tm4yw
Iran’s dramatic announcement that it no longer intends to honor its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers could soon revive discussions in Israel over a possible military strike on Iranian targets.
While Israel has kept a low profile since the US killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani last Friday, it will be difficult to remain on the sidelines if Iran follows through on its pledge to step away from the nuclear accord. Israel, a fierce critic of the agreement, accuses Iran of trying to develop a nuclear weapon and has repeatedly said it will not allow that to happen, even if that requires a risky military strike.
Israel is widely believed to possess its own arsenal of nuclear warheads, but neither confirms nor denies it.
The US-led nuclear deal, which restricted Iran’s atomic activities in exchange for relief from sanctions, put any talk of Israeli military action into deep freeze. But that all changed Sunday when Iran, protesting Soleimani’s killing, said it would no longer honor the limits on uranium enrichment and other nuclear research spelled out in the deal.
Iran denies it is seeking a nuclear bomb and says its activities are for peaceful purposes only.
Israeli officials had no immediate response to the Iranian announcement, although last month, with the nuclear accord already unraveling, Foreign Minister Israel Katz said that Israel remained as a “last resort” to prevent Iran from developing an atomic bomb.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reportedly meeting with his inner security cabinet on Monday to discuss the latest developments.
Yoel Guzansky, an analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies, an Israeli think tank, said the Iranian announcement puts the region in a delicate moment.
On one hand, he noted that Iran is only talking about its intention to abandon the deal and has not taken any action. “They’re still cautious,” said Guzansky, who is a former adviser on Iranian affairs in the prime minister’s office.
On the other hand, he said that a failure by the US and other world powers to spell out their “red lines” risks encouraging Iran to press forward and potentially put it on a collision course with Israel.
“Where is the US? Where are the Chinese, the Russians, the Europeans? Their voices are not being heard,” he said. Without spelling out their limits, he said Iran could move “very close, much closer to a bomb” in the coming year.
Former prime minister Ehud Barak has said that Israel came close to attacking Iran in the early 2010s while he was defense minister, but ultimately backed down. Such a move would risk not only the pilots and troops sent on a difficult mission in a far-off land. It also could unleash a war that could quickly engulf the region.
Israel has long considered Iran its greatest enemy, with suspicions about Iran’s nuclear intentions at the top of its concerns.
But Israel has a long list of other grievances against Iran. Among them are Iran’s support for hostile proxy groups, especially the powerful Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon, as well as Iran’s military presence in neighboring Syria.
In recent years, Israel has struck a number of Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria, in many cases to prevent the transfers of “game changing” weapons, such as precision-guided missiles, to Hezbollah. Soleimani, the longtime commander of Iran’s expeditionary Quds Force, was seen as the mastermind of these efforts and topped Israel’s most-wanted list.
While Netanyahu put out a brief statement praising US President Donald Trump for ordering the airstrike, Israel has otherwise remained quiet, apparently in fear of escalating an already volatile situation. With Iran vowing retaliation, Israel has stepped up security at diplomatic installations overseas and its forces remain on their standard high alert along the northern borders with Syria and Lebanon.
Yet it is no secret that Israel sees the death of its arch-enemy’s top general as a watershed moment.
In Israeli eyes, the airstrike restored much-needed US credibility, which many felt was eroded by Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from the region and his lack of responses to previous Iranian actions. Israeli defense strategy hinges heavily on close military ties with the US.
“This was a big strategic miracle. Suddenly, we are no longer on our own,” wrote Alex Fishman, military commentator for the Yediot Ahronot daily.
For now, there seems to be a consensus among analysts that the death of Soleimani dealt a tough short-term blow, and the odds of retaliation against Israeli targets are low. Iran’s main objective right now is to mete out revenge against the US, and it has has little incentive to open another front, the thinking goes. But there remains great uncertainty about whether there will be any long-term benefits.
“With all due caution, it can be said that it appears that Iran will not initiate a direct clash with Israel in the foreseeable future,” Giora Eiland, a former Israeli national security adviser, wrote in the Yediot Ahronot daily Monday.
He said Iran is “liable to decide on an aggressive course of action” if it meets one of three goals: acquiring nuclear weapons, deepening its presence in Syria or succeeding in transferring guided missiles to Hezbollah.
“The Israeli side is making a great effort to prevent these exact three things, and with a fair degree of success up until now,” he said.
Little is known about Soleimani’s successor and longtime deputy, Esmail Ghaani. Iran also shows no signs of moderating the policies that Soleimani carried out at the behest of the country’s leaders in Tehran.
Raz Zimmt, a former military intelligence officer now at the INSS think tank, said it may be “wishful thinking” to expect Soleimani’s death to create great opportunities for Israel.
“Yes, Iran is weaker today than it used to be two or three days ago,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean that Iran is going to change.”