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Passover Will Be Very Different This Year And Thats OK – BuzzFeed News

Posted By on April 4, 2020

Maya Ish-Shalom for BuzzFeed News

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In a competitive ranking of Jewish holidays, Passover (or Pesach, as its called by people of the tribe) would have to be seeded high. I know its tops for me. Whats not to like? The collective telling of a pretty wild story; free afikomen money when I was a kid; singing; intimidating quantities of food; four compulsory glasses of wine. Flourless chocolate cake that sits like a brick in the stomach. Yes, theres matzoh, but layer on enough charoset or chicken liver with a little horseradish and you cant even taste it, baruch Hashem.

Just the mention of those once-a-year foods has me jonesing for a slick gefilte fish patty. Since I can remember, my family has hosted an impressive Seder every spring, led first by my grandfather, now by my father. We clear the living and dining rooms, rent long tables and chairs, and lay out linens, silverware, and Seder plates for a cast of dozens, including family, friends, colleagues, and anyone in the mood for a slightly unusual dinner party, Jewish or not. Its the one occasion for which the Bernsteins, scattered across the country, sincerely try to show up.

The year will be the first in memory that my dads house in suburban Connecticut lies quiet around this special time, as its become painfully clear that social gatherings are no longer tenable as everyone in the US works to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. For my dad an emergency physician exposed to the virus every day he goes to work the decision to cancel our Seder was easy, though not without sorrow.

Then, about a week ago, he sent a message to our immediate familys text group, Fam Jam (so named by my 17-year-old sister). Hi all what would you think about a virtual Seder? I could set us up with Zoom. Fam Jam responded enthusiastically. Yes!! I said. My brother sent a thumbs-up emoji. The usual silence emanated from my teenage sister, which we took for assent.

In spite of everything we wont have, well make do. God is not in the details.

Thus was born Digital Pesach 2020, our small foray into tech disruption. It wont be the same as what were used to, or even recognizable. Ill miss the day of bustle leading into the ceremony: everyone crowding the kitchen, mustering ramekins, peeling potatoes, trying to figure out how to work the food processor. I wont post to social media my one ritual photo of the waiting tableau, a feast for the eyes before the mouth, candles and wine bottles and brightly illustrated Haggadot poised to play their parts. No one will scan the inside cover of their Haggadah, the slim book that guides the proceedings, studying the column of signatures of all who have used it before and adding theirs to the historical record.

In spite of everything we wont have, well make do. God is not in the details. Sure, concerns around Zoom management linger; 60-year-old professors of medicine arent exactly renowned for their technical prowess. And organizing half a dozen boisterous, lefty Jews to speak in turn presents its own challenges (and frankly doesnt go that well at our usual, in-person shindig). But Seder literally means order. As long as you follow the sequence of motions, the exact same from year to year sanctify the wine, dip the karpas or bitter herb, break the middle matzoh you have participated. Smaller in scale, quieter in tone, our party will follow the order at a time when the world seems mired in its opposite.

But the longer I thought about the Seder, the more logistical questions arose. Was it worth venturing out to obtain ingredients to cook with, let alone ones certified kosher for Passover (a higher standard than merely kosher)? What about scarcer items for the Seder plate, like a shank bone? And where would I find them? Nashville, where my husband and I live, is hardly a hot spot of semitic culture. Grocery stores carry a to put it generously meager selection of Jewish-themed foodstuffs. Of course, I could buy raw ingredients and assemble everything from scratch, but that implies a level of motivation and energy much greater than what I currently possess. After our apartment building was rendered unlivable by the severe tornado that struck downtown Nashville a few weeks ago, necessitating a hasty evacuation and move, our bandwidth for this kind of labor (i.e. the optional kind) is significantly diminished.

Im no stranger to an improvised holiday. Ive been unable to make it home for Passover a couple of times before, for reasons of work or expense. Once, when I lived in Seattle, a Jewish friend and I hosted a mini Seder for a group that contained (other than us) zero Jews. They were good sports, but grew restive 15 minutes in, thumbing through their photocopied Haggadot. Another year, I co-led with my mother, who is Indian but could be considered a kind of honorary Jew after a decade of residence in New York City and 13 years of marriage to my dad. In place of shared water, we cleansed our hands with Purell. Absinthe stood in for the bitter herb. Still, those instances hadnt been circumscribed by a quarantine. Maybe, given the circumstances, I was overthinking the whole thing. I decided to ask some diasporic compatriots about their own Pesach plans.

The Seder table (complete with absinthe and Purell).

My suspicions proved well founded. Most of the millennial-and-younger, loosey-goosey Jews of the American secular variety I spoke to which are most of the ones I know had hardly realized Passover was fast approaching (beginning April 8), amid the onslaught of pandemic news that makes every day feel three weeks long. My friend Marcus, an engineer in the Los Angeles area, said he had no plans . Jeremy replied simply, Ohyeah Alana, a professional baker in Seattle who described her Jewish heritage as Russian socialist, listed potential Seder ingredients already in her home: pho broth, matzoh meal, and duck schmaltz.

So well probably make matzoh ball pho, she said. As a chef, Alana cant observe Pesach too stringently anyway, since she invariably spends the day covered in chametz, or forbidden foods like leavened grains, which Jews are meant to eliminate from their homes in the days leading up to the holiday.

I guess I could be more observant this year, she said, but Ive been stress-baking since I was 5 years old, and right now doesnt seem like a great time to give up my main coping mechanism.

Thats the sense I got from a lot of folks: other priorities. Now that obtaining even basic, life-sustaining goods and services has become a trial, the complexity of enacting this religious tradition, which requires, frankly, a great deal of accoutrement, feels prohibitive. Even in a vacuum of activity to fill, many choose the soothing, passive engagement of television. Three seasons into a series rewatch of The Good Wife, Im the last to blame them.

But not everyone I spoke to was so nonchalant. Jacob Shamsian, an editor in New York of Iranian descent, would ordinarily visit his parents on Long Island for Passover. He and his wife dont know whether theyll make the trip this year, but if they do, it wont be by the usual combination of subway and Long Island Railroad.

The Shamsians also attend a second Seder at the home of Jacobs grandparents, who live within walking distance in the city. Theyve definitively nixed that plan this year. Jacob said hell miss the traditions passed down to him through generations, like the Persian custom of hitting each other with scallions during Dayenu, the rousing song that expresses gratitude to God for leading the Jewish slaves in ancient Egypt out of bondage and for the other gifts he has given them: the Torah, Shabbat, the land of Israel.

My grandfather runs through Dayenu while the rest of us run around the table and try to get as many whacks in as possible, while dodging others, Jacob explained. My grandmother and grandfather get gentle taps, because I'm not going to disrespect them like that. It's nice imagining my grandparents doing that in Iran, with their parents and own grandparents.

Those farther from their families face a keener solitude, especially if they live alone. My friend Ashley Thomas, a legal assistant who also lives in Nashville, grew up belonging to a tight-knit Orthodox synagogue in her home town of Memphis. Though shes become much less observant and moved away, Ashley maintains a connection to that temple, which her parents and extended family still attend. She isnt sure what shell do for Passover, but knows she wont be making the drive to Memphis. Her aunt, a member of that congregation, has tested positive for the coronavirus, and in any case, the synagogue has shut its doors for the duration. She remembers a few years ago, during a measles outbreak that coincided with the High Holy Days, temple leadership got wind that a family who did not vaccinate their children would be visiting from out of town.

They sent out an email to the congregation saying, You cant come to shul if you dont vaccinate, Ashley recalled.

Jews are a pretty resilient people, and weve had to deal with adversity before. Im pretty confident well figure it out.

I confess that this story, of a religious community united on the right side of science, warmed my heart. At times I fear that Jews like members of any creed or culture can adhere too rigidly to prescribed custom, even when it carries the potential for harm. But my worries have been mostly assuaged by widespread reports of temple closures and remote worship, even from the most devout. Its in the nature of Jewish belief and practice, after all, to bend to the needs of the moment, like a reed in the wind.

I also spoke with Ashleys father, Morris Thomas, who still belongs to their synagogue in Memphis, which claims the distinction of being the largest modern Orthodox temple in North America.

Were a fairly tight-knit group, he said. It would not have been unusual for a regular Friday night Shabbos dinner to have 40 people at your house, and that would go on in five, six peoples houses all across the community.

Like me, Morris characterizes Passover as the one time of year hes accustomed to seeing his whole extended family. Theyre considering a Zoom gathering this year, though nothings been formalized. Hes sanguine about the possibilities for virtual Jewish practice, which he said most synagogues began to offer weeks ago. By the time Pesach rolls around, this mode of meeting wont feel like such a departure.

I think that having a Seder with just your immediate family of no more than three to five people wont be the strangest thing in the world, he said. Maybe it will cause the conversation to be more introspective, more intimate. The whole thing is going to have to evolve. Jews are a pretty resilient people, and weve had to deal with adversity before. Im pretty confident well figure it out.

Buoyed by his hopeful attitude, I ask Morris if he envisions any drawbacks to going ahead with Passover observances in this strange time.

A contemplative pause. Then: I hate matzoh.

Another year's Seder plate.

The Thomases, who classify themselves as modern Orthodox, may be able to connect via videoconference this month. But many Jews, like Jacob and others I spoke to, cannot. The shomer Shabbos, a designation for those who abide by the commandments associated with the Jewish Sabbath, will not use electronics like phones and computers (and elevators and light switches) on the Sabbath and holidays. The Sabbath begins Friday at dusk and ends Saturday after sunset, but this year, due to the timing of Passover, the chag or holiday period extends from Wednesday through Saturday evenings. In our wired age, and especially at a moment when a global pandemic is reshaping reality from hour to hour, that is a long time to go without digital connection.

Three-day yom tovs, as we call them, are always tough, said Jacob. I'm especially not looking forward to it this year since we can't even break up the time by going to shul to see friends, or having guests over, or having big meals with friends and families as we normally do.

But outside of Shabbos restrictions, Jewish people have gotten creative about marshaling technology to achieve an air of normalcy amid the chaos.

I Skyped into a bris this morning, said Neal, a health care administrator in New Jersey of the Orthodox denomination. A bris is the Jewish ritual of circumcision.

More than 70 people called in. Only the parents and the mohel were present, not even the grandparents. He was all masked up like a surgeon. Everyone said mazel tov at the end, it was lovely.

The synagogue Neal attends shut down weeks ago, partly under the advisement of the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County, which posts updates and guidance on its website. The RCBC, like regional associations across the country, has advised the community to stay home with immediately family for Pesach, even separated from parents and grandparents, and not to travel to other parts of the country, especially not to Florida, to which Jewish grandparents are legally obligated to migrate upon retirement. Neal noted that cancellations of Passover programming in places like Florida and Arizona will impact the organizations and service workers who make a significant portion of their income on those events.

An important function of the Passover Seder, Neal said, is transmitting the story from generation to generation so it would take a world-catastrophic event like a pandemic to convince Jews to isolate from parents and grandparents. He also brought up the dark historical resonance for Jewish people of being told we cannot display our culture in public.

It goes against everything youve been ingrained to understand about the importance of practicing openly, he said. We have to overcome the urge to fight this.

Like Morris, Neal highlighted endeavors already underway to forge solidarity and connection, and mitigate a sense of fragmentation taking hold, when, for instance, Jewish mourners cannot form a minyan, or quorum of 10 adult required for saying kaddish, a prayer in honor of the dead. A group of rabbinical authorities has given their blessing to a website called, where worshippers can pray together remotely. Although the rabbis note these minyanim do not technically suffice for certain rites, they can still create an atmosphere of community and social bonding. Neal also told of prominent Jewish singers broadcasting Thursday night, pre-Shabbos sing-alongs for both children and adults, which have proved wildly popular. In some neighborhoods, messages have circulated encouraging people to emerge onto their porches at a stated hour and say the prayer to begin the Sabbath in unison.

For Pesach in particular, some temples are innovating ways for congregants to accomplish certain tasks online, like selling their chametz. Others are assembling all-in-one Seder plate packages, so congregants dont need to shop at the store, where they might touch items in many different aisles and risk exposure. In all these ways, Jewish communities have shown their commitment to keeping members as safe as possible and trying to lessen isolation through this hardship.

My family at the table during Passover.

Of everyone I spoke to, Megan Lubin, a freelance audio producer and engineer in Chicago, has contrived the most comprehensive blueprint for a Zoom Seder. She and her cousins, spread across the country, are deep into the planning process. Each participant has been deputized to manage a specific aspect of the event: videoconference logistics, Doodle polling and attendance, internal communications, time zone issues. Lubin grew up in the Pacific Northwest in a Jewish-minority area, so her parents developed many of their own traditions. Now she follows in their footsteps.

Well probably go for an hour, she said of her Seder. Somewhere between a meaningful religious ceremony and a symbolic touchpoint. We dont want people to be tethered to their computers all night.

We traded resources. Sixth and I, a nondenominational Washington, DC, synagogue and arts center, is hosting a series of webinars, How to Lead a Virtual Seder. Alma, an online publication that covers Jewish identity and culture, has posted a guide as well (though their scheme for a potluck by mail seems far-fetched). The writer Jordan Namerow suggested a script for the Four Questions centered around COVID-19.

I asked Megan whether her family will incorporate discussion of the coronavirus, in addition to the content laid out by the Haggadah. Some people I talked to dont see how the topic can be avoided. Others long for one meal with a semblance of routine and normalcy. Megan plans to poll her coconspirators on their preference, but feels topics of suffering and justice are inherent to the Pesach story.

You see, we become attached to plan A, but sometimes plan B is the more perfect one.

Every Jewish gathering foregrounds a component of community, consideration of the less fortunate, she said. Its very baked into the nature of these observances.

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, a progressive writer and speaker, agreed that the holiday is fundamentally about liberation from oppression, and the absolute importance of standing up to tyranny. That makes it all the more important to observe this year, when the physical, economic, and social consequences of the pandemic disproportionately affect vulnerable populations.

Ruttenberg also wants to allay peoples fears that theyre not up to the task of running a Seder.

Youve got this! she said. The Haggadah is a do-it-yourself guide to running the Seder; reading through it is the Seder itself. You don't need to know how to hold a Seder. I hope that some people will walk away from this unusual time feeling more empowered Jewishly, seeing that they can do it even if they didn't think they could.

Rabbi Jason Rubinstein, the Jewish chaplain at Yale, similarly suggested that we view the holiday as a respite from the madness beyond our front doors, and a perch from which to contemplate its resonance with our own history. In a message to the universitys Jewish community (which he has given me permission to share), Rubinstein noted that in our Seders we re-create a night when households took refuge in their homes because of an invisible, deadly force that rages outside, a remarkable correlation to our present-day circumstances.

We stand in an unbroken chain of Jews who have raised up the sacred order of shared time against the chaos of their own times, he wrote. If Passover means one thing this year, it is that the shared bonds of meaning and purpose that stretch across oceans and generations have the power to elevate us above the confusion and isolation of our moment.

As for his familys own plans, Neal in New Jersey said theyre still playing it by ear, week by week. He is reminded of a legend about the renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman. During a 1995 concert at Lincoln Center, one of the strings on Perlmans instrument audibly popped. Rather than call for another violin, Perlman waited a moment, then signaled the conductor to resume and did the impossible: He played the rest of the piece, or something like it that he composed in real time, with a passion and beauty that enraptured the audience.

You see, we become attached to plan A, but sometimes plan B is the more perfect one, Neal said. Even if it takes more work to realize.

Jennifer R. Bernstein is a cofounder and former editor of The New Inquiry. She has written essays and criticism for the The New Republic, The Nation, Pacific Standard, and elsewhere.

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Passover Will Be Very Different This Year And Thats OK - BuzzFeed News

Coronavirus in New Jersey: What concerts, festivals and shows have been rescheduled, canceled. (4/3/20) –

Posted By on April 4, 2020

Nazi War Criminals On the run –

Posted By on April 3, 2020

The Capture and Trial of Adolph Eichmann

Part 2:

Un momentito, Senor.

Sixty years ago, three Spanish words uttered by an Israeli Mossad agent set the stage for Israels dramatic abduction of senior Nazi officer Adolph Eichmann from a street in Buenos Aires, and his trial in Israel for war crimes against the Jewish people.

Eichmann had wielded tremendous power during the Holocaust. As head of the Jewish Affairs section of the Nazi SS, he held operational responsibility for the extermination of European Jewry. Through crucial years of World War II, he had organized the ghettoizing, plunder and deportation of millions to the killing centers in Poland.

Following Germanys defeat, Eichmann had escaped from an Allied prison camp and, aided by Catholic bishop Alois Hudal of Rome, had made his way down the ratline to Argentina, where he lived under an assumed name for 15 years. The pro-Nazi government of then President Juan Peron welcomed fugitive Nazis and shielded them from extradition.

The post-war West German government had created a special agency, the Investigation of Nazi Crimes, to apprehend prominent Nazis who, like Eichmann, had escaped judgment at the Nuremberg War Trials. One of the members of this Nazi-tracking group was a German-Jew Fritz Bauer, who had received a tip about Eichmanns whereabouts and had passed it on to his superiors.

It didnt take long for Bauer to realize that his superiors were making no serious effort to go after Eichmann, and he secretly alerted Israeli officials who initiated a plan for his capture. Because Argentina had a history of denying extradition requests, the decision was made by Israeli officials to kidnap Eichmann and smuggle him to Israel.

In May 1960, Argentina was celebrating the 150th anniversary of its revolution against Spain, and many tourists were arriving from abroad to attend the festivities. The Mossad used the opportunity to smuggle multiple agents into the country.

On the evening of May 11, Mossad operatives descended on Garibaldi Street in San Fernando and snatched Eichmann away as he was walking from the bus to his home. Unaware hed been abducted, his worried family called local hospitals but were afraid to notify the police.

The ex-Nazi kingpin was kept at a safe house until plans for smuggling him to Israel were put into effect. On May 20, a drugged Eichmann was flown out of Argentina disguised as an Israeli airline worker who had suffered head trauma in an accident.

Media Firestorm

When news of his kidnapping hit the media, Israel received an international thrashing. Historian Refael Medoff in Lessons From the Eichmann Trial cites the rash of articles in leading news organs that vented pious indignation.

The New York Times rejected Israeli claims that Eichmanns role in the Nazi genocide justified Israels violating Argentinas sovereignty, protesting that no immoral or illegal act justifies another.

An editorial in the Times of London agreed that while the trial might be fair, it was tainted because it springs from an admittedly illegal actthe abduction of Eichmann from Argentina.

Some U.S. church publications took particularly harsh aim at Israel for its prosecution of Eichmann. An article in The Unitarian Register compared the Jew-pursuing Nazi and the Nazi-pursuing Jew.

And a Catholic newspaper, The Tablet, conjured up anti-Semitic tropes by linking Israelis at the Eichmann trial to Shylock of old (a fictional Jewish villain in a Shakespearean novel) demanding their pound of flesh.

In the face of this brouhaha, the Eichmann trial preceded, riveting world attention as it played out over nine months. In Israel, its impact was transformative. The trial pierced a macho culture in which Holocaust survivors had been discouraged from talking about what they had suffered, and were made to feel ashamed of being victims.

As a result, in the sixteen years that had passed since the wars end, information about how and why six million Jews had been annihilated was shrouded in incomprehension.

A Human Face on The Horror

Now, for the first time, the unspeakable atrocities of the death camps, the systematic mass murders of entire populations, and the ferocious might of a regime that made physical resistance all but impossible, were driven home to the public.

Over a hundred survivors representing every corner of Nazi-occupied Europe were called to the witness stand. Their combined testimony put a human face on the Holocaust and spawned a new understanding of the magnitude of Jewish suffering and loss, and the depths of Nazi moral depravity.

I felt I was beginning to comprehend the incomprehensible, however wide the gulf separating me from those who were there for even a single day, Israeli Haim Gouri wrote. He described feeling humbled as he followed the proceedings: We who were outside that circle of death have to ask forgiveness from the numberless dead whom we have judged in our hearts without asking ourselves what right we have.

He Looked Like an Ordinary Person

Spectators who came to observe the trial expected to confront a monstera wild-eyed Jew-hater in the mold of Hitler and his top henchmen. But what they saw and heard bore no resemblance to that image.

People were amazed because he looked much more like a bureaucrat, like a pencil pusher, with thick black glasses, an ill-fitting suit, a man who laid out all his papers and his pens and kept polishing his glasses with a nervous tick, noted historian Deborah Lipstadt, author of The Eichmann Trial and several books about Holocaust denial.

Lipstadt said people asked themselves, could this really be the person responsible for the destruction of millions?

The man in the bulletproof glass booth looked and sounded like an ordinary person. He presented himself as a self-effacing servant of the German state, dutifully following orders from a higher command, no more than a cog in the wheel of a vast machine that he did not control.

He maintained that he was not at first aware of where the deported multitudes were being sent, and that he had no personal animosity to the Jewish people. He testified that he had come to realize that the Holocaust was one of the greatest crimes in history.

Lipstadt noted that Eichmanns stuck to his defense in the face of weighty evidence that he had carried out his work of mass murder with a fanatic zeal that persisted even when the war was lost and he was ordered by Himmler to halt the deportations. Undeterred, Eichmann used his authority to ensure that the trains continued shipping Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz.

Lipstadt, who was given access by the Israeli government to a memoir Eichmann had written while in Israeli prison awaiting trial, said the document was rife with anti-Semitism and Nazi ideology that fully supported Hitlers goals.

Yet some were taken in by his court performance, and in contemporary films and documentaries, the image of Eichmann as a petty bureaucrat who personified the banality of evil, continues to hold sway.

Banality of evil was a phrase coined by author Hannah Arendt who observed a small portion of the trial and was duped by Eichmanns performance, writing that he was merely a robotic functionary, passively heeding the commands of his superiors.

By buying into Eichmanns cog-in-the wheel presentation, Arendt equated the evil he committed with the evil of which all human beings are potentially capable under severe duress.

Limited by her absence from key moments in the trial and hampered by her contempt for her own Jewish roots, Arendt tried to universalize Eichmann, refusing to see his personal, focused war against the Jews.

Eichmann was in no way a banal bureaucrat, the evidence shows. He just reinvented himself as one while on trial for his life.

Exposed by wartime documents bearing his own signature, Eichmann stood revealed as a vicious Jew-hater and Jew-hunter who, when it came to his chosen work of murdering Jews, would make no compromises and no exceptions.

The Wannsee Conference

Eichmanns evolution as a pivotal player in the genocide against European Jews was launched even before the infamous January 1942 Wannsee Conference, a top-secret meeting of 15 high-ranking Nazi leaders on the outskirts of Berlin.

Eichmann, working under SS and Gestapo chief Reinhard Heydrich, who took his orders directly from Hitler and Himmler, convened the conference and recorded the minutes.

The conferences goal was to enlist all major government agencies in the implementation of the Endoslung, the Final solution of the Jewish Question. This was the code name for the Nazi program of annihilating European Jews that had been formalized into Reich policy six months earlier. At the time of the Wannsee Conference, it was already well under way.

In autumn 1941, as German armies advanced into Soviet territory, tens of thousands of Jews were massacred at sites such as Babi Yar (outside Kiev), Rumbula Forest (outside Riga), and Ponary (outside Vilna).

In December 1941, experiments with exhaust-fume poisoning started in mobile trucks in Chelmno in occupied Poland; the first annihilation camp opened there the same month.

In Nazi-occupied lands, hundreds of thousands of Jews had been systematically killed by Einsatzgruppen, or forced from their homes and deported to concentration camps in Mauthausen, Austria, and to Auschwitz and Majdanek in Poland.

But the process of genocide through mass shootings was moving too slowly for Hitler, and consumed too much manpower. He and his top aides sought ways to accelerate the process. Heydrich conceived of the Wannsee Conference to enlist all major government agencies in implementing evacuation of all European Jews to killing centers in the East.

All of Germanys security and secret police forces at this point had been consolidated into the Reich Security Central Office under Reinhard Heydrich. Eichmann was assigned to its section on Jewish affairs and it was in this role that he convened the Wannsee Conference.

The protocol of the Wannsee Conference, penned in Eichmanns handwriting and found by Allied forces after the war, was used as evidence in the Nuremberg war crimes trials. It contained a typewritten list of all Jewish populations in Europeincluding in lands not yet under Nazi occupation such as England, Ireland, Italy and Spainthat would be annihilated in multiple extermination camps soon to be constructed.

Eichmann calculated the murder of 11 million people, noting which regions were already Judenfrei.

Lying Millions of People to Their Death

Heeding instructions from Heydrich, Eichmann wrote up and distributed the top-secret Wannsee protocol to participating members of the conference, clarifying the measures needed to bring about the Vernichtung (annihilation) of Europes Jews, although the protocol carefully avoided such direct language.

Instead, it used phrases such as evacuation or resettlement to the east; death by natural reduction; and special treatment (gassing and other means of execution) to euphemize the destruction of millions of lives. The conferences participants were urged to use the powers of their various agencies to achieve the final solution.

A vast logistical network was developed and maintained, in large measure under Eichmanns direction, to ensure that the flow of Jews from western, southern and northern Europe to killing centers in the East would continue throughout the war.

Through his representatives Alois Brunner, Theodor Dannecker, Rolf Guenther, and Dieter Wisliceny and other subordinates, Eichmann made deportation plans down to the last detail.

Working with other German agencies, he determined how the property of deported Jews would be seized and made certain that his office would benefit from the confiscated assets.

By hiding from the victims the plan for their impending mass murder, the Nazis manipulated millions into complying with deportation orders in the desperate hope of surviving.

Eichmann lied millions of people to their death, notes German historian Bettina Stangneth in a new book, Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer.

His trial in Jerusalem saw the arch murderer fall back on the favored Nazi tactic of using lies and deceit to manipulate results. It had worked so well with countless Jewish victims who were too sane and civilized to suspect the monstrous truth.

At his trial, Eichmann spun his web of lies in an all-out gamble to avoid the gallows. Pretending to be a simple-minded, low-level bureaucrat whose sole job was managing train schedules, he put on the performance of his life.

He was taken aback when the judges saw through his faade, found him guilty on all counts and sentenced him to death.

I didnt expect them to not believe me at all, he muttered to his lawyer, Robert Servatious.

Hitlers eager executioner died on the gallows on June 1, 1962. His body was cremated and its ashes dumped into the Mediterranean.

Begrudging the Life of Every Jew

Prof. Gavriel Bach who served as deputy prosecutor in the Eichmann trial recalled in a 2011 interview that the hard evidence against him was overwhelming. Aside from eyewitness testimony, there were hundreds of documents turned over to us by West Germany with Eichmanns own signature, describing exactly what happened in particular incidents.

We had proof that Eichmann even circumvented Hitlers orders when those orders might lead to saving a few thousand Jews, Bach said.

He described how Hitler made a deal with the Hungarian government in 1944 to release 8,700 Hungarian Jewish families from the country, in exchange for the governments pledge to remain loyal to the Axis.

Eichmann usually sat in Berlin and pulled the strings, sending assistants throughout Europe, except with Hungary, Bach said. Eichmann was upset about Hitler cutting this deal. Upset that all those Hungarian Jews would get out [alive] and might even come to Palestine some day and threaten the security of Europe.

Bach presented the letters at the trial showing that after being informed about the deal, Eichmann gave an order to speed up deportations so that by the time the visas were ready for these 8,700 families, there would no longer be 8,700 families left.

The image he sought to build of himself as a simple-minded government servant loyally heeding orders crumbled in the face of the evidence, the former prosecutor said.

Eyewitness to the Gas Chamber

Holocaust survivor testimony at the trial did not always directly implicate Eichmann, noted Prof. Bach. But it authenticated specific stages of the final solution that Eichmanns organizational expertise kept running like clockwork.

He cited the rare eyewitness testimony of a man in his late twenties who as a young boy had been thrust inside a gas chamber to die. His testimony, the prosecutor said, remains ingrained in my mind forever.

The man described being led with a group of 250 children into the gas chamber where it was completely dark and the doors were immediately locked on them. According to his testimony, the children began to sing to give themselves courage. When nothing happened, we started to scream and cry.

Suddenly, the door opened and an SS guard pulled some children out of the chamber, the man recounted to the court. He himself was one of those removed. They soon understood why. A train had arrived with potatoes and there were not enough men to unload them. An SS guard had suggested taking some of the doomed children out of the gas chamber to help unload the train, and kill them afterward.

So they took thirty children out and they unloaded the potatoes while the other children were gassed to death, the survivor continued. All of the thirty children were supposed to be shot after the potatoes were unloaded because they had seen what happened to the group left in the gas chamber. No one was ever supposed to see that.

Twenty-nine of them were killed, but one boy had supposedly done some damage to the truck.

As Prof. Bach related the horrifying story told to the court so many years ago, his voice grew ragged. The SS commander ordered his subordinate to take the boy who did the damage and give him a whipping before he was killed. He was taken to a higher floor by an SS man to be whipped. But incredibly, the SS man decided not to carry out the commanders order.

He took a liking to me for some reason, the witness told the court. He kept me alive.

And that is how the court had the benefit of rare eyewitness testimony, Bach mused, from a prisoner who had actually been inside the gas chamber and lived to describe it.

Exposed by The Argentina Papers

A new book by German historian Bettina Stangneth, Eichmann Before Jerusalem, based on the authors examination of the Argentina Papers, reveals Eichmann as an ideological warrior unrepentant about the past and eager to continue the racial war against the Jews.

The Argentina Papers were composed by a group of Nazis based in Argentina after the war who sought a resurgence of National Socialism. Eichmann was a part of this group, consulted because of his firsthand knowledge of the Jewish question.

Among the papers is the so-called Sassen Interview, the minutes of meetings conducted by this group of Nazis and their sympathizers recorded by former SS journalist Willem Sassen. Eichmann planned to publish his own book along with Sassens writes Stangneth.

Throughout his Argentine exile, Eichmann remained a passionate and open Nazi. He proudly signed photos with the flourish, Adolf Eichmann SS Obersturmbannfuhrer (retired), and even boasted among his friends that the deportation of more than 400,000 Hungarian Jews was his masterpiece, asserts the historian.

Here was a man who said towards the end of the war that if Germany lost, he would leap laughing into the grave because the feeling that he had 5 million enemies of the Reich on his conscience would be for him a source of extraordinary satisfaction.

In Argentina, Eichmann the fanatical National Socialist was still on active duty, she adds. He wanted to be visible in Argentina and he wanted to be viewed as he once had been: as the symbol of a new age.

In an interview with Canadian Jewish News, Stangneth said she listened to taped recordings of talks Eichmann had with Sassen and other Nazis. In one conversation, Eichmann can be heard saying that his only regret about his actions during the war was not killing more Jews.

If we had killed 10.3 million, I would be satisfied, and would say, Good, we have destroyed an enemy. We would have fulfilled our duty to our blood and our people If only we had exterminated the most cunning intellect of all the human intellects alive today.


We Were Not Impressed by The Lies

In that courtroom in Jerusalem, there could be no doubt as to Eichmanns guilt, nor the immensity of his guilt, observed journalist Martha Gellhorn, covering the 1961 Eichmann trial for Atlantic Monthly.

He was not unnerved by the testimony of witnesses, of survivors who dealt with him in his years of power, or saw him on his concentration camp visits. Nor by the avalanche of documents showing that he commanded the fate of the Jews as no general was able to command a whole theater of war.

He wriggled, he talked a great deal; he returned again and again to the same lies. He was only a minor bureaucrat.

We were not impressed by the lies.

Gellhorn dismissed Eichmanns assertions that he was little more than a railway clerk, ensuring the (death) trains ran on time. The Atlantic Monthly article references the many instances disclosed during the trial when foreign governments, allies of Germany, tried to negotiate the rescue of individual Jews, only to meet with Eichmanns rigid refusals.

Again and again, Eichmann replied icily that these Jews could not be found; his local representatives were instructed to discourage on principle such time-wasting demands for mercy, the author recounted.

If the named Jew or Jews were not already dead, Eichmann ordered immediate deportation to the gas chambers, thus closing the file against future intrusion on his work.

Gellhorn cited an instance when the Vichy collaborationist government of Pierre Laval tried to save one Jewa man whose gallantry in the French Army could not be forgotten. Eichmann answered officially that the whereabouts of this hero was unknown, but arranged for his instant, secret removal to Auschwitz and Zyklon B.

A third example cited at the trial of when a foreign government tried to rescue Jews but was thwarted by Eichmann was when Admiral Horthy, the fascist dictator of Hungary, directed his police to stop a death train of 1200 Jews and return the Jews to their camp near Budapest.

That night Eichmann sent buses to collect these reprieved people and drive them to rejoin the death train far from the capital. In a dispute with the Hungarian head of state, the low-ranking Eichmann prevailed.

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Nazi War Criminals On the run -

Coronavirus in New Jersey: What concerts, festivals and shows have been rescheduled, canceled. (4/2/20) –

Posted By on April 3, 2020

ADL: How to prevent ‘Zoombombing’ – Forward

Posted By on April 2, 2020

The Anti-Defamation League has released a list of tips to prevent Zoombombing, a tactic white supremacists and internet trolls are using to hack video conferences and project pornographic, racist and anti-Semitic imagery.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, people are relying more heavily on online video conferencing software like Zoom, which has created new opportunities for those who wish to spread hateful messages.

The guidelines were drafted by experts in the ADL Center for Technology & Society in Silicon Valley. Before the meeting, the experts suggest, participants should take such measures as disabling features like autosaving chats, file transfer, screen sharing for non-hosts and the Join Before Host option. During the meeting, at least two co-hosts should be assigned, and the meeting should be locked once all attendees are present.

As a public service during this pandemic, the Forward is providing free, unlimited access to all coronavirus articles. If youd like to support our independent Jewish journalism, click here.

The ADL has received several reports of Zoombombing, including incidents targeting classrooms at Arizona State University and the University of Southern California, one during a childrens storytelling session in New Jersey, one during a virtual Torah lesson and another during a Board of Education Meeting.

According to the ADL, there has been limited online chatter among extremists about the specific strategy of abusing video conferencing technology, so it appears as though most Zoombombers are acting alone.

But one of the perpetrators who allegedly infiltrated the meeting of a Jewish student group in Massachusetts is the known white supremacist hacker Andrew Alan Escher Auernheimer, who calls himself weev. Auernheimer has a long history of publicly expressing his antisemitic and racist views and exploiting technology in order to gain attention, the ADL wrote.

Molly Boigon is an investigative reporter at the Forward. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter @MollyBoigon

Originally posted here:
ADL: How to prevent 'Zoombombing' - Forward

Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories Surface | Sheldon Kirshner – The Times of Israel

Posted By on April 2, 2020

Conspiracy theories, which are always grounded in malicious lies and overblown fantasies, are the bread and butter of antisemites. Usually, their half-baked, slimy suppositions rear their ugly heads during a crisis.

Jews were blamed for the Black Death, which decimated one-third of Europes population. And in the infamous blood libel canard, Jews were accused of murdering Christian children. No less a person than Syrias former defence minister, Mustafa Tlass, lent it credibility. After Germanys defeat in World War I, Jews were accused of treasonous behavior, an allegation that hastened Adolf Hitlers ascent to power.

During the final years of Joseph Stalins reign, a group of Jewish doctors were charged with plotting to kill members of the Soviet ruling class. When Arab terrorists crashed hijacked commercial airliners into the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, the Mossad and Jews were held responsible.

And now, with the coronavirus pandemic killing thousands of people a day, antisemitesclaim that Jews diabolically created it to profit financially, a toxic message which can be found on popular platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Reddit.

Rick Wiles, a racist pastor from Florida who described the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump as a Jew coup,recently claimed in one of his nauseating TruNews broadcasts that the spread of the coronavirus in synagogues is retribution for Jewish opposition to Jesus.

The people who are going in to the synagogue are coming out of the synagogue with the virus, said Wiles, whose website specializes in antisemitic, Islamophobic and homophobic rants. Its spreading in Israel through the synagogues. God is spreading it in your synagogues! You are under judgment because you oppose his son, Jesus Christ. That is why you have a plague in your synagogues. Repent and believe in the name of Jesus Christ, and the plague will stop.

Not surprisingly, Wiles also claimed that the outbreak in the United States originated at a conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C. last month. The truth is that the virus was first detected at a seniors facility in Washington state.

In keeping with its mandate to monitor the activities of antisemites, the Anti-Defamation League has been keeping track of attempts to scapegoat Jews for the coronavirus.

In Iran, Israels arch enemy, Press TV a semi-official government station blamed Zionist elements for the virus. And in the city of Qom, where it initially appeared in Iran, a hardline cleric urged his followers to ignore the directives of the World Health Organization because it is run by a bunch of infidels and Jews.

Fatih Erbakan, the son of a former Turkish prime minister and the leader of the Islamist Yeniden Rafah Party, speculated that Zionism could be behind the coronavirus, though he admitted he lacked any hard evidence.

Ivo Sasek, a Holocaust denier in Switzerland, posted an article on his website,, accusing the American Jewish financier and philanthropist George Soros of spreading the virus.

And in Spain, a far-left-wing Basque political party, Harritar Batasuna, published an article on its website claiming that the virus was launched by hegemonic imperialism spearheaded by the Anglo-Saxon-Zionist bloc.

In France, meantime, Alain Mondino, a far-right politician, posted a video linking Jews to the virus.Introduced with a sequence revealing the Jew World Order, the video advanced the theory that the coronavirus was developed by the Jews.

Taken together, these vile accusations can easily be dismissed as the unhinged rantings of know-nothings. But we should not be complacent. History has taught us that ignoramuses, naifs and ideologically-motivated haters, the riff-raff of society, will latch on to these filthy calumnies and try to milk them dry for their own nefarious ends.

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Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories Surface | Sheldon Kirshner - The Times of Israel

How to spot and respond to white supremacist propaganda – Temple News

Posted By on April 2, 2020


I was walking one day last semester on the corner of Cecil B. Moore Avenue and 12th Street when I saw a sticker on a telephone pole, high out of my reach.

The smile I had just seconds before slid off my face when I recognized the symbol. I immediately felt unsafe, looking around to see if anyone else had seen it. I stared at it for a while, trying to think of a way I could reach it to tear it down or scribble over it, and found none. I was powerless.

It was a bright green Kekistani flag the flag of an imaginary country created by the users of a 4chan politics board, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The flag is based on a lesser-known Nazi flag and has made appearances alongside the Confederate flag at alt-right and white supremacist gatherings, including the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally in 2017, according to the SPLC.

White supremacist incidents, including the spreading of propaganda, doubled in 2019, reaching an all-time high for the nation, increasing by 85 percent in Pennsylvania and 250 percent in New Jersey, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

White supremacist rhetoric is spreading, and we need to learn how to better identify white supremacist symbols to protect those who are targeted by that rhetoric.

This administration has given more of a pass to the views of nativists and the views of racists and antisemites and has sort of made it a little bit more acceptable for those viewpoints to kind of come out, said Lila Corwin Berman, a professor of history and Jewish studies and director of Temples Feinstein Center for Jewish American History. And then I think combined with that is a lot of alienation and disaffection that people especially people who feel like theyre kind of left behind by our economy feel and they have a desire for someone to blame.

NuRodney Prad, director of student engagement at the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership, said the internet provides a platform for this hateful messaging.

I would attribute it more so to the internet and technology that has given people free reign, Prad said. Their true feelings they will say online as opposed to what they will say to someones face.

White supremacist groups often use online platforms, like Discord, which allows for private group messaging, to organize around hateful topics and spread racist propaganda confidentially, Slate reported. Imageboards like 4chan allow users to share crude, offensive and blatantly racist content online without needing a username, granting users full anonymity, according to the ADL.

The internet is an amazing tool for political organizers, but white supremacists use it, too, and they use it well. So well, in fact, its often hard to recognize their talking points.

Online white supremacist groups often take innocuous things like cartoon characters, in the case of Pepe the Frog and attempt to rile up the left into decrying them, only to point out the seeming ridiculousness of the call-out, according to the ADL.

White supremacy is deeply rooted in this countrys institutions, and it hasnt really gone away, said Diamante Ortiz, a senior political science major, and a diversity peer at IDEAL.

I believe that institutions have been made in order to uphold those standards of whiteness, and capital really kind of reformed them and kind of restructured them, and from that we can see a lot of bigotry that has come from that, Ortiz said.

In American politics, white supremacy has retreated to the shadows in some cases, operating in dog whistles that twists typical political discourse into hate, Vox reported.

White supremacist groups online employ similar tactics, using online posts to promote anti-immigrant and Islamophobic rhetoric, according to Media Matters for America, a non profit that monitors, analyzes and corrects misinformation in media.

Interacting with or trying to rebut a white supremacist online can sometimes lead to conflict and greater exposure to their views, which is why I dont recommend trying to engage in debates with white supremacists.

White nationalist groups often use the internet to recruit young white men to share racist messaging through memes and videos, the New York Times reported.

In Aug. 2019, a young white male shared an anti-immigrant manifesto on 8chan less than an hour before opening fire on a Walmart in El Paso, killing 20 people and injuring 26 more, in a racially motivated attack, Slate reported. The author of the manifesto claimed to be inspired by a similar essay written by a young, white male who opened fire on a mosque in New Zealand.

The internet is being used to indoctrinate young men with white supremacist ideologies, and the repurcussions expand far beyond the digital sphere.

White supremacist activity has also surged on college campuses in recent years. Cases of white supremacist literature distribution more than doubled from 2018 to 2019, with cases in Pennsylvania increasing from 40 to 74 incidents in that same time period, according to the ADL.

Finding that Kekistani flag on campus was terrifying, but it wasnt the first case of white supremacist behavior at Temple University within recent years.

In May 2017, flyers with slogans from a white nationalist group were found in bathrooms at Anderson and Gladfelter halls, The Temple News reported. It was the second instance of a white supremacist group advertising on campus in a month in a half.

At 13th and Montgomery streets, a group of demonstrators led by street preacher Aden Rusfeldt frequently protest against members of non-Christian religions and other marginalized groups, The Temple News further reported.

So, what can a student do if confronted with a white supremacist incident on campus?

If a student witnesses or is victim to an incident of racial violence, they should report the case to Campus Safety Services. If youre not comfortable going to campus safety, IDEAL can work in partnership with the Title IX office and the Office of Equal Opportunity Compliance to advocate for you, Prad said.

If you find racist imagery, propaganda or rhetoric on campus or online by a member of the Temple community, you can either report the incident to Campus Safety Services or IDEAL, and the two groups will work together to address the situation from there, Prad said.

Despite the universitys closure, IDEAL has staff working remotely to help you, Prad said. IDEAL also offers a variety of virtual resources available during this time.

Next, check in on your friends and classmates. White supremacist incidents often make people of color feel isolated and unsafe, especially when it happens on their own campus, the Atlantic reported. Incidents of racist behavior or institutionalized white supremacy on college campuses can negatively affect the mental health of Black students, causing racial trauma, according to a 2019 report by the Center for American Progress.

I think we essentially need solidarity, Berman said.

Listen to minority students, support them and make sure you yourself feel safe in the process. Racism isnt going to disappear, but we have the ability and the responsibility to call it out and report when we see it.

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How to spot and respond to white supremacist propaganda - Temple News

How To And How Not to Fight Anti-Semitic Violence In The US – Rantt Media

Posted By on April 2, 2020

An analysis of the effective methods to combat anti-Semitism as well as ineffective methods.

White nationalists preparing to enter Emancipation Park holding Nazi, Confederate, and Gadsden Dont Tread on Me flags 12 August 2017 (Charlottesville Unite the Right Rally)

Professor Leonard Weinberg is a Senior Fellow at CARR, Professor Emeritus at the University of Nevada, and recipient of both Fulbright and Guggenheim research awards.

In recent years, there has been a surge in anti-Semitic violence in the United States. The most attention was focused on the murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, on October 27, 2018, in which 11 worshippers were killed, the shooting several months later at Chabad House in a suburb of San Diego, which left one person dead and many others traumatized. In December 2019, there was what amounted to a wave of attacks in the New York Metropolitan area. The most serious of these events was the murder of several shoppers at a Kosher grocery store in Jersey City, and an attack on Hasidim in Monsey (a New York suburb) by a machete-wielding African-American man while a Chanukah party was underway.

What is even more astonishing, however, is that these episodes were simply the most egregious examples of (less reported) assaults in the New York area, which were occurring at the pace of one per-week by the end of 2019. Then, of course, there was the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville just over two and half years ago; an event in which close to 1,000 neo-Nazis and alt-Rightists chanted The Jews will not replace us! as they marched down the street.

What is, then, going on? And what, if anything, can be done about it?

Physical attacks on American Jews are hardly a new phenomenon. The FBIs annual hate crime statistics suggest that year-in-and-year-out Jews are the most frequent targets of religiously-based hate crimes. The watchdog organizations, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), usually confirm these findings. Is the violence symptomatic of a rising tide of anti-Semitism among Americans in general?

The answer is no. When the ADL researchers began polling Americans on their attitudes towards Jews in 1964, they found about 29% of those they questioned met their standards as anti-Semites. In 2019, using the same survey questions, the figure was down to 11%. Overall then the level of anti-Semitism in the country continues to decline. On balance, Americans tend to like Jews, they are more Philo-Semitic than anti-Semitic. In Europe, right-wing extremists often refer to the U.S. as judenland because of the prominent role Jews play in American life.

But what about the violence? Doesnt it suggest something wider and more dangerous? The perpetrators would like us to believe it is something truly menacing (in this regard they share an outlook with the watchdog organizations though for quite different reasons). The answer is emphatically no. The perpetrators of attacks on Jews in the United States may grab the headlines but they really are freak attractions. How, then, can they be stopped?

Over the years, Jewish organizations in the United States have stressed Holocaust education as a way of teaching the public about the dangers of anti-Semitism, if left unchecked. Throughout the country, there are Holocaust museums (including one in the nations capital which was itself the target of a shooting attack some years ago), memorials, commemorations, and Holocaust education programs, all of which are intended to call attention to the murder of European Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II.

Now the Holocaust was the worst crime in the history of Western Civilization. Studying it is a worthwhile project in and of itself. And calling attention to it may have contributed to the long-term decline of anti-Semitic attitudes among Americans, but it doesnt appear to be a deterrent to anti-Semitic violence. If anything, the relationship is positive. The more focus on the Holocaust, the more anti-Semitic violence. This seems to be true because the individuals who carry out or encourage attacks on American Jews, e.g. the late William Pierce ( author of the still widely sold The Turner Diaries), Andrew Anglin and his Daily Stormer website, Minister Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam followers, regard the Holocaust more as an inspiration than a warning. If the Nazis could do it, maybe we can do it also?

What can, then, be done to deter attacks on American Jews under these circumstances? A few possibilities come to mind, hardly all original.

The Internet has become the principal means by which those who attack Jews are becoming radicalized. This is also true for those who assault other American minorities. So that Dylann Roof, the 19-year-old who killed 9 worshippers at an African Methodist church in Charleston South Carolina, Patrick Crusius, who murdered 22 Hispanic shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso Texas, and more than a decade ago Mathew and Tyler Williams who killed a gay couple in Redding California, and Robert Bauers, the Pittsburgh resident who murdered 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue, all developed their views via the new (or even newer) social media.

The two obvious ways of dealing with this Internet-driven calls to anti-Jewish violence is first to deny access to those who promote it. This may violate First Amendment protections if done by government agencies, but it doesnt prevent private individuals and organizations from hacking and disrupting hate speech from employing this way of tackling the problem. Second, and this is certainly already underway, the FBI and the watchdog organizations can monitor the various Internet sites widely used by the violence-supportive anti-Semites. When advocacy, or as most would characterize as being hate speech, turns to conspiracy and planning law enforcement agencies will be prepared to act.

A third option involves a focus on the perpetrators. With the exception of Louis Farrakhan and his followers and the Black Israelites (responsible for the Jersey City attack), the individual perpetrators mentioned above were single white men either living alone or, as adults, with their mothers. Robert Bauers, 43 years-old at the time of his attack, fits this description to a T. The problem is one of social isolation. Is there anything to be done about this? Perhaps. Local authorities in Sweden are experimenting with housing techniques for better integrating lonely individuals into society by promoting their involvement with neighborhood groups. This type of alternative seems worth exploring. Also worth pursuing, the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles has developed a pilot program aimed at assisting individual neo-Nazis in abandoning their cause and resuming more normal careers.

Of course, not all violent attacks on Jews are the work of lone-wolves. Many of these assaults have been perpetrated by groups. Here, it is worth making a distinction between organized groups of young men, such as the Atomwaffen and the Base, and more fluid groups brought together for what one analyst labels transgressive fun, e.g. taunting orthodox Jews on their way to or from the synagogue; in effect, a depressing form of violence with a smile. As we have seen, however, from recent attacks, such behavior can have devastating consequences.

Space doesnt permit much commentary here and therefore pointing to the Israeli experience will have to suffice. For the first 20 years of its existence, Israel was surrounded by implacable enemies, Arab states whose leaders threatened to exterminate the Jewish state and whose street often called for blood. Despite all the hostile rhetoric accompanied by some cross-border violence, Israels enemies were not able to make good on their threats. Why not?

The answer is deterrence. Notwithstanding the bombast, Arab leaders became aware that attacks on Israeli targets almost always resulted in a response by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The cost of attacks against Israel exceeded the benefits to be gained, rhetorical or otherwise. There may be a lesson to be learned from this experience.

This article is brought to you by the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right(CARR). Through their research, CARR intends to lead discussions on the development of radical right extremism around the world.

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How To And How Not to Fight Anti-Semitic Violence In The US - Rantt Media

Anti-Semitism on the rise, Jews blamed for coronavirus – Ynetnews

Posted By on April 2, 2020

An internal Foreign Ministry report warns of a sharp rise in anti-Semitic posts around the world as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a document prepared by the ministry, malicious conspiracy theories, some contradictory, are being spread blaming Israel and Jews for the spread of the virus in order to thin out the world population and profit from a vaccination.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews

(Photo: AFP)

These posts are most common in the U.S., France, and Germany where anti-Semitism has been on the rise, but are seen in the Arab and Muslim world as well.

The ministry is monitoring these posts and has instructed embassies to urge their host government to act in order to remove them from social media and bloc the disseminators of such content.

Ran Yaakoby, who heads the Department for Combating Antisemitism said social platforms are being asked to act. Some have promised to investigate and bloc these posts but some have politely declined, claiming they are swamped by coronavirus content and do not have the manpower to deal with this problem.

Anti-Semitic post

(Photo: Twitter)

A 23-year-old man was arrested on Sunday in New Jersey after he announced on underground sites favored by White Supremacists, his intent to target Jews he blamed for spreading coronavirus.

Some of the conspiracy theories claim there is a Jewish Zionist plot to thin out the world's population. In the Arab world, Israel is blamed for the spread of disease.

Cartoons disseminated on Twitter and Telegram showed planes marked with an Israeli flag spreading coronavirus over people on the ground. Similar theories were spread in Turkey and Iran where the annual Holocaust denial cartoon competition was recently announced.

Some cartoons show the Israeli flag with the coronavirus replacing the star of David.

Other conspiracy theories claim Israel is already in possession of a vaccine and will make a fortune from its sale at the expense of human lives.

Anti-Semitic cartoon

(Photo: Twitter)

Foreign Ministry officials say they have found links between Holocaust deniers and these conspiracy theorists linking the number of deaths in China and the number of bodies burnet, to the claim that the number of Holocaust victims cannot be true because China was unable to burn as many bodies.

Other posts of this kind quote from the anti-Semitic manifesto of the Elders of Zion as proof of Jewish attempts at world domination through the spread of coronavirus.

"We have identified these posts and are warning against their dissemination. We would like legislators to be more vigilant and take action against them," he said.

"We are aware of certain people mapping companies owned by Jews in the United States so that they could later be accused of profiteering from the pandemic if they survive," Yaakoby said.

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Anti-Semitism on the rise, Jews blamed for coronavirus - Ynetnews

A Victim of the Holocaust Lived Here – Sojourners

Posted By on April 2, 2020

I AM TERRIFIED of tripping. Thanks to a couple memorable tumbles over the yearsthe most recent of which involved a face-plant while on a runI always double-knot my shoelaces and look down at my feet when I walk. Remaining steady and stable is always in the back of my mind.

But on a trip to Berlin in 2017, I found myself repeatedly tripping over something in the ground. The source of my stumbling, I soon learned, were Stolpersteine, which translates literally to stumbling stones, or more metaphorically, stumbling blocks. Stolpersteine are cobblestone-sized bronze plaques embedded in streets and sidewalks throughout Europe, each slightly raised above ground level and engraved with the name and life dates of a Holocaust victim, including murdered Jews, members of the LGBTQ+ community, Sinti and Roma people, people with physical or intellectual disabilities, and other ethnic and political minorities.

These commemorative stones are part of an ongoing art project, installed at the last place each person lived or worked before falling victim to Nazi crimes. Above each engraved name are the words hier wohnte, or here lived, serving as a reminder that this person did not build their life just anywhere, but right here. Each day they walked on this ground.

THE IDEA FORStolpersteine began in 1991, when artist Gunter Demnig painted a white line through the streets of Cologne to trace the deportation of 1,000 Sinti and Roma who were forced out of the city just 50 years prior. An old lady stopped by and scolded my work, insisting there had never been any Gypsies in Cologne, said Demnig. Her denial prompted Demnig to find a way to more permanently preserve the memory of those killed in the Holocaust.

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A Victim of the Holocaust Lived Here - Sojourners

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