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European allies of Israel against Hezbollah, but also against annexation – Al-Monitor

Posted By on June 1, 2020

Jun 1, 2020

Austrias parliament adopted on May 29 a resolution urging the government in Vienna and the European Union to take decisive actions by reassessing Hezbollahs entire organization as a terrorist movementand not just its military branch. Hailing the nonbinding resolution, Israels newly appointed Foreign MinisterGabi Ashkenazi stated on May 31 that this is an important decision against Hezbollah. I hope that the Austrian government will adopt their parliaments decision and will join the UK, Germany and the Netherlands who have all recognized Hezbollah in its entirety as a terror organization.

Jerusalem received with enthusiasm the Austrian parliamentarian resolution, but its reaction to another Austrian statement that very same day was quite different. Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg warned Israel on May 29 against its West Bank annexation plan, stressing it would contravene international law. Schallenbergs statement clarified his countrys position on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus intentions, leaving no room for ambiguity. The unilateral expansion of territory is against international law and numerous resolutions of the United Nations Security Council since 1967. There are no doubts about the Austrian position regarding annexation,"said Schallenberg, who added that he had relayed the same message to his Israeli counterpart.

Israel chose not to react officially to Schallenbergs statement. Still, diplomats in Jerusalem expressed disappointment over the Austrian position, especially on the backdrop of Vienna blocking a European Union resolution against the annexation plan just two weeks earlier. Austria, together with Hungary, Romania and some other EU members, opposed on May 15 an initiative by France, Sweden, Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg for threatening Israel with sanctionsshould its government advance implementing sovereignty over West Bank settlements. Without a consensus on the issue, EU foreign ministers could not publish a joint statement. Thus, the EUs High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell issued his own statement against annexation.

Jerusalems disappointment was all the more apparentgiven the fact that Vienna is traditionally among the staunchest allies of Israel within the EU an alliance that has strengthened in the past few weeks over the coronavirus crisis. Both countries have been busy lately creating a pact of countries less infected by the virus, with the hope of opening soon mutual space borders and airways.

Speaking with Al-Monitor, Israeli diplomats noted that the Austrian case of these two statements reflects a similar modus operandi to that of Germany. On April 30, Germany banned Hezbollah from carrying out any activity on its soil and declared the group a terrorist organization. Then-Foreign Minister Israel Katzhailed the decision by Berlin, stating almost emotionally,I would like to express my appreciation to the German government for the move. I am certain that many governments in the Middle East and victims of Hezbollah terrorism share in my thanks.

Katz was obviously less thankful on May 19when Germany and the Palestinian Authority released a joint statement, noting with "grave concern" the agreement between coalition parties in Israel to advance annexation plans. In this case too, Jerusalem chose to keep mum. And in this case too, diplomats in Jerusalem expressed disappointment over Germany, considered Israels most important friend within the EU.

Adding to Jerusalems discomfort, Czech Republics Foreign Minister TomasPetricek, another Israel friend within the EU, published on May 24 an op-ed against the annexation plan. Not only did the Czech minister argue that the plan violated international law, but he also wrote that it raised serious questions about the future of Israel as a democracy.

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European allies of Israel against Hezbollah, but also against annexation - Al-Monitor

How ultra-Orthodox parties became the biggest winners in Israel’s new government – The Times of Israel

Posted By on June 1, 2020

The new government sworn in on May 17 is a groundbreaking creation, innovative in structure and promising some dramatic new policies: an alternate prime minister, the largest-ever Israeli cabinet, so many deputy ministers that some parties ran out of parliamentary manpower to staff the new posts; and on the policy front, grappling with a historic economic and health crisis and a dramatic (if still lacking in detail) plan for annexation in the West Bank.

With so much thats new, its no wonder this government has caused fascination both at home and abroad as its contours came into view over the past month. Nobody has ever seen anything quite like it.

Yet in the fuss over the new and unexpected, it can be easy to miss the fundamentals the recurring and well-trodden elements. These are often more significant signals of a governments nature and direction than the politically strange and newfangled.

Perhaps the biggest winners of the new government little surprise to anyone paying attention to Israeli politics over the past four decades are the Haredi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (C), then-health minister Yaakov Litzman (L) and United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni attend the third annual Shas conference at the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem on February 16, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The details of Haredi political influence in the new government reveal a great deal about the communitys priorities.

For one thing, there are the three ministries given to the Haredi factions. New Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman of UTJ and veteran Interior Minister Aryeh Deri of Shas are positioned to help fast-growing Haredi towns with, for example, favorable zoning policies and affordable-housing reforms. The government will vote next week to bolster both ministries powers on precisely those matters: zoning, housing and land registration. Religious Affairs Minister Yaakov Avitan of Shas, meanwhile, is charged with ensuring that the state religious bureaucracy, a key employer and vital bulwark in the culture wars, remains in Haredi control.

Yet cabinet positions, while the most visible signals of political power, are not necessarily the most influential of the Haredi parties new conquests. Much of the hard work of governance budget transfers of billions, legislative negotiations and amendments is carried out in the nitty-gritty work of the Knesset committees.

It is there that one finds Shas and UTJ sitting at the bottleneck of all economic and budget decisions, as well as religious reforms.

UTJs MK Moshe Gafni is back at his old post as chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, which is responsible for writing up the state budget laws. More surprising is Shas MK Yaakov Margi now chairing the Economy Committee a chairmanship traditionally held by the opposition from which he wields enormous influence over any and all economic reforms.

United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni (right) with Interior Minister Aryeh Deri at a Knesset Finance Committee meeting on February 27, 2018. (Flash90)

And for the first time, a Haredi MK, UTJs Yaakov Asher, helms the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, one of the Knessets most powerful posts. It gives UTJ the ability to stymie any religion-and-state reforms, not to mention leverage for legislative wheeling and dealing on other matters.

The Haredi parties have all the means to prevent any attempts in the legislature or government to forcibly draft their young men to military service or liberalize the state kashrut system or rabbinical courts

The Haredi parties won explicit promises from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that, in the words of the Likud-UTJ coalition agreement, The status quo on religion and state issues shall be preserved, as was accepted in Israel for decades. The government will act to respect the Sabbath and holidays of Israel, which preserved us as a people. If any change threatens the status quo, the prime minister and the Likud bloc shall act together and through mutual commitment to remove the harm in order to preserve the status quo.

But with control of the relevant committees and ministries, the Haredi parties hardly need to worry that the premier might break those promises. They have all the means to prevent any attempts in the legislature or government to forcibly draft their young men to military service or liberalize the state kashrut system or rabbinical courts.

A great deal of ink has been spilled on the enormous number of deputy ministers 16! approved in the coalition agreement signed last month between Likud and Blue and White. While Israelis scratched their heads over what the new ministers for community empowerment, social equality, regional cooperation, strategic affairs and the portfolio dubbed cyber and national digital matters might actually do once in office, the question grows even more ludicrous at the prospect of a deputy minister for such a portfolio.

Then-health minister Yaakov Litzman attends a press conference about the coronavirus at the Prime Ministers Office in Jerusalem, March 25, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Perhaps it was the public outcry, or the fear that appointing so many MKs to government posts would leave Knesset committees understaffed, but almost two weeks into the 35th Government, just seven of the 16 deputy posts had been filled five of the seven by Haredi parties.

Why? A deputy minister is an exceedingly weak position. The deputy serves at the pleasure of the minister, and usually finds the scope of their work severely limited. They must resign when the minister does. The post is widely and rightly mocked as a waste of a perfectly good legislator.

Why would the Haredi parties invest so heavily in deputy minister appointments when everyone else is shunning them?

The answer reveals a great deal about the Haredi parties sense of their role in politics. A Haredi deputy minister is less a subordinate than a parallel minister, though for a narrower constituency.

The Haredi parties hold the deputy minister posts in the ministries of finance, interior, and welfare (Shas MKs Yitzhak Cohen, Yoav Ben Tzur and Meshulam Nahari, respectively), as well as education and transportation (UTJ MKs Meir Porush and Uri Maklev respectively) each for good reason.

United Torah Judaism MK Uri Maklev leads a Knesset Science and Technology Committee meeting, June 4, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

On Sunday, May 24, just hours after he was voted into the post by the Knesset, Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush carried out his first official act as a member of the new government. He paid a visit to the Education Ministrys Department for Torah Institutions, which oversees the vast transfers of funds via the state education budget to the independent i.e., unsupervised and lacking a secular curriculum Haredi school system.

Porush isnt new to the department; he has served as deputy education minister for the better part of the past five years. But after a year of political deadlock, and with an updated education budget still months away from passing in the Knesset, the no-longer-interim deputy education minister must contend with a budget crisis in Haredi education brought on by the lack of a functioning Knesset.

Were in one of the most important places in the country, he said during the visit to the departments Jerusalem office. Through you passes the greatest bulk of support for the world of Torah here in the land of Israel. Even if we could collect all the donations arriving from overseas [into one contribution], we wouldnt get close to the amount given by the State of Israel to the students of Torah.

Even in the best of times, many Haredi yeshivas and schools live from one government grant to another. These arent the best of times. The yeshiva world in Israel has been struck hard by the coronavirus crisis, which shuttered their doors for long weeks and dried up a great deal of their charitable funding from overseas.

Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush of United Torah Judaism arrives for a meeting of the partys Council of Torah Sages over the military draft law, in Jerusalem on October 14, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

But it was struck even harder by the fact that a Knesset deadlocked throughout 2019 was unable to pass a state budget for 2020, and so left many institutions scrambling to survive.

Porushs visit on Sunday wasnt a social call. It was the launch of an effort to produce a stopgap funding proposal to keep the yeshivas open and funded until the main state budget passes in a few weeks.

The loyalty of Shas and UTJ to the traditionally minded but nevertheless secular Netanyahu wasnt a personal loyalty. It was rooted in fear at the prospect of being left without political influence

The Department for Torah Institutions is one of the most important places in the country, he said, and he meant it.

And so it is with Deputy Minister Yitzhak Cohen at the Finance Ministry the Haredi communitys in-house problem-solver in the heart of the state treasury and with Deputy Minister Uri Maklev at the Transportation Ministry, who will ensure Haredi religious feelings cant be ignored when it comes to the ongoing fight over road and rail works on the Sabbath.

Illustrative: Students in a Jerusalem yeshiva, August 16, 2018. (Aharon Krohn/Flash90)

Benjamin Netanyahu might not be prime minister today if not for the loyalty of the Haredi parties to the right-wing bloc he willed into existence ahead of the September race.

Haredi voters preferred Netanyahu to rival Benny Gantz, according to polls. (And, indeed, UTJ voters were more likely than Likud voters, 88% to 73% according to a November poll by the Israel Democracy Institute, to believe Netanyahus claims that his legal troubles were created by a cabal of cops, prosecutors and journalists working to oust him from power.)

Yet the loyalty of Shas and UTJ to the traditionally minded but nevertheless secular Netanyahu wasnt a personal loyalty. It was rooted in fear at the prospect of being left without political influence.

While some secularists decry Haredi political power and massive payouts to Haredi institutions from the state coffers, Haredi leaders themselves view the relationship as one of dependence and profound vulnerability.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a ceremony marking the six-year anniversary of death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, at the Knesset, November 4, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Twice in recent memory Haredi parties found themselves shunted away from the cabinet table. In the 2013-2015 Netanyahu government, the secularist Yesh Atid and Yisrael Beytenu parties teamed up with Likud and the religious-Zionist Jewish Home to push them from their traditional seats of power and control over the state religious hierarchies. Haredi MKs remember the period as a trauma. Yesh Atids Shai Piron ran the Education Ministry with no Meir Porush at his side to temper the decree. Yeshivas struggled and shrank as budgets were cut, while laws were passed attempting to expand the Haredi military draft.

That was the second time in the past two decades that Haredi parties were excluded from government. The first was in the 2001 Sharon government, when then-finance minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut child tax benefits for large families as part of a broad raft of free-market reforms. The change brought on a two-decade shrinking of the size of Haredi families.

Haredi parties remember both events, and still invoke them when mobilizing voters to the polls.

It is not lost on any side that Netanyahu was intimately involved in both traumatic experiences.

The loyalty to Netanyahu over the past year wasnt about Netanyahu, or at least not about the 2020 version of the man. It was about the 2002 Netanyahu and the 2014 Shai Piron. It was about fear.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a meeting at the Knesset with parties in his right-wing bloc on November 18, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Avigdor Libermans refusal to join a Netanyahu government on May 30, 2019, sparked almost a year of political deadlock that pit secularists Liberman and Yair Lapid against Netanyahu, and thus helped cement Haredi support for the prime minister.

Three times over the course of the next two election cycles Netanyahu would extract Haredi leaders signatures on loyalty letters to his right-wing bloc until UTJs Moshe Gafni had had enough, telling the prime minister in March he would sign no more pledges.

Shas party chairman and Minister of Interior Aryeh Deri, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, at the Knesset on November 4, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Indeed, the same fear made Shas leader Aryeh Deri a key go-between carrying messages from Netanyahu to Gantz and urging both to seal a unity deal. Gantzs decision on March 26, 2020, to enter into coalition talks with Netanyahu sidelined Lapid by breaking up the Lapid-Gantz alliance, and pushed Yisrael Beytenus Avigdor Liberman off his kingmaker perch and into irrelevance in the opposition. It made Gantz a valuable partner, too, and drove the Haredi parties to conclude that a stable, long-lasting and secularist-free unity government was the best possible outcome for them.

Throughout the Netanyahu-Gantz unity talks, fearful of a new elections potential for rekindling secularist politics, the Haredi parties quietly but persistently pressured Netanyahu to seal a deal with Gantz.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid (right) and Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman in the Knesset on February 29, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Haredi political factions are simultaneously powerful and weak. They wield enormous influence in the new Knesset and government, but are keenly aware that they quite literally cannot afford not to be there.

It has always been thus. The relationship of Haredi education, the communitys anchor and lifeblood, to the coalition negotiating table is intimate. Haredi society has used the coalition process to serve its needs and advance its views. But no less than that, its been shaped by that effort, and by Israeli state support.

Shas was founded in 1984 as a protest at rampant discrimination against Sephardi Jews throughout Israeli society, and especially in the ranks of the Ashkenazi Haredi parties. Three years later, having already won four Knesset seats, it launched the El Hamaayan (To the Wellspring) network of schools.

It was a dramatic moment for Israeli society, an attempt to cobble together into a national movement with national aspirations the handful of local initiatives to establish Sephardi and Mizrahi religious schools that wouldnt be dominated by Ashkenazi religiosity and politics.

It didnt go well.

Illustrative: A Haredi school in the ultra-Orthodox settlement of Beitar Illit, August 27, 2014 (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The first schools were haphazard and impoverished, housed in dilapidated buildings, and lacking funding and planning support from both national and local education authorities. The working-class parents who supported such schools often could not pay tuition.

The turning point for the schools, and for Shas as a party and in some sense for Sephardi religious identity in Israel writ large came when Shas began to barter its parliamentary votes for funding to its schools.

While others haggle and posture over annexation, judicial reform or Netanyahus trial, the Haredi parties have largely avoided such distractions

It was in the coalition agreements it signed with a succession of ruling parties in the ensuing decades that the El Hamaayan school system really took off, and where the Shas party found its vehicle for the social revolution it sought to foment among Israels downtrodden Eastern Jews. Money began to flow, schools opened throughout the country, and the Sephardim no longer had to ask Ashkenazi UTJ for a seat at the table.

Shas once had to rely on the votes of traditionally minded but non-Haredi Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews to win Knesset seats. No longer. A generation and a half of Sephardi Haredi voters has now been reared in the partys own education system.

Shas didnt just take state funds over the past 33 years; it was shaped and defined by those funds.

Aryeh Deri (left) and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, March 17, 1999. (Flash90)

Such reliance focuses the mind. While others haggle and posture over annexation, judicial reform or Netanyahus trial, the Haredi parties have largely avoided anything they view as distractions.

At the start of Netanyahus trial on Sunday, the prime minister received more good wishes for his speedy exoneration from Blue and White than from his partners in Shas and UTJ. And while Blue and White and Likud bickered over the ministries of regional cooperation and strategic affairs, the Haredi parties demanded unsung deputy ministerial posts from which they could deliver for their schools and communities.

Haredi voters have views about great matters of state beyond the confines of Haredi institutions, of course. And Haredi leaders possess the same egos that led other parties to form ministries of community empowerment and the like. But a deep dependence on public funds and the traumatic memory of the costs of wandering the political wilderness have given Haredi politicians a more focused view of what politics are for.

As the 35th Government gets underway, that focus seems to have paid off.

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How ultra-Orthodox parties became the biggest winners in Israel's new government - The Times of Israel

Why Does The US Government Consider Antifa Terrorists, But Not The KKK? – Jewish Journal

Posted By on June 1, 2020

The United States of America will be designating Antifa as a Terrorist Organization, President Donald Trump tweeted on May 31, the morning after American cities were engulfed with protests decrying the death of George Floyd. In major metropolises including New York, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Dallas and Los Angeles, the demonstrations spiraled out of control, devolving into looting, vandalism and arson.

Trump declared the lootings were being led by antifa, a decentralized movement threaded together by its militant, sometimes violent opposition to fascism and the far-right.

Pittsburghs chief of police, agreed. Attorney General William Barr also pointed his finger at the group, saying the protesters were using antifa-like tactics. However, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said, A number of different groups are involved in these whether its antifa or its others, frankly.

Whether you agree with antifas ideology or approach, the presidents announcement is shocking, given that many of the most violent hate groups in the United States arent designated as terrorists. One notable example is the Ku Klux Klan, which for decades has used bloodshed, intimidation and crime to terrorize Americans.

Whether you agree with antifas ideology or approach, the presidents announcement is shocking, given that many of the most violent hate groups in the United States arent designated as terrorists.

White supremacist extremism is currently the most lethal form of extremism in the U.S., American University professor Cynthia Miller-Idriss told Congress in September. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the far-right was the source of 73% of domestic extremist-related slayings from 2008 to 2019.

However, Trump has been much more hesitant to declare these menacing groups as terrorists.

The first time the U.S. labeled a white supremacist group as a terrorist organization was in April. However, the Russian Imperial Movement was not American-based. The ultra-nationalist organization is widely known for plotting bomb attacks on asylum seekers in Sweden. Meanwhile, countless other home-grown neo-Nazi, Holocaust denial, neo-Confederate and Skinhead organizations remain undesignated.

When the United States labels a group as terrorist, it is not a symbolic gesture. If the State Department designates antifa as such, the Treasury Department will freeze any American property or assets the group has. It will be illegal for Americans to deal financially with antifa, plus facilitate a ban on its members from traveling into the United States.

Members of the National Socialist Movement, one of the largest neo-Nazi groups in the US, hold a swastika burning after a rally on April 21, 2018 in Draketown, Georgia. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Terrorist groups are under the purview of terror-related intelligence bodies such as the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which is uniquely suited to handle these deadly organizations. Right now, the NCTC is prohibited from preventing violent anti-Semites like the Pittsburgh and Poway, Calif., shooters. Trumps National Strategy for Counterterrorism includes preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons. However, known neo-Nazis still are able to obtain firearms.

Unlike white supremacist groups, which explicitly call for victimizing racial and religious minorities, antifas mission is not inherently violent. One could argue that by opposing fascism, the group seeks to prevent mass violence. Antifas rampages normally end in property damage. Its hard to argue that the group is lethal; the only recorded death related to antifa was in January 2019 when member Charles Landeros fired at police while being arrested. He missed and was killed by returning fire. Compare that to self-described white supremacist Robert Gregory Bowers, who is charged with walking into the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue in October 2018 and killing 11 Jews. That incident was not isolated. Patrick Crusius is charged with killing 23 people at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart in August, leaving behind a white nationalist manifesto.

Crusius had posted about his intent to kill on the website 8chan. If white nationalists were considered terrorists, the NCTC might have been able to track and potentially stop the deadliest attack on Latinos in modern American history.

Trump isnt only ignoring white supremacist terrorism but actively pushing American institutions overlook it.

However, Trump isnt only ignoring white supremacist terrorism but actively pushing American institutions overlook it.

According to Reuters, Trump attempted to rename the Countering Violent Extremism program to Countering Radical Islamic Extremism erasing white nationalist violence from its mission entirely. Under the current administration, federal prosecutors are limited in how they can bring white nationalists to justice.

White supremacy is a greater threat than international terrorism right now, David Hickton, a former U.S. Attorney, told Time. Id have to pursue a white supremacist with hate crimes, unless he interfaced with al-Qaeda. Does that make any sense?

One thing that certainly does not make sense is cracking down on antifa instead of more pernicious groups.

Whether you approve of antifas message or tactics, it is not nearly as consequential a threat to Americans as the vast number of white supremacist groups in this country. Although it might be more politically advantageous for Trump to rail against the anarchy-loving movement, he is driving this nation, and his blind spot endangers all Americans in his backseat.

Ariel Sobel is the Journals social media editor.

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Why Does The US Government Consider Antifa Terrorists, But Not The KKK? - Jewish Journal

Covid-19 and the plague of online antisemitism – J-Wire Jewish Australian News Service

Posted By on June 1, 2020

As the 1918 Flu Emerged, Cover-Up and Denial Helped It Spread – History

Posted By on June 1, 2020

Spanish flu has been used to describe the flu pandemic of 1918 and 1919 and the name suggests the outbreak started in Spain. But the term is actually a misnomer and points to a key fact: nations involved in World War I didnt accurately report their flu outbreaks.

Spain remained neutral throughout World War I and its press freely reported its flu cases, including when the Spanish king Alfonso XIII contracted it in the spring of 1918. This led to the misperception that the flu had originated or was at its worst in Spain.

Basically, it gets called the Spanish flu because the Spanish media did their job, says Lora Vogt, curator of education at the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri. In Great Britain and the United Stateswhich has a long history of blaming other countries for diseasethe outbreak was also known as the Spanish grip or Spanish Lady.

READ MORE: When Mask-Wearing Rules in the 1918 Pandemic Faced Resistance

Historians arent actually sure where the 1918 flu strain began, but the first recorded cases were at a U.S. Army camp in Kansas in March 1918. By the end of 1919, it had infected up to a third of the worlds population and killed some 50 million people. It was the worst flu pandemic in recorded history, and it was likely exacerbated by a combination of censorship, skepticism and denial among warring nations.

The viruses dont care where they come from, they just love taking advantage of wartime censorship, says Carol R. Byerly, author of Fever of War: The Influenza Epidemic in the U.S. Army during World War I. Censorship is very dangerous during a pandemic.

Patients lie in an influenza ward at the U.S. Army Camp Hospital No. 45 in Aix-les-Baines, France, during World War I.

Corbis/Getty Images

When the flu broke out in 1918, wartime press censorship was more entrenched in European countries because Europe had been fighting since 1914, while the United States had only entered the war in 1917. Its hard to know the scope of this censorship, since the most effective way to cover something up is to not leave publicly-accessible records of its suppression. Discovering the impact of censorship is also complicated by the fact that when governments pass censorship laws, people often censor themselves out of fear of breaking the law.

In Great Britain, which fought for the Allied Powers, the Defense of the Realm Act was used to a certain extent to suppressnews stories that might be a threat to national morale, says Catharine Arnold, author of Pandemic 1918: Eyewitness Accounts from the Greatest Medical Holocaust in Modern History. The government can slam whats called a D-Notice on [a news story]D for Defenseand it means it cant be published because its not in the national interest.

Both newspapers and public officials claimed during the flus first wave in the spring and early summer of 1918 that it wasnt a serious threat. The Illustrated London News wrote that the 1918 flu was so mild as to show that the original virus is becoming attenuated by frequent transmission. Sir Arthur Newsholme, chief medical officer of the British Local Government Board, suggested it was unpatriotic to be concerned with the flu rather than the war, Arnold says.

The flus second wave, which began in late summer and worsened that fall, was far deadlier. Even so, warring nations continued to try to hide it. In August, the interior minister of Italyanother Allied Powerdenied reports of the flus spread. In September, British officials and newspaper barons suppressed news that the prime minister had caught the flu while on a morale-boosting trip to Manchester. Instead, the Manchester Guardian explained his extended stay in the city by claiming hed caught a severe chill in a rainstorm.

READ MORE: Why the Second Wave of the 1918 Flu Was So Deadly

Warring nations covered up the flu to protect morale among their own citizens and soldiers, but also because they didnt want enemy nations to know they were suffering an outbreak. The flu devastated General Erich Ludendorffs German troops so badly that he had to put off his last offensive. The general, whose empire fought for the Central Powers, was anxious to hide his troops flu outbreaks from the opposing Allied Powers.

Ludendorff is famous for observing [flu outbreaks among soldiers] and saying, oh my god this is the end of the war, Byerly says. His soldiers are getting influenza and he doesnt want anybody to know, because then the French could attack him.

Patients at U. S. Army Hospital No. 30 at a movie wear masks because of an influenza epidemic.

The National Library of Medicine

The United States entered WWI as an Allied Power in April 1917. A little over a year later, it passed the 1918 Sedition Act, which made it a crime to say anything the government perceived as harming the country or the war effort. Again, its difficult to know the extent to which the government may have used this to silence reports of the flu, or the extent to which newspapers self-censored for fear of retribution. Whatever the motivation, some U.S. newspapers downplayed the risk of the flu or the extent of its spread.

In anticipation of Philadelphias Liberty Loan March in September, doctors tried to use the press to warn citizens that it was unsafe. Yet city newspaper editors refused to run articles or print doctors letters about their concerns. In addition to trying to warn the public through the press, doctors had also unsuccessfully tried to convince Philadelphias public health director to cancel the march.

The war bonds fundraiser drew several thousand people, creating the perfect place for the virus to spread. Over the next four weeks, the flu killed 12,191 people in Philadelphia.

READ MORE: How U.S. Cities Tried to Halt the Spread of the 1918 Pandemic

Similarly, many U.S. military and government officials downplayed the flu or declined to implement health measures that would help slow its spread. Byerly says the Armys medical department recognized the threat the flu posed to the troops and urged officials to stop troop transports, halt the draft and quarantine soldiers; but they faced resistance from the line command, the War Department and President Woodrow Wilson.

Wilsons administration eventually responded to their pleas by suspending one draft and reducing the occupancy on troop ships by 15 percent, but other than that it didnt take the extensive measures medical workers recommended. General Peyton March successfully convinced Wilson that the U.S. should not stop the transports, and as a result, soldiers continued to get sick. By the end of the year, about 45,000 U.S. Army soldiers had died from the flu.

The pandemic was so devastating among WWI nations that some historians have suggested the flu hastened the end of the war. The nations declared armistice on November 11 amid the pandemics worst wave.

In April 1919, the flu even disrupted the Paris Peace Conference when President Wilson came down with a debilitating case. As when the British prime minister had contracted the flu back in September, Wilsons administration hid the news from the public. His personal doctor instead told the press the president had caught a cold from the Paris rain.

See all pandemic coverage here.

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As the 1918 Flu Emerged, Cover-Up and Denial Helped It Spread - History

Information should never be erased: World experts weigh-in on Victoria University’s removal of genocide material – Sarajevo Times

Posted By on June 1, 2020

World experts say Victoria University in Australias decision to remove genocide material from a human rights lecture is shocking and puts victims at psychological risk.

A quote referring to the aggression against Bosniaks that was recently removed from a human rights lecture at Victoria University after members of the global Serbian community complained that the content was degrading, has raised concerns among international experts in the field of human rights, political science and trauma.

When the Sarajevo Times approached Victoria University for comment last week on the content removal, a spokesperson for the university stated that the decision to remove this particular quote is not a reflection on its accuracy or validity, but rather a recognition that examples need to be carefully chosen when dealing with topics as sensitive as human rights.

Victoria University also issued an apology for any hurt caused for both the content itself and its subsequent removal.

President of the Institute for Research of Genocide Canada and member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, Dr Emir Ramic, beleives this content removal corresponds with genocide denial and that human rights are under attack worldwide.

The act of removing the content and apologising for hurt caused, correlates to genocide denialism, Dr Ramic told the Sarajevo Times.

We need to learn from history, recognise what happened in Srebrenica and call it by its real name, he said.

The Srebrenica massacre is the most notorious incident of mass murder in Europe since the Second World War.

Bosniaks, as the only people in Europe who survived aggression and genocide since the Holocaust, are exposed to unacceptable discrimination not just in the motherland, but in the diaspora as well, Dr Ramic added.

According to a 2018 report mapping the Bosnian diaspora, there are an estimated 50,000 -100,000 people of Bosnian ancestry currently living in Australia.

Its very hurtful for the victims and families of the survivors to continue to wrestle with something based on facts, he concluded.

International academics perturbed by Victoria Universitys response

Lara J Nettelfield, a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Human Rights at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights and the Department of Political Science at Columbia University, who also co-authored the book Srebrenica in the Aftermath of Genocide, said Victoria Universitys actions were alarming.

It is shocking that a university would succumb to the pressures of an external group, she told the Sarajevo Times.

Institutions of higher learning are places where students should have a safe place to investigate the historical record, including tragic chapters such as the Bosnian Genocide.

According to Ms. Nettelfield, such actions can serve to discount the pain of victims.

For the survivors, denial, distortion, and revisionism undercuts their claims as citizens in a post-war state, negates their wartime experiences, in addition to their right to have their suffering acknowledged, she said.

Associate Professor of Conflict Studies at St Pauls University in Canada, Genevieve Parent, said that the content erasure was both concerning andcounterproductive.

It is important to keep in mind that denial facilitates the disappearance of genocide-related facts and silences the survivors memories and experiences, she told the Sarajevo Times.

Although people may disagree on the interpretation of facts, the underlying information should never be erased, Ms. Parent said.

Deleting the content will not mute the ongoing discussions, nor contribute to healing.

If we consider the Universitys deletion of information, we might ask ourselves what comes next, added Ms. Parent.

If the Universitys intent is to foster a robust discussion on the matter, how can this be done in the absence of factual information from all parties involved?

Rather than deleting the content, a more appropriate course of action would have been to present complementary points of view from all sides, Ms. Parent said.

In this way, none of the transgressions committed by the various groups should escape notice.

People of Serbian Heritage Pleased With Victoria Universitys Actions

A Serbian man living in Belgrade who requested anonymity, said that irrespective of its factuality, the content Victoria University removed was discriminatory and not conducive to peace-building.

I agree with Victoria Universitys decision to remove that content because the content is pretty much racist, he told the Sarajevo Times.

Its not about is it true or is it not, he added, its not helping with building the trust and a long term peace between nations [sic] in Bosnia.

Hundreds of comments celebrating the content removal were posted on YouTube in response to the video by Charles Cather entitled Serbia Wins! Australian Uni Apologizes and Removes Serb-Degrading Material , including God bless you, This warms my heart and Congratulations Serbia! Congratulations everyone!

Momce 2020, a Serbian living in Adelaide, Australia said in a comment in response to Charles Cathers videothat they were pleased the content has been removed.

I am glad it was sorted and removed by Victorian [sic] University, the comment stated.

They should be ashamed, how they treat us Serbs.

Psychological Impact of Content Removal on Victims

Dr Amra Delic, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist from the Plava Poliklinika in Tuzla and research associate at the University of Leipzig, Germany, who created an academic model of trauma healing in post-war societies, said that responding ineffectively to genocide both socially and institutionally can have dire psychological consequences for survivors.

Inappropriate societal and institutional response to genocide and other war crimes relativization, minimization, and denial, are encouraging a cycle of trauma, she told the Sarajevo Times.

Dr Delic said that such actions send a message to Bosniak victims that their traumatic experiences, their losses and their pain have not been recognized.

The lack of empathy and capacity to constructively face the past historical and legal facts.and anyone supporting such an attitude, is weakening the hope in justice on the side of the victims, Dr Delic told the Sarajevo Times.

This adds to their feelings of distrust and unsafety, and places them at a high risk of protracted secondary victimization, worsening the victims psychological perspective and recovery, she added.

Dr Delic believes a more effective response from Victoria University would have been to facilitate a discussion in order to aid the healing process.

It would be more beneficial that Victoria University established a dialogue platform between the sides, helping to heal future generations from the Balkans, instead of censorship of the international legal confirmation of historical facts related to the recent war in former Yugoslavia, she told the Sarajevo Times.

In July it will be 25 years since the Srebrenica massacre, where over 8,000 Bosniak boys and men suffered abuse and torture before being executed by forces of the Army of the Republika Srpska,and a further 20,000 civilians were removed from the area in an act of ethnic cleansing.

According to co-author of Srebrenica in the Aftermath of Genocide, Lara J Nettelfield, these weeks should be a time to revisit the tragic and harrowing events of the genocide, and to honor those who were killed and their surviving family members.

There are victims who still havent been identified, she said.

They havent been forgotten.

Written by Miya Yamanouchi for the Sarajevo Times

Read more:

Information should never be erased: World experts weigh-in on Victoria University's removal of genocide material - Sarajevo Times

The Media Are Not on the Ballot – The Dispatch

Posted By on June 1, 2020

Hello,

I got an email yesterday from the Trump campaign. It begins:

Friend,

President Trump isnt running against Sleepy Joe Biden. Hes running against the Radical Left, the Deep State, the Do-Nothing Democrats, and their partner, the real opposition party, the Fake News media.

They are vicious and crazy, but as long as we have you on our team, we will win and we will WIN BIG!

Despite their best efforts to take him down, President Trump continues to put America First with every decision he makes. In fact, his approval ratings are SKYROCKETING among the Republican Party and voters in swing states.

President Trump knows that the corrupt media will never report the FACTS. He wants to get the TRUTH, which is why he asked us to go straight to the source - YOU, the American People - to take the Official May Approval Poll.

YOUR answers will represent the views of EVERY voter who lives in your zip code.

It goes on like this for a while. But this is more than enough to make my point: The Trump campaign thinks his supporters are idiots.

First of all, Trumps approval is not skyrocketing among Republicans, nor among voters in swing states, in any actual polls. Unless, of course, you think this Official May Approval Poll, in which I will be the official voice of every voter in my ZIP code, is a serious thing. And if you do, you should probably just stop reading now and go buy that fish tank cleaner cocktail youve been meaning to get.

But none of this is particularly important. Other campaigns do this kind of moronic fake poll crap, too.

Whos on the ballot?

What is important is the first line: President Trump isnt running against Sleepy Joe Biden. Its important in part because there are smart and decent people who nod along when they hear statements like this. They think its true, in some real and vital way, that the president is running against the media, and the Deep State, and all of the forces of darkness. Yeson some superficial level, theres some truth to it. On another, its all nonsensebecause as a matter of basic reality, he is, in fact, running against Joe Biden.

But Trump doesnt want you to think of it that way, because by any measure Biden is much more popular than he is. So, he needs his voters to think hes really running against the monstrous horde Biden is allegedly the front man for.

Trump needs to do this for several reasons: For one, he will lose if the election is a referendum on him. Thats because Biden is more popular than he isand because Biden is also more popular than Hillary Clinton was in 2016 (which is why the president and his campaign reportedly long for a rematch).

The mythic narrative of Donald Trumps victory in 2016 is that only he could have defeated Hillary Clinton because he was the only candidate willing to attack her. Its certainly true that another nominee wouldnt have encouraged Lock her up! chants, or invited some of Bill Clintons sexual assault victims to a debate. But Donald Trump didnt make Hillary Clinton unpopular. She did that herself, albeit with the help of conservativesincluding yours trulygoing back almost 30 years. We now know that Clintons candidacy didnt just make Trump more palatable, it also artificially made Bernie Sanders more attractive to the many Democrats who didnt like her, either. The best proof is the fact that, in the primaries, Biden destroyed Sanders in the same states where, four years earlier, Sanders crushed Clinton. As Ive argued before, this means Hillary Clinton is one of the most influential political figures in modern history. She was so toxic she midwifed the transformation of the GOP into a nationalist party, at least for a while, and came very close to transforming the Democrats into a socialist party (or at least accelerated the transformation).

Anyway, the real point here is that Trump needs an enemy for Republicans (and Republican-friendly independents) to hate or fear enough to justify re-electing a president many of them dislike. Thats where all the Deep State, radical left and, most of all, the the real opposition party, the Fake News media stuff comes in. Theyre the Enemy Within that must be stopped.

Now, I will happily stack my record of criticizing the mainstream media against just about anybodys. Im happy to concede that outlets like the New York Times carry water for the Democrats like Gunga Din for the British Indian Army. But heres the thing: Gunga Din isnt on the ballot. And no amount of punish the media from Trumps Gunga Dins on the right will change that.

Im not outraged by the tactic of running against the media, which is hardly original. It was an old idea by the time the 1992 Bush campaign sold their first official bumper sticker Annoy The Media: Re-Elect Bush. (It didnt work.)

A warless wartime president.

What I do find outrageous is that this isnt merely Trumps re-election strategy. It is central to his idea of governance because it is central to his own psychology. He needs to delegitimize everything and everyone who criticizes him or exposes inconvenient facts about him. He doesnt care whether the criticisms or exposs are true. And he certainly doesnt care if his counterattacks are truehis execrable insinuation that Joe Scarborough murdered a former staffer to cover up something sordid is just the latest example of immoral demagoguery going back to his birtherism, or his peddling the idea that Ted Cruzs father killed Kennedy. Hes furious about the threat to free speech posed by fact-checks to his tweets. There is no assault on free speech there. But in response, he threatens to do great violence to free speech as payback.

This raises the funny irony of all the folks insisting that reporters deserve to be demonized, belittled, or humiliated because they get the facts wrong or are unkind to Trump. These same people never seem to have any problem with a president who does precisely what they accuse the media of doing. To their credit, the editors of the Wall Street Journal noticed the hypocrisy. Trump is doing with Scarborough precisely the sort of stuff the anti-media Comstocks and Steele dossier obsessives decry, just more flagrantlyand they love it.

The president has been running a wartime presidency adapted to the culture war. Amazingly, when given the chance to actually fight a war of sorts against the pandemic, he couldnt manage it because it was too damn hard to stay in character. So he turned the pandemic into a culture war spectacle, because that was in his comfort zone.

This illuminates the fact this is all just a stupid game for clicks, ratings, and votes, and most importantly, its a way to provide an excuse for not holding the president of the United States accountable for his actions. Pay attention. His most successful defenders will often dodge the substance of a valid criticism of the president and pivot to What about The New York Times? Or, the real issue is the mediablah blah blahas if the Times or MSMs conduct has anything to do with the fact that he botched the response to the coronavirus, fired inspectors general, openly invited the Russians to meddle in our election, or spouted countless daily lies on matters great and small. The New York Times, love it or hate it, isnt the president of the United States and denouncing it as a defense of his conduct has as much logical force as saying What about Dominos Pizza!?

About Ms. McEnany.

Which brings me to Kayleigh McEnany, the new It girl of MAGA world.

On Fox News Sunday, I criticized the new White House press secretarys conduct as grotesque and indefensible. And all the usual suspects got very angry. Michelle Malkin, who is not outraged by Holocaust-denial or racism, is very cross with me. Seb Gorka is going full Gorka (Protip: Never go full Gorka).

After reading all of their arguments and thinking about it a bit, Ive concluded: Theyre all wrong and I was right.

The first thing that needs to be pointed out is why McEnany was given the job in the first place. But that requires some context. She has no real experience in journalism or communications. She is one of these peopleWashington is full of themwho just wanted to be on TV. When being anti-Trump got her on TV, she was anti-Trump. When the incentive structure changed, she changed her views accordingly (a very common tale). Anti-Trump McEnany denounced Trumps racist comments about Mexican immigrants. Pro-Trump McEnany hailed the presidents comments on Charlottesville asI defecate you negatorya message of love and inclusiveness!

In short, shes in the entertainment business, as are so many of the pundits who will admit in private so many of the things they passionately deny in public. Indeed, theres a whole theoretical framework out there that says conservative commentators should only say what their audiences want to hear, not what they think is true. She is good at this dumb game, and it got her the press secretary job. Kudos to her.

But shes not there to answer questions from the press, shes there to play this dumb gameagain, during two national emergencies. Specifically, shes there because the presidents coronavirus briefings were a disaster. He used them as substitute MAGA rallies, a kayfabe spectacle for his own ego, which was not what most people facing a pandemic and an economic catastrophe were interested in. Initially, he got a rally-around-the-president bump in approval, but he frittered it away.

Meanwhile, virtually every U.S. governor (and most world leaders) has gained support during the pandemicbecause they took it seriously. Trumps aides and allies spent weeks trying to convince him that he was hurting himself by using all this free media (his term) for his schtick. Once he realized his mistake and stopped doing the press conferences, he literally concluded that there was no point to having a coronavirus task force at all. The only benefit to the task force, after all, was the opportunity to mug for the cameras. Remove that and you remove the need for the task force in Trumps mind. He was stunned to find out that his own task force was so popular (again his word) and reversed the decision. A normal presidenthell, a normal personwouldnt think popularity would be a factor. Either it was necessary to have a task force to save American lives or it wasnt. That just wasnt a big part of the equation for him.

But Trump was still frustrated that he couldnt do his rally schtick. So they brought in Kayleigh to do it for him. Trump doesnt like having White House press secretaries speak for him, if that means actually trying to do the job. But having a smart and attractive woman play all the Dear Leader hits, well, thats a different story.

The specific exchange that I found grotesque and indefensible came last Friday when reporters asked about Trumps vow to override the governors if they didnt do what he wanted and open the churches.

She dodged and caviled for a bit until the following exchange:

Q: But just to follow up what Kristen asked, what specific provision of federal law allows the President to override a governors decision?

MS. MCENANY: The President will strongly encourage every governor to allow their churches to reopen. And, boy, its interesting to be in a room that desperately wants to seem to see these churches and houses of worship stay closed.

Thats red meat and fan service.

I keep hearing how journalists are so terrible and need to have their terribleness thrown back at them. This is much more important, it would seem, than providing clear information about the pandemic or the economy or, in this case, the presidents constitutional powers as he sees them.

And thats the weird thing. If all of these people droning on and on about the evil, biased press had their way, isnt this precisely the kind of question they would want asked? I guarantee you that if President Obama asserted the authority to override governors and force churches open (or closed!), the very same people turning McEnany into Joan of Arc would be setting their hair on fire in outrage.

Because I know so many of the playersand so much about themperformatively attacking me, Im so very tempted to opine on their motives. But Ive learned in the last few years that the human mind is perfectly capable of creating a worldview to back up a decision that was initially made for cynical or careerist reasons, so Ill assume everyone is sincere.

But sincerity doesnt transmogrify bullshit into gold. President Trump cant govern. He doesnt know how. This means, as many of us have argued for a long time, hes not Hitler or even a strongman. Real dictators know how to use all the powers at their disposal. As Ross Douthat recently argued, he doesnt want real authoritybecause with real authority comes real responsibility. Thats the last thing he wants. What he does want are ratings, and praise, and to be the center of attentionand to get reelected for more of the same. To do that he needs a domestic enemy, a new Evil Empire to rally the faithful. And for now, thats the media.

Fine, beat up on the media all you like. But dont tell me the media is on the ballot or that the medias shortcomings absolve the presidents. And dont tell me that, amid a pandemic that has taken more than 100,000 lives, and tens of millions of jobs, that this crap is the real issue.

Or at the very least, dont tell me these things as if theyre serious things serious people say. Because theyre the kind of things Kayleigh McEnany says.

Photograph of Donald Trump by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Originally posted here:

The Media Are Not on the Ballot - The Dispatch

Every Jew must decide which side theyre on – Jewish Journal

Posted By on June 1, 2020

On the first day, a white woman made a panicked call to 911, because a black man bird-watching nearby in Central Park politely asked her to leash her dog.

On the second day, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was arrested and lynched by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, who pressed his knee into Floyds neck for more than five minutes in response to a complaint that Floyd attempted to use a counterfeit bill at a convenience store. A brave teenager, Darnell Frazier, laid bare the truth of what happened by recording it on video.

On the third, fourth, and fifth days, a shocked nation watched and rewatched the video, while the District Attorney failed to press charges against any of the officers who were involved in the arrest and killing of Floyd.

On the sixth day, on Shavuot, while we were celebrating the revelation of biblical law at Mt. Sinai, the groundswell of anger exploded into protests against the lawlessness of law enforcement throughout the nation. Floyds murder became the galvanizing evidence of the systemic racism that has plagued our nation for 400 years. Like a virus, this racism has proven itself to be highly adaptable, but it has always had abuse of power and violence at its core.

On the seventh day, while some of us rested, others joined the protests throughout the nation, which were met in some cases by the ruthless arm of the law. In New York City, the NYPD drove their vehicles through people, shoved a protestor to the ground, sending her to the ER, and unmasked a black man in the middle of a pandemic to pepper spray him in the face.

Today, as we re-enter the world as it is, every Jew white Jews in particular in New York City and throughout our nation must ask ourselves: Which side are we on?

We find ourselves in a moment of national reckoning perhaps unmatched in any of our lifetimes. The enduring injustice of racism has found succor with a viral pandemic that has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color. A lack of leadership from our city and nations elected leaders has strengthened the mix. It is the public health crisis of 1918 with the racial violence of 1968 and a Lindbergh-style fascistic leader like the one Roth imagined in The Plot Against America, at the helm.

As Jews, our hearts and souls ache with the disconnect between our values and this moment. In America, our society has too often failed to treat every individual as if they were formed btzelem elohim, equally in the divine image.

Our leaders have not only failed to pursue justice, they have also perpetuated injustice. Our president threatens us with the most vicious dogs, and the most ominous weapons, harkening back to images imprinted on our national consciousness by the attacks on the civil rights movement. In New York City, our mayor commended the tremendous restraint of the NYPD on the same night officers brutalized protesters with impunity. (Mayor De Blasio later called for an investigation into specific instances of police brutality.)

The events of the past week have again made clear another revelation: As individuals and as a Jewish community, we must recognize that the promise of equal justice under the law remains out of reach in a system infected with structural racism.

We must show our black and brown siblings that we see the racism and violence coursing through our society, and we must be prepared to take responsibility not only for our transgressions, but also for our silence.

It starts at home. As a Jewish community, our best institutions have undertaken anti-racist work both within and beyond the synagogue walls. But the process has only just begun, and making our voices heard against racism and police brutality in this moment is a requisite step in that march towards justice.

If we want to stand on the side of civil rights, we must respond to attacks on people of color as we would a white student facing anti-semitism on campus, or a Hasidic man beaten on the streets of Brooklyn: We must see their pain and commit to disrupting the forces that cause it. And while we show empathy and resolve, responsibilities that will last our entire lives, there are immediate actions in our government and public policy we can take.

Section 50-a of New York States Civil Rights Law, perpetuates police unaccountability by shielding misconduct records from the public view. As part of the progressive gains made in New York State in the last year, a repeal of 50-a was attempted but failed. Today, with support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is the time to once and for all to ensure police misconduct is not concealed from accountability.

Today marks the start of a new week, following a difficult week that was preceded by many difficult weeks before it. Today, we can choose to renew our commitment to the ongoing fight for justice. We can stamp out the dual viruses of COVID-19 and structural racism. Much has been revealed, creating an opportunity to address deep structural wrongs, but we all must ask ourselves in the weeks ahead which side are we on and what will we do about it.

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Matt Nosanchuk, and Rabbi Rachel Timoner are co-founders of the New York Jewish Agenda.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

Read the original:

Every Jew must decide which side theyre on - Jewish Journal

How do we teach our children anti-racism? These resources will help – TODAY

Posted By on June 1, 2020

Racism and violence against black people has been a problem in America for hundreds of years. But with recent events and protests, there's a feeling the country could be headed toward "a turning point for real change," as President Barack Obama wrote in an essay for Medium.

If you are a parent looking for resources to help you raise and teach your kids to be anti-racist, you might not know where to start. We followed the direction of educators and activists of different races to give you some ideas.

"I hope that we can all realize that we have our part to play in this," TODAY's Al Roker said in a discussion with his co-anchors. Before we can teach our own children, we need to understand anti-racism ourselves and then lead by example.

On her Facebook page, author Luvvie Ajayi ("I'm Judging You") recommended a list entitled "75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice," curated by Corinne Shutack, with advice like: "45. Seek out a diverse group of friends for your kids" and "46. Seek out a diverse group of friends for you."

Trending stories,celebrity news and all the best of TODAY.

Author and teen expert Lisa Damour ("Untangled," "Under Pressure") shared the words of Shaker Heights, Ohio, high school principal Eric Juli, along with a Google document that has been shared all over social media with a list of anti-racism resources for adults and children.

Author, blogger, and leadership consultant Karen Walrond (Chookooloonks) compiled a list of "works by amazing people and organizations of all races, creeds, faiths and nationalities" for her readers to follow and explore "to help you live a more inclusive life, spark some self-reflection on how you can be an ally (and how you might be a part of the problem) and finally, inspire you to make light."

Walrond's list includes work by Revolutionary Love Project activist Valarie Kaur and author Mira Jacob ("Good Talk").

And Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase of Cool Mom Picks also curated a list of things white parents can do as well as how to talk to their kids on their own Facebook page.

"We need to raise the next generation of compassionate, empathetic, enlightened kids," the pair wrote. "Its on us, parents. We can do this."

Never miss a parenting story with the TODAY Parents newsletter. Sign up here!

In fighting racism, a critical component is talking to children about race, discrimination, and how to be anti-racist. Though parents' first reflex might be to aim for their children to be "colorblind," blogger and photographer Jennifer Borget of Cherish365 recently explained to her followers why that is not the most helpful goal.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has compiled a guide for educators about engaging youth in conversations about race that can also be useful for parents.

"From police-involved deaths of Black and Latinx men to everyday racism to Confederate flag controversy with sports figures and celebrities getting involved in the conversation, there is a lot to grapple with and discuss," the ADL writes in their introduction.

Another good resource is the Center for Racial Justice in Education's list of resources for talking to children about race, racism, and racialized violence. Common Sense Media also compiled a list of media resources to help spark discussions with children, including movies, books, TV shows, and video games.

Finally, sometimes the best ways to communicate to children, especially younger children, is through books. Here's a sample list of 31 books created by The Conscious Kid and American Indians in Childrens Literature.

"These books showcase the many ways people of all ages and races have worked to disrupt racism and highlight how race intersects with other issues, such as capitalism, class, and colonization," writes the authors.

"The majority of books center on BIPOC [Black and Indigenous People of Color], whose lives and bodies have been on the front lines of racial justice work, yet whose stories often go untold. The essential work of white activists is also included to underscore that anti-racist work is not the responsibility of BIPOC; and exemplify the ways white people have stood up against racial injustice."

See the rest here:
How do we teach our children anti-racism? These resources will help - TODAY

‘We stand in solidarity’: Jewish organizations respond to the protests over George Floyd’s death – The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Posted By on June 1, 2020


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