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Anita Silverman Hirsch Z"l

The "Son of Hamas" Has Lessons to Teach us.

Dear Friends,

This is an interesting twist which is relevant to present day media analysis.

I received the article below
 Which paints "Son of Hamas" as a fraudulent double agent. (shocking). This is very relevant since as you know he will be speaking in Montreal and I got very excited about meeting him in person and invited others to attend as well.
I actually have a you tube clip of Rabbi Steinmetz referring to this person a year ago, which was the first time I had heard about him.
I have asked  Paul Agoston of Honestreporting to look into it.

Also I will suggest he contact Gerald Steinberg of NGOmonitor.

PS I just rewatched the youtube video of Rabbi Steinmetz giving us the lesson of SON OF HAMAS. (5 min.)
It is worth watching because whatever the truth about this person,
Rabbi Steinmetz has an important lesson for all of us. -
"NOT TO BE NAIVE" and also "NOT TO BE NARROW MINDED", i.e. to continue to hope and pray for the 
true conversion of those who practise harming men, women, and children, in anybody's name...


Begin forwarded message:
From: Abigail Hirsch [] 
Sent: May-10-11 6:03 AM
To: Paul Agoston
Subject: Fwd: Son of Hamas
Have you seen this?
What do you think?
Begin forwarded message:
From: Abigail Hirsch
Date: May 9, 2011 6:51:41 PM EDT
To: Research
Subject: Re: Son of Hamas
About Islam and the tipping point.



Dear friends who are interested in teasing out the truth re "Son of Hamas", Mosab Hassan Yousef, the Palestinian, son of a known Hamas leader, who converted to Christianity and chose to work for the Shin Bet, Israeli intelligence, without compromising his personal moral convictions, a powerful example to us all, of any religion. (I write this now because he will be appearing in Montreal May 25th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Cote Vertu 7:30pm)

Below are several letters that he and those who have worked with him have sent out to counter the calumnious article that was written by Walid Shoebat on Pajamas Media.

It is a fascinating example of the complexities of understanding the other.

From: Paul Agoston
Date: Wed, 11 May 2011 00:55:51 -0400
To: Rabbi Moshe Krasnanski; Rebbetzin DinaKrasnanski; Rabbi Zalman Rader; Charlotte Silcoff
Cc: Abigail Hirsch
Subject: FW: Son of Hamas a "fraud"?
Hi guys, Got another e-mail about this. Do you have any info on this issue? Is this an accurate article about Mosab? Thanks for letting us know, Paul

Begin forwarded message:
From: Paul Agoston
Date: May 13, 2011 2:08:34 AM EDT
To: 'moshe krasnanski'
Cc: Abigail Hirsch ,
Subject: RE: Son of Hamas a "fraud"?

Thanks for the info Rabbi

From: moshe krasnanski []
Sent: May-11-11 9:25 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Son of Hamas a "fraud"?
I have seen this article and its the basis of the one you sent last week.
The short facts are:
- Mosab worked for the shin bet and helped save many Jews and Palestinians from death.
- His shin bet handler testified for him openly in us court to get refugee status
- Israel lobbied to get him refugee status in the us.
- he never denied loving his people, his issue is terrorism and the agenda of hamas and PA.
- I also spoke to the people who had him and interviewed him, smart people and they were very impressed and felt he was genuine.
So lets focus on the facts and come and hear him and you will see.

As well the entire source is Walid Shoebat, who is a former terrorist, whose story did not get the coverage of Mosab, so there may be a personal issue there as well. 
Rabbi Moshe

From: moshe krasnanski []
Sent: May-12-11 12:37 PM

Subject: Son of Hamas a "fraud"?
I just wanted to give you a response by Mosab Hassan Yousef and one from his Shin Bet handler. 
I don't want to flood emails about this, it's only to set the record straight for those who saw Walid write up.
Dear friends,
I am so sorry that many of you have been put in a position to have to defend me as a result of the article posted by Walid Shoebat on Pajamas Media. For your sakes, I will explain as best I can, so that you will have an answer for those who ask you.
1. The quotes in the article were taken from an Arabic-language interview on Al Hayat Satellite TV, which I believe to be the biggest and most effective ministry to Muslims in the Middle East. I had appeared the first time in 2008, after it was reported that I had become a follower of Jesus Christ. My appearance was a celebration and encouragement to tens of thousands new believers in Jesus Christ who watch Al Hayat.
2. A year later, following the release of Son of Hamas, many people were shocked to learn that I had worked for Israeli intelligence. They suddenly believed me to be just a greedy Israeli collaborator who betrayed his people and used Christianity as a cover. This was very hurtful for the ministry of Al Hayat and caused many to wonder whether Al Hayat too was what it claimed to be. Believers began to ask if the ministry was actually a recruiter for the Israeli agenda. Al Hayat was accused of being a Zionist organization. The truth is that, while it is not a Zionist organization, it has no problem with those who identify themselves as Zionists or are affiliated with any political party. Al Hayat is about Jesus Christ and nothing else. And they were concerned that the accusations might damage the future of the ministry.
3. Since the release of my book, Hamas has denounced it as a piece of Israeli propaganda and psychological warfare. And the Arab media has told the Arabic-speaking world that my story hides under the cover of religion and promotes collaboration with the Israelis, who they see as the enemy.
4. I am not ashamed of my work with the Israeli Shin Bet, but my purpose has never been to promote Israeli’s political agendas. I love Israel as a nation and I love the Israeli people, but I also have problems with state policies. While I was a Shin Bet agent, I often disagreed with what they did and how they did it. It’s all in the book for anyone to read. It is very important that everyone understands that I am not political or ideological. I am neither pro-Israel nor pro-Palestinian. I love both. I loved my enemy and risked my life for them, but I do not and cannot hate my own people.
5. When I appeared on Al Hayat TV a week after the release of my book, I had just been disowned by my family. I was hurt, alone, and broken. The only thing on my mind was to protect Al Hayat. My main message to its viewers was that I am not ashamed of my work with Israel, but I am not here to encourage people to work for Israel. I am here to encourage you to recognize your real enemies—hatred, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, jealousy, greed, lust, and every other spirit that works to divide us and separate us from the love of God. And I made statements to stimulate their thinking and lead them into areas they had never allowed themselves to enter before.
One caller was a new believer in Christ from my hometown of Ramallah. Rashid, the host of the show, who had never been to the West Bank or Gaza and knew nothing of the realities on the ground there, asked this young brother an innocent question, which Walid Shoebat translated in his article as: “If you were in Mosab’s position and have two choices: either someone from Hamas will be killed, or school children in a bus will be killed, will you report it?” In the Palestinian territories, you cannot just make an anonymous call to 911. If you give information to Israel, even if it saves lives, you are dead. Any Palestinian has the right to kill you.
Palestinian Christians are under no obligation to work or die for Israel. I risked my life in the most dark and dangerous places to save lives. That was my choice. I did it for my own reasons. As Christians, we are all obligated to die for Christ, if necessary, but not for any political regime.
Based on this reality, therefore, I said (again, addressing Walid Shoebat’s translation from Arabic): “If I was in your shoes, you should not report it to Israel. If anyone hears me right now and they are in relation to Israeli security, I advise them to work for the interest of their own people—number one—and do not work with the [Israeli] enemy against the interest of our people. They should collaborate with the Palestinian Authority only.” By this, the caller understood me to mean, “Then don’t report to Israel. I am not here to encourage you to work for your enemies or giving them any information. Report to the Palestinian Authority.” If God does not require a Palestinian Christian to do as I did, who am I to put a burden on thousands of brothers and sisters by asking them to risk their lives for a political regime?
6. During a separate interview on Al Arabiya TV, I said that I am playing a big role in the Church in the West to represent my people and build bridges of understanding. Since my people believe that Christians are plotting day and night to destroy the future of Muslims, and since many Western Christians view all Muslims as evil, an important part of my mission is to help people in the West and the Middle East understand and experience one another—not to travel to churches as a sideshow freak, the bad boy who came to Christ. I have never promoted the Palestinian agenda or any other agenda in a church.
7. The Pajamas Media article quotes me as saying: “With regret, our great leaders and mighty heroes and glorious defenders over there did not realize that instead of spending their wealth and monies on silly issues, they needed to enlist in their ranks writers and educated individuals in order to reverse the image of the Palestinian struggle.” Anyone who listens to the interview will hear clearly that I was being sarcastic. And anyone who understands Arabic would know that I meant the exact opposite.
8. Again, I was quoted as saying: “It appeared at first that my desire was to seek revenge against Hamas.… How could I do such a thing … revenge [against] my own father? He is one of the leaders of Hamas.”
Rashid had asked me if my motivation for working with the Shin Bet was revenge, based on what Hamas did in prison. My answer was no. I worked against the agendas of Hamas, exposed their plans and cells, yes, but revenge was never my motivation. To me, the men and women in Hamas were victims who needed to be stopped, then helped. The Shin Bet knew this. I used to cry when a Hamas leader was assassinated, especially one I knew personally, whose wife and children I knew and loved. I did not even want to kill the most dangerous terrorists, like Ibrahim Hamid, who would not have hesitated to kill me if he had discovered that I was Shin Bet. I had many personal problems with Hamas leaders, and I could easily have hurt them if I was out for revenge, because the Shin Bet was trying to assassinate them. But before I told the Shin Bet where to find a terrorist, I made them agree not to kill him. If Walid had not gone to the United States, he would have been one of them. In fact, I don’t see that Walid is any different than they are, if even part of what he claims to have done is true.
9. Arabs process information very differently from Westerners. Their culture, mentality, expressions, and environment are as different as their language. So I talk to them differently—not just in a different language but in all these ways as well. And when it is translated literally, not only outside the context of the entire interview but apart from the understanding of that culture, mentality, expression and environment, it sounds very different. You may have experienced something similar yourself, when you try to understand someone during a telephone conversation. You lose a lot when you cannot see facial expressions and body language, and there is always danger of misunderstandings and even offenses when none are intended.
Walid knew that I was broken, in a weak position, bombarded by calls from brothers and sisters in Christ who accused me out of their lack of understanding. He knew that Al Hayat TV had to defend itself and separate its mission from politics, which would make it appear to be anti-Israel in the eyes of people who do not understand the realities and complexities of life in the Palestinian territories. He knew that anyone could translate the interview from Arabic, but that only an expert on the Middle East could translate the culture and the context. He knew that this would destroy my reputation and that it would be almost impossible for me to defend myself. And he was right.
But Walid Shoebat forgot that God sees everything and knows the heart of the man.
*  *  *  *
FYI, the Walid Shoebat Foundation tried to recruit me to use my story to raise money. I did not respond to this email.
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2008 22:50:10 -0400
From: Walid Shoebat Foundation
Reply-To: Walid Shoebat Foundation
Subject: Message from the Walid Shoebat Foundation
Hi Joseph:
I have been trying to reach you for several months after seeing you on Fox News.
Congratulations on breaking out from the darkness to the light and embracing the Lord.
I spoke to Pastor Matt who gave me your email address so we could write to you.  Please visit our website if you do not know Walid Shoebat. Like you Walid left Islam in 1993 after he was challenged by his wife to show her the corruptions in the Bible after which he discovered the opposite. Walid is the author of three books and I would be happy to send you a copy of each.
For five years I have worked with Walid and other former terrorists who speak about the threat of Islam to the world. It has always been a challenge but we have succeeded in speaking at many major Universities, on media all over the world as well as churches and dozens of synagogues, educating people about the threat as well as speaking about Israel and its right to have its country safe and secure. Walid has also spoken to many branches of the armed services as well as law enforcement.
I would like to reach out to you about the possibility of using your services to join us on speaking engagements and programs we run on Universities and churches.  We will also compensate you financially as we respect that we all have bills to pay although all of us work for the glory of G-d.
Walid is Christian like you however I am Jewish and director of the Walid Shoebat Foundation carrying out all the professional and business duties while Walid travels and lectures nationwide.
I look forward to speaking to you and exited that people like you have the courage to speak the truth so the world can be a better place. Walid sends his best regards and looks forward to meeting you one day.
The next time we are in Southern California we would love to break bread with you and your Pastor. Please also feel free to call me any time at 720 935 2826.
Shalom and Blessings
Keith Davies
Director of the Walid Shoebat Founation
Shame on you, Walid Shoebat
by former Israeli Shin-Bet agent, Gonen ben Itzhak
Mosab Hassan Yousef worked as an Israeli agent for about ten years. When I met him, he was a young and wild Palestinian. Over the years, I watched him become one of the most important players in the bloody intelligence game in the West Bank.
Mosab was never a yes-man. He had strong beliefs and character, and he never made any attempt to flatter anyone.
Last week, I read an article by one, Walid Shoebat, who claims to have been a PLO terrorist who bombed Bank Leumi in Bethlehem. Yet, I never heard his name before, never saw his name in any Israeli intelligence files, and there is no record of any such attack.
I found it strange that, while his brothers and sisters are being slaughtered in Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen, Mr. Shoebat’s biggest concern seems to be a year-old television interview. He claims to be a great supporter of Israel, but where was he and what was he doing during the Second Intifada? While Mosab was risking his life day and night, Mr. Shoebat was busy collecting donations with his 800 number.
Mosab Hassan Yousef does not need to prove anything. He has proved it a thousand times over by fighting terror and paying an unreasonably high personal price for his convictions.
As part of my job as an Israeli Shin-Bet agent, I visited many times the Masqubiyeh Prison. Reading Mr. Shoebat’s description of the place, I can only say,Mr. Shoebat, you know nothing of the Masqubiyeh!
Mr. Shoebat is playing a dirty game. As a native Arab speaker, he knows that Arabic is much more than spoken words. In order to understand the meaning of a statement, one must also understand the Arab mentality and culture and the social and political realities.
Mosab's goal was never to recruit people for the Israeli Shin-Bet. His goal is to build bridges, to help his Palestinian brothers see the truth and understand the meaninglessness and futility of violence. I know this, because we talk about it together almost every single day. How many times have you spoken with Mosab, Mr. Shoebat? Or do you think you know a man’s thoughts and the motives of his heart by listening to a television interview?
Mosab helped Israel more than anyone can believe. This is why the Israeli Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee wrote him a letter of gratitude, perhaps the first of its kind in Israeli history. But somehow Walid Shoebat knows something Israeli officials missed? He knows something members of the U.S. Congress missed? He is smarter than the former director of the CIA, smarter than Jewish leaders in the United States?
I am a trained intelligence officer, with degrees in business, law, and psychology and extensive experience in the world of lies and deception. I can smell a fraud and recognize a fake hero on the spot. During his service, Mosab never lied to us, and believe me, we had all the tools and the means to find out. Unlike Walid Shoebat, Mosab did not commit fictitious crimes against Israel. And unlike Mr. Shoebat, Mosab served hard time in prison and paid for what he did.
Yes, sometimes he criticizes Israel, like any Israeli, like me. He is no blind follower. He is an intelligent, thoughtful man of conviction and integrity. Mosab Hassan Yousef was a member of a team that risked their lives for Israel, and as such, he earned the right to think independently, criticize the things he believes to be wrong, and support what he believes to be right. That is what it means to love Israel, not making speeches and soliciting donations.
Mosab loves the USA but dreams about going back to Israel. I look forward to the moment he will return. My house will also be his, because he is part of our proud family, part of Israel.. 
Rabbi Moshe Krasnanski
On Wed, May 11, 2011 at 8:45 AM, Moshe Krasnanski wrote:
Moshe Krasnanski
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Tony Kushner Controversy

I found this article in the National Post the best response to the Tony Kushner brouhaha.

If you have not heard about it below is the best review of this situation:

"The controversy over whether or not Tony Kushner, the highly acclaimed playwright and harsh critic of Israel, should receive an honorary degree from the City University of New York - a story we broke on our Website last Tuesday - has taken on a life of its own. Doug Chandler reports, and our Editorial reflects, on the incident and its lessons.

Here is what I think after reading letters back and forth on this issue.
In the end its not about what happened in 1948.
It's about who frames the argument and what it means today.

Divisiveness in the Jewish community is not in our interest and that especially goes for divisive organizations.

Lets all keep that in mind.

We are such a tiny people that we have to be very careful where we put our energy.

Prof. Gerstenfeld in his talk on BDS "Taking back the Campus" here in Montreal two years ago in an excellent 20 minute talk
pointed out that Jews are not only "targets, they are also sensors and instruments"

i.e Jews can be found in every political camp and for this reason they are easy targets and also used as spokesmen "instruments" for almost every political persuasion.

As for the "sensor" function, more on this later.

Abigail Hirsch
AskAbigail Productions

Shalom Foundation for Healing Community

Les Juifs séfarades face à la Shoah

Another amazing day organized by Sonia Sara Lipsyc of Aleph.
this Sunday February 7th, 10:30 -2:30 at the Cu

Les Juifs séfarades face à la Shoah

A l'occasion des 65 ans de la libération des camps de concentration et d'extermination, ALEPH- le Centre d'Etudes Juives Contemporaines propose un sujet trop peu souvent abordé : "Les Juifs séfarades face à la Shoah". Avec les universitaires David Bensoussan, Jean-Charles Chebat, Yossi Lévy, la venue de France du psychanalyste Daniel Lemler et Sonia Sarah Lipsyc. Nous recevrons également les témoins Michèle Serano et Chantal Clabrough présentés par Alice Herscovitch, directrice du Centre Commémoratif de l'Holocauste de Montréal, partenaire de cette 6ème journée thématique de ALEPH.

Pour le programme détaillé de cette journée (titres des interventions et horaires),
Dimanche 7 février 2010 de 10h30 à 14h30 et de 19h à 21heures au 1 Carré Cummings, 5151 côte Sainte Catherine en journée et à la Maison de la Culture sépharade, 5900 A boulevard Décarie.en soirée.
Entrée : 15$ pour toute la journée (brunch compris) ou 7$ uniquement pour le soir. Livret pédagogique offert.
Sur l'affiche, nous avons reproduit, avec sa permission, le tableau "L'exode" du peintre Francine Mayran.

My Thoughts Regarding Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel

Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel - Yom Hashoah - is a special day coming between the celebration of Passover, which in Israel is both a national and a religious holiday and Yom Hatzmaut Israel Independence Day, which also is a National Israeli Holiday that also has religious support and backing, i.e. the support of the religious establishment. PS the Day before Israel Independence Day is the Day of Remembrance for the Soldiers who have given their lives in defence of Israel.
Both times there is a national moment of silence at 11 am when everone in the country responds to a call to stop in their tracks and remember in silence.

CIJR (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research) published a slew of articles On this year's Yom Hashoah, May 2, 2011.

I found them particularly relevant.

For me three themes emerged:

The first:
To never forget the personal stories of those who survived those terrible times.
I am in Hungary today and yesterday I was at Sip U. 12, the headquarters of the Jewish community in Budapest meeting with two holocaust survivors, Erno Lazarovitch and .
I was there with my Mother, Edith Zoldan Hirsch, 93 years old, who also lived through that terrible time and also shared her story.

The day before I was at Maynoki U. 6b. the former home of Gozon baci and Gozon neni, an amazing non-Jewish couple who actively resisted Nazi Jew-hunting in Budapest by silently protecting and
doing what they could to help. (I know because they assisted my two uncles by allowing them to live openly with them, for a time, saying "these are our cousins from the country", while the Germans were in Budapest and finding work for my aunt as a maid with a Christian family who never know she was Jewish.

By a miracle I met three people who still live in this house on Maynoki and had  known them personally since they were the caretakers of the building. The Gozons are no longer alive but their memory must live on. (Fortunately I had my video camera functioning on :
both occasions)

The second theme
is that, sadly, these personal stories and even the Jewish nature of the persecution is being whitewashed
 a. by ideas of universalism in Europe and America and
 b. by "anti-zionism", in the Middle East. Europe and elsewhere.

 The Arab street  is not above borrowing the  Nazi idealogy of Jew hatred, claiming that The Palestinians are being persecuted as the Jews were. This is the current "big lie" which Hitler himself understood so well.
In the meantime the Arab nations, themselves have rejected the plight of the Palestinians choosing to blame Israel and Jews rather than address the Palestinian refugee issues over the last 63 years.

 Although 600,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands have been absorbed by Israel and no longer bear the title of "refugee", none of the Arab countries have stepped up to the plate to absorb the Arab refugees of the former Palestine, who are now called Palestinians, and have been living in the areas currently called  Gaza and the West Bank and some in Lebanon and Jordan for the past 63 years. The Palestinian refugees for 63 years have been singled out and rejected by their own Arab brothers  and used as a club against Israel. In this way they share the plight of the Jews of Europe during the Nazi period
who were singled out and rejected by almost all the nations of the world.

In addition, Anti-zionism is  used by many Arab governments  to focus on an outside enemy rather that focus on human rights abuses of their own.

Just sharing some thoughts after reading these articles recently posted in Newspapers around the world.


I have copied here the full articles posted by CIJR.

Monday, May 2, 2011
Volume X, No. 2,570


Baruch Cohen
Many ask, “Why did the Jews go like sheep to the slaughter?” This superficial question, in and of itself, is evidence that people, including many Jews, have confused Jewish powerlessness during the Holocaust with passivity.
People conclude wrongly that because Jews were not able to mount significant, sustained and effective strong opposition to Nazi barbaric persecution, they did not resist at all. The truth is that Jews tried to maintain their dignity, to spread word of their fate in order to ensure that the situation would be known and hence, and to save as many fellow Jews as possible. It is a myth that all Jews went passively to their deaths.
The following are a few examples of moral resistance, of personal symbolic responses to impossible situations, as cited in Daring to Resist: Jewish Defiance in the Holocaust, edited by Yitzchak Mais, published by the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2007.
Friedl Dicks Brandeis and Adela Bay were involved in symbolic resistance on a community level, using their skills to instil a sense of dignity, humanity and even joy in others. Brandeis, a renowned artist from Vienna, reached out to children in the Terezin ghetto, teaching them to express themselves artistically, thereby releasing their imaginations from the cage imprisoning their bodies. Bay, another artist in the ghetto and slave labor camps, used her talent to sustain hope and meaning. Defying hunger, misery and forced labor, Bay and others used their inner resources to maintain their humanity and identity. Under conditions of unimaginable hardship, they wrote poetry and created musical performances.
In the desperate conditions of the Warsaw ghetto, Rabbi Yitzchak Nissenbaum is said to have declared: This is time for Kiddush HaHaim, not Kiddush Hashem--Sanctification of Life, not Martyrdom through Death.
Dr. Janusz Korczak, director of the orphanage of the Warsaw Ghetto, became an island of peace, morality and serenity in a chaotic and very dangerous environment. Two hundred children learned, played, and performed in the protected world that Dr. Korczak and his dedicated, devoted assistants created for them.
Herman Kruk, an historian who lived in the Vilna Ghetto, documented the life of the people until his deportation and death in Estonia in 1944. He wrote that “the Vilna Jewish community was for years known as the Jerusalem of Lithuania,” so the Vilna Ghetto, in respect to its cultural life, was during those terrible years called Jerusalem of the Ghetto, because it was a symbol of Jewish spiritual resistance under the criminal Nazi regime.
The Jews responded to the horrors of the Holocaust in many courageous ways, defying German restrictions and establishing clandestine means of communication. They sent out couriers where possible who travelled illegally from one community to another, carrying news, medicine, and at times arms.
Finally, there are many examples of Jews chanting prayers or singing national anthems and Zionist songs, as they were led to the gas chambers. These heroic last acts were a clear defiance of the Nazi murderers’ attempts to dehumanize Jews.
The cited heroic examples of moral resistance and symbolic acts confirm the fact that many of our sisters and brothers endeavoured to leave--for future generations--the highest example of Jewish dignity and strong love for life, despite indescribable conditions!
Never Forget! Am Yisrael Chai!
(Baruch Cohen is Research Chairman at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research. He a Holocaust survivor.)
Liat Collins
Jerusalem Post, May 1, 2011
Three statements come to mind whenever I write about the Holocaust. The first I can attribute to Elie Wiesel: “The Shoah wasn’t a crime against humanity, but a crime against the Jews.” The second was told to me by writer Haim Guri: “Israel was created not because of the Shoah but in spite of it.” I don’t remember who told me the third, but it is no less valuable: Had there been a Jewish state in the 1930s, the Holocaust might not have happened at all, or would have been on a much-reduced scale.…
The world marks [Holocaust Remembrance Day] on January 27, the day Auschwitz was liberated. For the past few years it has become a set feature on the United Nations calendar. Unfortunately, for the rest of the year the world body raises motion after motion turning Israel into the source of all evil. Its protection of global peace and wellbeing is so advanced that having finally suspended Libya from the UN’s Human Rights Council, it seems set to replace it with Bashar Assad’s Syria.
Israel commemorates…Yom Hashoah as we call it--in the spring, fittingly between Passover and Independence Day. This year it commences on May 1.
Here it is marked with an eerie two-minute siren for which the traffic draws to a halt and people stand frozen. Fewer and fewer have their own dreadful memories, but this is not about the survivors. They don’t need a special day to remember how they’ve been through hell. This is about the people who didn’t survive but nonetheless live on in every generation.
Children in Israel learn about the Holocaust from an early age. Even toddlers in day-care centers are taught to stand for the siren, and schoolchildren hold ceremonies. But it’s hard to explain the horror or take in the meaning of the number of those killed. That’s why it’s so important to learn the personal stories.…
Future generations will find it ever harder to relate to the Holocaust, not just because the firsthand witnesses are dying out, but because they are being brought up in a different world.
It is an ever-changing world dominated by the “now” and the “me.”
When President Barack Obama hosted a Seder at the White House earlier this month he coolly compared the uprising in the Arab world to the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It’s a perfect message for the Twitter generation. With the perspective of barely three months--during which he changed his mind more than once--Obama takes the most epic event in more than four millennia of Jewish history and reduces it to its lowest possible common denominator, and then distorts it some more. I can’t wait to hear his insights on the Holocaust.
The world is marking 50 years since the trial of Adolf Eichmann, a trial which gave us terms like “the banality of evil.” Have we learned its lessons? It doesn’t seem so when, under the same principle of universal justice, Israeli leaders cannot travel to places like Britain for fear of being arrested for “war crimes.…”
The Shoah was not about the Palestinians, but you wouldn’t know it from the imagery that floats around on “human rights flotillas” and among their land-based supporters. As the Palestinians draw closer to the likely unilateral declaration of independence, they seem to grow further from acknowledging Israel’s right to exist.…
Recently, the topic of teaching the Holocaust in Arab schools has been the focus of heated debates. According to Palestinian Media Watch, this week the union of UNRWA workers in Palestinian schools said, “We emphasize our adamant opposition to confusing the thinking of our students by means of Holocaust studies in the human rights study curriculum, and emphasize study of the history of Palestine and the acts of massacre which have been carried out against Palestinians, the most recent of which was the war against Gaza.”
Confusing indeed.
By the “war against Gaza” I assume they mean Operation Cast Lead, a war against Hamas missile attacks from Gaza on Israel. Missile attacks that are still taking place, for that matter. The Palestinians are not the new Jews, and Gaza is not a ghetto. If their version of human rights permits targeting an Israeli school bus and indiscriminately launching rockets on any civilian population within reach, then you can understand their reluctance to add the Shoah to study programs.
Several people have e-mailed me recently telling me they feel like this is a repeat of the 1930s. Those who live abroad cite attacks on Jews, but above all a pervasive feeling that permits and even fosters such incidents.
The tiny Jewish community of Corfu might have been surprised by the burning of Torah scrolls in the local synagogue this month, but Jews elsewhere in Greece are no strangers to anti-Semitic sentiment. Ditto the Jews of Spain, France, Denmark and Holland. A Canadian student told me she no longer wears a Star of David on campus, and some British Jews have removed the mezuzot from outside their doors, placing them inside where they cannot be seen.
My answer is that this is different from those terrible years partly because there is an Israel, albeit threatened by Iran with nuclear genocide and constantly assaulted by terror attacks and missiles, but a success story nonetheless. Indeed, a Gallup poll released last week declared Israel to be the world’s seventh most “thriving” country.
There can be no better way to avenge the Shoah.
Joshua Hamerman
Jerusalem Post, April 28, 2011
The front pages of 15 American newspapers printed between 1933 and 1946 have been packaged into an educational resource about the Holocaust.… Upstart Ideas, an educational-resource and consulting company specializing in hasbara (public diplomacy) and the Shoah, [has] created The Holocaust: A Remembrance with assistance from RetroGraphics Publishing, an American company that reproduces archived newspapers and other memorabilia.
The newspaper pages included in the Holocaust Remembrance Day resource encompass events from the Nazis’ ascension to power in January 1933 to the Nuremberg trial verdicts in October 1946. They scream headlines such as “Nazis To Grab Jews’ Riches” (San Francisco Chronicle, April 28, 1938), “Hysterical Nazis Wreck Thousands of Jewish Shops, Burn Synagogues in Wild Orgy of Looting and Terror” (The Dallas Morning News, November 11, 1938), “Nazis Prevent Jewish Exodus” (Daily Record, November 18, 1938) and “Nazi Germany Threatens To Exterminate Jews” (The Houston Post, November 23, 1938).
The December 11, 1942, edition of The Jewish News of Detroit reported “Ghetto Jews Killed In Battle With Nazis” and “Two-Thirds of Jews in Poland Slain Since Nazi Occupation.…”
“A resource like this serves as a tool to educate and also to refute some of the misconceptions, lies and distortions about the Holocaust, mainly that no one knew what was happening,” says Michael Eglash, president and founding partner of Upstart Ideas. “There are so many revisionists out there, as well as people who just don’t know the details of the Holocaust. These newspapers chronicle not only the dark days of the slaughter, but also what led up to, and the atmosphere that helped create, Auschwitz, Treblinka and Dachau.…”
To see American newspapers from every region report on the Nazis’ war against the Jews as early as 1933 is disturbing but essential reading for those who ignore, explain away or facilitate anti-Semitism today.…
(Copies of The Holocaust: A Remembrance can be ordered at
Sarah Honig
Jerusalem Post, April 29, 2011
If a netherworld truly exists, then its most infamous denizen, one Adolf Hitler, must be rubbing his hands in glee. During his lifetime, when he preoccupied the entire world with his war, he never ceased to proclaim hysterically that his paramount aim was annihilating all Jews. Obsessively he reiterated his resolve to cause all nations to unite in recognition of inborn Jewish villainy.
To some extent he already succeeded among his contemporaries. The Allies never sincerely cared about Jews and never fought for them. They protected their own skins. Europe’s Jews were eventually liberated via the much-belated byproduct of Germany’s defeat. The enormity of the Holocaust could have been lessened, but it was nobody’s priority.
The Allies’ indifference derived from their own Judeophobia, albeit of lower grade than the Nazi variety. Mere months before World War II’s outbreak, when the Holocaust was about to be kick-started, Britain published its notorious White Paper ruling out this country as a viable asylum for refugees from Hitler’s hell. Germany’s Jews were already shorn of citizenship and fleeing, stateless, in all directions. Hitler’s threats were well recorded, shouted in the world’s face and hardly kept secret.…
Yet the fault wasn’t Britain’s alone. Hitler tauntingly invited all democracies to take his Jews, if they were so fretful about them. He knew that for all their self-righteous rhetoric, these states wouldn’t accept his provocative challenge. After 1938’s Anschluss, their representatives met in Evian-les-Bains, on Lake Geneva’s French shore, to decide what to do with Nazism’s desperate victims, pounding on their gates in search of sanctuary. They never even called them Jews, lest they incur the fuehrer’s wrath.
It turned into a great Jew-rejection fest. Britain bristled at any hint of allowing refugees into Eretz Yisrael, mandated to it to administer as the Jewish National Home. Progenitors of today’s Palestinian terrorists made sure endangered Jews wouldn’t be sheltered, and His Majesty’s government appeasingly assented. The vast empty spaces of Canada, Australia and New Zealand were likewise off-limits. The American humanitarianism of Franklin Roosevelt, who unreservedly shared the predispositions of his European counterparts, consisted of tossing the undesirable hot potato into the international arena, because Jews weren’t wanted in the Land of the Free, either.
Indeed FDR toyed with the notion of shipping German Jews to Ethiopia or Central Africa. The UK favored the jungles of Venezuela or Central America. Mussolini changed direction northward. Instead of exposing Berlin’s urbane Jews to the rigors of the tropics, he opined that the Siberian arctic might be a preferable hardship. The competition was on: who’d suggest a more remote and less hospitable exile in which to dump those whom the British Foreign Office shamelessly labeled “unwanted Jews.…”
These were the seeds. Once war erupted, all attempts to rescue Jews were rejected. The Allies couldn’t even be bothered to bomb the railways into Auschwitz or the crematoria therein, though they did drop leaflets at a POW camp nearby.
Maddeningly, if he could peek into our reality today, a gloating Hitler would discern a world which had turned against the Jewish state in almost knee-jerk unison. The sovereign Jewish aggregate is treated like a despised pariah among the nations.
Pro forma none of this bears Third Reich hallmarks. The cynical pretense is that of enlightenment and benevolent antagonism to Nazism. The sappy “universalist” lesson learned from the Holocaust suggests that history’s greatest premeditated crime wasn’t particularized but had something nebulous to do with human nature and hate for nameless “others.”
The identity of both victims and perpetrators has conveniently been scrapped from history--the Jewishness of the six million and the Germanic faces of their murderers. A convenient mythology of German victimhood and lack of culpability is now the prevalent liberal theme.… Holocaust atrocities were committed by indeterminate Martians called Nazis. Something bad happened about which nobody knew and for which nobody is blameworthy.…
Gone from public discourse is the fiendish underside of German Jew-revulsion (the very term anti-Semitism was minted in 19th-century Germany). The Judensau (Jew-sow) was, for example, a shocking popular cultural mainstay of German religious and institutional artwork from medieval days and beyond.… Most notable is the bas relief on the Wittenberg Stadtkirche, where Martin Luther preached. Luther himself commented: “Here on our church in Wittenberg a sow is sculpted in stone. Piglets and Jews lie suckling under her.…
The roots of the Holocaust are embedded deep in Germany’s psyche and cannot be explained away as mere aversion to foreigners. Analogies to Islamophobia are spurious. Jews resided in Germany from the dawn of its history and were more Germanized than Germans. They were hardly outsiders and certainly not Germany’s enemies.
And yet the past is conveniently shunted aside. At the very most, Jews and Germans are viewed as players inadvertently cast in given roles as the genocide drama unfolded. These roles, we’re told, are eminently interchangeable.
By universalism’s distorted yardstick, bloodstained Germany can under fortuitous circumstances transform into spotless, progressive New Germany, while Jews (whose life-affirming, justice-affirming and peace-affirming ethos is the antithesis of what Germany generated) can become the New Nazis.
This has seeped into Israel’s discourse, too. Political-correctness purveyors make sure we don’t dwell on our fears of falling victim to a new genocide but that we admonish ourselves for being potential New Nazis--vis-à-vis genocidal Arabs, illegal infiltrators and even elderly Holocaust survivors.
Instead of teaching our young not to count on the conscience of other nations, we inculcate in them sensitivity to the demoralizing narratives of those who slander the Jewish collective. Self-flagellating demagoguery reigns supreme among us, painting ourselves blacker than black, while absolving our enemies of any sin (foremost the inimical descendants of Nazism’s avid Arab collaborators).
If Holocaust Remembrance Day obliges us to anything, it is to see the Holocaust again through Jewish eyes and resist universalism’s toxic saccharine. Otherwise, Hitler will have won. Syrupy sanctimony demonizes our national revival and simultaneously dulls our vigilance in the face of threats from Hitler’s Islamic torchbearers.
David Horovitz
Jerusalem Post, May 2, 2011
Since Fatah and Hamas announced their “reconciliation” accord last Wednesday, I have waited for the chorus of international outrage.
I waited for the global condemnation of the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, for choosing to tie their fate to an organization ideologically bent on wiping out the Jewish state. Sixty-four years after the family of nations--six million times too late--had finally internalized the imperative to revive the Jews’ sovereignty in their historic land, I waited for those nations to rise up in concerted fury at this overt new legitimization of an armed movement seeking again to dispossess us.
I waited to hear ridicule heaped upon Abbas’s farcical defense of the new arrangement. The idea that he would continue to negotiate with Israel for shared control of this disputed territory while Hamas would sit silently by--Hamas, whose entire raison d’etre is to eliminate Israel--was self-evidently preposterous.
And then Hamas rendered it still more so, by making explicit that it has no intention of sitting silently by, but is, rather, openly demanding that Abbas withdraw the PLO’s recognition of Israel, whose very presence, in the words of Hamas’s Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, “is illegitimate.”
I waited for at least the responsible member-states of the UN to tear apart the risible assertion that, after bonding with the thugs who seized control of Gaza four years ago by killing hundreds of their own people, the Palestinians now have a unified leadership capable of governing a new Palestine in accordance with sovereign norms. A unified leadership seeking statehood it may claim to be, but it incorporates one element whose stated goal is the replacement of the sovereign state next door.
But I waited in vain.
Dumb, delusional or just plain old anti- Semitic, much of the international community is ignoring the Hamas charter’s guiding instruction to “kill the Jews.” In professing that Hamas can somehow metamorphose into an Israel-tolerating entity, it is discounting Hamas leaders’ own relentless insistence that their own sense of religious imperative means they can never, and will never, recognize Israel. It is, in part at least, blaming the Israeli government of the past two years for ostensibly leaving Abbas no choice but to bring in Hamas, as though the failure to reach viable peace terms, whoever is to blame, legitimizes his resort to an alliance with the Islamist killers. And it is insistently brushing aside Hamas’s bloodily proven record of abusing every constructive opportunity in defiant pursuit of its inhumane agenda--first exploiting Israeli withdrawals from West Bank cities to build an army of suicide bombers and then seizing control of Jew-free Gaza to fashion a terror base from which to attack Israel.
Hamas, the White House Chief of Staff William Daley noted on Thursday, “is a terrorist organization which targets civilians.” Indeed it is. And therefore a moral international community would seek to deprive it of any legitimacy, to do everything possible to prevent it growing stronger, and to make plain that it has no place in international dealings. Instead, Daley, in those same remarks, declared that “the United States supports Palestinian reconciliation provided it is on the terms that advance the cause of the peace.”
What kind of doublespeak is that, and from the ostensible moral leader of the free world? How can Fatah-Hamas reconciliation possibly “advance the cause of peace” when one of its components makes plain at every opportunity that it pursues the very opposite goal?
The consequences of past misjudgments, delusions, willful blindnesses, appeasements and lapsed morality are being highlighted this very week, as we remember the Holocaust victims who went to their deaths because the international community failed to act with sufficient alacrity to protect them. Hamas in 2011 cannot yet muster the weaponry to achieve its murderous goal for the Jewish state. But it is funded, trained and armed by a country, Iran, that is developing the means to try to wipe us out. And its partnership with the purportedly moderate face of the Palestinian leadership constitutes an earthshaking potential step forward for its ambitions.
Mahmoud Abbas has welcomed into his internationally lauded leadership an organization for which there should be no international tolerance. If it is formalized, all components of this framework for Palestinian governance--this alliance that encompasses what Abbas himself, after the Gaza coup, called “the forces of darkness”--should be placed outside the framework of the family of nations.
Israel seeks viable terms for separation from the Palestinians, terms under which the Palestinians can achieve their independence without threatening ours. Abbas is about to turn his back on this avenue. And the international community, rather than indulging him, should be insisting that he think again.
Key global players have chosen disingenuousness in the face of Abbas’s capitulative embrace of the Islamic extremists. What is required is moral denunciation and the unmistakable message that this coalition will not be tolerated.…
The man whom Binyamin Netanyahu, just eight months ago, called his “partner in peace” is supposed to formally sign on to this grotesque amalgamation on Wednesday. I [am] wait[ing] for the global condemnation.…
“It seems the world finds it easier to talk of lessons of the past rather than project them on the present day and future. But we, members of the Jewish people, must not ignore the lessons of the Holocaust on days such as these.

“New enemies continue to emerge…Iran and its cohorts Hezbollah and Hamas openly call for the destruction of the Jewish state. All those who say they have learned the lessons of the Holocaust, must unequivocally condemn those who call for the annihilation of the Jewish state.… The threat on our existence cannot be swept aside.…

“We must not bury our heads in the sand and dismiss the threat with words of mockery. Has the world learned this lesson? I doubt it.

“The world should know that when the people of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces say never again—we mean every word.”—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a speech at the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem to launch Holocaust Remembrance Day, declaring that the world has yet to internalize the lessons of the Holocaust, yet affirming that the Jewish people and the nation of Israel undoubtedly have. NEVER AGAIN! (Ynet News, May 1.)

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