Anti-Defamation League’s New York Headquarters Receives Bomb Threat – Huffington Post

The Anti-Defamation League received a bomb threat at its headquarters in New York City, the group announced Wednesday.

Today the ADLs national headquarters in New York received an anonymous bomb threat, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. While there is no information at this time to indicate that this is more than a threat, we are taking it very seriously.

Greenblatt said the civil rights group is working with law enforcement officials to determine if the threat is connected to a recent spate of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers around the nation.

At least 11 JCCs in 10 states received threatening phone callson Monday. It was the fourth series of such messages this year.About 70 threats have been aimed at almost 60 JCCs in 27 states and one Canadian province since Jan. 1.

Anti-Semitic hate crimes make up the largest portion of religiously motivated attacksin the United States.

The series of bomb threats against the JCCs is unprecedented, Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told The Huffington Post earlier this week.

Ive been working at SPLC since 1999. Ive never seen a string of attacks like this that are targeting the same kind of institution in the same kind of way, she said.This is new.

It remains unclear who is making the threats or if they are coming from a single person or a group.

The FBI and the Department of Justice have said they are investigating possible civil rights violations in connection with the threats.

Oren Segal, director of the ADLs Center on Extremism, told HuffPost that the organization has been in close communication with the FBI over the incidents and isconfident that they are conducting a serious investigation into these threats.

Last month, he said, the ADL partnered with the agency to organize a briefing for hundreds of representatives from the Jewish community regarding security matters.

This is not the first time that ADL has been targeted, Greenblatt said, and it will not deter us in our efforts to combat anti-Semitism and hate against people of all races and religions.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Anti-Defamation League’s New York Headquarters Receives Bomb Threat – Huffington Post

Anti-Defamation League offers reward in cemetery vandalism case – fox2now.com

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Families crowded the cemetery Tuesday morning to see if their loved ones graves had been vandalized. More than 180 markers had been toppled.

Its a human being that was buried, whether the 1800s or today, this is terrible, said Joan Rifkin, who has loved ones buried at Chesed Shel Emeth. Who could have done such a horrible act?

The headstones of Rifkins loved ones were not touched, many others were knocked over.

Jan Levin fondly remembers her grandmother who raised her. She was an immigrant from Russia. Her grandmothers grave marker was toppled but has since been put back in place. Mrs. Levin cant understand why someone would do such a thing.

I am hurt, I am mad, she said. Im mad maybe that I cant stop them, because I dont know how. I wouldnt know where to start.

Crews from the Rosenbloom Monument Company were busy putting headstones back in place, free of charge. Some of the markers weigh upwards of a ton. The monument company had to bring two cranes in to help remove or restore the headstones. Its a job that could take the rest of the week.

The difficult ones are in the middle of the section where we cant reach them, said Philip Weiss, owner of Rosenbloom Monument Company. We may have to come in from the lower end (and) move 20 stones to reach five stones.

The cemetery dates back to the late 1800s. Many of grave markers vandalized were placed before 1960.

You can donate to the cleanup and replacement effort atChesed Shel Emeth Cemetery online.

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Anti-Defamation League offers reward in cemetery vandalism case – fox2now.com

Impact and Future of Holocaust Revisionism

A Revisionist Chronicle

Impact and Future of Holocaust Revisionism

By Robert Faurisson

The following is the remark, not of a revisionist, but rather by an anti-revisionist: note 1

“Holocaust denier,” “revisionist,” “negationist”: everyone knows what such an accusation means. It effectively means exclusion from civilized humanity. Anyone who is suspected of this is finished. His public life is destroyed, his academic reputation ruined.

And he went on to add:

One day people will have to discuss the state of public affairs in a country where to brand a renowned scholar as a Holocaust denier (by hitting him with the ‘Auschwitz Lie’ club [die Keule der Auschwitz-Lge]) is enough to destroy him morally, in an instant.

Writings such as this essay cannot be sold openly in my country. They must be published and distributed privately.

In France, it is forbidden to question the Shoah — also called the “Holocaust.”

A law on the “freedom of the press” enacted on July 13, 1990, makes it a crime to question the Shoah, in its three hypostases: the alleged genocide of the Jews, the alleged Nazi gas chambers, and the alleged figure of six million Jewish victims of the Second World War. Violators are subject to a prison term ranging from one month to one year, a fine of 2,000 to 300,000 francs ($333 to $50,000), an order to pay considerable damages, and other sanctions. More precisely, this law makes it a crime to question (“contester”) the reality of any of the “crimes against humanity” as defined in 1945 and punished in 1946 by the judges of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, a court established exclusively by the victors exclusively to judge the vanquished.

Debates and controversies about the Shoah are, of course, still permitted, but only within the limits set by the official dogma. Controversies or debates that might lead to a challenging of the Shoah story as a whole, or of a part of it, or simply to raise doubt, are forbidden. To repeat: on this issue, even doubt is proscribed, and punished.

In France, the impetus for such a law (which is of Israeli inspiration), note 2 came in 1986 from several historians of Jewish origin, including Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Georges Wellers, and Franois Bdarida, together with Chief Rabbi Ren-Samuel Sirat. note 3 The law was enacted in 1990 on the initiative of former prime minister Laurent Fabius, then a member of the Socialist government, president of the National Assembly, and himself a Jewish militant of the Jewish cause. During this same period (May 1990), a desecration of graves in the Jewish cemetery of Carpentras, in Provence, had given rise to a media furor that nullified any inclination on the part of opposition lawmakers to mount any effective resistance to the bill. In Paris some 200,000 marchers, with a host of Israeli flags borne high, demonstrated against “the resurgence of the horrid beast.” Notre Dame’s great bell tolled as for a particularly tragic or significant event in the history of France. Once the law was on the statute books (promulgated in the Journal officiel on the 14th of July, the national holiday: the same issue, incidentally, that announced Vidal-Naquet’s nomination to the Order of the Lgion d’honneur), the Carpentras outrage was mentioned only, if at all, with a certain distance, as a mere reminder. Only the “Fabius-Gayssot” Act remained.

Under pressure from national and international Jewish organizations, and following the Israeli and French examples, other countries similarly adopted laws forbidding any questioning of the Shoah. Such has been the case for Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain and Lithuania. In practice, such specific laws are not absolutely necessary to combat and suppress historical revisionism. In France, as elsewhere, the practice has often been to prosecute questioners of the Shoah under other laws, according to the needs of a given case, on the basis of laws against racism or anti-Semitism, defaming living persons, insulting the memory of the dead, attempting to justify crimes, or spreading false news, and — a source of cash indemnities for the plaintiffs — using personal injury statutes.

In France the police and the judiciary rigorously ensure the protection thus accorded to an official version of Second World War history. According to this rabbinical version, the major event of the conflict was the Shoah, in other words the physical extermination of the Jews that the Germans are said to have carried out from 1941-1942 to 1944-1945. (Lacking any document with which to assign a precise time span to the event — and for good reason, as it is a matter of fiction — the official historians propose only dates that are as divergent as they are approximate.)

Since 1974 I have had to fight so many legal battles that I’ve been unable to find time to compose the systematic exposition that one is entitled to expect from a professor who, over so many years, has devoted his efforts to a single aspect of Second World War history: the “Holocaust” or the Shoah.

Year after year, an avalanche of trials, entailing the gravest consequences, has thwarted my plans to publish such a work. Apart from my own cases, I have had to devote considerable time and effort to the defense, before their respective courts, of other revisionists in France and abroad. Today, as I write these words, two cases are being brought against me, one in the Netherlands, the other in France, while I must also intervene, directly or indirectly, in proceedings pending against revisionists in Switzerland, Canada, and Australia. For lack of time, I have had to decline helping others, notably two Japanese revisionists.

Around the world, our adversaries’ tactic is the same: use courts to paralyze the work of the revisionists, if not to sentence them to prison terms or to order them to pay fines or damages. For those convicted, imprisonment means a halt to all revisionist activity, while those ordered to pay large sums are compelled to set off on a feverish pursuit of money, goaded by threats of bailiffs, “writs of seizure,” “notices to third parties,” and freezing of bank accounts. For this reason alone, my life over the past quarter of a century has been difficult. It still is and, in all probability, will remain so.

To make matters worse, my idea of research has never been that of the “paper” professor or historian. I consider it indispensable to see the terrain for myself: either the terrain of the forensic investigation, or the terrain where the adversary is deployed. I wouldn’t be entitled to talk about the camps of Dachau, Majdanek, Auschwitz or Treblinka without first having visiting them to examine for myself the buildings and the people there. I won’t talk about anti-revisionist activities, such as demonstrations, conferences, symposia, and trials, without having attended them, or at least delegating an instructed observer to the events — a practice that is not without risk, but which enables one to obtain information from a good source. I have friends and associates produce countless letters and statements. Whenever possible, I go myself to the ramparts. To cite but one example: the impressive international “Holocaust” conference organized in Oxford in 1988 by the late billionaire Robert Maxwell (also known as “Bob the Liar”). I believe I can justifiably say that it aborted so pitifully (as Maxwell himself admitted), note 4 thanks to an operation on the spot that I personally organized — with the help of a female French revisionist who lacked neither courage, nor daring, nor ingenuity: her activism alone was certainly worth several books.

To the hours and days thus spent preparing court cases or various sporadic actions should be added the hours and days lost in hospital, recovering from the effects of an exhausting struggle or from the consequences of physical attacks carried out by militant Jewish groups. (In France armed militias are strictly prohibited, except for the Jewish community.) note 5

Finally, I have had to encourage, direct, or coordinate, in France and abroad, numerous activities or works of a revisionist nature, shore up those whose strength has faltered, provide for the continuance of action, answer requests, warn against provocations, errors, digressions from the goal, and, above all combat ill-conceived accommodations given that, for some revisionists, there is a great temptation in such a struggle to seek compromise with the adversary and, sometimes, even to back down. Examples of war-weary revisionists who have sunk to public contrition are, sad to say, not lacking. I shall not cast a stone at them, though. I know from experience that discouragement is liable to befall each of us because the contest is so unequal: our resources are laughable, while those of our opponents are immense.

Revisionism is a matter of method and not an ideology.

It demands, in all research, a return to the starting point, an examination followed by re-examination, re-reading and rewriting, evaluation followed by revaluation, reorientation, revision, recasting. It is, in spirit, the contrary of ideology. It does not deny, but instead aims to affirm with greater exactitude. Revisionists are not “deniers” (or, to use the French expression, “negationists”). Rather, they endeavor to seek and to find things where, it seemed, there was nothing more to seek or find.

Revisionism can be carried out in a hundred activities of everyday life and in a hundred fields of historical, scientific, or literary research. It does not necessarily call established ideas into question, but often leads to qualifying them somewhat. It seeks to untangle the true from the false. History is, in essence, revisionist; ideology is its enemy. Because ideology is strongest during times of war or conflict, and because it then churns out falsehood in abundance for propaganda needs, the historian working in that area is well advised to redouble his vigilance. In probing deep into the “truths” of which he has been reminded so often, he will doubtless realize that, when a war has led to tens of millions of deaths, the very first victim is the ascertainable truth: a truth that must be sought out and re-established.

The official history of the Second World War comprises a bit of truth mixed with a great deal of falsehood.

It is accurate to say that National Socialist Germany built concentration camps; it did so after, and at the same time as, a good number of other countries, all of which were convinced that their camps would be more humane than prison. Hitler saw in them what Napolon III had thought he saw in the creation of penal colonies: progress for humanity. But it is false to hold that Germany ever established “extermination camps” (an expression invented by the Allies).

It is accurate to say that the Germans manufactured gas-powered vehicles (Gaswagen). But it is false to say that they ever built homicidal gas vans (if a single one of these had ever existed, it would be on display at an automobile museum, or at one of the various “Holocaust” museums, at least in the form of a drawing of scientific value).

It is accurate to say that the Germans employed Zyklon (made from a base of hydrocyanic acid and in use since 1922) to safeguard, by disinfestation, the health of large numbers of civilians, troops, prisoners, and internees. But they never used Zyklon to kill anyone, let alone to put to death throngs of human beings at once. In light of the draconian precautions for the use of hydrogen cyanide gas, the gassing of inmates as allegedly carried out at Auschwitz and at other camps would have been fundamentally impossible. note 6

It is accurate to say that the Germans envisaged a “final solution of the Jewish question” (Endlsung der Judenfrage). But this solution was a territorial one (eine territoriale Endlsung der Judenfrage), and not a murderous one. It was a project to induce or, if necessary, to force the Jews to leave Germany and its European sphere of influence, thereafter to establish, in accord with the Zionists, a Jewish national home, in Madagascar or elsewhere. With a view toward such a solution, many Zionists collaborated with National Socialist Germany. note 7

It is accurate to say that a gathering of German officials was held at a villa in Wannsee, on the outskirts of Berlin, on January 20, 1942, to discuss the Jewish question. But the subject of their discussions was the forced emigration or deportation of the Jews, as well as the future creation of a specific Jewish territorial entity, not a program of physical extermination.

It is accurate to say that some German concentration camps had crematories to incinerate corpses. But their purpose was to combat epidemics, not to incinerate, as some have dared assert, living human beings along with corpses. note 8

It is accurate to say that many Jews experienced the hardships of war, of internment, deportation, the detention camps, the concentration camps, the forced labor camps, the ghettos; that there were, for various reasons, summary executions of Jews, that they were the victims of reprisals and even massacres (for there are no wars without massacres). But it is equally true that all of these sufferings were also the lot of many other nations or communities during the war and, in particular, of the Germans and their allies (the hardships of the ghetto aside, for the ghetto is first and foremost a specific creation of the Jews themselves). note 9 It is above all most plausible, for anyone who is not afflicted with a hemiplegic memory, and who seeks to acquaint himself with both sides of Second World War history (that is, the side that is always shown, as well as the side almost always hidden), that the sufferings of the vanquished during the war and afterwards were, in number and in nature, greater than those of the Jews and the victors, especially as concerns deportations.

It is false that there ever existed, as some have long dared to assert, any order whatever, given by Hitler or any of his associates, to exterminate the Jews. During the war, German soldiers and officers were convicted by their own courts martial, and sometimes shot, for having killed Jews.

It is a good thing that the exterminationists (that is, those who believe in the extermination of the Jews) have grown weary to the point that they now acknowledge that no trace of any plan, instruction, or document relating to a policy of physical extermination of the Jews has ever been found and that, similarly, they have at last admitted that no trace of any budget for such an undertaking, or of a body responsible for running such a project, has been found.

It is a good thing that the exterminationists have at last conceded to the revisionists that the judges at the Nuremberg trial (1945-1946) accepted as true certain pure inventions, such as the stories of soap produced from Jewish fat, of lampshades made of human skin, of “shrunken heads,” and of homicidal gassings at Dachau.

It is an especially good thing that the exterminationists have finally recognized that the most spectacular, the most terrifying, the most significant part of that trial — that is, the session of April 15, 1946, in the course of which a former commandant of the Auschwitz camp, Rudolf Hss, testified openly that, in his camp, millions of Jews had been gassed — was merely the product of the tortures inflicted on him. His “confession,” presented for so many years and in so many historical works as the Number One “proof” of the genocide of the Jews, is now consigned to oblivion, at least as far as historians are concerned. note 10

It is fortunate that exterminationist historians have finally acknowledged that the famous testimony of SS officer Kurt Gerstein, an essential element of their case, is devoid of value. It is loathsome that the French University revoked the revisionist Henri Roques’ doctorate, earned for having demonstrated that fact in 1985. note 11

It is pitiful that Raul Hilberg, the “pope” of exterminationism, ventured to write, in the first, 1961 edition of his study, The Destruction of the European Jews, that there were two orders by Hitler to exterminate the Jews, and then later to declare, in 1983, that the extermination had come about on its own, without any order or plan, but rather through “an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus — mind reading by a far-flung [German] bureaucracy.” So it was that Hilberg replaced a gratuitous assertion with a magical explanation: telepathy. note 12

It is a good thing that the exterminationists have, in effect, finally (or very nearly) abandoned the charge, based on “testimonies,” according to which there were execution gas chambers at the camps of Ravensbrck, Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen, Mauthausen, Hartheim, Struthof-Natzweiler, Stutthof-Danzig, Bergen-Belsen … note 13

It is a good thing that the most-visited “gas chamber” in the world — that of Auschwitz I — has at last (in a January 1995 article) been recognized for what it is — a fabrication. It is fortunate that it has at last been admitted that “Everything in it is false.” I personally delight in knowing that an Establishment historian has written: “In the late 1970s, Robert Faurisson exploited these falsifications all the better as the [Auschwitz] museum administration balked at acknowledging them.” note 14 I delight all the more given that the French courts, in their iniquity, convicted me for basically saying just that.

It is a good thing that, in that same 1995 article, this same historian revealed that such a figure in the Jewish world as eminent as Tho Klein sees in that “gas chamber” only a “trick” (“artifice”).

It is also a good thing that, in that same article, this same historian revealed, first, that the Auschwitz Museum authorities are conscious of having deceived millions of visitors (500,000 yearly in the early 1990s), and second, that they will nevertheless continue to deceive their visitors, for, as the Museum’s assistant director put it: “[Telling the truth about this 'gas chamber'] is too complicated. We’ll see to it later on.” note 15

It is fortunate that in 1996 two historians of Jewish origin, the Canadian Robert Jan van Pelt and the American Debrah Dwork, finally denounced some of the enormous fakeries of the Auschwitz camp-museum, and the cynicism with which visitors were being duped there. note 16

It is, on the other hand, unconscionable that UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) should maintain its patronage (as it has done since 1979) of a site such as Auschwitz, whose center upholds, in its fake “gas chamber” (to say nothing of other enormous falsifications), an imposture now avowed as such. UNESCO (based in Paris and headed by Federico Mayor) has no right to use the dues of the member countries to sanction such a vast swindle, one so incompatible with the interests of “education,” “science,” and “culture.”

It is fortunate that Jean-Claude Pressac, after having been praised to the skies, has fallen into discredit. Promoted by the Klarsfeld couple, this French pharmacist thought it wise to stake out a half-way position between those who believed in the gas chambers and those who did not. For him, in a sense, the woman in question was neither pregnant nor unpregnant, but rather half-pregnant and even, with time, less and less pregnant. An author of writings that were supposed to be about the Nazi gas chambers, but in which not one comprehensive photograph or drawing of a single one of those chemical slaughterhouses was to be found, this pitiful scribbler would, in a Paris court on May 9, 1995, go on to give a demonstration of his total inability to reply to the presiding judge’s questions as to what, concretely, such a mass murder machine might actually have been. note 17

It is fortunate that, although in ruins, “the gas chamber” of Krematorium II in Birkenau (Auschwitz II), plainly shows that there never was a “Holocaust” in this camp. According both to a German defendant’s statements under interrogation, as well as 1944 aerial photographs “retouched” by the Allies, the roof of this gas chamber seems to have had four special openings (about ten inches square, it was specified), through which Zyklon was poured in. But as anyone at the site can observe for himself, none of those four openings ever existed. Given that Auschwitz is the capital of the “Holocaust,” and that this ruined crematory is at the core of the alleged extermination process of the Jews at Auschwitz, in 1994 I said (and this phrase seems since to have caught on): “No holes, no ‘Holocaust’.”

It is equally fortunate that a plethora of “testimonies” that supposedly confirm these homicidal gassings have thus been invalidated. By the same token, it is extremely deplorable that so many Germans were tried and convicted by their victorious adversaries for crimes they could not have committed, some even being put to death.

It is a good thing that, in the light of trials resembling so many judicial masquerades, the exterminationists themselves voice doubts as to the validity of numerous testimonies. The defective nature of these testimonies would have been much more obvious if one had taken the trouble to carry out a expert examination of the supposed weapon of the alleged crime. But in the course of hundreds of trials concerning Auschwitz or other camps, no court ordered any such inquiry. (The one exception, very little known, was carried out at Struthof-Natzweiler in Alsace, the results of which were kept hidden until I revealed them.) It was nonetheless known that a good number of testimonies or confessions needed to be verified and checked against the material facts and that, in the absence of those two conditions, they were worthless as evidence.

It is fortunate that official history has revised downwards — often quite drastically — the supposed number of victims. It was only after more than 40 years of revisionist pressure that Jewish authorities and those of the Auschwitz State Museum removed the 19 plaques that, in 19 different languages, announced that the number of victims there had been four million. It then took five years of internal bickering for agreement to be reached on the new figure of one and a half million, a figure that, in turn, was very quickly challenged by exterminationist authors. Jean-Claude Pressac, Serge Klarsfeld’s protg, has more recently proposed a figure of 600,000 to 800,000 Jewish and non-Jewish victims during the entire period of the Auschwitz complex’s existence. note 18 It is a pity that this quest for the true figure is not followed through to reach the likely figure of 150,000 persons — most of them victims of epidemics — in the nearly 40 camps of the Auschwitz complex. It is deplorable that the film “Nuit et Brouillard” (“Night and Fog”), in which the Auschwitz death toll is put at nine million, continues to be shown in French schools. This film perpetuates the myths of “soap made from the bodies,” or lampshades of human skin, and of scratches made by fingernails of dying victims on the concrete walls of the gas chambers. The film even proclaims that “nothing distinguished the gas chamber from an ordinary barracks”!

It was a good thing that Arno Mayer, a Princeton University professor of Jewish origin, wrote in 1988: “Sources for the study of the gas chambers are at once rare and unreliable.” note 19 But why was it affirmed for so many years that the sources were countless and trustworthy? And why was scorn poured on the revisionists who, since 1950, had written what Arno Mayer affirmed in 1988?

It was a particularly good thing that the French historian Jacques Baynac, who had made a speciality, in Le Monde and elsewhere, of labeling the revisionists as forgers, should finally acknowledge in 1996 that there was, after all, no evidence of the existence of homicidal gas chambers. It was, he made clear, “as painful to say as it is to hear.” note 20 Perhaps, for certain persons, and in certain circumstances, the truth is “as painful to say as it is to hear.” For revisionists, though, the truth is as pleasant to say as it is to hear.

Lastly, it is fortunate that the exterminationists have allowed themselves to undermine the third and last element of the Shoah trinity: the figure of six million Jewish deaths. note 21 It seems that this figure was first put forth by Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandel (1903-1956). Based in Slovakia, this rabbi was the main inventor of the Auschwitz lie based on the alleged testimonies of Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler. He organized intensive “information campaigns” aimed at the Allies, at Switzerland, and at the Vatican. In a letter of May 31, 1944 (that is, nearly a full year before the war’s end in Europe), he did not shrink from writing: “Till now six times a million Jews from Europe and Russia have been destroyed.” note 22

This six million figure was also published before the end of the war in the writings of the Soviet Jew Ilya Ehrenburg (1891-1967), perhaps the most hateful propagandist of the Second World War. note 23 In 1979 the six million figure was suddenly termed “symbolic” (that is, false) by the exterminationist Martin Broszat during the trial of a German revisionist. In 1961, Raul Hilberg, that most prestigious of conventional historians, estimated the number of Jewish wartime deaths to have been 5.1 million. In 1953, another of those historians, Gerald Reitlinger, put forth a figure of between 4.2 and 4.6 million. In fact, though, no historian of that school has offered any figures based on the results of an investigation. It has always been a matter of each one’s own more or less educated guess. The revisionist Paul Rassinier, for his part, proposed the figure of “about one million” Jewish deaths. As he pointed out, though, he did so on the basis of numbers furnished by the opposing side. His figure was thus also a product of guesswork.

The truth is that many European Jews perished, and many survived. With modern calculation methods it should be possible to determine what, in each case, is meant by “many.” However, the three sources from which the necessary information might be obtained are, in practice, either forbidden to independent researchers or are accessible only with great limitation:

Even 52 years after the end of the war, the State of Israel put the official number of “Holocaust” “survivors” around the world at some 900,000. (More precisely, it gave figures of between 834,000 and 960,000.) note 24 According to a computation made by the Swedish statistician Carl O. Nordling, to whom I submitted that Israeli government evaluation, it is possible, postulating the existence of 900,000 “survivors” in 1997, to conclude that there were, at the end of the war in Europe in 1945, slightly more than three million “survivors.” Even today, a diverse range of organizations or associations of “survivors” flourish around the world. These include associations of veteran Jewish “rsistants,” of former children of Auschwitz (that is, Jewish children born in that camp or interned there with their parents at a very early age), of former Jewish forced laborers, and, more simply, formerly clandestine Jews or Jewish fugitives. Millions of beneficiaries of “miracles” no longer constitute a “miracle,” but are rather the result of a natural phenomenon. The American press has reported fairly often on moving reunions of family members, “Holocaust” survivors all, each of whom, we are assured, was at one time convinced that his or her “entire family” had been lost.

To sum up, in spite of the dogma and the laws, the pursuit of the historical truth about the Second World War in general, and about the Shoah in particular, has made headway in recent years, but the general public is kept in the dark about this. It would be stunned to learn that, since the early 1980s, establishment historians have relegated many of the most firmly held popular beliefs to the rank of legend. From this point of view, one can say that there are two levels of “the Holocaust”: on the one hand, that of the public at large and, on the other, that of the conformist historians. The first seems to be unshakable, while the second (to judge by the number of hasty repairs being made to it), seems on the verge of collapse.

Year by year (and especially since 1979), the concessions made to the revisionists by the “orthodox” historians have been so numerous and of such quality that today the latter find themselves at a dead end. No longer having anything of substance to say about the “Holocaust,” they have handed the baton to the filmmakers, novelists, and theater people. Even the museum people are at a loss. At the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, the “decision” has been made not to offer for public viewing “any physical representation of the gas chambers.” (This is according to a statement made to me, and in the presence of four witnesses in August 1994, by the Museum’s Research Director, Michael Berenbaum. He is the author of a guide book of more than 200 pages in which, in effect, no physical representation of gas chambers appears, not even one of the miserable and fallacious mock-up on display for Museum visitors.) note 25 The public is forbidden to take photographs there. Claude Lanzmann, maker of “Shoah,” a film remarkable for its utter lack of historical or scientific content, today no longer has any recourse but to pontificate in deploring the fact that “the revisionists occupy the whole terrain.” note 26 As for Elie Wiesel, he calls on everyone to show discretion. He requests that we no longer try to closely examine, or even to imagine what happened in the gas chambers: “Let the gas chambers remain closed to prying eyes, and to imagination.” note 27 The “Holocaust” historians have turned into theoreticians, philosophers, and “thinkers.” The squabbles among them, between “intentionalists” and “functionalists,” or between supporters and adversaries of a thesis such as Daniel Goldhagen’s on the near-innate propensity of Germans to descend into anti-Semitism and racist crime, ought not to conceal from view the poverty of their historical work.

In 1998, an appraisal of the revisionist enterprise could be briefly put as follows: a sparkling success on the historical and scholarly front (where our opponents capitulated in 1996), but a failure on the public relations front. (Our adversaries have closed off all access to the media except, for the time being, the Internet.)

In the 1980s and early 1990s, anti-revisionist authors attempted to cross swords with the revisionists on the field of historical scholarship. Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Nadine Fresco, Georges Wellers, Adalbert Rckerl, Hermann Langbein, Eugen Kogon, Arno Mayer, and Serge Klarsfeld, each in turn tried to persuade the media that answers had been found to the revisionists’ material or documentary arguments. Even Michael Berenbaum, even the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, in 1993 and in early 1994, wanted to pick up the gauntlet I had thrown down, and try to show just a single Nazi gas chamber, just a single proof — of their own choosing — that there had been a genocide of the Jews. But their failures were so stinging that thereafter they abandoned, ever more progressively, the fight on that turf. More recently, in 1998, appeared a thick book by Michael Berenbaum (together with Abraham J. Peck) entitled The Holocaust and History. note 28 But far from examining, on the level of historical scholarship, what the authors call the “Holocaust,” instead they unintentionally show that the “Holocaust” is one thing, and “History” quite another. The work, moreover, is quasi-immaterial, presenting neither photographs, nor drawings, nor the least attempt to represent physically any reality whatever. Only the dust jacket offers a view of a heap of shoes. Reputedly possessing a certain graphic eloquence, at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum they supposedly tell us: “We are the shoes, we are the last witnesses.” This book is merely a compilation of 55 contributions written and published under the watchful eye of Rabbi Berenbaum: in it even Raul Hilberg, even Yehuda Bauer, even Franciszek Piper, abandon any real effort at scholarly research, while at the same time anathema is pronounced against Arno Mayer who, in his 1988 study, tried to put the “Holocaust” back into the realm of history. note 29 The irrational has prevailed against attempts at rationalization. Elie Wiesel, Claude Lanzmann, and Steven Spielberg (in his film, “Schindler’s List,” inspired by a novel), have in the end triumphed over those in their own camp who once tried to prove the “Holocaust.”

In future years it will be seen in hindsight that in September 1996 the death knell sounded for the hopes of those who wanted to combat revisionism on historical and scholarly grounds. The two long articles in a Swiss daily paper written by the anti-revisionist historian Jacques Baynac definitively closed the book on attempts at a rational response to revisionist arguments.

In the mid- and late 1970s, I offered my own contribution to the development of revisionism. I discovered and formulated what has since come to be known as the physical and chemical argument, that is, the physical and chemical reasons why the alleged Nazi gas chambers were quite simply inconceivable. At the time, I commended myself for having presented to the world a decisive argument that had never before been expounded either by a German chemist or an American engineer. (Germany is not short of chemists, and the United States has engineers who, given the forbidding complexities involved in making and operating an American penitentiary gas chamber, ought to have realized that, because of certain physical and chemical realities, the alleged Nazi gas chambers could not possibly have operated as claimed.)

If, during that period, amidst the fracas prompted by my discovery, a clairvoyant had predicted that, 20 years later, my adversaries, after many attempts to show that I was wrong, would (as Baynac did in 1996) resign themselves to acknowledging that, after all, there existed not the least evidence with which to prove the reality of a single Nazi gas chamber, I certainly would have rejoiced. I might have also concluded that the myth of the “Holocaust” could never survive such a direct hit, that the media would then quit propagating the Great Lie and that, quite naturally, the legal repression of revisionists would end by itself.

In so reckoning I would have committed an error both of diagnosis and of prognosis.

For the spirit of superstitious belief is different than that of science. It makes its own way in the world. The realm of religion, of ideology, of illusion, of the media, and of fictional cinema can develop at a certain remove from scientific realities. Even Voltaire never succeeded in “crushing the vile foe.” One may therefore say that, like Voltaire denouncing the absurdities of the Hebraic tales, the revisionists — in spite of the scholarly character of their work — are doomed never to carry the day against the wild imaginings of the Synagogue, while the Synagogue, for its part, will never succeed in stifling the voices of the revisionists. The “Holocaust” and “Shoah business” propaganda will continue to flourish. It still remains for revisionists to show how this belief, this myth was born, grew and flourished before, perhaps, one day disappearing to make way, not for reason but for other beliefs and other myths.

How are men deceived, and why do they deceive themselves so readily?

The masses are most easily fooled through manipulation of images. With the liberation of the German concentration camps in April 1945, British and American journalists rushed to photograph and film true horrors that were then, one may say, made into truer than life horrors. In the language dear to media people, the public was presented with a “put-up” job. note 30 On the one hand, we were shown real dead bodies as well as real crematories, and, on the other hand, thanks to some misleading comments and a cinematic staging, a deft artifice was effected. I describe this fraud with a phrase that may serve to help unmask all such impostures: We were led to take the dead for killed, and crematories for execution gas chambers.

Thus was born the confusion, still so widespread today, between, on the one hand, the crematories, which actually existed (but not at Bergen-Belsen) for the incineration of corpses and, on the other hand, the Nazi gas chambers allegedly used to kill whole crowds of men and women, but which, in reality, never existed nor could have existed.

The myth of the Nazi gas chambers and their association with the crematories originated, in its media form, in the press and newsreel photographs and media commentary from the Bergen-Belsen camp — which, orthodox historians now admit, possessed neither mass-execution gas chambers nor even simple crematories.

At a news conference in Stockholm in March 1992, I issued a challenge to the audience of newspaper and television reporters. That challenge was made in the nine words: “Show me or draw me a Nazi gas chamber.”

The next day, the journalists’ reports on the news conference indeed appeared, but they passed over in silence its essential object: precisely that challenge. They had looked for photographs and had found none.

Billions of people over this past half-century assume (or imagine) that they have seen images of Nazi gas chambers in books or in documentary films. Many are convinced that, at least once in their lives, they’ve come across a photograph of a Nazi gas chamber. Some have visited Auschwitz or another camp where guides told them that this or that structure was a gas chamber. Such visitors are told that before their eyes is (as the case may be) a gas chamber “in its original state” or “a reconstruction” of an original gas chamber. (This latter expression implies that the “reconstruction” is faithful, that it conforms to the “original.”) Sometimes visitors are shown remains of what they are told are “ruins of a gas chamber.” note 31 Yet, in all such cases, they have been deceived or, better, have deceived themselves. This phenomenon is easily explained.

Many people imagine that a homicidal gas chamber is merely a room with poison gas inside. This reveals confusion between an execution gassing, and a suicidal or accidental one. An execution gassing, such as those of individuals in some United States prisons, is unavoidably a very complicated undertaking. In such a case, care must be taken to kill only the condemned prisoner without causing an accident, and without putting one’s own life, or that of one’s associates, in danger, especially in the final phase, that is, when the chamber must be entered to remove the contaminated corpse. Most “Holocaust” museum visitors, readers, film-goers, and even most historians, are obviously unaware of any of this. Those in charge of “Holocaust” museums exploit this lack of awareness. For an effective Nazi gas chamber exhibit, they need only show the credulous public a gloomy space or room, a cold morgue room, a shower room (preferably located below ground), or an air raid shelter (with a peephole in its door), and the trick will work. The tricksters can manage with even less that this: it’s enough merely to show a door, a wall, or a roof of a purported “gas chamber.” The most clever ones will get by with just a bundle of hair, a pile of shoes, or a heap of eyeglasses, while claiming that these are the only traces or remains left of the “gassed” victims. Naturally, they will refrain from mentioning that, during the war and the blockade, in a Europe beset with general shortages and penury, vast “recovery” and “recycling” programs were organized to reclaim all recoverable materials, including hair, which was used, for example, in textile products.

A similar confusion reigns with respect to the witnesses. We are presented with bands of witnesses to the genocide of the Jews. Whether orally or in writing, these witnesses claim to assert that Germany carried out a plan for the overall extermination of the Jews of Europe. In reality, these witnesses can truthfully attest only to such facts as the Jews’ deportation, their internment in detention camps, concentration camps or forced labor camps, and even, in some cases, the functioning of crematories. The Jews were to so great a degree not doomed to extermination, or to end up in mass-execution gas chambers, that each one of these countless survivors or escapees, far from constituting, as some would have us believe, a “living proof of the genocide,” is, on the contrary, a living proof that there was no genocide. As has been seen above, at war’s end the number of Jewish “survivors” of the “Holocaust” probably exceeded three million.

For Auschwitz alone, a lengthy list may be made of former Jewish inmates who have borne witness — in public, orally or in writing, on television, in books, in the law courts — to “the extermination of the Jews” in the camp. note 32

I shall also mention the resounding case of a late arrival — the Swiss clarinettist Binjamin Wilkomirski. It is not clear why, but this false witness was publicly exposed after a three-year spell of glory during which he was honored with the US National Jewish Book Award, the Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize in Britain, the Mmoire de la Shoah prize in France, and an impressive series of dithyrambic articles in the press worldwide. His purported autobiography, in which he relates being deported as a child to Majdanek and to Auschwitz (?), was originally published in Germany in 1995. It appeared in English under the title Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood. note 33 Jewish author Daniel Ganzfried concluded, on the basis of his investigation, that Binjamin Wilkomirski, alias Bruno Doessekker, born Bruno Grosjean, indeed had some experience of Auschwitz and Majdanek, but only after the war, as a tourist. note 34 In 1995 the Australian Donald Watt successfully deceived much of the English-language media with a memoir that told of his alleged life as a crematory “stoker” at Auschwitz-Birkenau. note 35 Between September and November 1998, a vast media operation was organized in Germany and France based on the sudden “revelations” of Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Mnch, one-time SS physician at Auschwitz. The vein is decidedly bountiful.

Primo Levi is still generally treated as a reliable witness. While this reputation was perhaps deserved in 1947, with the publication of his book Se questo un uomo (published in the US under the title Survival in Auschwitz), Levi later conducted himself rather unworthily. Elie Wiesel remains the undisputed “star false witness” of the “Holocaust.” In his autobiographical account Night he does not mention “gas chambers.” For him, the Germans threw Jews into blazing pits. (As recently as June 2, 1987, he testified under oath at the Klaus Barbie trial in Lyon that he had “seen, in a little wood, somewhere in [Auschwitz] Birkenau, SS men throwing live children into the flames.” (The translator and editor of the German version of Night resuscitated the “gas chambers” in Wiesel’s account of Auschwitz. In France, Fred Sedel in 1990 similarly proceeded in re-editing a book that had appeared in 1963, putting “chambres gaz” ["gas chamber"] where, 27 years earlier, he had mentioned only “fours crmatoires” ["crematory ovens"].) note 36

In this same boat of “pious lies” one may also include the testimonies of some non-Jews, in particular that of General Andr Rogerie. In the original 1946 edition of his memoir, Vivre, c’est vaincre, he wrote only of having heard talk of “gas chambers.” But fortified by support from Georges Wellers, he presented himself in 1988 as a “Holocaust witness” who had “beheld the Shoah at Birkenau.” note 37 As he himself has related, his lot as a prisoner in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was a privileged one. He lodged in the barracks of the “bosses” and enjoyed a “royally cushy position” of which he “has fond remembrances.” He ate pancakes with jam and played bridge. Of course, he wrote, “not only merry events take place [in the camp].” Still, upon leaving Birkenau he had this thought: “Unlike many others, I have been better off here than anywhere else.” note 38

Samuel Gringauz got through the war in the ghetto of Kaunas, Lithuania. In 1950 — that is, at a time when it was still possible to speak somewhat freely on the subject — he gave an appraisal of the literature thus far produced by the survivors of the “great Jewish catastrophe.” Deploring the trespasses to which their “hyper-historical complex” was then giving rise, he wrote: note 39

The hyper-historical complex may be described as judeocentric, lococentric and egocentric. It concentrates historical relevance on Jewish problems of local events under the aspect of personal experience. This is the reason why most of the memoirs and reports are full of preposterous verbosity, graphomanic exaggeration, dramatic effects, overestimated self-inflation, dilletante [sic] philosophizing, would-be lyricism, unchecked rumors, bias, partisan attacks and apologies.

One can only assent to this judgment, which could perfectly well apply today to a Claude Lanzmann or an Elie Wiesel. For the latter’s “hyper-historical complex,” for the “judeocentric, lococentric and egocentric” character of his writings, one may refer to Wiesel’s two recent volumes of memoirs, published in the US under the titles All Rivers Run to the Sea, and, And the Sea is Never Full. In so doing, one may also realize that, far from having been exterminated, a great many of the members of the Jewish community of the little Romanian-Hungarian town of Sighet in all likelihood survived deportation, notably to Auschwitz in May and June of 1944, and internment. Himself a native of Sighet, Wiesel endured the fate of his fellow townspeople. In journeys to various places around the world after the war, he came upon an amazing number of relatives, friends, old acquaintances, and others from Sighet who, thanks to a succession of “miracles,” had survived Auschwitz or the “Holocaust.”

Just as perplexed as today’s generation, those of the future will ask themselves identical questions about a number of Second World War myths besides that of the Nazi gas chambers: in addition to the stories already mentioned of “Jewish soap,” tanned human skins, “shrunken heads,” and “gas vans,” one may also cite the stories of the insane medical experiments attributed to Dr. Mengele, Adolf Hitler’s orders to exterminate the Jews, Heinrich Himmler’s order to halt said extermination, and the mass killings of Jews by electricity, steam, quicklime, crematories, burning pits, and vacuum pumps. Let us also cite the purported exterminations of Gypsies and homosexuals, and the alleged gassings of the mentally ill. Future generations will also wonder about many other subjects: the massacres on the Eastern front as related in certain writings, and in writing only, at the Nuremberg trial by the professional false witness Hermann Grbe; such now-acknowledged impostures as the book supposedly by Hermann Rauschning, which in fact was written chiefly by the Hungarian Jew Imre Rvsz, alias Emery Reves, but used extensively at the Nuremberg trial as though it were authentic; note 40 the mass killing of Jews near Auschwitz with an experimental atomic bomb, a claim also brought up at the Nuremberg trial; note 41 the absurd “confessions” extorted from German prisoners; the reputed diary of Anne Frank; the young boy in the Warsaw ghetto shown as going to his death, whereas he most likely emigrated to New York after the war; note 42 along with various false memoirs, false stories, false testimonies, and false attributions, the true natures of which would, with a minimum of effort, have been easy to ascertain.

But those future generations will probably be astonished most of all by the myth that was instituted and hallowed by the Nuremberg trial (and, to a lesser degree, by the Tokyo trial): that of the intrinsic barbarity of the vanquished and the intrinsic virtue of the victors who, as becomes apparent upon a close look at the facts, themselves committed acts of horror that were far more striking, both in quantity and in quality, than those perpetrated by the vanquished.

At a time when one might be led to believe that only the Jews really suffered during the Second World War, and that only the Germans behaved like veritable criminals, an impartial examination into the true sufferings of all peoples and the real crimes of all belligerents seems overdue.

Whether “just” or “unjust,” every war is a butchery — indeed, notwithstanding the heroism of countless soldiers, a competition in butchery. At the end of it, the winner turns out to have been nothing more than a good butcher, and the loser a bad butcher. So when hostilities have ceased, the victor may perhaps be entitled to give the vanquished a lesson in butchery, but certainly not in Right and Justice. Yet that is just what happened in the great Nuremberg trial of 1945-1946, when the four big winners, acting in their own names and in the name of the 19 victorious entities (not counting the World Jewish Congress, which enjoyed the status of amicus curiae or “friend of the court”), had the cynicism to inflict such a treatment on a beaten nation reduced to total impotence.

According to Nahum Goldmann, President of both the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization, the idea of such a trial was the brainchild of a few Jews. note 43 As for the role played by Jews in the actual proceedings at Nuremberg, it was considerable. The American delegation, which ran the entire business, was made up largely of “re-emigrants,” that is, of Jews who migrated in the 1930s from Germany to America, and then returned to Germany after the war. Gustave M. Gilbert, the famous psychologist and author of Nuremberg Diary (1947), was a Jew who, working behind the scenes with the American prosecutors, did not miss the chance to practice psychological torture on the German defendants. Airey Neave, a member of the British delegation, remarked, in a book prefaced by Lord Justice Birkett, one of the panel of judges, that many of the American examiners were German-born, and all were Jewish. note 44

For reasons I deal with in detail in my crits rvisionnistes collection, the Nuremberg trial can be regarded as this century’s crime of all crimes. Its consequences have proven tragic. It accorded the status of truth to an extravagant volume of lies, calumnies, and injustices that over the years have served to justify all kinds of wickedness: in particular Bolshevik and Zionist expansionism at the expense of nations in Europe and Asia, and of Palestine. Given, however, that the Nuremberg judges found Germany guilty, first and foremost, of having unilaterally plotted and instigated the Second World War, we must begin by first examining this point.

Because history is primarily a matter of geography, let us consider a desktop globe of the year 1939 on whose surface a single color would cover four immense aggregates: Great Britain and her empire of a fifth of the Earth, and upon which “the sun never set,” France and her own vast colonial empire, the United States and its vassals, and, finally, the impressive empire of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Then, another color would mark the modest Germany within her pre-war borders, the meager Italy and her little colonial empire, and finally Japan, whose armies at the time occupied territory in China. (We shall not consider here the countries that were later to join the ranks, at least provisionally, of one or the other of these two belligerent blocs.)

The contrast between the geographical areas covered by these two groups is striking, as is the contrast between their natural, industrial, and commercial resources. Of course, by the end of the 1930s, Germany and Japan were starting — as the postwar years further proved — to shake off their yokes, and to build an economy and an army capable of disquieting the bigger and stronger powers. And, of course, the Germans and the Japanese, during the first years of the war, deployed an uncommon measure of energy and succeeded in carving out their short-lived empires. But, all things considered, Germany, Italy, and Japan were mere dwarfs, so to speak, beside the four giants that were the British, French, American, and Soviet empires.

Who today can seriously believe — as was maintained at the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials — that during the late 1930s these three dwarfs deliberately sought to provoke a new world war? Better still: who today can believe for an instant that, during the general slaughter that ensued, the first of these three dwarfs (Germany) was guilty of every imaginable crime, while the next (Japan) came a distant second, and the third (Italy), which changed sides in September 1943, committed no really reprehensible acts? Who today can accept the notion that the four giants did not, to use the Nuremberg terminology, commit any “crimes against peace,” any “war crimes,” or any “crimes against humanity” that, after 1945, would have warranted judgment by an international tribunal?

It is nevertheless easy to show, with solid proof, that the winners, in six years of war and in a few years afterwards, accumulated, in their massacres of prisoners of war and of civilians, in massive deportations, in systematic looting, and in summary or “judicial” executions, more horrors than the losers. Katyn forest, the Gulag, Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the expulsion, under horrible conditions, of 12 to 15 million Germans (from East Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia), the handing over of millions of Europeans to the Soviet moloch, the bloodiest purge ever to sweep the continent: was all of that really too small a matter for review by an international tribunal? During this past century, no military force has killed as many children — in Europe, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Central America — as the US air force. And yet no international authority has held it to account for these slaughters, which the “boys” have always been ready to carry out anywhere in the world, for such is their “job.” note 45

“Cursed be war!” reads the inscription on the war memorial in the small French town of Gentioux. In the town of Saint-Martin-d’Estraux, the inscription on the memorial is lengthier, but its “assessment” of the war sends forth the same cry. note 46 The lists, in churches and on monuments throughout France, of the dead from the 1914-1918 war are heart-rending. Today no one is really able to say for just what reason the youth of France (just as, on its side, the youth of Germany) were thus mown down.

On some of these same memorials in our towns and villages one can also find, though in markedly smaller numbers, the names of young Frenchmen killed or missing during the campaign of 1939-1940: about 87,000 altogether. Occasionally one also finds lists of civilian victims. During the war years, the British and Americans alone killed some 67,000 in their air attacks on France. Occasionally, to round out the list, one can sometimes find the names of a few Rsistance members who died in their beds well after the war. Almost never can one find the names of French victims of the “Great Purge” of 1944-1947 — probably 14,000, and not 30,000 or, as is sometimes claimed, 105,000 — in which Jews, Communists, and last-minute Gaullists played an essential role. With rare exceptions the names of the colonial troops who “died for France” are also missing, because they were not natives of the French towns.

For France, the two world wars constituted a disaster: the first, especially because of the sheer volume of human losses, and the second because of its character as a civil war that has persisted to this day.

When reflecting on these lists of First World War dead, including those “missing in action,” when remembering the whole battalions of men who survived with ruined faces, of those wounded, maimed, and crippled for life, when taking stock of the destructions of all sorts, when thinking of the families devastated by these losses, of the prisoners, of those “shot for desertion,” of the suicides provoked by so much suffering, when remembering as well the 25 million deaths in America and Europe in 1918 from the epidemic of a viral illness wrongly called “Spanish influenza” (brought into France, at least in part, by American troops), note 47 can one not understand the pre-1939-1945 pacifists and supporters of “Munich,” as well as the Ptainists of 1940? What right today has anyone to speak blithely of “cowardice,” either with regard to the Munich accords of September 29 and 30, 1938, or to the armistice signed at Rethondes in Picardy on June 22, 1940? Could the Frenchmen who, in the late 1930s, still bore the physical and emotional scars of the 1914-1918 holocaust (a veritable one), and its aftermath, consider it a moral obligation to hurl themselves straight into a new slaughter? And, after the signing of an armistice that, however harsh, was by no means shameful, where was the dishonor in seeking an understanding with the adversary, not in order to wage war but to make peace?

“Hitler [was] born at Versailles”: that sentence serves as the title of a work by the late Lon Degrelle. note 48 The 1919 Versailles Diktat — for it was not really a treaty — was so harsh and dishonorable for the defeated nation that the American Senate refused to recognize or adopt it (November 20, 1919). And in the years that followed, it was ever more discredited. It dismembered Germany, submitted it to a cruel military occupation, and starved it. In particular, it obliged the defeated nation to cede to the newly created state of Poland the regions of Posen, Upper Silesia, and part of West Prussia. The 440 articles of the “Treaty of Peace Between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany” (together with its annexes) signed at Versailles on June 28, 1919, constituted, along with the related treaties (Trianon, Saint-Germain, Svres), a monumental iniquity which, if anything, only the fury of a recently ended war can explain. As one French writer has put it: “It is easy enough to find fault with the Germans for not having respected Versailles. Their duty of honor as Germans was, first, to get round it, and then to tear it up, just as that of the French was to maintain it.” note 49

Twenty years after that crushing humiliation, Hitler sought to recover some of the territory turned over to Poland, just as France, after its defeat in 1870, sought to recover Alsace and a part of Lorraine.

Unless he chooses to speak flippantly, no historian is in a position to state who in fact is mainly to blame for a worldwide conflict. It is thus wise not to ascribe to Hitler exclusive responsibility for the 1939-1945 war under the pretext that, on the 1st of September 1939, he went to war against Poland. On the other hand, the attempt to justify the entry into war of Britain and France, two days later, against Germany on the basis of a pledge to come to the aid of Poland seems rather unfounded given that, two weeks later (September 17, 1939), the USSR invaded Poland and occupied a good part of its territory, without prompting any military reaction on the part of Britain or France.

Worldwide conflicts resemble tremendous natural disasters in that they cannot accurately be predicted, even if one can sometimes feel them coming. Only after the fact can they be explained, laboriously and, too often, affected by reserves of bad faith in the form of mutual accusations of negligence, blindness, ill will, or irresponsibility. All the same one can note that in Germany during the late 1930s, the pro-war camp, that is, those who urged military action against the western powers was, to all intents and purposes, non-existent. The Germans envisaged only a “push to the East” (Drang nach Osten). On the other hand, in Britain, France and the United States, the anti-German hawks were powerful. The “war party” wanted a “democratic crusade,” and got it. Among these new crusaders figured, with a few noteworthy exceptions, the whole of American and European organized Jewry.

During the First World War, the British cynically exploited all the resources of propaganda based on wholly fictitious atrocity stories. note 50 During the Second World War they remained true to form.

Today people widely condemn Neville Chamberlain for his policy of “appeasement” in dealing with the Germans, whereas people hold, or pretend to hold, Winston Churchill in high esteem for his determination to carry on war against Germany. It is not yet certain that history, with time, will uphold this judgment. New discoveries concerning Churchill’s personality and wartime role raise questions about the dubious justifications for that determination, along with questions about the fruits of his policies. At least Chamberlain had foreseen that even a British victory would entail disaster for his country, her empire, and for other victors as well. Churchill did not see this, or did not know how to see it. He promised “blood, toil, tears, and sweat,” to be followed by victory. He did not anticipate the bitter morrow of victory: the hastened disappearance of the empire he held dear, and the handing over of nearly half of Europe to Communist imperialism.

During an address given several years ago, David Irving, Churchill’s biographer, showed the illusory nature of the justifications given by Churchill, first, to launch his countrymen into the war, and then to keep them in it. The business, if one may so term it, was carried out in four phases.

Continued here:
Impact and Future of Holocaust Revisionism

Student Behind Letter Accusing Bristol University Lecturer Of Anti … – Huffington Post UK

A student who wrote an impassioned open letter accusing his lecturer of anti-Semitism has now criticised calls from campaigners for her dismissal.

Bristol University launched an investigation into Dr Rebecca Gould, a reader in translation studies and comparative literature, after it was revealed that she had written an article in 2011 arguing it was time to stop privileging the Holocaust.

InBeyond Anti Semitism, Gould said the Holocaust was available to manipulation by governmental elites, aiming to promote the narrative most likely to underwrite their claims to sovereignty.

Claiming the Holocaust as a holy event sanctifies the state of Israel and whitewashes its crimes, the academic added.

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But despite claiming his tutor had used the language of Holocaust revisionists and anti-Semites,undergraduate Sahar Zivan said Gould should not be sacked and her views should instead be debated.

In a post on Facebook, Zivan wrote: A few weeks ago I wrote an open letter to one of my lecturers, timed to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day.

I ended the article by expressing my hope that the lecturer would use the day to reflect, as we all should, on how we talk about the Holocaust and how we remember it.

Zivan anonymised his initial letter, published in student paper Epigram, in the hope that people would be capable of debating an issue without needing a culprit.

Instead, an external group dealing with antisemitism went all-out to identify the lecturer, and eventually, almost a month later, they succeeded, he wrote.

Explaining how he had since been able to have a vitally important discussion with Gould about the Holocaust after giving a presentation in her class, Zivan added: The people who filed the complaint are not students at the university, but part of an external national campaign. I will not join their calls to sack her.

I will continue to put myself forward for reasoned debate. Especially when its difficult. Especially because its difficult.

Adrian Pingstone

When contacted by the Telegraph, Gould argued that her article was a rallying call to action for people of conscience horrified by the slaughter of six million Jews by the Nazi regime to stand up against all atrocities and injustices today around the world, including in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Calls for the academic to be sacked came from the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA), which wrote on its website: Dr Rebecca Gould, a lecturer at the University of Bristol, has been caught red-handed having written a sickening article about anti-Semitism.

If Dr Gould still holds such views she should be dismissed, and her dismissal should be made public so as to clearly signal the University of Bristols values, it added.

Matt Cardy via Getty Images

Others agreed with the CAAs stance.Bristol graduate Jeremy Havardi wrote on Facebook that the lecturer had stooped to a truly despicable low.

Sir Eric Pickles, the UKs special envoy on post-Holocaust issues, said it was one of the worst cases of Holocaust denial he had seen in recent years.

He told the Telegraph:To describe the murder of six million Jewish people like this frankly beggars belief. I am all for debate and freedom and speech but this passes into a new dimension.

A spokesperson from Bristol University confirmed to The Huffington Post UK that it had launched an investigation.

Academic freedom, and freedom of speech, are at the heart of our mission at the University of Bristol, they said.

Since receiving a letter from the Campaign Against Antisemitism last week we are actively looking into this matter.

Originally posted here:
Student Behind Letter Accusing Bristol University Lecturer Of Anti … – Huffington Post UK

Trump condemns anti-Semitism but can’t stop questions …

But scores of people still took issue with how long the statement took. It left many wondering just why he delayed taking a seemingly obvious moral course for a president in the face of bomb threats at 48 JCCs in 26 states in January and rising fears of widening nationwide anti-Semitism after additional incidents this month.

Former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, a CNN senior political commentator, said he was “befuddled” over why Trump had not spoken out before.

“This is a President who to me is very much a mensch,” Santorum told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday, using the Yiddish term for a person of decency and integrity. He also noted Trump’s support for Israel and his three Jewish grandchildren.

Trump’s missing voice on the issue effectively created a vacuum that allowed critics to lay fresh charges of bigotry against him and had even his defenders wondering why the President seemed unwilling to address the issue.

Trump had several opportunities in news conferences last week to speak out against threats that are causing deep anxiety within Jewish communities and failed to do so. Moreover, he brusquely shut down an Orthodox Jewish journalist on the issue in one of the most jarring encounters of his presidency.

That confrontation, the new spate of threats against JCCs, the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis and growing political pressure for Trump to speak out — including from his defeated presidential rival Hillary Clinton — help explain the timing of his remarks.

It was fast becoming politically damaging for Trump not to adopt a stern, public line against the incidents.

“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” Trump said Tuesday during a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The President said that his tour was “a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.”

Trump won kudos for his remarks.

“What he said just recently is what I would hope the President of the United States would do,” Democratic Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin said on CNN on Tuesday. But he added, “He was slow to getting to this issue.”

Indeed, Trump’s clear words were also a reminder of what had been missing — and are unlikely to satisfy Trump’s opponents. Particularly after his missteps exacerbated their concerns about his true interest in stamping out anti-Semitism.

For one thing, Trump’s extreme sensitivity to criticism has led him to equate questions about racial and religious prejudice in general as a suggestion that he might somehow be personally guilty of such sins, obscuring the larger issue and the depth of his opposition to expressions of prejudice.

When Jake Turx of Brooklyn-based Ami magazine asked Trump last week about the rise in anti-Semitic acts, the President immediately jumped to the conclusion he was being accused of bigotry, despite the fact the reporter took steps to assure him that was not the case.

“Quiet, quiet, quiet,” Trump said as the reporter tried to explain his question.

“I hate the charge, I find it repulsive,” Trump said.

The exchange was a fresh indication of how the President tends to personalize many issues, ranging from Russia or questions about the legitimacy of his election win and see them as a reflection of his own reputation.

It’s not as if he needed to wait for his visit to the museum to make his feelings clear. No president in modern times has kept up such a torrent of condemnation on the long list of people, events and issues that irk him, often on Twitter but also in frequent photo ops with journalists.

So his failure to speak out forcefully about anti-Semitism had perplexed Washington.

Trump critics suggested that the delay was in keeping with what they see as the President’s consistent failure to condemn bigotry, especially among extremist groups attracted by his campaign rhetoric. He was hit with criticism last year for not promptly repudiating key Ku Klux Klan figure David Duke, though Trump did later do so.

More recently, Trump critics pointed to the administration’s immigration ban on the citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries that was stayed by a federal court as evidence of prejudice in the West Wing.

The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect said Trump’s statement was merely “a Band-Aid on the cancer of anti-Semitism that has infected his own administration.”

“His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting anti-Semitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record,” said Steven Goldstein, the center’s executive director.

The anti-Semitism controversy also appears to reflect the growing pains of a new administration and the struggles evident in Trump’s transition from rabble-rousing candidate to president.

Trump and his team — many of whom are outsiders in his own image — lack deep governing experience, and already seem to betray a bunker mentality that hurts their ability to navigate fast-growing political challenges.

“He took way too long” to respond, said former Democratic congressman Steve Israel, now a CNN commentator, who stressed he was not accusing Trump of anti-Semitism but wanted him to speak out more prominently against it.

“The President not only has the bully pulpit, he has the moral high ground,” Israel said, and cast doubt on the political savvy of the White House. “This is an administration that seems to be good about denying itself its own lay-ups. This should have been said earlier. It should have been easy.”

Israel and others called on Trump to take real steps to reinforce his remarks.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to establish a special task force to apprehend those behind the bomb threats and for Trump to “outline his administration’s plan to combat surging anti-Semitism.”

At the White House, spokesman Sean Spicer did not offer specifics about what Trump would do policy-wise. But he promised the President would “speak very, very forcefully against those who are seeking to do hate or to tear people down.”

He also complained about those continuing to criticize the President on this front.

“It’s ironic that no matter how many times he talks about this, that it’s never good enough. Today I think was an unbelievably forceful comment by the President … but I think that he’s been very clear previous to this that he wants to be someone that brings this country together and not divides people,” Spicer said.

CNN’s Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.

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Trump condemns anti-Semitism but can’t stop questions …

Trump, the Jews and the political weaponization of antisemitism – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Was that so hard?

At some point in the past week, it looked like President Donald Trump was never going to use antisemitism in a sentence. It took a fourth series of hoax bomb threats at JCCs around the country and imprecations from Jewish groups across the ideological spectrum for the president to at last use the A word.

Antisemitism is horrible and its going to stop, and it has to stop, Trump said Tuesday morning. The antisemitic threats targeting our Jewish community and our Jewish community centers are horrible, are painful and they are a reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.

That it took so long for Trump to condemn antisemitism after twice being asked about it last week, and coming on the heels of a White House International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that somehow omitted any mention of the Jews, was mind-boggling to many groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, which said so in a tweet.

It had reached a point that I already started imagining a White House Passover greeting that didnt mention the Jews.

Starting at sundown, the world will come together to remember certain events in Egypt, it would begin, and end with, Ive made it clear that all plagues are horrible.

What made Trumps demurrals stranger is that denunciations of antisemitism are to presidential declarations what kosher symbols are to supermarket goods: It doesnt hurt to have one, and only Jews usually notice.

So why did it take the administration five tries to get it right? I am counting the two news conferences, in which Trump basically punted on the question from two Jewish reporters; a statement from the White House on Monday that denounced hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind without mentioning Jews or antisemitism, and daughter Ivankas tweet saying We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC. The JCC hashtag was a nice touch, but not exactly a Queen Esther-style declaration of co-religious solidarity.

Pundits spent the past week trying to explain Trumps hesitation. Peter Beinart blamed narcissism, using the theory that when Trump hears antisemitism, he cant help but take it as a personal attack that he must fend off. I wondered if it was simple belligerence that the more you ask this president for something, the more he is likely to say you cant make me.

Or maybe he was just annoyed at the ADL, the group most identified with combating antisemitism, for repeatedly calling him and his campaign out for either ignoring or encouraging intolerance. Maybe Trump saw CEO Jonathan Greenblatts Feb. 17 column in The Washington Post recalling how the Trump campaign repeatedly tweeted and shared antisemitic imagery and language, thus allowing this poison to move from the margins into the mainstream of the public conversation.

The most ominous explanation, offered by Bradley Burston from the left-wing Haaretz newspaper and a surprisingly outspoken Chuck Todd of NBC News, was that Trump was throwing a bone to or at least trying not to alienate the alt-right trolls who formed a small but vocal part of his winning coalition.

Mr. President, we believe you and many other Jews believe you, so please make it clear that not only are you not an antisemite but that you reject people who are even if they did vote for you, Todd said last week.

If Trump had been struggling with a political calculation, it was reminiscent of one that played out in the 2008 campaign, when then-candidate Barack Obama was being pressed to disavow an endorsement from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. When he was asked about Farrakhan during a debate with fellow Democratic contender Hillary Clinton, you could almost see the thought bubble over Obamas head as he weighed rejecting Farrakhan without alienating supporters who considered him a hero.

Obama answered by reiterating his denunciation of Farrakhans antisemitism, leading to a semantic debate with Clinton over the distinction between denouncing and rejecting. Eventually the ADLs then national director, Abe Foxman, declared that Obama had cleared the Farrakhan hurdle.

If Trumps allergy to the A word is a political calculation, what would it be? He knows that three out of every four Jews didnt vote for him, and perhaps someone is whispering to him, a la James Baker, that he gains no advantage by caving to a special interest as liberal as the Jews.

Trumps critics pin the issue on his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, who came to the Trump campaign after steering Breitbart News, which he himself called a platform for the alt-right, among other right-wing movements. In turn, Bannons defenders note that Breitbart is enthusiastically pro-Israel and often keeps tabs on antisemitism.

But search antisemitism at Breitbart and a pattern emerges one that could explain the week that was. The site seems most exercised about Jew hatred when it is committed by Muslims, members of the left wing in Europe, and far left and anti-Israel activists on American college campuses. When it does report on hate crimes in the United States, its coverage is almost always skeptical, highlighting hate-crime hoaxes or quoting those who deny that there has been a surge in hate crimes here or in Britain since the US elections or Brexit.

This week, when much of the press corps was focusing on how and whether Trump would denounce antisemitism, Joel Pollak, a senior editor-at-large at Breitbart, was accusing the media of hyping fears of antisemitism. Pollak blames an ongoing pattern of false hate crimes and the medias reluctance to report on left-wing antisemitism. But mostly he blames general anti-Trump hysteria.

Trumps critics seem to want to believe false accusations of antisemitism, which justify their hatred of him and maintain a sense of outrage and unity among activists, writes Pollak.

For Pollak and other Breitbart contributors, the reporting and denunciation of antisemitism is a partisan weapon wielded by the left to discredit the right. (Just as Trump asserted that its a charge wielded by a dishonest media to discredit him.) Of course, Breitbart also politicizes antisemitism, using it as a scarlet A to be worn, almost exclusively, by Muslims, campus radicals, self-hating Jews and European leftists. In fact, it has become an increasingly familiar trope both on the left and the right that the other is more antisemitic.

At least both sides agree that antisemitism is bad, even if they hesitate to take responsibility for the version that metastasizes among their ideological allies. They want to target the Jew haters but are wary about friendly fire.

Maybe the mistake of Jewish groups in seeking a strong response from Trump is that they are living in a simpler past, when both sides could agree that antisemitism was an evil, no matter the perpetrators or their politics.

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Trump, the Jews and the political weaponization of antisemitism – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Evidence of rising anti-Semitism, but data mostly elusive – Minnesota Public Radio News

Has anti-Semitism accompanied Donald Trump’s rise to power? Some organizations that monitor hate groups and hate crimes believe so, noting a rash of recent incidents. But data is elusive, and the president’s supporters note his family connection a Jewish daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren and his comments this week condemning hate and prejudice.

Here’s a look at recent incidents targeting Jewish sites and anti-Semitism in the U.S.:

Human rights activists and organizations are convinced that Trump’s popularity and electoral victory created an acceptance into the mainstream of the “alt-right,” an offshoot of conservatism mixing racism, white nationalism and populism, and along with it, anti-Semitism.

There have been reports nationwide in recent months of anti-Semitic incidents, including people yelling pro-Hitler comments at a rabbi on the street in Providence, R.I., swastikas drawn in subway cars in New York City, and bomb threats at Jewish buildings in several cities.

But determining whether such incidents have increased is difficult.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit that monitors hate groups and extremists, reported last week that the number of hate groups operating in the U.S. rose from 892 in 2015 to 917 in last year. But that’s still short of the all-time high of 1,018 hate groups in 2011.

The organization also counted 1,094 bias-related incidents in the month following Trump’s November election victory, including 33 against Jews, 108 involving swastikas and 47 white nationalist fliers.

New York City police keep a running tab of hate crimes. As of Sunday, 31 hate crimes have been reported against Jewish people this year more than double compared to the same period of 2016.

Official nationwide government data for the last year isn’t available. The FBI tracks hate crimes, but the most recent available data is from 2015.

Among the most recent events were bomb threats phoned in to 11 Jewish community centers across the country on Monday, including in St. Paul, Chicago, Cleveland and Houston.

No bombs were found and no arrests have been made, but the threats along with similar threats over recent months at other centers created fear and uncertainty among Jewish people.

Also on Monday, roughly 200 headstones were found knocked over or broken at a Jewish cemetery in suburban St. Louis. No arrests have been made for the damage at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Mo. Investigators have not yet determined if it was a hate crime. Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who is Jewish, posted a statement on Facebook calling the vandalism “despicable” and “cowardly.”

Until Tuesday, it was what Trump hadn’t said that raised eyebrows. Jewish groups and others were upset in January when a White House statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day failed to mention Jews. Aides to the president defended the statement as “inclusive” of all who were killed by the Nazis.

Last week, when a reporter from the Orthodox Ami Magazine tried to ask Trump during a news conference about increased reports of anti-Jewish harassment and hate crimes, Trump interrupted, saying, “not a fair question.” When reporter Jake Turx tried to continue, the president said: “Quiet, quiet, quiet … I find it repulsive. I hate even the question.”

Trump went on to call himself “the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your life,” and the “least racist person.”

But on Tuesday, Trump denounced threats against Jewish community centers as “horrible” and “painful,” saying more needed to be done “to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”

Speaking after a tour of the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture, Trump said: “This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.”

The president is a Presbyterian, but his daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism ahead of her 2009 marriage to Jared Kushner, who serves as a senior adviser to the president.

Ivanka and Jared Kushner’s children the president’s grandchildren are Jewish.

On Monday, Ivanka Trump wrote on Twitter, “We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers,” and used the hashtag #JCC, which stands for Jewish community center.

Link:
Evidence of rising anti-Semitism, but data mostly elusive – Minnesota Public Radio News

After delay and amid pressure, Trump denounces racism and anti-Semitism – Washington Post

President Trump on Tuesday denounced racism and anti-Semitic violence after weeks of struggling to offer clear statements of solidarity and support for racial and religious minorities.

During a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Trump read carefully from prepared remarks decrying bigotry and specifically condemning a wave of recent threats against Jewish centers across the country.

This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms, Trump said. The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.

Scanning the piece of paper with his finger as he read, Trump praised the museum on the Mall for its popularity and said the exhibitions had left their mark on his wife, Melania, who had visited the museum a week earlier.

For a president who prides himself on a freewheeling approach to leadership, Trumps demeanor on Monday was notably somber and disciplined. The appearance stood in stark contrast to the flashes of irritation he showed at a news conference last week at the White House, when he dismissed questions from reporters about his outreach to African American political leaders in Washington and his lack of response to a sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents across the country.

The differing responses come as calls have been growing for Trump to respond to a wave of bomb threats directed against Jewish community centers in multiple states on Monday, the fourth in a series of such threats this year, according to the Anti-Defamation League. More than 170 Jewish gravestones were found toppled at a cemetery in suburban St. Louis, over the weekend.

[Trump decries anti-Semitic acts as horrible after threats and vandalism]

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, called Trumps statement as welcome as it is overdue.

President Trump has been inexcusably silent as this trend of anti-Semitism has continued and arguably accelerated, Pesner said. The president of the United States must always be a voice against hate and for the values of religious freedom and inclusion that are the nations highest ideals.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer dismissed the idea that Trump has been slow to address anti-Semitism and racism.

I think its ironic that no matter how many times he talks about this, that its never good enough, Spicer said.

While presidents are often asked to set the tone for the country on sensitive issues of race and religion, Trump has rarely seized the moment. In the past week, Trump seemed to bat aside opportunities to address anti-Semitism. And when asked by a reporter whether he would meet with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Trump asked the reporter, who is African American, whether she would arrange the meeting with the lawmakers, implying that they were her friends.

After a campaign in which Trump was criticized for appealing primarily to white Christians while strongly criticizing Mexican immigrants, Muslims and urban African American communities, the president has said little to assuage concerns that he would govern in a similar fashion, his critics say.

I think it was a good symbolic gesture, but we need something of substance, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said of Trumps museum visit, naming issues such as voting rights, unemployment and urban renewal. Theres been no communication on things that matter to us.

[Trump administration seeks to prevent panic as it outlines broader deportation policies]

Trump has pursued policies broadening the scope of enforcement actions against people illegally in the country and sought to bar entry to the United States by citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries who the administration said pose a significant danger to U.S. national security. Both actions have raised tensions with the countrys Hispanic and Muslim communities.

Some of Trump efforts Tuesday seemed aimed at smoothing over past rifts with minority communities. Spicer pointed out that during his visit to the African American history museum, Trump had viewed an exhibition featuring the speeches of civil rights leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), with whom Trump feuded last month over Lewiss refusal to attend his inauguration.

Still, the moves are seen as insufficient to critics who want Trump to directly address what they consider to be his missteps.

I get that Trump never expected to be president, but now that he is president, he has to act like hes president for all of us, said Benjamin Jealous, a former president of the NAACP. If he wants to be seen as a healer, hes going to have to atone for his own sins, starting with his race-baiting on President Obama.

Trump has been particularly sensitive to any suggestion that his administration is anti-Jewish. During the presidential campaign, chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon was accused of having used the conservative news site Breitbart, when he ran it, as a platform for the alternative right. The alt-right, as it is commonly called, is a far-right movement that seeks a whites-only state and whose adherents are known for espousing racist, anti-Semitic and sexist points of view.

Asked during a news conference last Wednesday to respond to a wave of anti-Semitic incidents across the country, Trump first launched into a defense of his electoral college victory instead of addressing the issue. The next day, Trump was given a second opportunity to address the problem at another news conference but seemed to take the question as a personal affront, declaring that the journalist who posed the question who worked for a Jewish publication was not being fair to him.

This is frustrating to Trump. He thinks hes being treated unfairly, said Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, who called Trump the most pro-Israel president ever.

Trump has already been caught up in a number of controversies involving the Jewish community since taking office a month ago. The White House released a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day that did not mention the Jewish people or anti-Semitism. Instead of acknowledging any error, the White House defended the wording, prompting criticism from several Republican-leaning Jewish groups and the ADL.

[Facing criticism, Trump administration has no regrets about leaving out Jews in Holocaust statement]

Klein was among the Jewish leaders who criticized the administrations omission, but he said it was a minor slip for an overwhelmingly pro-Jewish president.

I look for the policies much more than the words, Klein said. Small mistakes here and there theyre just not consequential.

Yet Trumps critics point to a larger pattern, including his hesitation at denouncing former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who has repeatedly pledged his support to Trump since Trump began his campaign in June 2015. Trumps comments Tuesday on anti-Semitism also came only after his daughter, Ivanka Trump, tweeted a broad condemnation of the recent attacks and threats Monday evening.

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, whom Trump defeated in November, tweeted early Tuesday in reference to the anti-Semitic incidents: Everyone must speak out, starting with @POTUS.

Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, said that when President Trump responds to anti-Semitism proactively and in real time, and without pleas and pressure, thats when well be able to say this president has turned a corner. This is not that moment.

Trumps supporters say that as a political outsider, the presidents response to racial and religious divisions may not be typical for politicians because he is focused more on actions and less on talk.

Tone matters, but tone is just empty talk if theres no movement in the right direction of those indicators of quality of life, said Ken Blackwell, a former secretary of state of Ohio and a former domestic policy adviser for the Trump presidential transition. Blackwell, who is African American, said he expects the administration to roll out new policies aimed at addressing the specific concerns of the black community in the coming weeks.

Just as youve had stops and starts on the immigration executive order, he will get his footing to address this as well, Blackwell said. Hes going to speak to these issues. But he is also uniquely Donald Trump, and he speaks in his own voice and in his own way.

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After delay and amid pressure, Trump denounces racism and anti-Semitism – Washington Post

Netanyahu lauds Trump for taking ‘strong stand against antisemitism’ – Jerusalem Post Israel News

PM Netanyahu and President Trump. (photo credit:AVI OHAYON – GPO)

SYDNEY — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday commended US President Donald Trump for taking “a strong stand against antisemitism.”

Netanyahu, who started a five day-visit to Australia on Wednesday, made the remarks to loud applause in a packed synagogue in Sydney regarding comments Trump made the day before about a resurgence of antisemitism in the US.

“The antisemitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible, and are painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” Trump said.

Netanyahu, during his speech that extolled the tremendous relations between Israel and Australia, received equally fervent applause when he said that the Golan will never go back to Syria, it will always remain a part of Israel.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Australia rolled out a warm, red-carpet, 21-gun-salute welcome Netanyahu, the first ever sitting prime minister to visit this country whose friendship toward Israel and the Zionist cause dates back a century.

Using words like miracle and envy of the world to describe Israel, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull greeted Netanyahu and his wife Sara on the lush lawns of Admiralty House in Sydney, the residence of Australia’s Governor-General.

With the beautiful backdrop of the harbor and the iconic Sydney Opera House in sight, an honor guard greeted Netanyahu and Turnbull and played the Israeli anthem Hatikva twice.

The warmth of Turnbull’s reception was not relegated to the ceremonious welcome, as the Australian prime minister also penned an op-ed in Wednesdays edition of The Australian under the headline, Israeli PM visit cements a warm, old friendship.

An excerpt from the strongly pro-Israel piece appeared as well on the papers front page, titled Turnbull blasts UN over vote on Israel.

My government will not support one-sided resolutions criticizing Israel of the kind recently adopted by the UN Security Council and we deplore the boycott campaigns designed to delegitimize the Jewish state, he wrote.

Turnbull echoed these sentiments during the two public appearances he had with Netanyahu in the first eight hours of his arrival — at a press conference following an initial 90-minute meeting, and at a large event with some 400 Israeli and Australian business people.

At the press conference Turnbull reiterated Australia’s long-standing support for a two-state solution, but said that it must come as a result of direct negotiations. At the same time, the prime minister said Israel cannot be expected to put its security at risk, and that the first duty of any prime minister — both himself and Netanyahu included — is the security of his people.

Speaking about a possible resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Netanyahu said that Israel wants the Palestinians to have all the power to govern themselves, but not the military of physical power to threaten it. The question of a Palestinian state, he said, repeating his statement from last week’s visit to Washington, was not over labels, but rather over substance.

The premier added that a Palestinian state must recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and that Israel must retain final security control over the territory west of the Jordan River.

Both Netanyahu and Turnbull were each asked what could have been perceived as embarrassing questions: Netanyahu was asked about his relationship with Australian billionaire Packer whose name has been tied to one of the affairs for which he is under investigation, and Turnbull was asked about the now famously difficult first telephone conversation he had with Trump.

Netanyahu said that he was not at all concerned about the investigation into his relationship with Packer, and he repeated in English the Hebrew mantra he has been using since the affairs first broke: I think nothing will come of it because there is nothing there, except friendship, which is a good thing.

Regarding the phone call with Trump, Turnbull chuckled when asked whether Netanyahu might help repair the relationship between the US and Australia after that call.

You really shouldnt believe everything you read in the newspapers, he said of the infamous call, about which it was reported that Trump allegedly hung up on Turnbull.

That is absolutely not true, he said, adding that the call was courteous, frank and forthright, and ended with Turnbull thanking Trump for his commitment to the arrangements [regarding taking in refugees} that had been entered into by his predecessor.”

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Netanyahu lauds Trump for taking ‘strong stand against antisemitism’ – Jerusalem Post Israel News

After Criticism for His Silence, Trump Condemns Anti-Semitism – Democracy Now!

And white nationalist Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned from Breitbart amid widespread outrage over his comments appearing to endorse pedophilia. On Tuesday, Yiannopoulos announced his resignation at a press conference in New York City.

Milo Yiannopoulos: “My employer, Breitbart News, has stood by me while others caved. Theyve allowed me to carry conservative and libertarian ideas to communities that would otherwise never have had them. They have been a significant factor in my success, and Im grateful for the freedom and for the friendships that I forged there. But I would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues important job, which is why today Im resigning from Breitbart, effective immediately.”

Milo Yiannopouloss resignation comes after Simon & Schuster canceled the publication of his book “Dangerous” and the American Conservative Union rescinded an invitation to speak at its upcoming annual CPAC conference over his comments discrediting age of consent laws and promoting relationships between “younger boys and older men.”

Milo Yiannopoulos: “This arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent, which totally destroys, you know, the understanding that many of us have of the complexities and subtleties and complicated nature of many relationships. … Some of the most important, enriching and incredibly, you know, life-affirming, important, shaping relationships, very often between younger boys and older men, canthey can be hugely positive experiences for those young boys.”

Milo Yiannopoulos has long faced opposition, led by women of color and transgender activists, over his history of making racist, sexist and xenophobic statements. At the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, for example, he outed and mocked a transgender student, showing her name and photo on screen in December. Best-selling author Roxane Gay, who canceled her book deal in January with Simon & Schuster in protest of its now-canceled deal with Yiannopoulos, wrote, “as someone who endured a bit of [his] harassment, it is breathtaking in its scope, intensity, and cruelty.” She said she will still not publish her upcoming book with Simon & Schuster, saying the publisher “should have never enabled Milo in the first place.”

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After Criticism for His Silence, Trump Condemns Anti-Semitism – Democracy Now!

Trump Denounces Anti-Semitism After Criticism by Jewish Groups, Others – Wall Street Journal (subscription)


Wall Street Journal (subscription)
Trump Denounces Anti-Semitism After Criticism by Jewish Groups, Others
Wall Street Journal (subscription)
President Donald Trump denounced anti-Semitism on Tuesday, following mounting calls for him to address a rash of bomb threats against Jewish community centers and the vandalism of hundreds of Jewish graves at a Missouri cemetery. The anti-Semitic …

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Trump Denounces Anti-Semitism After Criticism by Jewish Groups, Others – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Israel’s Netanyahu praises Trump’s condemnation of anti-Semitic acts – Reuters

JERUSALEM Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised President Donald Trump on Wednesday for publicly condemning anti-Semitic acts after bomb threats to U.S. Jewish centers and vandalism in a Jewish cemetery.

Trump’s comments on Tuesday were his first explicit condemnation of anti-Semitic incidents amid a wave of threats against Jews and their community centers. Instead, he spoke more generally about his hopes of making the nation less “divided.”

“Anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.” he told journalists.

“It’s very important that President Trump took a strong stand against anti-Semitism and it’s important that we all continue to do so in the years ahead,” Netanyahu, on an official visit to Australia, said in Sydney’s Central Synagogue.

A video of Netanyahu’s speech in the synagogue was posted on YouTube by Israel’s Government Press Office.

In Israel, some media commentators had pressed Netanyahu to speak out more strongly against anti-Semitism, in light of what they said had been Trump’s reluctance to do so.

A White House statement on International Holocaust Day last month without any clear reference to Jews or anti-Semitism was mentioned as an example of this perceived reluctance.

Netanyahu rushed to Trump’s defense at a joint news conference in Washington last week after the president appeared to sidestep an Israeli reporter’s question about anti-Semitic incidents in the United States.

“I’ve known the president and I’ve known his family and his team for a long time, and there is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than President Donald Trump. I think we should put that to rest,” Netanyahu said.

Several Jewish community centers in the United States were evacuated briefly on Monday after receiving bomb threats, the JCC Association of North America said. Another center was evacuated on Tuesday in San Diego, California, police said.

Vandals toppled about 170 headstones at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri over the weekend.

In Sydney, Netanyahu called for an international effort to combat “resurgent anti-Semitism” around the world.

“It is something that we need to fight together. I think this is important in Europe. It’s important in America,” he said.

(Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Ori Lewis and Tom Heneghan)

KUALA LUMPUR Malaysian police on Wednesday named a North Korean diplomat along with a state airline official who are wanted for questioning over the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader.

BEIRUT The Syrian army and its allies took a small district on the outskirts of Aleppo from rebels on Wednesday, a war monitor and a military media unit run by Damascus ally Hezbollah said.

PARIS An influential French centrist politician on Wednesday dropped out of the presidency race to form an alliance with independent candidate Emmanuel Macron – a potential game-changer in France’s tightly contested election.

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Israel’s Netanyahu praises Trump’s condemnation of anti-Semitic acts – Reuters

Libya, Israel, Stockholm: Your Wednesday Briefing – New York Times


New York Times
Libya, Israel, Stockholm: Your Wednesday Briefing
New York Times
In Israel, a military judicial panel sentenced a soldier who killed an incapacitated Palestinian assailant to 18 months in prison. [The New York Times]. Denmark said several citizens receiving government pensions had traveled to Syria to take up arms

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Libya, Israel, Stockholm: Your Wednesday Briefing – New York Times

Israeli soldier sentenced to 18 months for killing a wounded Palestinian in a case that roiled the nation – Los Angeles Times

Elor Azaria cracked a smile and his family broke out in song Tuesday moments after a military tribunal sentenced the Israeli soldier to 18 months in jail for killing a wounded Palestinian knife assailant last Marchin a case that has gripped national attention for nearly a year.

The decision comes a month and a half after the military court unanimously convicted Azariaof manslaughter, ruling that he had violated the militarys open-fire regulations when he shot the attacker, Abdel Fattah Sharif, in the head as Sharif was lying wounded on the ground and no longer a threat.

The politically charged case roiled Israels government, drove a rare wedge between Israeli public opinion which is broadly sympathetic to Azaria and the Israel Defense Forces top brass, and spurred international criticism of Israel. Outrage over the court-martial prompted death threats against Israels military chief of staff and led to the resignation of the defense minister.

After the sentencing, Cabinet ministers called for Azaria to be pardoned.

Its true that the soldier made a grave mistake. But when a soldier makes a mistake, he is still our soldier, said Israeli Housing Minister Yoav Galant, who called for a pardon, speaking to Israeli reporters.

This was a traumatic case that divided Israel between left and right over something that hurts the IDF and the state of Israel. Its time to say: The army should come first, the country should come first. Lets let this soldier go home and remove the burden of all of the difficulties of Israeli from his shoulders, Galant said.

Relatives of Sharif denounced the sentence as too short.

My family rejects this. This verdict is wrong, said Fathi Sharif, an uncle. The judge made a mistake when she gave the soldiers only a year and a half in prison. Other people who do the same thing get 20 years in jail.

The sentence was substantially shorter than the prison term of three to five years requested by the military prosecution. The court also demoted Azaria, a sergeant at the time of the shooting,to the rank of private.

On Tuesday, the judges wrote that they took into consideration that the incident occurred in hostile territory in the West Bank city of Hebron in deciding on a minimal jail term. A manslaughter conviction carries a maximum 20 years in prison.

In convictingAzaria, the court ruled that the soldier acted because he believed Sharif deserved to die. The court rejected Azarias claim that he believed the assailant was about to carry out an attack.

The sentencing hearing was held in a courtroom inside Israels main military headquarters in Tel Aviv. After the chief judge, Col. Maya Heller, pronounced the sentence, Azarias family and supporters applauded and sang the Israeli national anthem.

Youre a hero!shouted Azarias father, Charlie. He embraced his son as family members and supporters in the courtroom continued to applaud.Azarias lawyers said they plannedto appeal.

A senior official from the Palestine Liberation Organization called the sentence a travesty of justice. This sentencing demonstrates the active devaluation of human life, especially the lives of Palestinians who have been oppressed and held captive by an Israeli occupation for far too long,Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.

In a video of the incident recorded by a Palestinian bystander and published by the Israeli human rights group BTselem, Azaria, a combat medic, was shown cocking an M-16 andwalking deliberately in the direction of Sharif before opening fire. The shooting took place a few minutes after Sharif and a second Palestinian had attacked soldiers with knives.

Human rights activists welcomed Azarias court-martial but have complained it was a rare exception that wider abuses in the occupied West Bank are never prosecuted. They have also accused Israeli right-wing politicians of inciting Azaria by encouraging the killing of Palestinians attackers amid waves of assaults carried out with knives, guns and automobiles in 2014 and 2015.

This case was exceptional in its indictment,Hassan Jabareen, director of the Israeli Arab human rights group Adalah, said in a statement. The case, however, was unexceptional in its minimal sentence.

The case revealed division within the Israeli government as well.

Former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said that Azaria had violated the militarys values. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Azarias family as a show of support.

The hearings of the court-martial received daily coverage in the Israeli media. A survey of Israeli Jews by the Israeli Democracy Institute last year indicated that nearly two-thirds believed Azaria acted properly.

Several hundred supporters outside the military base chanted, Death to terrorists, during the sentencingand called on the army to release Azaria as soon as possible.

Its a disgrace to the country, said Yael David, a 23-year-old social work student. He killed a terrorist. He didnt kill someone who was innocent. [Azaria] should be completely exonerated.

Israeli political commentators noted that thecourt was sympathetic to Azaria in the sentencing after handing down a harsh verdict.

The fact that there was even a jail sentence is a signal to the right that the state isnt going to wink and let this go by,said Dahlia Scheindlin, an Israeli American public opinion expert. Still, she said, the punishment also shows a court that didnt want to be seen as ruining Azarias life with a long prison term.

They were trying to walk a fine line, Scheindlin said.

Mitnick is a special correspondent.

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UPDATES:

2:50p.m.: This article was updated with additional context and background.

8:45a.m.: This article was updated throughout with Times reporting.

4:40 a.m.: This article was updated with additional background.

This story was originally posted at 2:55 a.m.

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Israeli soldier sentenced to 18 months for killing a wounded Palestinian in a case that roiled the nation – Los Angeles Times

Dublin College Apologizes After Protesters Cancel Speech By Israel Ambassador – Forward

(JTA) A college in Dublin said it regrets the cancellation of an appearance by the Israeli ambassador to Ireland following pro-Palestinian protests.

The question and answer session with Amb. Zeev Boker and the Society for International Affairs, or SOFIA, on the campus of Trinity College in Dublin had been scheduled for Monday night.

The event was cancelled after about 40 pro-Palestinian students carrying Palestinian flags and protest signs occupied the venue. Police and university security employees were unable to remove the protesters, leading to cancellation of the event.

The university regards what happened as an unacceptable attack on free speech, said the statement issued Tuesday by Trinity College. The ambassador has been a regular and welcome visitor to Trinity since his appointment. He had dinner in the university earlier in the same evening and attended another event in Trinity last week, the statement also said.

Trinity Provost Patrick Prendergast told the Israeli news website Ynet that he looked forward to welcoming Boker to campus again, under better circumstances. This was most unfortunate and represents the antithesis of what Trinity stands for. Universities should be able to facilitate the exchange of ideas. The protesters have violated that fundamental belief, he told Ynet.

Israels Foreign Ministry on Tuesday called on the college to take the appropriate measures to deal with the instigators of last nights protest, and also said that we expect the Irish authorities to take the necessary measures to ensure freedom of speech for Israels ambassador, the Times of Israel reported.

The ministry also told the news website that it was horrified by the vicious action of a group of protesters. It said the protesters chanted genocidal slogans calling for Israels destruction, while barring access to the lecture venue.

Meanwhile, BritainsUniversity of Central Lancashire cancelled an event which was due to take placeas part of Israel Apartheid Week later this year, saying itcontravened the definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the government and was unlawful.

The panel discussion was titled Debunking Misconceptions on Palestine and was organized by the universitys Friends of Palestine group to lookat the boycott of Israel.

The UK government has formally adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliances new definition of what constitutes antisemitism.We believe the proposed talk contravenes the new definition and furthermore breaches university protocols for such events, where we require assurances of a balanced view or a panel of speakers representing all interests, a university spokesman told the London-based Jewiosh Chronicle.

He added: In this instance our procedures determined that the proposed event would not be lawful and therefore it will not proceed as planned.

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Dublin College Apologizes After Protesters Cancel Speech By Israel Ambassador – Forward

Could Trump’s radical approach bring peace to Israel and Palestine? – The Guardian

A broken watch is right twice a day. Occasionally, so is Donald Trump. In his press conference with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, he was correct to say that the two-state solution used to be the easier route to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. He was also correct to say that it is up to Israelis and Palestinians to decide whether they want to live in peace in two states or in one.

Trumps affirmation that there is no alternative to peace was a dramatic, if largely unrecognised, repudiation of Netanyahus policy. Netanyahu, with broad support within his coalition government, rejects peace, while paying lip service to it, in favour of managing the conflict by militarily mowing the lawn every few years in Gaza and Lebanon and by means of settlement, undercover raids, and mass imprisonment in the West Bank.

Avoiding a direct clash with Netanyahu, Trump nevertheless made his rejection of that policy clear. He would be happy, he said, to support a one-state or a two-state solution, whichever was agreed to by both Israelis and Palestinians. By this simple statement, the White House excluded the option of managing the conflict, while transforming the one-state solution some arrangement by which Palestinians and Israelis can participate equally to rule themselves within one political arena from a nightmare or utopian vision into a framework that is no less imaginable, and no less deserving of consideration, than a framework featuring two separate arenas.

Of course neither version of a peace agreement will be forthcoming any time soon. With 10% of Israels Jewish population living in the West Bank, the two-state idea has been a dead solution walking for at least a decade. The idea of negotiations to establish one democratic state from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean is just as far-fetched. Accordingly, the only reasonable course for those committed to both peace and democracy in Palestine/Israel is to push the parties towards thinking about their predicament in radically new ways. The words spoken by Trump on Wednesday were an important step in that direction.

Granting more depth of thinking to the presidents remarks than may be warranted, they can be seen to reflect recognition that obsessive pursuit of the impossible dream of a negotiated two-state solution has only given the whip hand to Israelis and Arabs who reject both peace and democracy. Under the cover of prolonged and hopeless negotiations to trade land for peace, Israels government has entrenched its control over the West Bank, deepened its enforcement of an apartheid-like system of domination over the nearly three million Palestinians in the West Bank, while brutalising and immiserating nearly two million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, as the wave of terror attacks against Israelis and the recent elections within Hamas have indicated, the phony peace process does nothing for Palestinians but deepen their despair and yearning for revenge.

By advancing more than one image of what peace could look like, the president has broken new ground. Whether Jared Kushner or anyone else in his administration can foster productive moves toward peace is an open question. I do not believe it. Nevertheless, by signalling his rejection of the peace process as it has been conducted under the last three US presidents a time-consuming merry-go-round of endless movement with no progress the US has for the first time in decades helped to move Israelis and Palestinians towards thinking creatively about the future.

Indeed, at least one leading Israeli politician will take heart from Trumps comments. Israels president and head of state Reuven Rivlin recently denounced recent Israeli legislation to take portions of the West Bank without permitting Palestinians to become Israelis. Instead he issued a dramatic call for outright Israeli annexation of the West Bank, including the granting of full and equal citizenship to all its Palestinian inhabitants. That is precisely what Israel did after the 1948 war, when it annexed the Arab areas it occupied that were to have been part of the Palestinian state called for by the United Nations. By virtue of that act of annexation, all Arabs in those formerly occupied areas (though not those that had been expelled and barred from returning to them) automatically became Israeli citizens.

In one stroke, annexation of the West Bank would create a political arena of immense potential. It would not generate many warm and fuzzy feelings, but it would transform politics from a zero-sum struggle between Israeli Jews and Palestinians to a more complicated and potentially more productive competition among different Palestinian and Jewish groups searching, within and across the boundaries of their national communities, for political allies and power.

The mixed governments that would arise from a citizenry comprised of Jews and Arabs divided into religious, ideological, regional and economic factions would face enormous challenges not least what to do about Gaza. But with the likely enthusiastic support of the international community, new ways forward would also become available.

It is much too soon to speak of such a move as a solution. But it is the right time to imagine trading the festering problems Israelis and Palestinians have been facing for a better set of problems associated with learning to live with one another as equals. Trump is likely not the man for this job, but it is only by thinking seriously about how to honour both democratic principles and the equal legitimacy of both Jewish and Palestinian aspirations, that Israeli, Palestinian and American leaders can inject new life and new hope into a land long stalked by death and bereft of hope.

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Could Trump’s radical approach bring peace to Israel and Palestine? – The Guardian

Watch: Israel’s Iron Dome defense system gets an upgrade – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Israel took a step a closer to defending itself against missile onslaughts from the Gaza Strip with a series of complex but successful experiments for the Iron Dome missile defense system on Wednesday.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Defense, the Israel Missile Defense Organization which is responsible for the development of Israels multi-layered defense system, in conjunction with Rafael, the main contractor of the Iron Dome system, carried out a number of experiments as part of the on-going development process of the system.

The experiments focused on the use of the “Tamir” interceptor, which is made of parts produced in both the United States and Israel, as part of an agreement signed in 2014 between the two counties.

In the agreement, the manufacturing of the Iron Dome was moved to the United States, who helped to fund the interceptors production.

Rayethon, the American company producing the parts, alongside the Ministry of Defense and the US Missie Defense Agency (MDA), were all apart of producing the improved Iron Dome.

Israel continuously improves the technology behind the countrys anti-missile systems, and the last upgrade to the Iron Dome was in 2015 in order “to expand and improve the performance capabilities of the system in the face of an unprecedented range of threats,”

During the second Lebanese war in 2006, large Israeli cities were struck by missiles for the first time. In response, Former Minister of Defense Amir Peretz decided to develop the Iron Dome, despite opposition from army brass. After a lengthy development process, and with the financial help of the United States, Iron Dome went into service in April 2011, its first battery placed near the southern Israeli city of Beersheba. It made its first interception, of a grad rocket fired from the Gaza Strip just days later.

The Iron Dome has been used during two military operations against Hamas, and is able to calculate when rockets will land in open areas, choosing not to intercept them, or towards civilian centers. Since its first deployment, it has intercepted roughly 85 percent of projectiles fired towards Israeli civilian centers.

The Rafael-built system carries 24 pounds of explosives and can intercept an incoming projectile from four to 70 kilometers away, changing the face of battle between Israel and her enemies. The system is able to calculate when rockets will land in open areas, and does not intercept them.

Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. which produces the radar system for the Iron Dome system through its ELTA division, has reported sales of it to various armies around the world.

Presently, Israel is working on two more missile defense systems – Davids sling and Arrow 3.

In January, the Israel Air Force officially took delivery of the first Arrow-3 interceptor. Produced by IAI, the Arrow 3 will form the uppermost layer of Israels multilayered defense system along with the Arrow 2, Davids Sling and Iron Dome system. Later in January, Israels Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency successfully completed a series of intercept tests of the Davids Sling Weapon System, also developed by Rafael.

Together the systems will provide Israel will a protective umbrella able to counter threats posed by both short and mid-range missiles used by terror groups in Gaza and Hezbollah as well as the threat posed by more sophisticated long-range Iranian ballistic missiles.

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Hezbollah claims Israel spied in Lebanon, denies IDF strike in Syria

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Watch: Israel’s Iron Dome defense system gets an upgrade – Jerusalem Post Israel News

ISIS releases ‘proof’ it fired rockets on Israel – Jerusalem Post Israel News

AN ISIS member rides on a rocket launcher in Raqqa in Syria two months ago. (photo credit:REUTERS)

The Islamic State group on Wednesday morning released images of Katyusha rockets purporting to provide evidence to its claim that it was indeed responsible for the rocket fire that targeted southern Israel on Tuesday.

The images show a militant linked to the ISIS affiliate in Egypt, known as the Sinai Province, as he prepares two rockets prior to launching them from the restive Sinai Peninsula.

The rockets, which landed in an open territory in the Eshkol Regional Council on Monday morning, caused no damage or injuries.

Speaking to Army Radio he described the group as a bunch of random [amateurs] who have decided to build themselves an army, adding that if you are talking about Hamas and Hezbollah then [ISs Sinai force] is not even a terror group.

We need to see everything in proportion, he added.

Monday’s rocket attack came the day after Islamic State-linked media claimed that an unmanned Israeli drone had bombed and killed five members of ISIS in Egypt in the northern Sinai region.

According to the Islamic State linked Amaq agency, the five fell as martyrs to the Jewish enemy in a strike which targeted a car carrying the militants in the village of Shibana. The village is located south of the town Rafah in northern Sinai, near the Egypt-Israel border.

The IDF has not commented on the claim, but the Israel is reported to have carried out drone strikes with Egypts knowledge and blessing against militants in the restive peninsula.

Israel,which has a 240-kilometer border with the Sinai, has not officially retaliated against the rockets. Jerusalem and Cairo have been closely cooperating in the Sinai Peninsula in the fight against ISIS militants since Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s rise to power.

Liberman seemingly confirmed the strike against the car, telling Army Radio that like always, the special forces of Lichtenstein probably took out a few terrorists from Daesh in Sinai,the Arabic name for the Islamic State.

We do not let anything go without a response, he added.

Earlier this month the group claimed responsibility for a rocket barrage fired from the Sinai towards Israel’s Red Sea resort of city of Eilat. The Iron Dome missile system intercepted three projectiles while a fourth landed in open territory. There were no casualties but at least four people were treated for anxiety.

The group said the attack was launched “in order to teach the Jews and the crusaders a proxy war will not avail them of anything, and threatened future calamitous attacks. No photos of those rockets were released.

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ISIS releases ‘proof’ it fired rockets on Israel – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Israel prevents EU lawmakers from Gaza entry – The Times of Israel

Five European parliamentarians said Wednesday that Israeli authorities prevented them from entering the Gaza Strip.

The refusal of access to Gaza by the Israeli authorities to the European Parliament on arbitrary grounds is unacceptable, Cypriot MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis said in a statement.

Similar delegations of European lawmakers have been barred from entering the Palestinian coastal enclave since 2011, the statement added, though a team led by the head of the European Parliaments budget committee was allowed to visit once.

What is there to hide from us? Sylikiotis said, condemning what he called systematic entry bans.

Cyprian MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis 2107 (Screen capture: YouTube)

Israel, which controls all access to Gaza apart from its southern border with Egypt, explained that parliamentarians were not among those allowed to enter the Hamas-run territory.

Israeli policy allows professional and humanitarian officials to cross between Israel and the Gaza Strip for the development of the Gaza Strip in the field of economy and infrastructure, in addition to foreign diplomats serving in the Palestinian Authority or Israel, the defense ministry body responsible for approving entry told AFP.

Sylikiotis dismissed the explanations as unacceptable, and called on the international community to pressure Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza.

On Tuesday the delegation visited Israels Ofer Prison in the West Bank, where Palestinian security prisoners are held, and Sylikiotis took to Twitter to criticize Israel for jailing minors.

The European Union is the largest donor of financial aid to the Palestinians.

Israel says its maritime, land and sea blockade of Gaza is aimed at preventing Hamas from receiving weapons and supplies which could be used for military purposes. An Islamist terror group, Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007, seeks the destruction of Israel, and has fought three wars with the Jewish state since 2008.

The World Bank and the United Nations say the decade-long blockade of Gaza has killed virtually all exports and severely damaged the enclaves economy.

The blockade, coupled with the almost permanent closure of the Egyptian border, impacts almost all the two million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip.

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Israel prevents EU lawmakers from Gaza entry – The Times of Israel