Hasidic Israeli Jazz Musician Coming to JCC – Atlanta Jewish Times

Israeli virtuoso saxophone player and composer Daniel Zamir is headed to Atlanta for a Feb. 19 performance at the Marcus Jewish Community Center. The Hasidic jazz musician, who has toured with Matisyahu, is one of the most in-demand artists in Israel.

He spoke to the AJT by phone from Israel.

AJT: Will this be your first time performing in Atlanta?

Zamir: Well, I played a few years ago with Matisyahu at the University of Georgia. We were on a college tour, and, every campus we visited, I bought a baseball hat and would play the show wearing it. I remember I shouted, Go, Bulldogs! into the mic at UGA, and the crowd went crazy for it.

AJT: Youve actually been on a few tours with Matisyahu. What was it like touring as two observant Jews?

Zamir: Its an amazing experience to be able to express such a unique message on a big stage in front of so many people. To be able to bridge so many gaps and overcome so many prejudices and stigmas, its really unique and a privilege. AJT: You also have the top-selling jazz album of all time in Israel. How does that feel?

Zamir: Its amazing. I never thought that something like that could happen. Ive loved jazz since I started playing the saxophone, but I never thought I could be this successful in it. Also, to be able to connect jazz and Judaism is something I never thought I could do. From what I can tell, I think Im the only ultra-Orthodox jazz musician in the world.

AJT: How much Jewish or Hasidic influence would you say your music has?

Zamir: When I write my music, I have no concept in mind. In other words, I never planned to be a Jewish musician; its something that happened organically. It actually started before I was religious, and I was calling it world music or ethnic music. Only after (American Jewish composer-saxophonist) John Zorn heard my demo in 1999 and called it Jewish music did I finally accept it.

AJT: Why are there so many top-notch Israeli jazz musicians?

Zamir: I remember people were asking me in New York, What are they putting in your falafel over there? But the truth is jazz is music of the people, and after the 1950s people in Israel were trying to imitate American jazz. But what my generation did Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital, myself and others we took our personalities and tradition and infused that into high-quality jazz. The result of that product is so unique and original and alive. I think thats why people love it so much.

Who:Daniel Zamir

Where:Marcus JCC, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody

When:7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19

Tickets:$15-$25; atlantajcc.org/pldb-live/daniel-zamir-32968

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Hasidic Israeli Jazz Musician Coming to JCC – Atlanta Jewish Times

Rouhani: We’ll continue to support ‘Palestine’ – Arutz Sheva

Hassan Rouhani at the UN General Assembly


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday promised to continue to support Palestinian Arabs, calling on other Muslim nations to do so as well.

“The Iranian nation has paid a heavy price for supporting the Palestinian nation and opposition to the Zionist regime’s actions but it will continue its support with resolve and determination,” Rouhani said in a meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) politician Salim al-Zanoun in Tehran on Wednesday, according to the Fars news agency.

“We believe that the Muslim world should resist to restore the rights of the Palestinian nation and it should pay the needed price,” added Rouhani, who expressed confidence that the PA would succeed in fighting to defend its rights.

The meeting between the two came on the sidelines of an annual Iranian conference in support of the Palestinian Intifada.

The Hamas terrorist group has sent a delegation to participate in the conference. According to Iranian, delegations from over 80 countries are in attendance as well.

Rouhanis comments come as Iranian officials have upped their anti-Israel and anti-U.S. rhetoric in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, Irans spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for the complete liberation of Palestine and slammed the Jewish state as a cancerous tumor.

“This cancerous tumor, since its start, has grown incrementally and its treatment must be incremental too,” he said, while praising violent attacks against Israelis and arguing that they have brought Israels enemies closer to their goal of destroying the Jewish state.

“Multiple intifadas and continuous resistance have succeeded in achieving very important incremental goals, said Khamenei.

A senior Iranian official recently threatened his country would immediately strike Israel if the United States “makes a mistake”, noting that “only 7 minutes is needed for the Iranian missile to hit Tel Aviv.”

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Rouhani: We’ll continue to support ‘Palestine’ – Arutz Sheva

Trump Is Right On Palestine: A Two-State Solution Is No Longer Viable – Huffington Post

Just because Trump said it doesnt mean it has to be wrong.

During Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus recent visit to Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump publicly stated that he could support a divergence from a two-state solution in Palestine. He is the first United States president in recent memory to question that sacred article of U.S.-Middle East policy. But while the announcement came as a shock to many, indeed, a serious rethink is long overdue in recognizing the defunct two-state scheme.

Many honorable people have dedicated the bulk of their professional lives to the tedious minutiae and sad diplomatic history of the Palestinian-Israeli morass. Sadly, none of those efforts have brought any resolution whatsoever to a gangrenous issue in many respects one of the major roots of so many of the Middle Easts contemporary ills.

The trouble is that, apart from a few dedicated diplomats and scholars who had hopes of one day truly accomplishing something, the two-state solution in practice is essentially a fraud. Yes, a few wiser Israeli leadersin the past just possibly might have believed in that ideal, but for decades now the two-state scheme has simply been cynically exploited by newer Israeli leaders, especially by Bibi Netanyahu one of the longer-serving and most right-wing prime ministers in Israels history.

Netanyahu has been backed by a formidable and wealthy pro-Zionist cheering section in the U.S. The goal is to conceal their true agenda the ultimate Israeli annexation of all of Palestine. They themselves as hard-line Zionistshave been subtly but systematically torpedoing the two-state solutionbehind the scenes to that end.

None of my observations here on the hoax of the two-state solution are new or original. Many liberal Israeli observers I met while working in the region have been stating the self-evident for years now. But those voices never get heard in the U.S. where it constitutes an unmentionable. But there should be no doubt: the concept of a two-state solution a Palestinian and an Israeli state sharing historical Palestine and living side by side in sovereignty and dignity is dead. It is almost inconceivable that it can now ever be resuscitated: nearly all the operative forces within Israel are systematically working to prevent it from ever coming about.

The harsh reality is that Israel, through a relentless process of creating facts on the ground, is now decades deep into the process of taking over illegally, step-by-step, the totality of Palestine. Israel has scant regard for any international law in this respect, and never has had any. Washington, apart from a few periodic pathetic bleats, has ended up functionally supporting this cynical scheme all the way, perhaps unwilling to confront the painful reality of what is really taking place, along with its dangerous political repercussions at home.

Baz Ratner / Reuters

Israel is extending day by day its control indeed ownership of Palestinian lands through expansion of illegal Jewish settlements and the dispossession of the rightful owners of these Palestinian lands. Put simply, there is little left of Palestinian land out of which ever to fashion a two-state solution.

That leaves us with only one alternative: the one-state solution. Indeed, Israels actions have already created the preconditions that make the one-state solution an unacknowledged but virtual fait accompli.

Honest observers know full well that the mantra of preserving the peace process for the two-state solution is now little more than a cover by hard-line Zionists for full Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands. The sooner we all acknowledge this ugly reality, the better. That will then require Israel, the Palestinians and the world to get on with dealing with the complex challenge of crafting the binational state the one-state solution.

The calculations of some hard-line Zionists who are now largely in control of Israeli state mechanisms are often unyielding.After years on the ground, Ive found that the rationale is more evident with each passing year. It goes something like this:

1) Israel should functionally take over all of Palestinian territory and permit full Jewish settlement therein.

2) Israel should still play the two-state solution game with visiting foreign diplomats to reduce pressure on Israel, to play for time while it quietly establishes the irreversible facts on the ground that shut out any possible viable Palestinian state.

3) Make life harsh enough for Palestinians that, bit by bit, they will grow bitter and weary, give up and go elsewhere, leaving all the land for Zionist settlers.

4) If Palestinians stubbornly resist, predictable periodic military and security crises in Palestine over the longer run will enable Israel to rid Palestine of all Palestinians a gradual process of ethnic cleansing (or restoration of the situation that God wills as they would refer to it) that returns all the land promised by God to the Jews.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Some liberal Israelis actually do accept the idea of a one-state solution in their own liberal vision of a future Israel one in which Israelis and Palestinians live as equal citizens in a secular, democratic, binational, multicultural state enjoying equal rights, rather than the increasingly religiously dominated state that it is. And the liberal ideal makes sense: the country is already well on the way to becoming bilingual and Hebrew and Arabic are closely-related languages. Both are Semitic peoples with ancient ties to the same land.

The problem is, ardent Zionists dont want a binational Palestinian-Jewish state. They want a Jewish state and demand that the world accept that term. Yet, in todays world isnt the term Jewish state strikingly discordant? Who speaks of an English or French state? The world would freak out if tomorrow Berlin started calling itself the German State. Or Spain a Christian state.So what do we make of a state that is dedicated solely to Jews and Judaism? Such concepts are remnants of 19th century movements that promoted the creation of ethnically and/or religiously pure states. Modern states no longer define themselves on either an ethnic or religious basis.Indeed it was precisely that kind of ugly religious and ethnic nationalism that caused Jews to flee from Eastern Europe in the first place to find their own homeland.

The true historical task of Israel, with the support of the world, is now to begin the challenging work of introducing the range of major reforms that will transform Israel into just such a multi-ethnic and bilingual state of equal citizens enjoying equal rights under secular law. It is not a question of allowing Palestinians into Israel, they are already there and have been for millennia, initially in far greater numbers than Jews. Palestinians now seek full legal equality of treatment under secular law in Israel.

So lets acknowledge the useful truth that Trump has blundered onto. Lets abandon the naive and cynical rhetoric about the two-state solution that will never come about in any just and acceptable form. Half of Israel never believed in it in the first place. It has served only as a facade for building an apartheid Jewish state a term used frequently by some liberal Israeli commentators I have encountered.

Netanyahu and the right-wing Zionists clearly want all of Palestine. But theyre not ready yet to admit it. They want all the land, but without any of its people. But despite Zionist hopes, the Palestinians arent going to abandon their lands. And so the logical outcome of Israels takeover of all of Palestine leads by definition to an ultimate single, binational state.

The challenge to Israelis and Palestinians is huge. It entails a deep Palestinian rethink of their options and their future destiny in a new order, and the need to fight for those democratic rights in a binational state. It involves Israeli evolution away from God-given rights in a state solely for Jews and Judaism that can only be forever oppressive and undemocratic as it now stands. The process will be a slow and difficult one. But it also represents an evolution consonant with emerging contemporary global values.

We expect a democratic multicultural state from Germany and France, or from Britain, Canada and the United States why not from Israel?

Graham E. Fuller is a former senior CIA official and author of numerous books on the Muslim world. His latest book is Breaking Faith: A novel of espionage and an Americans crisis of conscience in Pakistan.A version of this piece first appeared on GrahameFuller.com

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Trump Is Right On Palestine: A Two-State Solution Is No Longer Viable – Huffington Post

US Holocaust Museum Official: Digitizing the Records a Bulwark … – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot

United States Holocaust Memorial Museums Director of International Affairs Paul A. Shapiro spoke passionately about the struggle to open the archives and subsequent digitization of the nearly 200 million historical documents from the Holocaust by the International Tracing Service, and its importance at a symposium in Jerusalem last night.

These archives and their growing accessibility are a potent weapon against rising Holocaust denial, Shapiro said. It is also an important lesson for today about resurgent Antisemitism. In the Holocaust, when hatred was unleashed it wasnt limited to Jews. Just as today when Antisemitism is on the rise, its dangers extend beyond the Jewish community.

Shapiro gave a historical overview of the Holocaust archives at the International Tracing Service based in Bad Arolsen, Germany. For decades, the International Red Cross and governments around the world, including the US and Israel, did not allow the archives to be opened for public use.

One cant celebrate because far too many passed away before finding truth and justice, Shapiro continued, speaking about how difficult it was to see information about the fate and whereabouts of families caught up in the Holocaust suppressed for so many decades. We had a moral obligation to Holocaust survivors and families to provide assurances that what happened was not being swept under the rug.

Elizabeth Anthony, International Tracing Service and Partnerships Program Manager, Visiting Scholar Programs, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, spoke about the academic potential of the digitization of the archives and how our understanding of central parts of the Holocaust is being expanded as a result.

Anthony also spoke about how the primary sources found in the archives are now being published and taught in educational resources in the US and the UK, and other English-speaking countries, showing examples of handwritten letters from a search of a mother for her daughter.

Elana Heideman, Executive Director of The Israel Forever Foundation, and Holocaust scholar, moderated the event. It is our hope that this digitization process will revive interest in the Holocaust, especially among the descendants of Holocaust victims, Heideman said. This process will make the facts and reality of the Holocaust accessible for future generations, especially as survivors are dwindling in number.

The symposium was titled Seeking Justice: Holocaust History and the Archives of the International Tracing Service, held at the Van Leer Institute and made possible by Phyllis Greenberg Heideman and Richard D. Heideman. The Bnai Brith World Center Jerusalem and the Israel Forever Foundation have co-sponsored this event.

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US Holocaust Museum Official: Digitizing the Records a Bulwark … – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Warsaw starts the clock on applications for Holocaust-era property … – Jerusalem Post Israel News

A general view of the cityscape, with the Palace of Culture and Science (2nd R), is pictured from the construction site of a new skyscraper in Warsaw, Poland October 2, 2015. . (photo credit:REUTERS)

Holocaust survivors and their families have six months to reclaim property unjustly taken from them, after the city of Warsaw released an initial list of 48 properties on Wednesday.

According to a controversial property restitution law passed in 2016, rightful claimants have half a year to pursue their property claim, and then three months to prove their right to the property. Any property which is not claimed before that deadline will be permanently transferred to the city of Warsaw.

Critics of the law have argued that six months is not enough time for the process. The World Jewish Restitution Organization called on Polish authorities to extend the deadline, release a complete list of properties and claimants and to actively work to identify and notify potential claimants.

It is unfair for claimants particularly those who now live outside of Poland to lose this last opportunity to reconnect with their past because of the administrative complexity of this law, Gideon Taylor, the organizations chairman of operations, said in a statement.

The problems with this legislation highlight the urgent need for comprehensive national property restitution legislation in Poland, Taylor added. Poland remains the only country in Europe that does not have a national law to address private property restitution from the Holocaust era. We urge the government of Poland to address this issue promptly so that Holocaust survivors and their heirs, as well as other Jewish and non-Jewish property owners, can receive a small measure of justice.

The law, which took effect in September 2016, applies only to people who filed property claims in the city of Warsaw after 1945, when the Communist authorities in Poland issued the Decree on Ownership and Usufruct of Land in Warsaw, known as the Warsaw Decree.

The decree allowed former owners of the nationalized property to apply for temporary ownership rights, but according to the World Jewish Restitution Organization, the Communist authorities rejected or did not review most of the applications.

The organization asserts that many claimants, or their heirs, are unaware that they now have an opportunity to pursue their claims, some 70 years after they originally filed them.

The organization launched its own database in December to assist Holocaust survivors and their families in identifying their property. The database matches different historical Warsaw city records, allowing users to look for the names of family members or Warsaw building addresses to help determine if they, or someone else, filed a claim that may remain open for the property.

The law does not address people who did not file claims right after World War II, or people with property outside of Warsaw.

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Warsaw starts the clock on applications for Holocaust-era property … – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Anti-Defamation League Receives Bomb Threat at National …

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The Anti-Defamation League’s national headquarters in New York received a bomb threat Wednesday, and the group says it is working with authorities to determine if it is connected to the rash of threats targeting Jewish community centers across the country in recent months.

The bomb threat to the Third Avenue office was anonymous, according to ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. Greenblatt said while there is nothing to indicate the threat is anything more than that, the group is taking it “very seriously.”

The specific nature of the threat wasn’t immediately clear. Police say they got a call about it shortly before noon. An investigation found it not credible.

“It’s a frightening moment and it reminds us that the haters and the bigots, they hide in the shadows like cowards and they seek to terrorize us because of our faith,” Greenblatt said on MSNBC Wednesday. “We will not be deterred and we will not be daunted.”

The threat comes two days after 10 Jewish community centers across the country were evacuated in response to bomb threats.In January, another round of bomb threats targeted 53 Jewish community centers across 26 U.S. states and one Canadian province over a period of three days.

The FBI is involved in the investigation, and the ADL has called on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to launch a coordinated multi-agency probe.

In the wake of the threat to the ADL, Gov. Cuomo called the pattern a “national crisis” and directed the New York State Police to coordinate with federal and local law enforcement in the investigation.

“We are treating these incidents for what they are — as crimes — and we will not allow them to go unpunished,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Make no mistake, we will find these perpetrators and hold them fully accountable.”

President Donald Trump addressed the series of JCC bomb threats for the first time Tuesday, calling them “horrible and painful.” The remarks came amid mounting criticism about his silence.Earlier Tuesday, Hillary Clinton called the series of threats and attacks against Jews and Jewish groups “so troubling” in a tweet that urged Trump to speak out against them.

Trump added that the threats were a”very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”

Published at 12:27 PM EST on Feb 22, 2017 | Updated at 7:00 PM EST on Feb 22, 2017

Anti-Defamation League Receives Bomb Threat at National …

Anti-Defamation League Deeply Disturbed Over Additional Bomb Threats Directed at Jewish Community Centers … – eNews Park Forest

New York, NY(ENEWSPF)February 20, 2017 The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is deeply disturbed by additional bomb threats directed against Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) in multiple states across the United States today the fourth series of such threats since the start of the year.

While ADL does not have any information at this time to indicate the presence of any actual bombs at any of the institutions threatened, the threats themselves are alarming, disruptive, and must always been taken seriously.

We are confident that JCCs around the country are taking the necessary security protections, and that law enforcement officials are making their investigation of these threats a high priority, said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. We look to our political leaders at all levels to speak out against such threats directed against Jewish institutions, to make it clear that such actions are unacceptable, and to pledge that they will work with law enforcement officials to ensure that those responsible will be apprehended and punished to the full extent of the law.

In response to the threats, ADL issued a Security Advisory for all Jewish institutions nationwide with action steps including:

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the worlds leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

Source: http://adl.org

Hate Groups Increase for Second Consecutive Year as Trump Electrifies Radical Right

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Anti-Defamation League Deeply Disturbed Over Additional Bomb Threats Directed at Jewish Community Centers … – eNews Park Forest

Undercover investigation: Embracing anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial – Arutz Sheva

I have just concluded an in-depth investigation into anti-Semitism inside The Palestine Solidarity Campaign that has spanned months but drew on several years of underlying research. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign(PSC)claims to be the biggest organisation in the UK dedicated to securing Palestinian human rights. The PSCpatronsinclude: Jeremy Corbyn MP, Pat Gaffney, Rev Garth, Ken Loach, Dr Ilan Pappe, Hilary & Steven Rose, Alexi Sayle, Baroness Tonge of Kew, and Betty Hunter. It partners with many of the largest unions in the UK.

The result of this research is an eighty-page report, that focuses on seventeen separate PSC branches across England and Wales, and culminated with an in-depth case study of a mass demonstration in London. The full report can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

In truth, I stopped the detailed analysis at seventeen branches simply because I was inundated with material. Although not mentioned in the report, I also found qualifying material at the PSC branches in Brighton, Faversham, Camden, Haringey, Lambeth, Waltham Forest, Liverpool, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth & Portsmouth. As the researched progressed, finding more of the anti-Semitism at every branch became an exercise in pointing out the obvious. The question became to how to find a way to measure and quantify it.

If the worst I found was an activist suggesting Israel should be destroyed, is committing genocide and Zionists are all Nazis, that activist *would not* have made the grade for this research. Let that fact sink in. When I refer to anti-Semitism within this study, I avoided *all references to the conflict*. We all know the trick is to deflect accusations of anti-Semitism with a false cry about criticism of Israeli policy. I set out to avoid this. I was only interested in those pushing conspiracy theory, holocaust denial or classic anti-Semitic tropes. The argument that anti-Semitism is about gitimate criticism of Israel simply has no weight against this research. The bar for anti-Semitism that was used is unnaturally high. As an example, if the worst I found was an activist suggesting Israel should be destroyed, is committing genocide and Zionists are all Nazis, that activist *would not*have made the grade for this research. Let that fact sink in.

The anti-Semitism referred to here is *ONLY* hard core anti-Semitism. Examples include: USA controlled by Zionists; Jews responsible for 9/11; the Paris Bataclan massacre was a false flag to increase support for Israel; Ashkenazi Jews are fake; Zionist Jews support ISIS; Jewish Zionists stir up fake anti-Semitism; many varieties of Holocaust Denial; Israel harvests organs from the dead; Israel harvests organs from the living; Mossad wanted to assassinate Obama; the BBC is the Zionist Broadcasting Corporation, Zionist tentacles controlling Parliament; Mossad did 7/7/2005 in London; Kristallnacht instigated by Communist and Freemason Jews to promote War against Germany; Babylonian Talmud advocates sex with child age three; Goyim bloodshed ritual by the Talmudic worshipers [sic] of Moloch, the children holocaust bloodthirsty monster..

It is not hard to find pictures of the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, next to a PSC activist. They metnot once, but at least twice. Once inside a PSC event, the other at a Palestine Return Centre gathering. The man seen in photos standing next to Corbyn posts a constant stream of 9/11 truth, holocaust revisionism and other such vile messages. In UK anti-Israel activism he is a star, he was the central figure (if he is not still running) PSC Reading, is an admin for a major secret online anti-Israel group and just last month, attended the PSC AGM. The thing is, everyone knows about him, including the PSC. PSC have known about him for years. When the PSC permit those like Tony to continue to associate with the organisation, the PSC spit in the face of all Jews and insult all those who seek to fight anti-Semitism.

This a quote from an article Tony Gratrex posted, one of the scores of suchposts:

“The Zionists militarist mindset is evidently motivated by the ethnocentric myths of Jewish victimhood. World-conquering Neocon-Zionist belligerence is driven in large part by the religious adherence to the official propaganda of the victors of World War II. Elite Jews played an important role in bringing about the Second World War as the final phase of their plan to establish the state of Israel. The First World War accomplished several things for the Zionists: it freed up Palestine from Ottoman control (the Ottomans previously rejected Zionist offers to purchase Palestine), it fractured the big empires of Europe who could then be manipulated into future conflicts, and lastly it delivered Russia to the Bolsheviks, a majority of whom were Jewish chauvinists hell-bent on the subjugation of that Christian Empire. With Russia now in the hands of Jewish communist extremists and Palestine falling under British dominion, the Zionist plan for Israel was well on its way.”

But the research is full of such articles. Having successfully found anti-Semitic posts in abundance, I attempted to quantify anti-Semitism (how much of the activity is driven by anti-Semitism). I focused on a single mass demonstration in London, the anti-Netanyahu demo on 6th February. I was honestly shocked by the findings. Fifteen out of the thirty six accessible social media accounts identified, carried Jewish conspiracy style posts. They suggest that the more likely someone is to pick up a Palestinian flag and call for people to boycott the Jewish state, the more likely it is that anti-Semitism is involved. By the time someone is engaged with publicly protesting against Israel outside Downing Street, there is a good chance he is anti-Semitic.

There were many sickening moments during the research and it was emotionally draining to continue with this task day after day, week after week. To clarify, the correlation between activity and Jewish conspiracy was evident throughout the research, it was only at the demo was I able to quantify it. I had already seen numerous examples of people on the street, calling for the boycott of Israel, who believed in global conspiracy theory.

Watch this video post by a BDS action group:

That is Kajsa Anckarstrm. These are some of her posts:

Another of her posts called Charlie Hebdo a Zionist false flag, and the top left post came immediately after the Paris terror attacks onNovember 13th. Now look at the video again. We have someone displaying deeply anti-Semitic attitudes, entering a shop and trying to persuade people to boycott products from the Jewish state. It looks and is horrific.

PSC will no doubt try to distance themselves from the activists in the report. But in some cases it is the Chair of the branch, in others it is someone on the stall in the high street. On too many occasions it is someone clearly connected to the PSC. What they should do is apologise. Apologise to Jews, apologise to their partners, and apologise to some members who have innocently aligned themselves to an organisation riddled with such anti-Semitic hatred.

Tabash Abu Shaimis on the street (far left) here protesting against Israel.

He made many unacceptable posts, but this is a quote from one of the articles he linked to:

It does a disservice to the Palestinians and non-Palestinian victims of Israeli foreign policy to try to divorce the Palestine Question from the broader manifestations of the locus of power which James Petras has referred to as the Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC). This ZPC operates at both a global and local level as was indicated on 9/11. As Naomi Klein accurately wrote in the Guardian [the] Likudisation of the world [is] the real legacy of 9/11.

Tapash appears to have been on the PSC stall at the Labour party conference. One inevitably has to conclude thatanti-Semitic conspiracy theory is welcome at the top table of the movement.

Given the research found rabid antisemites, with a long history of Jew hatred, welcomed wherever they go within the PSC family, including into the HQ at the AGM, the PSC clearly only pay lip service to fighting racism within their ranks. They play a game which visibly laughs in the face of anti-Semitism, relying on a tiny minority of Jewish supporters to provide cover for blatant and rabid global conspiracy theory, holocaust denial and other anti-Semitic ideologies.

These findings should have repercussions as it brings into question all support that this group receives. The NUT alliance, the War on Want alliance, the other trade union alliances, the cooperation with elements of the Labour party, all these groups should rethink their policy towards activism that is clearly connected to rabid Jew hatred. The TUC is allied with the PSC, how is this acceptable?

All venues that host these groups and all Patrons of the PSC should surely sever their links. Jeremy Corbyn is a Patron. How is an association with a group that accommodates Holocaust revisionists and anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists acceptable to The Leader of the Opposition?

What does this message say about BDS activists? The report shines light on people who apparently subscribe to dark anti-Semitic ideology shouting out in public about boycotting Jewish goods. This is not 1930s Germany; there is no reason to accept such behaviour, regardless of the cause it attempts to hide behind. Download the report. Read it. Digest it. Act on it.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT AT170222_palestine_solidarity_campaign_report

David Collier blogs at Beyond the Great Divide: The Truth Matters.Born in the UK, he spent19 years in Israel between 1987 and 2006, that is between the first Intifada and the 2006 Lebanon war. While in Israel, he started his own business, working on tourism related projects with both Israelis and Palestinians as well as providing services to NGOs. He writes: “As someone who fought Pan- Arabists, pro-Palestinians, staunch Zionists, antisemites and anti-Zionists alike, I found myself a man without many friends.”

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Undercover investigation: Embracing anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial – Arutz Sheva

What Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand About Anti-Semitism – The New Yorker

Hatred of Jews, like hatred of Muslims, is embedded more deeply in the Western consciousness than President Trump seems to understand.CreditPHOTOGRAPH BY OLIVIER DOULIERY / GETTY

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, President Trump said Tuesday at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, D.C. He was referring, rather obliquely, to a spate of recent bomb scares and acts of vandalism, part of an uptick in hate crimes that has occurred since his arrival on the political scene. Trumps sentiment, however forced, was welcome, given the obtuseness, ambivalence, and even denial that have characterized his past responses to the problem. As a candidate and a President, he has seemed oddly untroubled by the license that anti-Semites derive from the us-against-them motif of his rants. But now, Trump says, the bigotry has to stop, and its going to stop.

Would that it were that simple. Anti-Semitism is not a run-of-the-mill example of hate and prejudice and evil, which is why contempt for Jews keeps showing up as a symptom of social stresseven now, and even in the United States. One neednt posit an eternal anti-Semitism, in Hannah Arendts warning phrase, to know that the imagination of the West has always defined itself positively against the negative other of Jewishness. That was blatantly the case in Germany in the sixteenth century, when Martin Luther characterized Jews as vermin within the German body politic, a pest in the midst of our lands. That belief ultimately came to flower, of course, in the exterminating anti-Semitism of Hitler, who saw the very existence of Jews as a mortal threat to the Thousand-Year Reich. But, as the Holocaust revealed, this fear infected both Nazi ideology and the broader Western consciousness. The crime of genocide may have been enacted by the Nazis, but Jews died as they did because the rest of Europeand America, tooexcluded them from moral concern.

Religious anti-Judaism, which became racial anti-Semitism, began long before Luther, stretching all the way back to the Gospels themselves. It is not just that Jews are labelled as Christs killers in the Passion narratives, but that Jesus is fully portrayed throughout the texts as fiercely opposed to his own Jewish people. (He came unto His own and His own received him not, John 1:11 says.) If Jesus was merciful, Jews were condemning; if Jesus was egalitarian, Jews were hierarchical; if Jesus was generous, Jews were greedy. Soon enough, Christians imagined that Jesus had never really been Jewish to begin with. Never mind that this was a terrible mistake of memory, that he was a faithful, law-observing, Shema-proclaiming Jew to the end, and that, Johns words notwithstanding, the only ones to receive Jesus in his lifetime were Jews. The imagined conflict persisted, and it informed the structure of Christian theologychurch against synagogue, New Testament against Old, Christian god of mercy against Jewish god of judgment. Down through the centuries, this positive-negative bipolarity formed the twin pillars of European consciousness, and, whenever the social equilibrium shook, Jews were targeted. When the targeting reached its genocidal peak, in the twentieth century, the old hatred was exposed once and for all.

Well, not quite for all. The Holocaust was a world-historic epiphany, but not to the Trump Administration, which last month erased the Holocausts most salient feature by deliberately omitting any reference to Jews from the White Houses official statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Trumps generalizing in that statementthe victims, survivors, heroeswholly ignored the fact that Hitlers industrialized death machine was created expressly to eliminate one particular people. To neglect that purpose is to restrict responsibility for the broad civilizational crime, with roots in the religious anti-Judaism of the Christian Church, to a small gang of Nazi thugs, as if no one else were guilty. Both the neglecting and the restricting are forms of Holocaust denial.

If it is too much for Trump to grasp anti-Semitism as the bug in the software of the West, it is not likely that he will see how his own Islamophobia comes from the same malicious code. When Christendom launched the Crusades, the holy wars that shaped Europe, in the eleventh century, Jews were the paradigmatic enemy inside (the infidel near at hand), and Muslims became the defining enemy outside (the infidel far away). Little wonder, then, that the First Crusade coincided with some of the earliest German pogroms, known as the Rhineland massacres. Within a few hundred years, the Spanish Inquisition had instituted its blood-purity laws, which lumped Muslims and Jews together in a new category of biological inferiority. In 1492 and 1502, first Jews and then Muslims were declared personae non gratae in Spain, facing forced conversion, expulsion, or death. The invention of racism in Europe, in other words, aligned neatly with the discovery of the New World and the advent of colonialism. Genocide and slavery followed.

Islamophobia is thus, to use the phrase that Edward Said applied to Orientalism, a strange secret sharer of Western anti-Semitism. This hidden alignment was particularly discernible in the ease with which the Cold War, with its ubiquitous, if subliminal, anti-Semitism, morphed into the clash of civilizations, with jihadists replacing Reds as figments of the American nightmare. Trump no doubt regards himself as an American original, but he is only the latest ringmaster of this binary circus. In fact, our temperamental President is bigotrys clich. Even the cult of white supremacy on which his movement depends has its origins, too, in the positive-negative structure of the Western imagination, a structure erected in the first place to keep Jews in their place. It may offend Donald Trump to be linked to an ancient current, but while his arrival, with all its mayhem, is an unprecedented crime against democratic values, it is also evidence of the deeper disorder from which our culture has yet to recover.

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What Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand About Anti-Semitism – The New Yorker

St. Louis Responds to a Rise in Anti-Semitism – The New Yorker

More than a hundred and fifty gravestones were recently vandalized at Chesed Shel Emeth, a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis.CreditPHOTOGRAPH BY ROBERT COHEN / ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH VIA AP

On Monday, more than a hundred and fifty gravestones were found damaged or toppled at a historic Jewish cemetery near St. Louis. As soon as she heard the news, Karen Aroesty drove to the cemetery. Many people she knew are buried there. Though she has seen numerous instances of vandalism in her seventeen years at the Missouri/Southern Illinois office of the Anti-Defamation League, which she now directs, this one was especially painful. I was surprised at how I felt, Aroesty told me on Tuesday. Ive been doing this for a long time. The sadness that I felt was startling. Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, built more than a century ago, in the St. Louis suburb of University City, had always given her a feeling of calm.

The desecration came just days after President Trump, at a bizarre and at times counterfactual press conference in Washington, dodged a question about recent instances of anti-Semitism. It was asked by Jake Turx, a journalist for an Orthodox Jewish magazine. Im the least anti-Semitic person you ever met, the President declared. In the past month, dozens of Jewish Community Center locations have been evacuated due to anonymous bomb threats. On Wednesday morning, the Anti-Defamation League also received a bomb threat at its New York headquarters.

The bomb threats have a rhythm all their own, Aroesty told me. On January 18th, more than twenty J.C.C.s in the U.S. received bomb threats, including the branch in Creve Coeur, closest to Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery. (Since then, many more have received threats, most recently on Monday.) Local police responded to the Creve Coeur threat by clearing the area and bringing in K-9 units to investigate. But even after police officers deem a location safe, Aroesty said, it leaves the community feeling that tension and instability for a while. I asked Benjamin Granda, a spokesperson for the St. Louis County Police Department, if he had ever heard of a bomb threat in the area before this month. This is the first one that I can recall, he said.

Granda did not suggest a link between the threatening call to the local J.C.C. and the cemetery desecration last weekend. Anybody from anywhere can place a phone call, he said, noting that online phone services can make callers difficult to trace. Whoever made the threats on Monday used voice-masking software during the calls. I dont think its connected specifically, Aroesty said of the cemetery desecration. But, she added, many members of the Jewish community now perceive a wider threat to their security. It feels like theres a piling-on.

In my own family, the news from St. Louis brought back old memories. My father grew up in Creve Coeur, and attended college a few miles from the vandalized cemetery. In the seventies, he learned to swim at the Creve Coeur J.C.C.; a few decades later, while visiting my grandparents during school vacations, so did I. I lived a mile from the Jewish Community Center, and I never heard of anybody doing any bad stuff there, he told me. He now lives in California, and was surprised to learn about the recent anti-Semitic acts. Ive always felt that acts of violence, terrorism, whatevertheyre always the tip of an iceberg of discontent, he said. Because for every person thats willing to go and turn over tombstones in a Jewish cemetery, theres probably thousands of people that dont like Jews. At the same time, he didnt want to read too much into these incidents. Most people are not calling in bomb threats against Jews, he said. Most people dont hate Jews. So lets be wary, lets try to apprehend those who are responsible. But lets not let them divide us as a country, as a people, any more than we are already divided.

On Tuesday, President Trump, after receiving criticism from many Jewish leaders for failing to aggressively condemn anti-Jewish sentiment in the U.S.,spoketo the NBC News reporter Craig Melvin. I think its horrible, the President said. Whether its anti-Semitism or racism or anyanything you want to think about having to do with the divide. Anti-Semitism is, likewise, its just terrible. Some Jewish organizations have reacted positively. The President took an important first step today, Jonathan Greenblatt, the C.E.O. of the Anti-Defamation League, said inan interview on PBS. But most reactions were skeptical. The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect called Trumps remarks a Band-Aid on the cancer of anti-Semitism that has infected his Administration. In all honesty, Id like to see more, Aroesty told me.

The Chesed Shel Emeth Society, which oversees the cemetery, spent Tuesday recording the names on each damaged headstone; University City police launched an investigation and are trying to identify the culprits using security-camera footage. While the investigation proceeds, Aroesty said that she cant describe the damage at the cemetery as an act of hate. Perhaps the culprit did not know it was a Jewish site, or did not target it for that specific reason, she explained. There are a lot of folks in this community who, frankly, are challenging me to say, Yes, it is, in fact, a hate crime, she said. Which I cannot do, under Missouri law, until I know what the motivating factors were. Jewish leaders have, in the meantime, emphasized the wider problem of anti-Jewish sentiment, and the resilience of Jewish communities. Were trying to be a voice of reason and calm, Rabbi Jim Bennett, who oversees the St. Louis Rabbinical Association, which represents a range of Jewish denominations, said.

Bennett leads Congregation Shaare Emeth, in Creve Coeur, and he said that, in the days since the cemetery was vandalized, he has been moved by offers of support from local politicians and Muslim leaders, among many others. On Tuesday, CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, offered a five-thousand-dollar reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for J.C.C. bomb threats. Meanwhile, a crowd-funding campaign organized by Muslim nonprofits has raised more than seventy-five thousand dollars for cemetery repairs.

Bennett believes that it is possible to emphasize the specific nature of anti-Jewish acts while also framing such acts as part of a wider threat to religious freedom and minority rights. When he checked his e-mail on Tuesday, his inbox was filled with messages of sympathy. The first one he saw was from Reverend Joseph A. Weber, who presides over St. Monica Catholic Church, situated one mile from the Shaare Emeth synagogue, on the same street as the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery.

Two months ago, Weber told me, an arsonistset fireto his churchs Nativity scene; the blaze destroyed the altar and pulpit, leaving the sanctuary unusable. Weber remembers not wanting to cancel services, and thinking, I want people to know that we are still open for business. The day after the fire, Weber received a letter from Rabbi Bennett, on behalf of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association. We stand ready to assist you in any way that we can, the letter said. As fellow clergy, we offer our sincere sympathies. Bennett invited the Catholic congregation to meet at his synagogue, if necessary. Weber ultimately held services in the church gymnasium; local police did not classify the fire as a hate crime.

In his e-mail to Rabbi Bennett on Tuesday, Reverend Weber expressed his dismay at the horrible desecration of the Jewish cemetery. This morning at Mass, he added, I mentioned how understanding and helpful the Jewish community was after the fire. Weber asked his congregation to pray for the respect of all people. Rabbi Bennett took heart from the note. When we watch people suffer and feel pain, he told me, the greatest sign of love and unity is when we feel that pain ourselves.

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St. Louis Responds to a Rise in Anti-Semitism – The New Yorker

DNC Chair Candidate Stumbles When Pressed On Anti-Semitism [VIDEO] – Daily Caller


At CNNs Wednesday evening Democratic Leadership Debate, Minnesota Representative and DNC Chair hopeful Keith Ellison was asked to account for allegations of past anti-Semitism.

The Sunni Muslim Democratic congressman has long been dogged about hisassociation with groups like the Nation of Islam and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He has also come under fire for statements and writings regarding the State of Israel and American support for the Jewish state, going so far as to publish a paper as a law student titled Zionism: Imperialism, White Supremacy or Both?


Congressman Ellison, on Tuesday, you criticized President Trump on Twitter for not speaking out sooner on anti-Semitism. You have critics in your own party who say that is the right message but you may not be the right messenger because youre dogged by your own questions about potential anti-Semitism, debate moderator Chris Cuomo pressed.

Ellison denied the validity of the issue. Well, these are false allegations, he said, going on to cite examples of supporter in the Jewish community. These are smears and were fighting back every day.

Ellison was quick to turn the attention back to current events. Right now you have Jewish cemeteries defaced and desecrated. Right now you have Jewish institutions getting bomb threats. We have to stand with the Jewish community right here, right now, four square. And thats what the Democratic party is all about, he said.

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DNC Chair Candidate Stumbles When Pressed On Anti-Semitism [VIDEO] – Daily Caller

NY Governor unveils new plan to fight antisemitism and hate crimes – Jerusalem Post Israel News

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. (photo credit:REUTERS)

NEW YORK- Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled on Thursday a new plan of action in order to combat antisemitism and hate crimes across the state of New York, including a $25 Million grant for schools to improve security, $5,000 rewards for any Information leading to arrest and conviction for a hate crime, and a new hate crimes text line to report incidents.

The governor made the announcement during a press conference held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in downtown Manhattan, just after holding a roundtable discussion with representatives of the Jewish community and leaders of other faiths.

“New York must always be the beacon of tolerance and hope for all, and with the recent explosion of antisemitism and hate crimes, it is more important than ever before that we do everything in our power to ensure the safety and equal treatment of all New Yorkers,” he said.

“Any acts of bias or discrimination will be met with the full force of the law. New York is and always has been a place that celebrates diversity and religious tolerance, and we say to all New Yorkers who feel unsafe we will always protect you.”

The $25 million grant program for schools, which is part of the new measures taken, is intended to boost safety and security at New Yorks schools and daycare centers at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs or mission.

The grant program will provide funding for security upgrades such as additional security training, cameras, technology, door-hardening, improved lighting and others.

At the Governors direction, the state will also expand its toll-free hotline to include text message capability to report incidents of bias and discrimination. The hotline had been launched in November and has received over 3,175 calls to date.

Lastly, the $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction for a hate crime, the governor explained, aims to make sure the public is engaged in the cause.

We encourage [New Yorkers] to step up if they see it, be part of the solution, Cuomo said. We are offering the reward to encourage that but its not going to require much encouragement because I know that 99.9 percent of the people in this state are sickened by what they are seeing.

In recent months, many organizations fighting discrimination such as the Anti-Defamation League, have warned against a rise in hate crimes across the country. According to Cuomos office, in New York State, there was a 31 percent increase in reported hate crimes targeting Muslims in 2016 compared to 2015 and an 18 percent increase in reported hate crimes against LGBTQ individuals.

As far as the Jewish community is concerned, in addition to hate crimes, bomb threats have also recently surfaced. Dozens of Jewish Community Centers across the US as well as the ADLs headquarters have received such threats multiple times over the last month.

According to Governor Cuomo, these are not isolated incidents and the hate crimes are part of a clear pattern. The governor also noted that the rise in hate crimes begun in November, which correlates to the date of the election of US President Donald Trump, but maintained he wants to keep this out of politics.

I think its undeniable that the political tone from last year has created extreme views on both sides of the political spectrum and I think thats one of the factors, he said. But whatever caused it, our focus is on ending it.

Thursdays announcement adds to Governor Cuomos recent actions to combat bias and discrimination. In November, he directed the State Police to create a new Hate Crimes Unit to offer assistance to other law enforcement agencies investigating potential hate crimes.

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NY Governor unveils new plan to fight antisemitism and hate crimes – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Pro-Palestine activism must be ‘managed’ under counter-extremism strategy, universities told – RT

British universities have been advised to manage Palestinian activism on campus in order to comply with the UK governments Prevent counter-extremism strategy.

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Vocal support for Palestine, Opposition to Israeli settlements in Gaza, and Criticism of wars in the Middle East are included in a list of contentious topics on the Safe Campus Communities website.

The website includes a training section set up by Universities UK and the governments now defunct Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to help staff fulfil their Prevent obligations.

Since 2015, Prevent has required public sector workers to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

The website says the material is intended to promote free speech by encouraging universities to ensure topics that may be seen as controversial may be debated in a safe environment.

It advises institutions to take steps to manage events in which extremist views are likely to be expressed and ensure such views are challenged by inviting additional speakers with opposing views.

Relevant higher education bodies also need to risk assess and manage events where these or similar views may be expressed, it says.

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Critics fear the guidance could stifle free speech and political expression, according to Middle East Eye.

On Tuesday, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) canceled an Israel Apartheid Week event organized for next week by Friends of Palestine because of concerns it would not be balanced, Middle East Eye reports.

UCLan said it was concerned that the event, called Debunking misconceptions on Palestine and the importance of BDS [the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement], would fall foul of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the UK government.

The IHRA defines anti-Semitism as a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews, including denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

UCLan said: 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.

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

Ben Jamal, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said it was absurd to single out support for a Palestinian state or opposition to Israeli settlements as controversial or extremist.

Given that all major political parties in the UK and the overwhelming majority of governments across the world support a Palestinian state and oppose settlements on the basis that they violate international law and are an obstacle to peace it is absurd to define these as extremist views.

There is an urgent need for the relevant bodies to review these materials and ensure that any training offered to educational establishments truly reflects the stated intention to uphold academic freedom and freedom of expression, he said.

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Pro-Palestine activism must be ‘managed’ under counter-extremism strategy, universities told – RT

Holocaust survivor reflects on traumatizing experience – Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Holocaust Survivor Dr. William Samelson talks about the Holocaust and its consequences on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, at Corpus Christi Jewish Community Center in Corpus Christi.(Photo: Gabe Hernandez/Caller-Times)Buy Photo

It’s hard to tell William Samelson had experienced one of the largest atrocitiesin history.

Throughout his talk Tuesday evening at the Corpus Christi Jewish Community Center, he laughed often, and even took a phone call from his daughter in the midst of speaking.

“I’m glad I didn’t silence my phone,” he joked to the crowd after the brief conversation with his youngest daughter.

But life hasn’t always been that pleasant for him. Samelsonsurvived the Holocaust.

Samelson wrote about his life experiences titled “The Holocaust and Its Consequences.” Writing, he said, was his form of therapy.

Samelson was only 11 when Nazis rounded up all the Jews in his Polish village to take them to concentration camps. He carried a violin under his arm and recalls an officer asking him to play it.

“I thought for a moment my musical talent might save some people here,” he told the audience.

The officer immediately shattered Samelson’s comforting thought.

“He ripped the violin from under my chin and destroyed it on my head,” he said.

Samelson was fortunate to go through concentration camps with his brother by his side, but they were separated from their mother and younger sister.

“It was almost 80 years ago that I heard the anguishing cry of my mother,” he said slowly, as he stopped to wipe his tears. “The last time we saw her, she was climbing into the freight train and we lost sight of her.”

In his book Samelson included a chapter about how he imagined the kind of life his sister would have had. In the chapter, he said his sister finds love and gets married.

“Fantasy is a precious thing,” he said.

Samelson also took a moment to recognize the Nazis he encountered whoshowed empathy to Jews. He credited his survival to them.

“If it were not for the ones that were kind, no one would have survived,” he said.

After his camp was liberated by the U.S. Army in 1945, Samelson caught up on his education. He holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin, and has taught in universities around the country.

Despite the hardships, Samelson has been able to make up for the time he lost in concentration camps, and has enjoyedlife along the way.

“I try to laugh often,” he said. “Life is not a tragedy. It’s a comedy.”

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Holocaust survivor reflects on traumatizing experience – Corpus Christi Caller-Times

How Marie Antoinette and Sean Spicer Are Making Babka Famous – Forward

Bomb threats against JCCs throughout the U.S. are bringing many reactions, but none tastier than this tweet from The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect in response to Presidential spokesman Sean Spicers bizarre insistence that Donald Trump has spoken out against anti-Semitism many times:

Thats a nice Jewish twist on let them eat cake, which is a frequently used translation of a sentence in Jean-Jacques Rousseaus autobiography, Confessions. But wait thats just the beginning of the story.

In French, the sentence actually reads: Quils mangent de la brioche and it is often mis-attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette, who was nine years old in 1765, when Rousseau wrote those words in his multi-volume opus. (He finally published it in 1782.)

In the interest of facts, an endangered concept these days, in the previous sentence, Rousseau merely refers to a grande princesse, and he doesnt name names. Theres no record of Marie Antoinette saying anything about brioche.

What the let them eat cake saga does show is that fake news has a long history; the misattributed utterance was taken as a symbol of total disregard for the struggles of poor peasants; brioche was a luxury, and certainly not within the means of the poor.

Back to babka and the contemporary struggle for actual reality. Yes, the Anne Frank Center was suggesting that the current administration literally, at least should eat some yeast cake that in Jewish tradition usually includes lots of chocolate or cinnamon. Figuratively, of course, the Anne Frank Center was displaying its disdain for Spicers claim.

But language nerds had another pressing concern. Come to think of it, what does the word babka mean?

The Oxford English Dictionary says babka is the diminutive form of baba, which, via French from Polish, literally married peasant woman. (The shadow of Marie Antoinette and the peasants lives on.) The OED also points out that baba in Indian culture means father or respected older man, but thats not relevant to the European cake that has become a staple of Jewish-American cooking as well as Israeli bake shops.

If babka immediately makes you think grandmother, or the Yiddish word for grandmother, bubbe, its because, well, thats also what babka means.

Savta. Bubbe. Grandma.

The Polish and Belarusian noun babka and the Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Russian baba mean grandmother or little grandmother. And while this may sound a bit creepy, The Oxford Companion to Food points out that the babkas bottom part looks like the pleats of a skirt in other words, the kind of thing grandma might wear.

No matter what grandma is wearing, many of us would love it if a brigade of feisty Jewish grandmothers were responding to Spicer and Trump right now, perhaps while slinging babka.

So how did a word for grandmother become a pastry? According to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, babka as a pastry name came to English from Polish, via French. But dont worry too much about grandmas disappearance from use: The Canadian Oxford assures us that babka is still sometimes used in its original meaning (grandmother), especially among those of Central and Eastern European descent. And of course, the word babushka can be heard in neighborhoods with Russian-Jewish grandmothers in abundance. Babushka means grandmother, and is the diminutive of baba, or older woman, according to Merriam-Webster.

If all this etymology just makes you want to snack, youre in luck. You can certainly make babka at home, no matter what your heritage, and a bonus is that making babka can keep you busy long enough to miss a news cycle and the accompanying rise in blood pressure.

Baking a chocolate babka is no casual undertaking, writes Melissa Clark of The New York Times in her introduction to her babka recipe.

The Eastern European yeast-risen coffee cake has 14 steps and takes all day to make, Clark writes. But the results are worth every sugarcoated second with a moist, deeply flavored brioche-like cake wrapped around a dark fudge filling, then topped with cocoa streusel crumbs.

Here is her recipe:

If fourteen steps seems too simple, and you want to stay busy and distracted from the Presidency for even longer, Bon Appetit offers a babka recipe featuring a double helix twist. Think of it as supporting science, another endangered entity right now.

Maybe babka will get a Trump bump, just like Nordstroms, Teen Vogue, and other unexpected members of the resistance. But for those who follow pastry, grandmothers favorite snack, babka, was getting kind of hot before the Anne Frank Center made it even hotter.

Bon Appetit magazine declared last month that babka is the new bagel, meaning it is finely making its way to the masses. We can only rejoice, Vered Guttman of Haaretz wrote about a year ago, when it seemed a bit easier to rejoice.

Not to be outdone, Haaretz offers a classic poppyseed babka recipe, an ideal treat to master with Purim only weeks away. Last but certainly not least, Haaretz even offers a ten-photo, step-by-step babka-making primer which makes babka-making seem totally doable, and even soothing.

Far less damaging to the heart rate than watching Sean Spicer, and a reminder that if our grandmothers survived what they survived and still managed to roll dough, spread chocolate, and enjoy the ensuing babka, perhaps we can best get through this with a little piece of elaborate yeast cake too.

Aviya Kushner is The Forwards language columnist and the author of The Grammar of God (Spiegel & Grau). Follow her on Twitter at @AviyaKushner

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How Marie Antoinette and Sean Spicer Are Making Babka Famous – Forward

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

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.


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, 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

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.

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

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