Monthly Archives: January 2018

Israel President Rivlin Addresses Poland, Anti-Semitism At Holocaust Remembrance

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Athens, Greece — January 29, 2018 … Israeli President Rivlin commented on Poland’s denial of its role in the Holocaust.

Rivlin, who is visiting Greece, stated that in relation to the new Polish legislation that Poland’s  decision to place in prison those who speak of Poland’s complicity with Nazi Germany is a reminder that it is still beholden upon Israel, all Jews and Christians to fight for the memory of the Holocaust, as it happened. Research into the Holocaust must be free, open, and sincere. The duty to remember is a duty to recognize, to know, to try and understand what happened. With the aim to ensure, Never Again.”

“We are witnessing the return of anti-Semitic, racist and neo-Nazi outlooks, many manifestations of anti-Semitism are once again reverberating around the world, radical movements are gaining strength, the new right-wing parties are winning electoral achievements – Jews feel less secure in their countries – these are phenomena that should be denounced. We must not give in to anti-Semitism or xenophobia, we must fight anti-Semitism, racism and hatred of every kind.”

“We must firmly oppose those who conceal anti-Semitism under the guise of delegitimizing Israel – as well as extreme right-wing parties which do not hide their anti-Semitic background, but declare that they love Israel. There is no such thing as loving Israelis and hating Jews, or loving Jews but hating Israelis.”

President Reuven Rivlin this evening, addressed a ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, held by the Jewish community in Athens.

In attendance were Holocaust survivors from the Greek Jewish community, among them; Itzik Mizen, 90, who survived Auschwitz-Birkenau; Frances Hogo, 90, who survived Bergen Belsen; Fortunita Hananel Gani, 91, who survived Auschwitz-Birkenau; and David Moshe, 95, who survived Mauthausen. Also attending was Greece’s Education and Religious Affairs Minister, and the Speaker of the Greek Parliament.

“Seventy-three years have passed since the flames of the Auschwitz crematoria were put out” began the President and continued, “Auschwitz has become a symbol of the whole Jewish Holocaust. The United Nations decided that 27th January – the day that soldiers of the Red Army entered Auschwitz and freed the inmates – should be an international day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust. And yet, on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the lower house of the Polish Parliament passed a law to criminalize talk of “crimes of the Polish nation”, threatening custodial sentences those who use different expressions.

This decision is a reminder that it is still beholden upon us to fight for the memory of the Holocaust, as it happened. Research into the Holocaust must be free, open, and sincere. Just as was said by the former Polish President, “One cannot fake history, nor rewrite it, nor hide the truth. Every crime, every offence must be condemned, denounced, must be examined and exposed.” So he said.”

“The Jewish people, the State of Israel, and the entire world must ensure that the Holocaust is recognized for its horrors and atrocities. Also among the Polish nation there were those who aided the Nazis in their crimes. We will not forget that. There were also others among them who struggled to save the lives of Jews and were recognized as Righteous Among the Nations. Our obligation as children of the Jewish nation, to the memory of our brothers and sisters who were murdered will always be above all other considerations. The duty to remember is a duty to recognize, to know, to try and understand what happened. To understand how the most terrible destruction in history was made possible. With the aim to ensure, Never Again.”

“In recent years there has been increased interest in the Holocaust of Greek Jewry, and I want to thank the Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament, and the Government of Greece for their efforts to deepen the knowledge and remembrance in this field,” said the President. He continued, “Tomorrow I will participate in the corner stone laying ceremony for the Holocaust Museum in Thessaloniki. Last year, an agreement was signed between the Greek Education Ministry and Yad VaShem in Jerusalem, to train teachers on educating about the Holocaust. Around two decades ago the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a book on Greeks who were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and just a week ago another book by Gerorge Pilichos, the most comprehensive documentation of Greek Jews and Christians sent to Auschwitz. And yet, we still do not know enough about the Holocaust of Greek Jews.”

Rivlin added: “We are witnessing the return of anti-Semitic, racist and neo-Nazi outlooks, many manifestations of anti-Semitism are once again reverberating around the world, radical movements are gaining strength, the new right-wing parties are winning electoral achievements with the use of anti-Semitic slogans. These things are happening not centuries after Auschwitz, and not in distant lands. They are happening now on European soil, and elsewhere. Jews feel less secure in their countries, there are those who are forced to hide their Jewishness – these are phenomena that should be denounced. We must not give in to anti-Semitism or xenophobia, we must fight anti-Semitism, racism and hatred of every kind. This is the time for public diplomacy and education! Against xenophobia, against racism, and against anti-Semitism.”

“Those who enter into an alliance with anti-Semites and anti-Semitism, those who adopt their language, have no part in the family of nations. We must firmly oppose those who hide their anti-Semitism under the guise of delegitimizing the State of Israel. As well as extreme right-wing parties that do not hide their anti-Semitic background, but repeatedly declare that they love the State of Israel. There is no such thing as loving Israelis and hating Jews, or loving Jews, but hating Israelis.”

Earlier, the President met with leaders of the Jewish community, including the President of the Jewish Communities of Greece and Vice President of the World Jewish Congress, David Saltiel, and President of the Athens Jewish Community, Minos Moissis, along with representatives from Jewish communities in Volos, Chalcis, Larissa, Corfu, Kavala, and Trikala.

“All the children of Israel are responsible one for another,” the President said, “This is true today more than ever”. He said, “The Holocaust harmed the Jewish people, but it also damaged humanity. This harm can only be healed through education in an uncompromising struggle against all hatred or racism”. He praised the community and its leaders for its success in playing an important role in this, and for preserving the community.

Earlier in the day, the President and First Lady participated in the “7 in 70” event, during which a medal of recognition was awarded by the Israeli Ambassador to Greece, to Greek citizens who have made significant contributions to the relationship between Greece and Israel over the seven decades of Israel’s independence. Seven recipients were awarded the honor for their contributions in the fields of politics, culture, economy, sport, music, Jewish communal relations, and literature.

“Our two peoples are brother nations. And there were those who once said, ‘twin souls’,” said the President, “Today, in this joint event, we cherish the men and women who built and build the connection between Greece and Israel”.

“You, the men and the women at the heart of this event, you are our muses in building the bonds and laying the bridges between the nations, between our peoples. Connections built under the guidance of successive Greek prime ministers, presidents, foreign ministers of the Hellenic Republic, members of parliament.” The President also said, “Today, as Israel celebrates 70 years of its independence, we are pleased to recognize each and every one of you for your contribution to the ties between Israel and Greece.”

Holocaust Remembrance Day Honored Online

By Israel News Agency Staff

Jerusalem, Israel — January 26, 2018 … A valuable online resource which honors the memory of the 6 million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust can be found at:

www.HolocaustRemembranceDay.org

The domain directs to an interactive Facebook page which integrates the most valuable and respected Holocaust resources including Yad Vashem, World Jewish Congress, the US Holocaust Museum, the Anne Frank Center, the Israel Defense Forces and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.

Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.

Nazi Dr. Fritz Klein, center, who selected prisoners to be sent to the gas chamber at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, was forced to move bodies to a mass grave after the camp was liberated by the British in April, 1945. Klein was later tried and hanged.

In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. Most European Jews lived in countries that Nazi Germany would occupy or influence during World War II. By 1945, the Germans and their collaborators murdered two out of every three European Jews as part of the “Final Solution,” the Nazi policy to murder the Jews of Europe.

The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27 – the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

Israel Bans Entry Of Jewish Voice for Peace, Code Pink, 18 Other Terror Groups

Several of the BDS groups now being banned entry to Israel
directly support Islamic terror organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah.


By Herb Brandon

Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — January 8, 2018 … Members of 20 international organizations that promote terrorism, violence and a boycott campaign against Israel, will be banned from entering the Jewish state.

The Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs decided that repeated acts of incitement designed to destroy Israel were no longer going to hide under the cover of so-called freedom of speech.

The leaders of several worldwide Jewish organizations applauded the Israeli action saying that it was time to call out blatant anti-semitism posing as human rights.

The list was created after Israel’s Knesset (parliament) in March passed legislation that would deny entry visas to foreign nationals who publicly back or call for BDS – any form of boycott – economic, cultural or academic – of Israel.

BDS stands for ”boycott, divestment and sanctions.”  The movement discourages the purchase of Israeli goods, pressures international companies not to conduct business in Israel and urges celebrities to avoid Israel.

The Israeli government states that the boycott campaign actively promotes the country’s demise and denies Israel’s basic right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, appointed to confront BDS and other such movements, said Sunday that the blacklisting was “another step in our work to thwart anti-Israel boycott organizations which promote both a physical and economic Jihad against Jews and Christians.”

“The state of Israel will actively prevent such groups from spreading their lies and support for violence and terrorism from within the country,” he said.

Among those highlighted on the list are six U.S. organizations, including the Jewish Voice for Peace which is anything but Jewish and Code Pink, a feminist antiwar organization with headquarters in Washington.

The ban will include members who are responsible for senior positions in the listed organizations.

The ministry stated that there was no intention of barring entry to individuals who express political criticism of Israel and that it would not apply to those who hold Israeli citizenship.

On Twitter, Jewish Voice for Peace was ironically surprised as it did not understand that the Jewish nation that they were boycotting was now boycotting them.

Here is a full list of the organizations set to be banned entry into Israel:

Europe

  • AFPS (France-Palestine Solidarity Association)
  • BDS France
  • BDS Italy
  • ECCP (The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine)
  • FOA (Friends of al-Aqsa)
  • IPSC (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
  • Norge Palestinakomitee (The Palestine Committee of Norway)
  • Palestinagrupperna i Sverige (PGS-Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden)
  • PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
  • War on Want
  • BDS Kampagne

United States

  • AFSC (American Friends Service Committee)
  • AMP (American Muslims for Palestine)
  • Code Pink
  • JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace)
  • NSJP (National Students for Justice in Palestine)
  • USCPR (U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights)

Other groups

  • BDS Chile
  • BDS South Africa
  • BDS National Committee

 

The World Jewish Congress applauded the Israeli ban saying that anti-Semitism and anti-Semites had to be confronted forcefully wherever and whenever they manifested themselves.

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder stated: “The Jewish people are not going to disappear. We are small in number – there a just 15 million of us around the world – but we are a brilliant and innovative people.”

The WJC considers the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement, and all other attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel, to be “manifestations of anti-Semitic discrimination against the only truly democratic country in the Middle East, and damaging to any genuine efforts for peace in the region.”