Category: BUZZ

International Holocaust Memorial Day 2017

Nazi Germany tried to eradicate Europe’s Jewish population in the Holocaust.

Millions died. Today, the world remembers them and the other persecuted minorities who perished on the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Sephardic Communities That were Affected by the Holocaust

This year, the students of the ISCA (Israeli Students Combatting Anti-Semitism) program decided to highlight the Sephardic communities [i.e. Jews who came from Muslim countries] that were affected by the Holocaust. They are silent survivors, with stories we do not usually know and could not fathom that the war had reached their homes. We include their testimonies here.

Three testimonies, three stories. The Jews of Salonika, a Sephardic community who were decimated by the Nazis’ horrors. The history of Tunisian Jews, discriminated, abused and deported to the death camps in Europe. This is the story of the Sephardic Jews, who were deported and awaited the “final solution.”

May the memory of those recalled in this video, but also that of the six million Jews murdered by their Nazi tormentors, be blessed.

In commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we brought you a quick view from the perspective of a little girl at the time.

We remember, never again!!

By: Michael Schwartz


Iran and the Holocaust

Abdolhossein Sadari: An Iranian Hero of the Holocaust

Holocaust denial by Iranian officials, especially by the Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei has presented a negative image of Iran around the world, overshadowing the important role played by Iranians in helping the victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Starting in 1942, Iran accepted over 116,000 Polish refugees some of them Jews, who fled German and Soviet occupation. Abdolhossein Sadari, an Iranian diplomat living in Paris issued many passports to Iranian and non-Iranian Jews in the hopes of protecting them from Nazi persecution. Watch this film to learn more about Iran’s legacy and the Holocaust.

The Children of Tehran

This is the story of the rescue of 700 children from occupied Poland and their grueling journey to Palestine in the winter of 1943. This unprecedented operation took several children, many without their parents, on a difficult journey that led them to distant lands, including Tehran, before they arrived safely in Palestine. For the Jewish settlement, the “Children of Tehran” were the first survivors of the Holocaust who attested to the horrors of war-torn Europe.

In the movie, these children, now in their seventies relive their past memories. They retrace their escape route from Poland to Russia, their life in Siberia and in Uzbekistan, their journey to Tehran, where they were discovered by emissaries of the Jewish Agency, and finally their heroic rescue through the Indian Ocean, to the Suez Canal and the final journey by train to the Land of Israel.

By: Michael Schwartz



The Rise of Anti-Semitism in 2016

The Rise of anti-Semitism – An UpFront Special

It’s been called the world’s oldest hatred. In back-to-back debates in this UpFront special, we discuss anti-Semitism.

In the first debate, a panel explores the rise or return of anti-Semitism among the far right, and questions whether the 2016 elections and President Trump’s victory has emboldened these attitudes.

In the second debate, we discuss anti-Semitism among the left, and the duality of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism on the Political Right

Since Donald Trump’s election victory in November, anti-Semitic attacks have been on the rise in the U.S. with swastikas and other Nazi imagery popping up everywhere.

Has much has anti-Semitic activity been spurred by Trump’s win?

“It’s not so much that this anti-Semitism didn’t exist before; it probably did exist but it was under the radar,” says Haaretz senior columnist Chemi Shalev. “The candidacy of Donald Trump brought forth or emboldened all sorts of anti-Semitic and anti-Jewish groups who nobody paid attention to any more.”

Hadas Gold, a media reporter for Politico magazine, says: “Some of my colleagues got actual letters to their personal addresses at home – it was rather frightening. I mean, it’s never pleasant to see your face with a bullet hole through it. These direct threats were something new, and they were almost always directly connected to Donald Trump.”

In the first part of this UpFront special, Chemi Shalev and Hadas Gold discuss the troubling resurgence of anti-Semitism among the hard right.

Part 2: Anti-Semitism on the Political Left

With anti-Semitism on the rise across parts of Europe, is it something the left and Palestinian supporters need to urgently tackle, or is anti-Semitism being used and abused by supporters of Israel?

“Just because sometimes not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish, doesn’t mean that it never is,” says Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland, who also writes for The Jewish Chronicle. “Sometimes it is, the way it’s expressed. If it borrows from or draws on the language or imagery of old style anti-Jewish prejudice, then it is.”

Israeli-Canadian Lisa Goldman, Co-founder of the left-wing Israeli journal 972, says: “I do see it on the rise in Europe on the left, but the crude anti-Semitism I’m seeing comes from the radical right.”

Palestinian-American human rights lawyer Noura Erakat says: “I think that obviously there is a misunderstanding that’s constructed. But at the end of the day, those who are part of a movement against Zionism are part of a liberator movement not only for Palestinians, but it has an emancipator potential for Jewish people as well.”

In the second part of this UpFront special, Jonathan Freedland, Lisa Goldman and Noura Erakat debate anti-Semitism among the political left.

By: Michael Schwartz

Holocaust Survivors’ Takes on Current Events

A Holocaust Survivor’s Take on the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Holocaust survivor Fredy Seidel discusses his thoughts about the Syrian Refugee Crisis and how he feels the global response echos that of the worldwide response to the Holocaust.

Things We Can Learn From Holocaust Survivors

There are around 500,000 Holocaust survivors alive today, roughly about 100,000 of them live in the U.S. As they get older, the world risks losing their stories. Holocaust survivors are living reminders of the horrors of genocide, and reminders that history cannot repeat itself. Thanks to oral histories, many of their stories have been logged for future generations.

What can we learn from them today? In order to understand how their experiences shaped their worldviews and to offer some perspective on current events, we spoke with five survivors living in Los Angeles, California.

By: Michael Schwartz

Jews Targeted in Whitefish, Montana

Neo Nazis, White Supremacists Target Jewish residents in Montana

A white supremacist call to “troll” Jewish people in Whitefish, Montana  gain3e support on social media and put lives of local Jews in danger.

Andrew Anglin of the Neo-Nazi website, The Daily Stormer published an inflammatory article calling for “action” against Jews, whom Anglin believes are “targeting [prominent Neo-Nazi] Richard Spencer’s mother,” and claiming that her real estate business is failing apart because of public backlash against her son. Spencer is a well-known white supremacist and prominent member of the National Policy Institute (NPI) who coined the term “alt-right,” a far right-wing group.

Anglin called on readers to harass Jews, describing them as a “vicious, evil race of hate-filled psychopaths” and “a people without shame.”

A Close-up of Whitefish’s most Infamous Resident

Gary Tuchman visits Whitefish, Montana to learn about its most infamous resident, white supremacist leader, Richard Spencer.

By: Michael Schwartz

French Jews Fear Growing Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism in Lyon, France

‘Lyon in particular has never been a good place for Jews, but hasn’t been so bad for a long time’. Historian Andrew Hussey reports from Lyon, France on the rise of anti-semitism and Islamophobia.

After the Charlie Hebdo Massacre Jewish Families Afraid to Stay in France

Following the brutal attacks on the popular French magazine’s haedquarter’s and staff at Charlie Hebdo, unity was felt across the the French capital. However, some Jewish families still fear staying in Paris in the wake of the terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket two years prior.

Why 10,000 French Jews Will Move to Israel This Year

How has France’s Jewish community changed since World War II? Why are thousands of French Jews now emigrating to Israel? WSJ’s Jason Bellini has an answer.

By: Michael Schwartz

Firsthand Look Inside Neo-Nazi Village

Inside the Neo-Nazi Village of Jamel, Germany

A BBC reporter went inside a Neo-Nazi village in northern Germany, where neighbors are known to give each other the Nazi salute.

Exploring the ‘Nazi Village’ of Jamel

Back in 2011, VICE Germany gained exclusive access to Jamel, a small town often referred to as a “Neo-Nazi village” by the press. Jamel may have only housed around 35 permanent residents, but it skewed pretty heavily toward extremists who are mostly members of the far-right NPD political party.

Life in a Neo-Nazi village

As crime commited by the far-right rises in Germany, The Daily Telegraph visits the small village of Jamel where most of the residents subscribe to neo-Nazi ideology. (Alastair Good and Jeevan Vasager)

By: Michael Schwartz

When Anti-Semitism Enters Sports

Tyson Fury makes anti-Semitic comments in an Interview

Boxer Tyson Fury made anti-Semitic comments claiming “Zionist, Jewish people own all the banks, all the media”, in an hour-long interview that has caused outrage. Speaking with Sport View London, Fury launches into a sexist and homophobic tirade, including launching personal attacks against Ukranian boxer Wladimir Klitschko in the run-up to their rematch in July. Fury has previously been accused of sexist, homophobic and anti-Semitic comments.

Fox Sports Florida Reporter Emily Austen Banned From Network After Making Anti-Semitic Remarks

A Fox Sports Florida reporter isn’t scheduled to appear on the network after making racially insensitive and anti-Semitic remarks during a live-streamed Barstool Sports show.

In the 35-minute video, Austen said she “didn’t even know that Mexicans were that smart,” while discussing a story about a Texas valedictorian who announced that she’s an undocumented immigrant. Austen added that the “Chinese guy is always the smartest guy in math class,” and that when she “used to talk to Jews in Boca,” they “would complain and b—- about everything.”

Senior Vice President of Fox Sports Florida, Steve Tello said in a statement Friday that the network was aware of Austen’s “insensitive and derogatory comments.”

“She was not speaking on behalf of Fox Sports, nor do we condone any of the statements she made in the video,” Tello said. “Emily has been advised that her comments were unacceptable, and she is not scheduled to appear on any upcoming Fox Sports Florida or Fox Sports Sun broadcasts.”

By: Michael Schwartz


UCLA Students Fear Rise of New Anti-Semitism

UCLA Student-worker Makes Strong Anti-Semitic Statement on Social Media

Several students at UCLA are concerned about the growing anti-Semitism on college campuses across the country, including on their own campus in Westwood.

They point to several incidents over the past year. The most recent was a hate-filled rant posted on the Facebook page of actress Mayim Bialik, who is a well-known UCLA alumni.

Bialik answered social media to those who condemned her for being pro-Israel.
“For those of you who refuse to follow me and discourage others from doing so because I am a Zionist (as if that’s a crime!!), I highly recommend you look up Zionist in the dictionary…,” Bialik wrote.

She went on to say that if her Zionism caused them to un-follow her on Facebook, then “By all means don’t.”

Her post garnered plenty of reactions, both in support and against. Among the many responses was an obscenity-laced one from a UCLA student who wrote that Jews were “troglodyte albino monsters of cultural destruction.”

The student also called for all Jews to go “back to Israel.” Some Jewish students called on the university to fire the said-student from her UCLA work-study job. The university condemned her comments as “reprehensible,” but decided against firing her, upholding her right to free speech on social media.

UCLA Anti-Semitism Resolution Sparks Controversy over Israel Criticism

The student association at the University of California, Los Angeles recently passed a controversial resolution condemning anti-Semitism on the school’s campus. However, campus groups who advocate for, or show solidarity with Palestinian groups are arguing that the resolutions silence people who speak out against the State of Israel. RT’s Ben Swann speaks with author Phan Nguyen about the legality and politics behind the resolution, and how it will affect free speech on campus.

Anti-Semitic Flyers Surface at Jewish-Owned Business Near UCLA

It appears the recent conflicts in the Middle East have spurred an upturn in anti-Semitism in the area surrounding UCLA.

Ant-Semitic flyers have been found near the UCLA campus bearing the words “Wanted” and “Warning” picturing swastikas. Several were put under the door of a Jewish store owner.

“I don’t know why some people are against Judaism,” the store’s owner told CBSLA. “I was very deeply sad,” he added. The store owner sought spiritual counsel from Rabbi Boruch Cunin at the Chabad House near UCLA.

Students were stunned to hear about the anti-Semitic flyers. “This is ridiculous…My boyfriend is Jewish. I have so many Jewish friends. There’s a Jewish fraternity just down the street. I cannot believe that this is happening,” Shannon Charrette, a student at UCLA, said.

By: Michael Schwartz


And the Award Goes to…

Bulgarian MEP Antoniya Parvanova Receives Award for Efforts Fighting Anti-Semitism

The Vice-President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Antoniya Parvanova, plays a leading role in supporting European and World Jewry. The Bulgarian Member of the European Parliament has recently been awarded with a medal by the European Jewish Union for her outstanding efforts in combatting anti-Semitism and promoting tolerance.

The nationalist parties across the EU are using the platform of the economic crisis to promise solutions and alternatives to the current development of Europe. However, the European Union is not active enough in the promotion of tolerance and multiculturalism. The growing threat of anti-Semitism is due to the failure of detecting indicators on this ideology, according to Parvanova who says this can change. As a result of the ongoing eurozone crisis, the unprecedented electoral successes of European nationalist parties and an anti-immigrant backlash across the continent right now, Parvanova and her colleagues at the European Parliament could be confronted by an increasing extremism threat in the coming months. Let’s have a look at what she has to say about the award and the European Jewish Community.

Fighting Anti-Semitism: German Chancellor Angela Merkel receives ADL Human Rights Prize

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been awarded the ‘Joseph Prize for Human Rights by the Anti-Defamation League. Merkel joins the likes of former US President George H.W. Bush, late Jordanian King Hussein, and a number of former Israeli prime ministers in the winning the award.

by: Michael Schwartz