The Algemeiner ran an op-ed written by B'nai B'rith Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Fusfield on the "alt-right hero" Richard Spencer sowing bigotry as he prepares for a college lecture tour.
Scroll down to read the op-ed or click below to read it on Algemeiner.com.
Alt-right leader Richard Spencer, who garnered national attention with his controversial appearance at Texas A&M University last December, plans to sow his white nationalism on college campuses across the country in 2017.
Known for using phrases like “Hail victory” (the literal translation of the Nazi phrase “Sieg Heil”) and mimicking the Nazi salute, Spencer traffics in far-right ideas that center around the preservation of the white race and Western civilization. He peddles his message through a think tank known as the National Policy Institute, an online publication called Radix and, now, a planned college speaking tour.
Spencer, who initially built momentum through his websites and online comments, is increasingly shifting his attention to live audiences. Prior to his Texas A&M appearance, Spencer and other white nationalists set up a “safe space” on the University of California-Berkeley campus to discuss “how race affects people of European heritage.”
Spencer sees college audiences as fertile ground for his message of discontent. “I think you need to get them while they are young,” Spencer told a reporter in December. “People in college are at this point in their lives where they are actually open to alternative perspectives.”
This year’s White House statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day has given Spencer even more fodder for horrendous statements.
President Trump’s Holocaust message neglected to mention Jews, antisemitism or the Nazi campaign of genocide that claimed six million Jewish victims. Most Jewish organizations were highly critical of this omission.
Yet Spencer found no fault with these omissions; rather, on the website altright.com, he criticized the “activist Jewish community” for commandeering the Holocaust narrative.
“It is all about their meta-narrative of suffering, and it shall undergird their peculiar position in American society, and theirs alone,” Spencer wrote. “When viewed from the perspective of Jewish activists, Trump’s statement becomes outrageous, as it dethrones Jews from a special position in the universe.”
In his statement, Spencer employs a favorite trope of Holocaust-distorters and antisemites: the claim that the enormity of the Holocaust is exaggerated by Jews, who manipulate World War II-era history for their own political purposes. The antisemitic stereotypes that frame Spencer’s brand of Holocaust denial are the same themes that were invoked by the Nazis.
Holocaust denial not only clouds our understanding of history, but it also minimizes the grave threat posed to the contemporary Jewish community by rising antisemitism. Moreover, it harms Israel’s security by diminishing what was once a bedrock understanding of the crucial need for the existence of a Jewish state: the Jewish people have already been targeted for total annihilation, and without a firm safe haven in the ancestral Jewish homeland, Jews will always remain vulnerable.
Spencer has already announced his intention to spread his bigotry and false version of history to American college students. For the young men and women born at the end of the 20th century, the Holocaust is merely a distant historical episode; for them, its lessons are faded, if not altogether bygone. Unfortunately, their minds are ripe for exploitation by a hate monger and Holocaust denier like Richard Spencer.
The Jerusalem Post covered the B'nai B'rith World Center and the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jews who Rescued Fellow Jews During the Holocaust (JRJ) conferring of the joint Jewish Rescuers Citation upon nine rescuers who risked their lives in France saving Jews from deportation and extermination during the Holocaust at the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris.
Scroll down to read the story or click below to read it on JPost.com.
B’nai B’rith gives award to nine overlooked French natives
PARIS – France's Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia, French-Jewish resistance expert Dr. Tsilla Hershco and other leaders of the French-Jewish community gathered on Monday at the Paris “Memorial de la Shoah” museum for an exceptional ceremony, honoring nine Jewish men and women for saving Jews during the Holocaust.
Marcel Marceau, Theo Klein, Léon and Joseph Eligoulachvilli, George and Fanny Loinger, Nelly Willer, Rachel Grunstein and Liliane Lieber-Klein were awarded the Jewish Rescuers award (JRJ) for saving Jews during World War II.
Some 20 years ago, activists, survivors and researchers founded the Committee on Jews Rescued Jews (CJRJ), with the purpose of documenting, publicizing, and spreading the word about the deeds of Jewish heroes during the Holocaust.
The founders felt that too little was known among the public in Israel and elsewhere about Jewish bravery, and that these heroes received little recognition.
In 2011, the Committee, together with the B’nai B’rith organization, established the JRJ commemorating the heroism of Jews who saved Jews during the war while putting their own lives in peril. Since then, 162 men and women have been honored. Since creating the award, the founders have shed light on a little- known chapter of Jewish history, revealing heroic acts by Jews in France, Hungary, Greece, Germany, Slovakia, Russia, Poland and the Netherlands.
For the people of B’nai B’rith, Jews were not only victims of the Nazis; brave Jewish men and women across Europe also took action in order to save those persecuted by the Germans.
Most of the JRJ ceremonies take place in Israel. But this year, B’nai B’rith chose Paris as the venue for the award ceremony, dedicating it to Jewish heroism in France during the war. Serge Dahan, president of B’nai B’rith France said at the ceremony that the very origins of his organization can be found in the necessity of fighting antisemitism.
“Many French people, humble, non-Jews helped Jews across our country and protected them from deportation.
We are forever grateful to them. And aside from them, there was resistance from Jews; exceptional men and women who risked their lives to save others,” said Dahan, adding that “the nine men and women who are honored today played a particularly special role in saving Jews during the war.”
Hershco, who represented the CJRJ, emphasized that many of these Jews were not recognized for their heroic acts.
“Most of them saved other Jews within the framework of different Jewish resistance groups,” she said. “During this somber period, the Jewish resistance searched hiding places for children and families, produced fake documents, organized the passage of Jews out of France and conducted guerrilla warfare in the big French cities and in the mountains in the South. Thousands of Jews were saved through these activities throughout the years of the war.”
Theo Klein, 97, was among the nine awarded this year (represented by a family member).
Decorated by the French government, Klein has been a wellknown figure within French Jewish leadership; in the ’80s he served as president of the CRIF (French Jewry umbrella organization). During the war he was one of the resistance leaders, taking part in the rescue of hundreds of young Jews, mostly in the south of France.
Another legendary name among French Jewry is the (late) Marcel Manger, also called Marcel Marceau, son of a Polish family in the Alsace-Lorraine region, who joined the French resistance in Limoges in 1942 together with his older brother Alain. Together, they smuggled Jewish children through the Alps out of occupied France into free Switzerland and to the south of Spain.
Marcel also counterfeited identity documents, enabling Jews and other people persecuted by the Nazi regime to escape deportation.
There were several women within these Jewish resistance groups. Nelly Willer and Rachel Grunstein, for instance, joined a resistance group in Nice. They were sisters and participated in operations to eliminate those who collaborated with the Nazis, thus saving the lives of many Jews in the region.
After the war, the sisters joined efforts to save Jewish survivors, bring them to Israel and establish the Jewish state. For them, the war was not over until the survivors arrived in Israel.
The Times of Israel ran an article on the impact of the Trump administration’s plan to at least temporarily bar entry into the United States for all Syrian and other refugees from specific countries fleeing the ravages of war, B'nai B'rith International is listed along with other Jewish groups as speaking out against the executive order.
Scroll down to read or click below to read it on TimesofIsrael.com
Refugee agency HIAS vows to work tirelessly to ensure Kassar family not the last refugees allowed entry into US
A Syrian family was reunited with help from a Jewish refugee agency after the mother and her two daughters were temporarily prevented from traveling to the United States by President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.
Razan Alghandour and daughters — Hanan, 8, and Lian, 5 — were reunited Thursday with Razan’s husband and the girls’ father, Fadi Kassar, at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, the Hartford Courant reported.
Kassar had been granted asylum in the United States in 2015 and settled in Connecticut. His family was due to join him last month, but they were barred from boarding a connecting flight in Ukraine after Trump signed the executive order on January 27, forcing the family to return to a refugee camp in Jordan.
According to a statement from HIAS — the former Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a 135-year-old Jewish agency that assists refugees and asylum seekers — the group raised the family’s case with government officials and in the media, and had a lawyer on hand to greet the family at the airport.
“Unfortunately, this is just one of thousands of cases of innocent people who have been wrongly denied entry to the US,” HIAS CEO Mark Hetfield said. “We believe these are the first Syrians to enter since the executive order was signed, and we are determined to make sure they are not the last.
“Moving forward, we will continue working tirelessly on as many cases of these as we can,” Hetfield said. “As the Talmud teaches us: ‘To save one life is to save the world.’”
Renee Redman, a New Haven-based immigration attorney who assisted the family, compared their plight to Jews fleeing the Nazis.
“It’s like the Holocaust,” Redman said, according to the Courant. “People are fleeing for their lives and are spread out all over the world, and this has made it even worse.”
Many noted with that the presidential executive order was signed on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, likening it to passengers of the MS St. Louis, a German ship filled with 937 Jewish refugees, who were denied entry into the United States, as well as Cuba and Canada, in 1939.
The Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International and the American Jewish Committee are among the organizations that have decried the travel ban.
The Algemeiner quoted B'nai B'rith International President Gary Saltzman and CEO Dan Mariaschin in a story on the response of Jewish groups to the Trump administration's new sanctions against Iran.
"Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, exerts its influence in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and across the Middle East. We are encouraged that the Administration is taking steps to reduce the Iranian threat by countering the regime’s ballistic missile program."
Scroll down to read the story or click below to read it on Algemeiner.com
The Trump administration’s move on Friday to impose new sanctions on the Islamic Republic drew praise from numerous major US Jewish groups.
“Nefarious Iranian behavior cannot go unchecked,” American Jewish Committee (AJC) CEO David Harris said. “Rigorous monitoring of Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA and related international measures, such as the UN ban on ballistic missile tests, is imperative to successfully curtailing Iran’s threats to regional and global security.”
B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin said, “Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, exerts its influence in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and across the Middle East. We are encouraged that the administration is taking steps to reduce the Iranian threat by countering the regime’s ballistic missile program.”
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) stated, “Iran has stepped up its aggressive behavior over the last year, highlighted by another ballistic missile test this week. The Trump administration has made clear that the United States intends to push back against Iran’s unacceptable actions, and these new designations mark an important first step. We also appreciate the bipartisan group of 22 senators who advocated for additional sanctions.”
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said, “The Trump administration’s swift and targeted response today sends an important signal that the US remains, and will continue to be, serious about holding the regime in Tehran accountable for its behavior. We hope others in the international community will follow suit and will refuse to allow Iran’s dangerous threats to be met with impunity.”
Matt Brooks — the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition — said, “With Iran becoming increasingly emboldened, it’s a welcome sight to see President Trump quickly and aggressively respond to their hostile actions. President Trump has made it clear that threatening activities from Iran to the United States and our allies will not go unanswered, and the new sanctions imposed today prove he will deliver on that promise.”
Earlier last week, as reported by The Algemeiner, Jewish organizations expressed alarm over Iran’s ballistic missile test that was conducted last Sunday.
According to the Treasury Department, the new sanctions are aimed at 13 individuals and 12 entities “involved in procuring technology and/or materials to support Iran’s ballistic missile program, as well as for acting for or on behalf of, or providing support to, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — Qods Force.”
In the News
B'nai B'rith International is the Global Voice of the Jewish Community.
All rights reserved. Stories are attributed to the original copyright holders.