Beyond the Cusp

March 31, 2022

Humanity in the Face of Unbelievable Inhumanity

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 3:01 AM
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The war in Ukraine resulting from the Russian invasion has dominated the news and been impressively depressing. When the Ukrainians responded to the Russian invasion, it was as surprising as it was unpredictable. The Russian response used World War II tactics of pulverize before entering cities. Nowhere has the barberry been more evidenced than in Mariupol where virtually, if not every, building has been destroyed. Still, the Ukrainian forces there refuse to surrender the rubble as they consider it Ukrainian sovereign lands. But we wish to present the other unbelievable, as it was unexpected. We refer to the care being provided the refugees streaming out of harms way into a completely foreign environment with fear gripping their every thought.

Mariupol Destruction and Ukrainian Refugees

Poland has led the nations including, but not limited to, Romania, Moldova, Hungary and Slovakia, taking refugees into their own homes caring for them. Numerous aid groups have been mobilized and others formed assisting Ukrainians as they cross the border providing immediate food, water and medical attention. There are even some groups assisting extracting Ukrainians and foreigners trapped in the Ukraine reaching safety often in Poland. The majority of these humanitarian efforts are made up of volunteers from around the world. The voluntary care is an example of humanity at its best. It is so sorry that it takes such catastrophic inhumanity that Russia is inflicting on the Ukrainian nation. May this horror please be resolved with full respect being given to the sovereignty of both nations inflicting no further harm to either.

Beyond the Cusp

May 2, 2018

Jewish Acceptance About to Die in Europe

 

There are any numbers of measurements which one can point to depicting threats to the continued acceptance of the presence of Jews. The increased levels of anti-Semitism and the accompanying violence perpetrated on Jewish members of numerous European nations is just the beginning. France has witnessed so much violence targeting Jews that they have called up reservists activating their military units and placed them at virtually every Jewish institution where Jews may congregate. This has meant that French soldiers are guarding every Synagogue, every Jewish school, almost every Jewish pre-school, a plethora of Jewish daycares and even some Jewish markets, especially in Friday afternoon as the Shabbat shopping rush takes place. Even with all of this has not completely prevented anti-Semitic attacks in France as the recent murder of an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor in Paris, Mireille Knoll. This harmless lady was stabbed eleven times and violated in other ways before her apartment was set on fire. The bottom of the article lists a number of other similar anti-Semitic driven murders committed in the French recent past. The list is honestly frightening, and we are only in France.

 

Moving to the east we enter Germany on which we just reported on the assault of a Jewish youth on the streets of Berlin resulting in the youth being more seriously wounded than initially thought. This attack was simply representative of one side of a triple-sided closure of German Jews, two of them described in this USA Today article which defines threats from the Islamic refugee influx and the nationalist right-wing neo-Nazi and related anti-Semitic groups. The third threat comes from some on the extreme left who have taken to blaming the Jews for the increasing violence against the Jews themselves. As pointed out deep in this article, there has also been a rise in anti-Semitism on the left as well as the right and amongst some of the Muslims with growth coming from all the aforementioned sides. Even in the schools anti-Semitic bullying has occurred targeting girls and boys alike.

 

Sweden is not an ideal place filled with acceptance and love for their Jewish population which is facing increasing violence with Malmo becoming a city with what might only be called no-go areas for Jews. In Italy it is reported that from Malmo we go to Milan and the hate is the same anti-Semitism which has even infected soccer crowds. We are shown that being called a ‘Jew’ is one of the worst insults used by Italians which happens at soccer matches despite efforts by the authorities. Moving across the Channel to Britain we find that anti-Semitic hate crimes hit record high as violent assaults increase by more than a third in a year. These are simply an introduction as expressing Jewish themes or following actual religious obligations become crimes, these are the real signs that Europe will soon spit out its Jews if not worse.

 

But the real stories lie at opposing ends of Europe. Poland has recently passed a new law making a crime out of references to any Polish participation in the Nazis genocidal murder of Jews during World War II, thus making such a thought crime and against national speech code. Even worse is when even performing Mitzvahs and fulfilling Biblical commandments become criminal acts. How can a Jew remain living in a nation and raise a family when performing even the most basic and central command from the Torah, one demanded of Avraham by Hashem and practiced by the Jews during the Exodus before entering the Holy Lands and the rite by which every male child shares the same covenant made by Avraham when committing to Hashem and his ways and laws. The Mitzvah of the covenant to which we refer is Circumcision, an act which will become illegal and punishable by a punishment of up to six years in prison. This is what a new law recently proposed by Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir from the Progressive Party, a center-right, populist party, along with eight other members of Parliament from across the political spectrum. Should this become law, then the message is that Jews, as well as Muslims, are not welcome in Iceland and that any residing in Iceland who has a male child will be required to choose between following the laws of the land or the laws of their people and Torah. Any Jew who is honest will choose Torah and making the covenant for their child with Hashem and need to leave Iceland or become a fugitive from Justice. Such a law has been passed before in Europe back in Nazi Germany where having been circumcised was very likely a death sentence as it was considered proof positive that one was a Jewish male.

 

Aurora Borealis Over Reykjavík, Iceland

Aurora Borealis Over Reykjavík, Iceland

 

Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland are amongst the countries who have considered circumcision bans in the modern era. Thus far, none have actually been passed and stood challenges but it is very likely that Iceland will blast through that door and not simply unlock and open it. This will not be a polite passage of a ban as it has been made clear and indisputably shown that passing such a law banning circumcision would be a religious ban and insult to both Judaism and Islam and that believers of these faiths, one of the world’s largest and potentially the world’s oldest religions, would find residing in a nation with such a law on the books impossible. The problem is that once this door has been even cracked open, let alone blown off its hinges, will begin to allow the other nations who had previously considered banning circumcision will return to reconsider and this time having a precedent which they can point to as their license to follow suit in protecting infant male children from the imposition of barbarous actions of the religiously dogmatic parents. Europe has been moving towards considering religious people to be dogmatic and suffering mental difficulties and requiring social readjustment and potentially claiming such people as unfit parents. Adding circumcision to the intended acts of a religious person may soon come to be cause for placing a child under state care. This will be the threat which will send European Jews rushing for the exits taking their children where their safety will be better assured.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 8, 2018

Poland Finds Poland the Innocent Victim of Jewish Death Camps

 

The Polish Holocaust Law is no longer a simple signature away from law; Polish President Andrzej Duda has autographed the legislation making it the law. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has not objected giving the law his silent consent as he invited Israeli journalists so as to be allowed to explain to them how the law was righteous and the Polish completely innocent victims just as were the Jews under the Nazi occupation. What the Israeli journalists ended up witnessing were two simultaneous demonstrations urging Duda to sign the law which some compared to Germany in the 1930’s after Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass when the point of no return was crossed by the German people. The nationalist demonstration was the larger of the two and was punctuated by chants which included rants such as, “Take off (your) kippah (yarmulke in Polish), Sign the law!” “Enough Jewish lies!” “Jews try to rob Poland!” “Stop Jewish aggression in Poland!” Do any of these have a familiar sounding echo to you and remind you of previous times in numbers of places throughout history where the only difference was the name Poland changed to the nation in question? Such were the chants in Nazi Germany, Inquisition Spain, Purified France, Martin Luther’s Germany (not to pick on Germany), the Czar’s Russia, Mousseline’s Italy, Hadrian’s Rome, the Hellenists’ Greece, Pharos’ Egypt, Nebakanezzer’s Babylon, Haman’s Persia and on and on throughout history. Yes, we Jews remember these chants as they have always signaled it was time to grab your bags and get out of town as ignoring such threats has always proved foolish if not deadly.

 

We are more than willing to grant that many or at least some of those who supported this law are not anti-Semitic and are simply more upset with innocent Poles being tarnished by the Nazis and their horrific history. We wish to be optimistic that the main driving force of this law was to differentiate between the majority of the Polish people during World War II and their Nazi oppressors who victimized numerous Polish who fought against the Nazi presence. The problem arises when we consider the reports of such hateful rhetoric by the majority of the demonstrators and the seeming backing for this law seemingly arising from the anti-Semites. Let us state right up front that we do not believe that the average polish person is an anti-Semite or that any more than a minority hold anti-Semitic beliefs. Where the frightening truth invades our hopes was when referencing the Anti-Defamation League Global Anti-Semitism Survey shows some disturbing numbers for Poland. Their 2015 survey of Poland, the last time a full survey was conducted, shows that Poland has a population of approximately thirty-one-million and of those approximately eleven million hold anti-Semitic feelings which is thirty-seven percent. The survey has a breakdown by gender, age, and the percentages in answers to the survey questions themselves. The highest response was sixty-one percent agreement on the question “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.” At the other end, a mere fourteen percent responded agreement with the statement, “Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.” The high agreement with the first kind of explains partly the reactions and force behind the new law.

 

The Polish Holocaust Law outlaws blaming Poland as a nation for Holocaust crimes committed by Nazi Germany. This includes stating that such places as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Sobibor, Majdanek, Belzec and Chelmno as well as numerous camps built in Poland so that the prisoners could be worked to death out of the public eye; this policy was called Vernichtung durch Arbeit (annihilation through work), and large numbers of non-Jewish Poles were held in these camps which is one of the facts being pressed during the discussions over the Polish Holocaust Law (see map below). No longer may anyone refer to these camps as being Polish without facing fines and possible imprisonment. Exchanges by two Polish authors on a TV broadcast dealing with the new law were jesting when it was stated, “Jewish death camps” followed by the mocking question asking, “who actually did run the crematoria?” Even presumably joking, such language is beyond the pale. Once these phrases were aired on Poland Television, they were immediately picked up by numerous others, anti-Semites and others who simply believed that these were perfectly harmless jokes as they were permitted to be televised which give things an air of respectability. At the aforementioned nationalist rally, some of the speakers stated, “So my daughter would need to learn in her school that Poles killed Jews in Jedwabne, is not it scandalous?! Jedwabne lies, that baloney!” and “It all is about money. Jews would like to rob us of everything what we has build here after 1945.” and “Those who came here now under the red flags and in Israel’s interest, to attack Polish patriots.” These comments are counter to the records in history. Jedwabne was the location where three-hundred Jewish villagers burned alive by a group of their neighbors in Poland after gathering them in a barn for a meeting in 1941 after the war. These were former residents of Jedwabne who had survived the camps and ghettos and other efforts of the Nazis. Making matters even more serious, Jedwabne was just one as was Kielce Pogrom on July 4, 1946 where over twenty Jews were murdered by a mob which included many officials which became obvious when authorities indicted commander of the Kielce Office of the Security Service, Major Wladyslaw Sobczynski, and the Chief of Police, Colonel Wiktor Kuznicki, as well as his deputy, Major Kazimierz Gwiazdowicz; of the three, only Kuznicki received a one year sentence, while the other two were acquitted. Further information can be found about the Polish cities of Bial, Kielce, Krakow, Lublin, Lodz, Rzeszow and Warsaw in the PDF report “Patterns Of Anti-Jewish Violence In Poland, 1944-1946” by David Engel.

 

German Exterminations and Work Concentration Camps Located in Poland

German Exterminations and Work Concentration Camps Located in Poland

 

This law will also make references to these incidents as Polish illegal as the law will be enforced as a means of relegating all of Polish violence against the Jews forbidden speech. Everyone who has ever pointed to the Concentration Camps being in Poland knew and meant that these were built at the insistence of the Nazis, run by the Nazis, and the murdering was committed largely by the Nazis and the Polish were also victims of the war having had their nation invaded from both ends, one by the Nazis and the other by the Communists. This bred a great hatred of both the Nazis and the Communists in the Polish people, something which continued after World War II when Poland came under Communist occupation and rule. The catch is that there were a fair number who blamed the Jews for the Communist takeover of Poland after the war. By this law, making any reference to the location as an identifying characteristic of any of the Nazi Ghettos, Concentrations Camps and Murder Camps will be punishable by fines and even imprisonment. By fiat, the Polish government has made all the locations on the above map located in some alternate universe in a place called “Not Poland” and in this universe; it is evil to claim otherwise. This law applies to all whether polish or visitor. This has already cost Poland the tourism where Israeli high school students were brought to Poland and were given classes and lectures about the horrors of the Holocaust. As of now, references to the Holocaust as happening in these camps on Polish ground would place the teachers in Polish prison. These trips have already been suspended and are unlikely to ever be resumed. One can also bet that a great number of Jews worldwide will now avoid Poland believing it to be anti-Semitic or, at the very least, unwelcoming to Jews. The avoiding of Poland will be strongest amongst the Jews who lost their families in the camps, specifically the camps in Poland.

 

There is another application of this law which might come to be used in a political manner. The Polish might decide to also apply the law to any political individual who mentions in some way the relationship between Poland and the locations of the Exterminations and Work Concentration Camps and the Ghettos. Such references would more likely be made by Israeli politicians thus should an anti-Israel, anti-Zionist or especially an anti-Semitic leader come to power in Poland, they might attempt to use this law against Israeli politicians who made mention of the camps being located in Poland, and especially if they implied Polish participation in the construction or having turned over Jews to the Nazis and other forms of cooperation. We in Israel are very aware of those in Poland who bravely fought the Nazis and the Righteous Amongst the Nations from Poland who harbored and saved Jewish lives, but we also have painful reminders of those Polish who aided the Nazis in their efforts. Such a use of the law to indict foreigners under this law should they ever step within the borders of Poland will surely result in many deciding that a visit to Poland under any circumstance to unfavorably risky. This law will definitely drive a wedge between Poland and Israel if not others as well. If this law is ever applied to one who referenced Poland and the location of the Nazi camps and the treatment of the Jews, then Poland will become a place which many will find too dangerous to visit. This law will bring Poland only evil and bad times will lay ahead. The politicians who passed this law and President Andrzej Duda along with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will rue their complicity in this law as time passes. This is a dark day for Poland and does nothing to change the facts about the Concentration Camps and the Ghettos forced upon them by the Nazis. Still, there did exist some degree of Polish cooperation with the Nazi occupiers and that cannot be altered by or erased by or otherwise made different or to somehow disappear by passing a law making their mention illegal in Poland. If anything, this law reminds us of an old saying, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” which comes from Hamlet by Willian Shakespeare. In this case, we would have to say, The Poles doth protest too much, methinks.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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