thescroll_header

Clinton Compares Russia to Nazi Germany

Links passports issued to Russians in Crimea to Nazi population transfers

Email
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former Secretary of State speaks on February 26, 2014 in Coral Gables, Florida.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

BuzzFeed reports that while speaking at a fundraiser in California for the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach, former Secretary of State—and likely 2016 presidential contender—Hillary Clinton made a comparison between Russia’s actions in the Crimea region of Ukraine and Hitler’s Nazi regime. It was her first comment on the escalating situation, and it reportedly drew parallels between the issuing of passports to Russians in Crimea to Nazi population transfers. (She was presumably referring to the plan through which ethnic Germans living outside Germany proper would be resettled in Germany, a move made possible by an agreement with Stalin.)

BuzzFeed’s Ruby Cramer quotes two event attendees who described the nature of Clinton’s comparison, which remains a bit opaque and murky (as Hitler comparisons generally do!). (more…)

RT Anchor’s Riff Not as ‘Rogue’ As It Seems

How Abby Martin’s on-air jab at Russian intervention in Crimea helps Putin

Email
RT's Abby Martin(Facebook)

Yesterday, Abby Martin, a host on the Kremlin-funded television network RT (formerly known as Russia Today), used the end of her program to voice opposition to Russia’s occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. “Just because I work here at RT doesn’t mean I don’t have any editorial independence. I cannot express how strongly I am against any state intervention in a sovereign nation’s affairs,” Martin said. “What Russia did is wrong.”

RT’s coverage of the situation in Ukraine, much like the mindset of Vladimir Putin (who created the network in 2005 to “break the monopoly of the Anglo-Saxon mass media,”), seems to exist on a different planet. Buzzfeed compiled a list of “14 Insane Moments” from the network’s broadcasts of the conflict, which range from claims that the Russian military is a “stabilizing force for Ukraine,” to presenting the C-list action star and Putin fanboy Steven Seagal as some sort of expert on the geopolitical consequences of East Central Europe.

And so, on the face of it, Martin’s dissent from RT’s party line was a breath of fresh air, earning her plaudits across the internet. (more…)

Watch Daniel Gordis Discuss Menachem Begin

The author chats about his new book on the polarizing prime minister tonight

Email
(Daniel Gordis)

Daniel Gordis is the author of Menachem Begin: The Battle For Israel’s Soul, an engaging, in-depth look at the polarizing Israeli prime minister. (Tablet ran an excerpt of the book, published by Nextbook Press, earlier this week—you can read it here).

Gordis, senior vice president and Koret Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, will be discussing Begin’s life, his political vision, and his enduring legacy tonight in New York City. For those of you who can’t make it, the event will be streaming live online. (more…)

Suspected Auschwitz Guard Excused from Trial

Citing dementia, German court rules 94-year-old Hans Lipschis unfit for trial

Email
The entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp(JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Hans Lipschis was charged with 10,510 counts of accessory to murder, but the 94-year-old suspected former Auschwitz guard may be off the hook. According to a statement released by a German court last week, Lipschis has been deemed unfit for trial due to suffering “worsening dementia.”

After decades of living in the United States and lying about his identity, Lipschis was deported to Germany in the 1980s to face trial over allegations he served as an SS guard at Auschwitz between 1941 and 1943. Though Lipschis acknowledged that he was assigned to be an SS guard at Auschwitz, he maintained that he served as only a cook and he wasn’t involved in any war crimes. (more…)

New South Park Game Lets You Play the Jew

Which is awesome

Email
(GameSpot)

Please don’t send me any emails today. Don’t call. Don’t expect attention, affection, or even basic human acknowledgment. As soon as I can, I’m running home, turning on my PlayStation, and jumping right in to South Park: The Stick of Truth. Released today, the game lets you play as the new kid in town—no matter what name you type in, by the way, you’ll be referred to, in cheerful South Park tradition, as “douchebag”—and partake in a fantasy-themed adventure featuring all of the TV show’s beloved characters.

Because this is a role-playing game, the character you choose can be a fighter, a paladin, a mage, and a thief. And because this is a South Park role-playing game, he can also be a Jew. (more…)

Upbeat Bibi Pitches Peace to AIPAC

Slams advocates of Israel boycott as ‘bigots’ and ‘gullible fellow travelers’

Email
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's Policy Conference March 4, 2014 in Washington, DC.(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Watching Benjamin Netanyahu speak at AIPAC is a lot like watching a superstar athlete perform in front of his home crowd. Indeed, Israel’s most Americanized prime minister is more popular here than with his own Likud party’s central committee. Perhaps that’s why Netanyahu chose this forum to go farther than ever before to pitch peace, painting a picture that would have been vigorously challenged by the Israeli right had he been speaking in the Knesset. After thanking the thousands of activists for nurturing “the most precious alliance in the world” and reiterating his call for more international pressure on Iran, the Israeli leader made his case for an end to the conflict.

“Peace would be good for us. Peace would be good for the Palestinians,” Netanyahu opened. “But peace would also open up the possibility of establishing formal ties between Israel and leading countries in the Arab world. Many Arab leaders–and believe me, this is a fact, not a hypothesis, it’s a fact–many Arab leaders today already realize that Israel is not their enemy, that peace with the Palestinians would turn our relations with them and with many Arab countries into open and thriving relationships.” (more…)

Oracle’s Larry Ellison Still World’s Richest Jew

Ranked number five on Forbes’ 2014 Richest People on the Planet list

Email
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison delivers a keynote address during the 2013 Oracle Open World conference on September 22, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Forbes’ 2014 list of the Richest People on the Planet is in, and despite some pretty stiff competition, Microsoft’s Bill Gates still holds court as the world’s richest man, a title he’s held for 15 of the past 20 years. Coming in at number five with a net worth of $48 billion is Oracle co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison—which means he still holds the title of the world’s richest Jew.

Ellison was joined in the top 10 by Jewish casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, whose estimated net worth of $38 billion snagged him the number eight spot. (more…)

NYU Holds Secret Anti-Israel Conference

American Studies department event betrays university’s academic principles

Email
(New York University)

Last week, I argued here that there was no point in debating with people who fundamentally disagreed with you; if you believed in Israel’s right to exist, I wrote, and someone didn’t, you really have very little reason to sit down and chat.

Apparently, Israel’s academic detractors were paying attention. (more…)

Greek Doctor Arrested for ‘Jews Not Welcome’ Sign

Neurologist in Thessaloniki also had Nazi paraphernalia in his home

Email
(Thessaloniki)

A “Jews Not Welcome” sign is not welcome in the Greek city of Thessaloniki. A 57-year-old neurologist who posted the sign outside his office was arrested last week for inciting racial hatred and possessing weapons, JTA reports.

Upon searching the doctor’s home, police found three daggers and 12 knives, two of which were engraved with Nazi symbols. The doctor, who remains unidentified, is a member of the Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn political party, known for its flag that eerily resembles a swastika and for its Holocaust-denying leadership. (more…)

John Kerry Makes No Apologies

Delivers his best speech on Israel to his toughest audience yet

Email
US Secretary of State John Kerry addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington on March 3, 2014. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

John Kerry has come a long way since deciding to take on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as the defining endeavor of his diplomatic career. Tonight at AIPAC, he delivered a ringing and robust defense of his efforts to resolve both the Iranian nuclear threat and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but in a key that even the most skeptical of Israel’s supporters could understand, if not entirely accept. Showcasing the subtle sensitivity to Jewish insecurities he has honed giving interviews to Israeli media, coupled with his familiar stentorian tones, Kerry managed to make his policy points while avoiding the landmines that have bedeviled him and many other diplomats. (more…)

Even AIPAC Has Trouble Mustering U.N. Outrage

A year of deadlock and diplomatic failure has defanged the organization

Email
A United Nations Security Council meeting takes place on March 3, 2014 in New York City. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

One indication of the fading relevance of the United Nations in the public consciousness is how few people showed up to today’s AIPAC panel about it. In the past, few subjects would fire up pro-Israel activists more than the international body’s long-standing inquisition against the Jewish state. After all, while many issues arising from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are morally complex, the U.N.’s mistreatment of Israel has no such nuances. From labeling Zionism a form of racism, to barring Israel from serving on any committees for decades, to passing scores of resolutions against the Jewish state and few to none against any other countries, to putting a promoter of Holocaust denial in charge of prosecuting Israeli human rights abuses, the U.N. has subjected Israel to “a barrage of obsessive, unbalanced, and relentless criticism,” in the words of President Obama’s former ambassador to the body, Susan Rice.

And yet, despite a set of all-star panelists–U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO David Killion, Israeli Ambassador Aharon Leshno Yaar, and human rights NGO head Hillel Neuer–only a third of the seats were full at this afternoon’s session: “Report Card: Israel at the U.N.” Last year, by contrast, the house was packed. But as the U.N. has been exposed as increasingly impotent when it comes to global crises ranging from Syria to Ukraine, it has become increasingly irrelevant in the eyes of activists. Even its arch-enemies no longer take it seriously. (more…)

French Jew Beaten on Paris Metro

Assault reportedly carried out by four unidentified Arab men

Email
(Shutterstock)

A 28-year-old French Jewish man was beaten on a Paris Metro train Sunday, JTA reports. The attack took place on a west-bound train from Nogent Sur Marne to Gare de Lyon and was reportedly carried out by four unidentified Arab men, according to France’s National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, known by the acronym BNVCA. The victim, an Orthodox Jew identified as A. Levy, was strangled and beaten and sustained several injuries.

His attackers shouted the Arab word for “Jews” before attacking Levy, who is a religious Jew belonging to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, the report said. One of them also told him: “Jew, we are going to lay into you, you have no country,” according to the report.

(more…)

Obama: Ball in Bibi’s Court on Peace Process

The two leaders had a brief, tense meeting today in Washington, DC

Email
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks while Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu listens during a meeting in the Oval Office, September 30, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington, DC for the annual AIPAC policy conference, his meeting this afternoon with President Obama has been looming large on the schedule. Obama sat down with Jeffrey Goldberg in the run-up to the meeting, putting pressure on Netanyahu to ensure the success of the next phase of the peace process. “Obama made it clear that he views Abbas as the most politically moderate leader the Palestinians may ever have,” Goldberg wrote. “It seemed obvious to me that the president believes that the next move is Netanyahu’s.”

Obama took a carefully scripted page from the Jewish scholar Hillel, maintaining that time was of the essence on the peace talks: “When I have a conversation with Bibi, that’s the essence of my conversation: If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who? How does this get resolved? (more…)

French Jews Want a Chief Rabbi Elected

Jewish community demands new leader amidst rising tide of anti-Semitism

Email
People sit outside the'Florence Kahn pastries shop on July 12, 2013 in the Rue des Rosiers, the Jewish area of the Marais district in Paris(MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Hundreds of French Jews are calling for the election of a chief rabbi of France within three months, JTA reports. Their request was officially announced in a letter sent to Joel Mergui, the president of the Consistoire, the French Jewish institution responsible for electing a chief rabbi. Since former Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim stepped down in April 2013 over admissions of plagiarism and falsifying academic titles, the post has been filled by two rabbis, Michel Gugenheim and Olivier Kaufmann. But French Jews are fed up with the temporary arrangements, and they want a permanent appointment. (more…)

Massive Protest Against Haredi IDF Conscription

Hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews rally against proposed new law

Email
Hundreds of thousands of Ultra Orthodox Jews gather on March 2, 2014, in Jerusalem to demonstrate against any plans to make them undergo military service. (THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)

The road leading to Jerusalem, eerily tinted a hazy yellow, was empty of traffic Sunday afternoon as hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews rallied in protest against legislation calling for the conscription of Haredi youth. If passed, the new law would mark an end to a status quo that dates back to the state’s inception, a deal put in place by Ben-Gurion effectively exempting ultra-Orthodox Jews from military and national service, allowing them instead to devote their lives to Torah study in yeshivas. In 2012, the Israeli Supreme Court found that arrangement to be unconstitutional and demanded the Knesset come up with a more egalitarian solution. When it became clear that the solution—the cornerstone of Yair Lapid’s platform in last year’s elections, and the product of three ministerial committees—would soon become the law of the land (“Zionism has returned,” Lapid crowed in a press conference last month), a day of protest was declared.

The highway leading to the capital was closed down early in the afternoon, as was the central bus station. Loudspeakers played heart-wrenchingly somber Hasidic music that carried as far east as the Mahane Yehuda market. An emcee interrupted the songs intermittently, urging the modest and righteous women of Jerusalem not to veer off Jaffa street—where the impromptu ezrat nashim, or women’s section, was located—so as not to spoil what he called the grandest event since the revelation on Mount Sinai. (more…)

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.