News Digest — 11/8/19

Kristallnacht: “Night Of Broken Glass”

On November 9 to November 10, 1938, in a pogrom known as “Kristallnacht,“ Nazis in Germany torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses and killed close to 100 Jews.  In the aftermath of Kristallnacht, also called “The Night of Broken Glass,” some 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps. German Jews had been subjected to repressive policies since 1933, when Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) became Chancellor of Germany.  However, prior to Kristallnacht, these Nazi policies had been primarily nonviolent. After Kristallnacht, conditions for German Jews grew increasingly worse. During World War II (1939-45), Hitler and the Nazis implemented their so-called “Final Solution” to what they referred to as the “Jewish Problem,” and carried out the systematic murder of some 6 million European Jews in what came to be known as the Holocaust.



Antonio Guterres On Kristallnacht: Chilling Daily Reminder Of Anti-Semitism

Antonio Guterres used the podium at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in Lower Manhattan to speak out about the need for “continued vigilance” against rising hatred and intolerance.

The Secretary General of the United Nations was at the museum Thursday (7th) to commemorate the 81st anniversary of Kristallnacht, which took place on November 9 and 10, 1938.  Close to 300 people were in attendance.

“The Kristallnacht pogrom was not just the night of broken glass, it was the night of broken lives and broken societies,” Guterres said.  “This museum calls on us to witness, and summons us to speak.”

“Never again means telling the story again and again, especially in these times,” he continued, citing recent incidents targeting Jews, which he called “chilling daily reminders of the persistence of anti-Semitism.”  He specifically referenced repeated vandalism of Jewish graves and the mass shooting of Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, which took place in October of last year.

He then assured the crowd that the UN is “fully engaged in this fight.”

Ambassador Danny Danon, Israel’s permanent representative to the UN spoke as well, echoing Guterres’ warning on the dangers of anti-Semitism.

“Anyone who has viewed the exhibit in this museum has become a witness of the Holocaust,” Danon said.  “Witnesses have an obligation to speak up because the past can repeat itself.”

“Tonight we remember what happened on Kristallnacht,” he continued.  “It is important, not only because of the destruction of those days, but also what is happening now.  We know that it might happen again.”

In the audience were dozens of Holocaust survivors.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage, two miles from the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, is the third largest Holocaust Museum in the world and the second largest in North America.  The museum has incorporated the exhibit “Auschwitz – Not Long Ago – Not Far Away,” which features artifacts from more than 20 international museums and institutions. Items include suitcases, eyeglasses and shoes belonging to survivors and victims of Auschwitz.

The exhibit is scheduled to run through August 20, 2020.



MK Nir Barkat To Jeremy Corbyn: We Will Never Surrender

Likud MK and former Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat blasted Labour UK chairman Jeremy Corbyn Thursday (7th) in a video statement, warning Corbyn that anti-Semitism would “not be tolerated in 2019.”

“Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn: I want to explain something to you about our people.  When you attack one of us, you’re attacking all of us. You need to understand that anti-Semitism in 2019 will not be tolerated.”

“History shows that what starts as words, quickly leads to violence – and even worse.  But this time around, the State of Israel stands ready and we will not be silent.”

“By your attacks on Israel’s legitimacy, and by promoting hatred of the Jewish State, you are bringing shame on yourself and embarrassment to your party.”

“To my friends in the Jewish community in Britain, please know that we are always here for you.  If you choose to embrace Aliyah and come to Israel, we will welcome you with open arms. We are one people with one heart: in Britain, in Israel, and all over the world.  And no enemy will ever defeat us. Because we will never surrender.”

The video statement, which included footage of British Jews lamenting the rise of anti-Semitism in Britain and blaming Corbyn for the rise, was released just over a month before Brits head to the polls for their third general election in just over four years.

While recent polls show incumbent Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a Conservative, with only a slight net positive approval rating, Corbyn’s overwhelmingly negative job approval rating has harmed Labour’s chances of defeating the Johnson government in next month’s election.

Two recent polls show the Conservatives with a double-digit lead over Labour, while the Liberal Democrats trail in a distant third place.



Beit El Mother Describes Harrowing Drive As Arabs Stone Car

Hadassah Haimovich, a resident of Beit El, a Jewish town in Samaria, narrowly escaped serious injury as she drove home with her children from Shavei Shomron on Wednesday evening (6th), website Srugim reports.

“Last night they tried to murder me,” Haimovich told Srugim.  “Suddenly, close to the town of Ofra, we received a barrage of rocks.”

“I was confused and started slowing down the vehicle, but I knew that in such situations you need to accelerate.  But when you are at the moment, the knowledge probably doesn’t help much. There is confusion, shock and agitation,” she said.

She credits her son with saving them.  “He was sitting next to me, corrected me, and yelled ‘Go, go.’  He saved us, otherwise I don’t want to think what would have happened,” Haimovich said.

Although there was bodily damage to the vehicle and windows and she ended up with shoulder pain and dizziness, she thanked God they weren’t hurt.

She told Srugim that the event gave her a new perspective on what people go through in Judea and Samaria, even though she lives there.

“I thought to myself, people go through this every day.  How? How do you live like that? And I still thought to myself, if Jews were to throw the rocks, they would immediately be caught and go through trials that the heart can’t understand,” she said.



Pompeo Calls On International Community To Stop Iranian ‘Nuclear Extortion’

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Thursday (7th) for stepped-up international pressure against Iran to prevent “nuclear extortion” by the Islamic Republic.

The secretary was speaking a day after Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani announced that Tehran was continuing to violate the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers by moving closer to the prospect of enriching uranium to a level capable of producing a bomb.

“Iran’s plans to increase its nuclear activity at Fordo raises concerns that Iran is positioning itself for a rapid nuclear breakout that could allow it to achieve a nuclear bomb within less than a year.  It is now time for all nations to reject its nuclear extortion and increase pressure,” tweeted Pompeo.

In keeping with Rouhani’s threat, the Fordo facility, publicly revealed only 10 years ago, will now become an active atomic site rather than a research facility as envisioned by the landmark 2015 accord.

After U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 agreement, Tehran has been calling on European countries to save the deal.

The Americans have been imposing sanctions on Iran in the aftermath of the U.S. withdrawal from the accord in May 2018.

French President Emmanuel Macron has been trying to arrange a summit between Trump and Rouhani, however, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been working to quash the idea.  

Netanyahu repeated his vow on Wednesday (5th) that He would “never allow Iran to  attain a nuclear bomb.”



Security Agencies In India On Alert For Possible Terrorist Attacks On Jewish, Israeli Targets

Security agencies in India are on alert for possible terrorist attacks on the country’s Jewish community or visiting Israeli tourists.

News site DNA India reported that both al-Qaeda and ISIS could be involved in such attacks, as intelligence agencies have traced messages shared online by the terror groups.

In addition, a jihadist group in the southern state of Kerala may be collecting information on the Jewish community in the district of Kochi, which is home to the Cochin Jews, an ancient community, most of whose members have immigrated to Israel.

There may also be plans to kidnap Israeli tourists in the country.  India is a popular destination for Israeli travelers, especially for young Israelis who have just finished their military service.

DNA speculated that the terror groups could also be motivated by Israel’s support for the Indian government’s decision to impose direct rule on the disputed Kashmir region.