Behind the Aegis
Behind the Aegis's Journal
Gender: Do not display
Member since: Sat Aug 7, 2004, 03:58 AM
Number of posts: 31,668
Member since: Sat Aug 7, 2004, 03:58 AM
Number of posts: 31,668
And my favorite!!!!!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Mar 11, 2014, 04:59 AM (1 replies)
As a writer for a Yiddish newspaper and as a Yiddish translator, I spend a lot of time working with Holocaust survivors and their writings. I’ve spent upwards of 1000 hours conducting oral history interviews with Holocaust survivors and translating Holocaust testimony. Recording, preserving and sharing these stories is a large part of my day-to-day life. So although I’d hardly consider myself an expert on the topic, the Holocaust plays a much greater role in my life than it does for the average 20-something American Jew.
That’s why I was taken aback last week when I realized that I couldn’t answer a colleague’s seemingly simple question: “Who ‘counts’ as a Holocaust survivor?” The question arose after the inimitable Alice Herz-Sommer died at 110 years old on February 23. Herz-Sommer, a gifted pianist who knew Kafka in her youth, survived the Theresiendstadt concentration camp in her early 40s along with her son Raphael. Herz-Sommer’s life, musical career and indomitable spirit are recalled in the Oscar-winning film “The Lady in Number 6.”
Although Herz-Sommer was widely described as the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor at the time of her death, I believe there is an older survivor living in New York City. Dr. Alexander Imich, with whom I conducted an oral history interview in July, was born in Czestochowa, Poland on February 4, 1903. That makes him 111.
A scholar of the paranormal who is fairly estranged from his Jewish roots, Imich could still recall a few lines of a prayer in Ashkenazi Hebrew, which he had learned in a traditional Cheder. “Boruch Ato Adoneai Aloheinu Meylech Haoylum Ha…” he chanted. About forgetting the next word in the prayer, he later quipped, “Well, it was more than a century ago.”
Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/193810/who-counts-as-a-holocaust-survivor#ixzz2vAVKUpei
This was very interesting!!!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Mar 6, 2014, 03:13 AM (2 replies)
It may not be the most prominent question regarding Crimea’s counter-coup against the new Ukrainian government in Kiev and Russia’s limited invasion of the peninsula, but given the country’s history it is an unavoidable one: Is it good or bad for the Jews?
The response appears to depend upon whom you ask.
Vladimir Putin, at his surreal press conference Tuesday morning, alleged that he saw a swastika armband among the anti-Russian protesters in Kiev. Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations suggested that “Russia had acted to thwart threats by ultranationalists, including anti-Semites, against Russians and Russian speakers inside Ukraine,” according to The New York Times.
But leaders of Ukraine’s own Jewish community have alleged that recent anti-Semitic provocations in the Crimea, including graffiti on a synagogue in Crimea’s capital that read “Death to the Zhids,” are the handiwork of pro-Russian Ukrainians. Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, who presides over Ukraine’s Jewish Federation, signed a letter asking Russia to end its aggression, and compared the current climate in Crimea to that of pre-Anschluss Austria. Of Russia’s warnings that there were anti-Semites among the Kiev protesters, the rabbi added, “The Russians are blowing this way, way out of proportion.”
What seems to be consistent is this: Both sides are using Ukraine’s Jewish community as a symbolic pawn, in which the credibility of the other side can be diminished by accusations of anti-Semitism. And that is remarkable. In a sense, it’s even laudatory. Babi Yar—in which, outside Kiev, over just two days Nazi Einsatzgruppen shot more than 33,000 Jews—was barely 70 years ago. 900,000 Ukrainian Jews, more than half the country’s pre-war Jewish population, were murdered in the Holocaust. This was in no small part because occupying Germans were able to secure the cooperation of homegrown anti-Semites, who had been carrying out pogroms in parts of their country that at the time were a designated region for Jews to settle in for decades preceding World War Two.
I just made a similar observation in regards to the last paragraph's first sentences.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Mar 5, 2014, 03:07 AM (0 replies)
Fears of Anti-Semitism Spread in Ukraine
March 3, 2014 - 11:39am | admin
By Konrad Putzier
Could Europe witness its first pogrom against Jews since the 1940s? As Ukraine inches closer to civil war, the country’s Jewish population is growing anxious. Late last month, a Kiev rabbi made headlines when he urged his co-religionists to leave the country. A Ukrainian-born member of the U.S. Jewish advocacy group UJA Federation recently told me that his organization is monitoring the situation in Ukraine with great concern.
Cause for the anxiety is the rise of the Right Sector, a nationalist militant group crucial to President Viktor Yanukovych’s overthrow that now appears to hold great sway over the fragile Ukrainian government. Some members of the Right Sector are overt anti-Semites. Isolated beatings of Jews around Kiev’s independence square have already been reported. This weekend, the Right Sector called for its members to mobilize against a Russian intervention. The prospect of an armed, anti-Semitic mob in a largely lawless country should give everyone cause for alarm.
To Westerners, fighting for freedom and attacking Jews seem like an anachronism. But anti-Semitism has always existed alongside the Ukrainian independence movement. Throughout the 20th century, every uprising or civil war in Ukraine was accompanied by mass murder of Jews. The parallels to today are disturbing.
The first violent struggle for Ukrainian independence took place during the Russian civil war between 1918 and 1920. Following the collapse of the Tsarist Empire, Ukrainian nationalists declared an independent Ukraine, and tried to defend it against the Red Army and White troops. Anti-Semitism was widespread at the time, and all warring parties on the territory of today’s Ukraine committed pogroms. But the nationalists of the Ukrainian Directorate were especially brutal.
Is anyone else finding the irony/hypocrisy in some of the remarks of recent, "amusing?"
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Mar 4, 2014, 01:51 AM (7 replies)
I enjoyed reading this New York Times Motherlode blog post by a Jewish writer describing her experience letting go of a superstition against baby showers, until I got to the comments. Midway through them, I found myself wondering when someone would make an explicit pejorative reference to the “Jew York Times.” It may as well have been there, given the umbrage a handful of readers took at what they characterized as an over-representation of Jewish voices and concerns in the popular parenting blog.
A commenter named Sharon thusly kicked off the fracas: “The topics presented in this blog seem to always have some sort of direct or indirect Jewish tie-in… this one, Zachary’s shiva, the acne lady mentioning that her secular school friends left her alone but the Hewbrew school kids were merciless, the over-priviledged pre-school couple was Jewish.”
I’ll be generous and give Sharon the benefit of the doubt that she did not mean to offend. I have, in the past, been accused of naivete.
But my optimism quickly waned when I examined the sentiments of other commenters, who glommed on acrimoniously to Sharon’s observation. “This blog is overly Jewish and it’s obvious,” wrote DH. “Blacks comprise over 12% of the population, compared with the measly 3% of Jews, and yet you don’t see guest posts by or about Black parents on here very often at all. Hispanics, even Asians comprise a larger percentage of the population than Jews do, yet they don’t get much of a voice either.”
Oh the irony...the first three comments to this article:
John Stich · American University in Cairo
John Stich · American University in Cairo
(and my personal favorite, keep in mind this is a Jewish website)
Scott Rickard · Follow · Top Commenter · Slapper at Beehive · 3,426 subscribers
Zionists strictly control Western, US media: Scott Rickard http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/02/20/289998/zionists-control-western-us-media/
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Feb 28, 2014, 02:12 AM (18 replies)
The violent struggle for power in Egypt between the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has led to mutual accusations of being Jewish and implementing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Supporters of the current regime have compared the Brotherhood to Jews and Zionists, even claiming that the group’s founder, Hassan al-Banna, was Jewish, according to a new report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
In a report in the daily Al-Wafd, writer Magdi Salama said the Brotherhood was carrying out The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
“In their Protocols, the Zionists are mainly concerned with destroying governments in every country, sowing the seeds of strife and quarrel in all countries and changing the in the countries from one of tolerance to one of political and religious radicalism. This is precisely what the Muslim Brotherhood has currently undertaken to do in Egypt,” MEMRI quoted Salama as writing.
The Protocols, an old forgery meant to demonstrate the Jews’ “evil” plans, is still in use among anti-Semites around the world as “proof” that the Jews are trying to take over the world.
Oy! Oy! Oy!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Feb 28, 2014, 02:06 AM (1 replies)
This is a link to the Pew survey. I believe there was an article posted here about this earlier, but here it is in totality. I tis VERY interesting!
The survey of publics in 39 countries finds broad acceptance of homosexuality in North America, the European Union, and much of Latin America, but equally widespread rejection in predominantly Muslim nations and in Africa, as well as in parts of Asia and in Russia. Opinion about the acceptability of homosexuality is divided in Israel, Poland and Bolivia.
The view that homosexuality should be accepted by society is prevalent in most of the European Union countries surveyed. About three-quarters or more in Spain (88%), Germany (87%), the Czech Republic (80%), France (77%), Britain (76%), and Italy (74%) share this view, as do more than half in Greece (53%). Poland is the only EU country surveyed where views are mixed; 42% say homosexuality should be accepted by society and 46% believe it should be rejected.
Publics in Africa and in predominantly Muslim countries remain among the least accepting of homosexuality. In sub-Saharan Africa, at least nine-in-ten in Nigeria (98%), Senegal (96%), Ghana (96%), Uganda (96%) and Kenya (90%) believe homosexuality should not be accepted by society. Even in South Africa where, unlike in many other African countries, homosexual acts are legal and discrimination based on sexual orientation is unconstitutional, 61% say homosexuality should not be accepted by society, while just 32% say it should be accepted.
Overwhelming majorities in the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed also say homosexuality should be rejected, including 97% in Jordan, 95% in Egypt, 94% in Tunisia, 93% in the Palestinian territories, 93% in Indonesia, 87% in Pakistan, 86% in Malaysia, 80% in Lebanon and 78% in Turkey.
In most of the countries surveyed, views of homosexuality do not differ significantly between men and women. But in the countries where there is a gender gap, women are considerably more likely than men to say homosexuality should be accepted by society.
In Japan, Venezuela and Greece, where about six-in-ten women say homosexuality should be accepted (61% in Japan and 59% in Venezuela and Greece), fewer than half of men share this view (47%, 44% and 47%, respectively). About half of women in Israel (48%) express positive views of homosexuality, compared with just 31% of men. And, while majorities of women and men in Britain, Chile, France and the U.S. say homosexuality should be accepted by society, women are more likely than men to offer this view by at least ten percentage points.
There is MUCH, MUCH more. It is quite interesting.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Feb 22, 2014, 05:14 PM (2 replies)
There have been threads in which SWM are feeling "under attack." In some cases, I can understand why, in others, not so much. I hated diversity programs that focused solely on the 'faults' of straight, white, Christian, able-bodied men. When I started doing presentations, I focused on the issues that faced minority cultures and their accomplishments, often in the face of discrimination. I guess one can call it a "tone" issue. So, I hope this post comes across in a positive way or at least let's others see how a minority person sees his place in this country.
This Saturday is my 12th anniversary with my partner. If interested, the traditional gift is silk or linen, and yes, we are accepting gifts. The modern gift is pearl. Yeah. Stick with sending gifts of silk or linen. So, anywho, I went to the Hallmark store today in a mid-sized Oklahoma town (<40K) to get an anniversary card (well, actually I get three or four). To my chagrin, there wasn't a single one oriented toward gay men. Ok, I didn't lose my chagrin, I know I have to look for cards that don't say "wife," or have female pronouns. It is difficult to find cards which are appropriate. Some years, I just buy cards with men and women couples, then pull the picture off or cover it with a picture I find on the internet of two men. This is my reality. Yes, I could drive an hour to Tulsa and find a few cards, but should I have to? Sure, bigger cities are going to have things for GLBT people, but it reminds me, as a gay man, that I have to be in a major city to exist.
This is my reality. This is what it is to be gay in this country. It seems like a little thing, but sometimes, it is the little things that can be the most prominent. Can you imagine going into a card store and not finding a card for your wife (if you are a man), or your husband (if you are a woman)? Can you imagine looking for a gift and the salesperson looks at you funny when you say who your 'spouse' is? Yeah, I can't get married in OK, and something this mundane reminds me once again, I am not a "real" person, a valuable citizen, to a number of people.
(PS. If you are white, have you ever noticed how "white" cards are, unless you are in the "Mahogany" section?" When you look around and you don't see yourself in the merchandise or see yourself in a "reserved" section, it can be a bit sad.)
ETA: I wanted to thank everyone, whom I haven't already thanked, for the well wishes! I am pleased to see so many people understood what I was saying. I had planned to thank everyone, but I didn't expect this many people to respond!!! My partner had the day off, so I was spending it with him, when it wasn't working (apparently his work doesn't understand the concept of "day off!"), so I went shopping and still couldn't find a "silk" gift. For real! Satin will have to due. Again, I sincerely thank everyone for the well wishes, and those who added their own personal stories. - BtA
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Feb 20, 2014, 11:14 PM (82 replies)
Disclaimer: I am not a fan of the Daily Mail, but this was just...fascinating, in a sick, twisted way
A Neo-Nazi group created a perverted board game based on Monopoly where Jewish people get sent to death camps so they could pass the time between murders.
The gang called the game 'Pogromly' - from the word pogrom meaning a violent riot that were often organised against Jews in Russian and eastern Europe over several centuries - and features a skull wearing a German helmet in the centre of the board, S.S. runic flashes and plenty of swastikas.
Instead of the four railway stations that feature on every Monopoly board the gang had the name of four notorious concentration and death camps: Auschwitz, Dachau, Ravensbrueck and Buchenwald.
Chance and Community Chest cards had instructions like: 'Go to the next concentration camp and hand in the captured Jews and make the owner pay twice the normal rent.'
Entire article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2562882/Neo-Nazi-group-funded-activities-selling-twisted-version-Monopoly-winner-sends-Jews-gas-chambers.html
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Feb 19, 2014, 05:04 PM (22 replies)
NEW YORK (JTA) — When Abraham Foxman steps down next summer from his longtime post as national director of the Anti-Defamation League, he’ll be leaving his successor with a much brighter picture on anti-Semitism in America than when Foxman joined the organization in 1965.
In an age when anti-Semitic incidents appear to be on the upswing in many parts of the world, America tops the list of countries where Jews suffer least from anti-Semitism, Foxman says.
Jews can live, study and work anywhere they want in America. Yes, there’s Mel Gibson, Louis Farrakhan and the occasional swastika scrawled on a synagogue wall, but Jews in America for the most part live free of discrimination or the threat of violence.
“Statistically, yes, the picture is pretty good,” Foxman told JTA in an interview this week. “We’ve made an awful lot of progress in this country in terms of social anti-Semitism.
“Socially, Jews in America have ‘made it.’ But it hasn’t eliminated some of the vestiges of anti-Semitism,” he said. “America is not immune to anti-Semitism. We’re not immune to racism and bigotry and prejudice.”
Read more: http://www.jta.org/2014/02/18/news-opinion/united-states/anti-semitism-in-america-today-down-but-not-out#ixzz2tkKze1XL
The prevalence on-line is even worse. The crypto-haters are the worse, IMO.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Feb 19, 2014, 01:22 AM (0 replies)