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Behind the Aegis

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President Obama Announces May As Jewish American Heritage Month

President Barack Obama issued Wednesday a Presidential proclamation announcing the month of May as the Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM).

The President's proclamation:

A national month of recognition of the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture, JAHM acknowledges the achievements of American Jews in fields ranging from sports and arts and entertainment to medicine, business, science, government, and military service.

For thousands of years, the Jewish people have sustained their identity and traditions, persevering in the face of persecution. Through generations of enslavement and years of wandering, through forced segregation and the horrors of the Holocaust, they have maintained their holy covenant and lived according to the Torah. Their pursuit of freedom brought multitudes to our shores, and today our country is the proud home to millions of Jewish Americans. This month, let us honor their tremendous contributions — as scientists and artists, as activists and entrepreneurs. And let all of us find inspiration in a story that speaks to the universal human experience, with all of its suffering and all of its salvation.

This history led many Jewish Americans to find common cause with the Civil Rights Movement. African Americans and Jewish Americans marched side-by-side in Selma and Montgomery. They boarded buses for Freedom Rides together, united in their support of liberty and human dignity. These causes remain just as urgent today. Jewish communities continue to confront anti-Semitism — both around the world and, as tragic events mere weeks ago in Kansas reminded us, here in the United States. Following in the footsteps of Jewish civil rights leaders, we must come together across all faiths, reject ignorance and intolerance, and root out hatred wherever it exists.

In celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month, we also renew our unbreakable bond with the nation of Israel. It is a bond that transcends politics, a partnership built on mutual interests and shared ideals. Our two countries are enriched by diversity and faith, fueled by innovation, and ruled not only by men and women, but also by laws. As we continue working in concert to build a safer, more prosperous, more tolerant world, may our friendship only deepen in the years to come.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2014 as Jewish American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to visit www.JewishHeritageMonth.gov to learn more about the heritage and contributions of Jewish Americans and to observe this month, the theme of which is healing the world, with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of April, in the year two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.


http://jpupdates.com/2014/04/30/president-obama-announces-may-jewish-american-heritage-month/
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu May 1, 2014, 12:55 AM (0 replies)

10 U.S. States Most Plagued By Hate Crimes

---snip---

Congress defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.” Usually, these are crimes that are violent in nature, and can include offenses like murder, assault, arson or vandalism.

While many people realize that violence against the LGBT community is considered a hate crime, it wasn’t that way until 2009. The passage of a new law gave the federal government the authority to prosecute violent hate crimes against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act also helped with the prosecution of hate crimes based on sexual orientation by providing funding and assistance to states and other jurisdictions to help them investigate, prosecute, and prevent hate crimes.

According to the FBI, in 2012, 48.3% of 5,790 single-bias incidents in 2012 were racially motivated, while 19.6% were based on sexual orientation and 19% from religious bias. Of the 5,331 known offenders, 54.6% of them were white, and 23.3% were black.

--snip---

One very important note to consider when looking at these rankings is that there are many variables at play that may or may not be quantifiable. When looking at these rankings, it’s important to remember that these stats are only a small piece of the puzzle and are not, of course, definitive proof that any one state has more hatred or bias than any other. These are simply statistics of reported crimes during a certain period of time.

more: http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/most-shocking/10-u-s-states-most-plagued-by-hate-crimes/

10. Maine – 3.91 crimes per 100,000 people
9. Washington – 3.95 crimes per 100,000 people
8. Nevada – 4.15 crimes per 100,000 people
7. Connecticut – 4.17 crimes per 100,000 people
6. Alabama – 4.25 crimes per 100,000 people
5. Tennessee – 4.91 crimes per 100,000 people
4. Kentucky – 5.31 crimes per 100,000 people
3. North Dakota – 5.95 crimes per 100,000 people
2. Michigan – 6.38 crimes per 100,000 people (Note: Michigan is one of several states that do not classify violence against members of the LGBT community as a hate crime)
1. District of Columbia – 11.39 crimes per 100,000 people
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Apr 30, 2014, 05:04 PM (17 replies)

Op-Ed: How to Explain the Nazis' Obsession with Jews?

For years after returning from the hell created by the Germans of the Third Reich, I tried to understand the reason for the unfathomable and irrational hatred – if one can call it that – towards us.

How is it that tens of millions of allegedly normative people became worse than predators? After all, most predators only kill when they are hungry or feel threatened. The Germans were definitely not hungry and couldn't have felt threatened by the Jews. Did we declare war on them? Did we claim territories from them?

It's true that in order to justify their impossible acts, the mass murder in cold blood and in the most sadistic methods of millions of men, women and children, according to a well-calculated plan – they claimed that the Jews were planning to take over the world. And they, the courageous Germans, decided to rescue humanity from this danger. There is no need to state just how false and ridiculous this claim was.

The years went by and, needless to say, I failed to find any explanation to the Germans' wild and unrestrained behavior, to that unprecedented hatred in human history. I have reached the conclusion that there is simply no answer and no explanation. Other than, of course, the anti-Semitism which has turned into a real disease and tradition passed on from generation to generation, up to this very day.

The Germans, as an advanced and organized nation, did not settle for allegedly spontaneous pogroms, like the Crusades or the 17th-century pogroms in Ukraine and Russia. The Inquisition era in Spain didn't serve as a model to them either. No, the Germans murdered and destroyed according to a method and a plan, loyal to their dominant "motto": "Ordnung muss sein" – there must be order.

more: http://www.shalomlife.com/news/23115/op-ed-how-to-explain-the-nazis-obsession-with-jews/
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Apr 30, 2014, 01:40 AM (11 replies)

FBI Director: Better Hate Crime Tracking Needed

State and local law enforcement need to do a better job of tracking and reporting hate crimes so that the public can "fully understand what is happening in our communities, and how to stop it," FBI Director James Comey said Monday.

Comey told an Anti-Defamation League summit that some jurisdictions fail to report hate crimes in their communities, while others say that none occurred — "a fact that would be welcome if true."

"We must continue to impress upon our state and local counterparts in every jurisdiction the need to track and report hate crime. It is not something we can ignore or sweep under the rug," he said.

The FBI publishes hate crime statistics — offenses motivated by a bias against a race, religion and sexual orientation, among other classifications — from the data it receives from local law enforcement agencies, but those reports are generally incomplete since not all jurisdictions contribute information.

more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/fbi-director-hate-crime-tracking-needed-23503580




Damn right! They need to set a standard and not allow certain locales to "decide for themselves" if a crime is hate-motivated or not. They also should consider expanding the definition when it comes to attacks on women.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Apr 30, 2014, 12:48 AM (1 replies)

In just a few short years, two out of every three European Jews would be gone.

In 1933, approximately 9.5 million Jews lived in Europe, comprising 1.7% of the total European population. This number represented more than 60 percent of the world's Jewish population at that time, estimated at 15.3 million.

In eastern Europe:
Poland, with about 3,000,000 Jews (9.5%) (by 1950, 45,000);
the European part of the Soviet Union, with 2,525,000 (3.4%);
Romania, with 756,000 (4.2%) (by 1950, 280,000);
Latvia, 95,600 (4.9%);
Lithuania, 155,000 (7.6%);
Estonia, 4,560 (0.4%).

In central Europe:
Germany, with about 500,000 members (0.75%) (by 1950, 37,000);
Hungary, with 445,000 (5.1%) (by 1950, 190,000) ;
Czechoslovakia, with 357,000 (2.4%) (by 1950, 17,000);
Austria, with 191,000 (2.8%) (by 1950, 18,000).

In western Europe:
Great Britain, with 300,000 Jews (0.65%);
France, with 250,000 (0.6%) (some 75,300 French Jews died in the camps);
the Netherlands, with 156,000 (1.8%) (after the war, 35,000 were left);
Belgium,60,000 Jews (0.7%) (at the end of the war, about 35,770 remained);
Spain, 4,000 (0.02%);
Portugal, 1,200 (0.02%)

In Scandinavia:
Sweden, 6,700 (0.11%);
Denmark, 5,700 (0.15%) (almost 99% of Danish Jews survived because of the actions of the people of Denmark);
Finland, 1,800 (0.05%);
Norway, 1,400 (0.05%) (765 were killed under Nazi occupation).

In southern Europe:
Greece, with about 73,000 (1.2%) (by 1950, 7,000);
Yugoslavia, 68,000 (0.49%) (by 1950, 3,500);
Italy, 48,000 (0.11%) (by 1950, 35,000);
Bulgaria, 48,500 (0.8%) (by 1950, 6,500);
Albania, 200 (0.02%).

(sources: pre-WWII stats, post-WWII stats and other stats from various sites)

It is vital to understand not all Jews were killed in the death camps. In countries like Romania, Ukraine, and Poland, many Jews were killed by their own countrymen. The numbers above are not complete, but give an overall idea of what happened. While today is Yom HaShoah in Israel (Holocaust Remembrance Day) (sundown Sunday, until sundown Monday), there are other days which remember the deaths of all the victims of the Holocaust, such as International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th, as set aside by the UN. Other countries have set aside their own days as listed here: Holocaust Memorial Days.





Never Again!





My family was from Belarus. Those who didn't leave during the Russian Pogroms, are no longer there.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Apr 28, 2014, 01:51 AM (33 replies)

Israel gears up to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day

Source: Jerusalem Post

On Sunday evening and Monday Israelis will mark Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day with memorials across the country. The commemoration of the six million European Jews murdered by the Germans will commence with torch lighting ceremony attended by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and other senior officials at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. Chief Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau, as well as Lau’s father, Israel Meir Lau, himself a former chief rabbi and chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, will also be present.

Six Holocaust survivors are slated to light torches, each representing one million victims. Following the opening ceremony, whose theme this year is “Jews On the Edge 1944: Between Annihilation and Liberation,” Yad Vashem will hold a symposium on Holocaust remembrance in Israel at Tel Aviv’s Habimah Theater.

Yom HaShoah this year comes only weeks after Frazier Glenn Miller, an elder white supremacist, killed three people at a Kansas Jewish Community Center. As he was taken away by police following the shooting, the former Klansman shouted Heil Hitler. The memory of the Holocaust has been at the center of several political disputes this year, with Ukrainians and Russians trading barbs of antisemitism and unknown actors urging Jews in Eastern Ukraine to register themselves.

---snip---

To mark the 70th anniversary of the mass deportation and murder of over 585,000 Hungarian Jews during World War II, hundreds of highschool students from across the globe will travel by train from Budapest to Auschwitz, where they will join 10,000 other students to march to the Birkenau extermination camp.

Read more: http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Israel-gears-up-to-mark-Holocaust-Remembrance-Day-350501
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sun Apr 27, 2014, 01:44 AM (61 replies)

Want a Good Look at Putin’s Pervy Propaganda? See ‘The Furies of Maidan’

A Russian MP’s wild rant at a pregnant reporter was inspired by an ‘investigative report’ that blames Ukraine’s revolution on sexually frustrated women and claims, ‘They like it hard.’

Even amid the increasing surreality of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, ultranationalist MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s tirade against a pregnant reporter who asked a question about Ukraine stood out.

Besides telling the woman she shouldn’t work while pregnant, instructing a male aide to rape her, and shouting, “Damned lesbian!” at another female reporter who tried to rebuke him, Zhirinovsky lashed out at the women of Ukraine’s pro-independence Maidan movement, assailing them as sex-starved harpies. “There’s going to be a film about you, The Furies of Maidan,” he railed, apparently taking the female journalists for Maidan sympathizers. “You’ve all got uterine frenzy, the women of Maidan,” he ranted. “If it weren’t for this uterine frenzy, there wouldn’t be any Maidan.”

Zhirinovsky, who has apologized for his outburst at last week’s press conference and faces likely censure by the Duma, Russia’s parliament, is known for his outrageous antics. But it turns out The Furies of Maidan is not a figment of his imagination. It is a real “investigative report” that aired last Saturday on NTV, one of Russia’s major television networks. Subtitled “Sex, Psychosis, and Politics,” the 30-minute feature makes exactly the same point as Zhirinovsky’s rant: that the displaced energy of sexually frustrated or pathological women was a driving force behind Ukraine’s Euromaidan revolution. In the dramatic words of the 45-second promo: “They like it hard. They are turned on by danger. And woe to anyone who fails to appreciate them.”

While the report could be mistaken for a clever if over-the-top parody clip, it is not. A wild mélange of paranoia, smear, sleaze, misogyny, and homophobia that makes Rush Limbaugh look politically correct, The Furies of Maidan offers a disturbing glimpse into the state of Russia’s government-run mainstream media—and into the toxic sludge of propaganda it regularly dumps on a largely uncritical public.

more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/25/want-a-good-look-at-putin-s-pervy-propaganda-see-the-furies-of-maidan.html




Just when you thought it couldn't get any more weird....
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Apr 26, 2014, 06:14 AM (7 replies)

Ukraine’s Jews caught in a propaganda war based on the ‘political manipulation of anti-Semitism’

When masked men distributed leaflets last week in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk advising Jews they needed to register with authorities or face deportation, shivers were felt well beyond Ukraine’s borders.

“In the year 2014, after all the miles travelled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable — it’s grotesque,” John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state, said in Geneva.

The origin of the tract remains murky and the group whose name was attached, the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, has denied any involvement. Jewish leaders in the city have said they see the incident as a provocation, rather than a real threat to their community of about 17,000 people.

But regardless of whether the leaflets were a dirty trick aimed at smearing pro-Russian separatists or the hateful handiwork of local fascists, they illustrate how the plight of Jews has become fuel for propaganda in a region with a long, bloody history of anti-Semitism.

“From our perspective, the real issue is, whatever the motivation, whoever the source, this was an incident of anti-Semitism that echoes the treatment of Jews in Germany by the Nazis in the 1930s, a message of intimidation,” said Michael Salberg, director of international affairs for the New York-based Anti-Defamation League.

‘Putin is just using anti-Semitism as a kind of tool to discredit the Euromaidan process. He doesn’t care about anti-Semitism’
.


more: http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/04/25/ukraines-jews-caught-in-a-propaganda-war-that-uses-the-political-manipulation-of-anti-semitism/




Putin ain't the only one!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Apr 26, 2014, 03:30 AM (16 replies)

Not (Only) in Kansas Anymore: Anti-Semitic Violence Is Up Across America

With the Internet fueling hate, violence against Jews is on the rise.

My mother's mother was a Polish Jew who was sent to a forced labor camp during World War II, where she witnessed babies being killed and narrowly avoided being shot or sent to the crematorium multiple times. Her three sisters, three brothers, and young son were slaughtered by the Nazis.

After the war, she was reunited with her husband. They and my mom, who was born in a German displaced persons camp, moved to the United States in 1949, leaving the anti-Semitic, blood-drenched memory of Europe behind.

“What they show on television, what they show in the books, is not 1 percent what I saw there myself,” my grandmother said before she died, in her thick Yiddish accent. “When Hitler would have computers, like they have here now, he would take the world.”

Her video testimony, taken by my cousin, was recorded in the early 1990s, but her words about computers fueling anti-Semitism ring eerily true today: Anti-Semitic violence is on the rise, according to the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish human rights organization, and the Internet is home to an unquantifiable hotbed of hatred toward Jews and other minority groups.

more: http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/04/25/anti-semitic-assaults-on-rise
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Apr 26, 2014, 03:16 AM (24 replies)

Report: Ukrainian synagogue firebombed in Black Sea city

Son of Nikolayev’s chief rabbi says two Molotov cocktails were thrown at synagogue empty of worshipers in the early hours of Saturday.

The main synagogue in the Ukrainian city of Nikolayev reportedly was firebombed.

The synagogue was empty of worshipers when it was firebombed early Saturday morning, according to the Chabad-affiliated Shturem.org website.

Two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the door and window, the report said, citing Yisroel Gotlieb, son of the city’s chief rabbi, Sholom Gotlieb.

A passer-by put out the fires with a fire extinguisher, according to the report.

more...

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.



(1:22 minutes in for one view, 3:15 for the second view)
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Apr 22, 2014, 02:55 AM (1 replies)
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