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Behind the Aegis

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(GLBT group) Friend Of Gays Donald Trump Just Gutted Obama Order Protecting LGBT Federal Employees

Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday allowing federal contractors to discriminate against LGBT employees.

Trump’s order revokes three previous orders signed by Barack Obama, including Executive Order 13673, the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Order”.

Signed in 2014, the order required companies receiving sizeable federal contracts to demonstrate that they have acted in compliance for at least three years with federal laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender stereotyping.

“This administration has made it extremely difficult to enforce these federal laws as applied to federal contractors,” Camilla Taylor, Lambda Legal attorney, told Keen News Service. “It’s sending a message to these companies that the federal government simply doesn’t care whether or not they violate the law.”

Federal contractors will also no longer have to prove compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibit discrimination based on HIV status and other disabilities.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Mar 30, 2017, 02:03 AM (2 replies)

(Jewish Group) What Happens When Jewish Anti-Semitism Causes Terror?


he recent arrest of a 19-year-old Israeli with dual American citizenship who is accused of issuing bomb threats to more than 100 Jewish institutions around the world exposed a blind spot in our understanding of anti-Semitism. Sometimes a Jew can commit acts of anti-Semitism. Sometimes hateful acts come from within.

Jews, given our history, are accustomed to being targeted by someone else — marauding Christians, genocidal Nazis, Palestinian terrorists and the Ku Klux Klan, to name a few culprits. The exceptions, the times when a Jew terrorized another Jew, often occurred in a recognizable political context, such as the tragic 1995 assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by a crazed ideological opponent.

But it is difficult to fathom the purpose behind the bomb threats that disrupted the operations and brought fear to nearly half the community centers around the country, places that serve Jews and non-Jews alike. It would only be speculation at this point to explain his motive.

That is why so many of us, myself included, initially traced the source of the JCC threats to the ultra-white nationalists who have emerged “out of the sewers,” to use former Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman’s words, since last year’s shameful presidential campaign.

It made eminent sense to see those threats on a continuum, which began with the well-documented harassment of Jewish journalists and grew into the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and Nazi-style graffiti on the walls of schools and universities.

Jews are used to viewing the world as “us” versus “them.” It’s an understandable impulse, ingrained by teachings, admonitions and raw experience.


This comes as great joy to anti-Semites of all stripes, political affiliations, and religions.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Mar 29, 2017, 05:48 AM (0 replies)

'Their message is urgent': the Holocaust survivor and his 7,000 pieces of antisemitic propaganda


The drawing is detailed, dramatic and disgusting. Called The Jew, Universal Enemy, it shows Christ on the cross and churches in flames, overseen by a sinister, red-lipped, voracious face. Philipp Rupprecht, better known as Fips, composed this caricature for the notorious Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer in 1937. He also illustrated a 1938 children’s book Der Giftpilz (The Poisonous Mushroom), intended to educate young Germans about the Jewish menace.

Rupprecht was sentenced to 10 years hard labour after the war. His work is among 150 pieces of antisemitic propaganda – posters, drawings and objects – on show at the Caen-Normandy Memorial Museum, in an exhibition called Heinous Cartoons 1886-1945: The Antisemitic Corrosion in Europe. They depict sinister, red-faced, obese capitalists smoking cigars on the backs of oppressed workers. They show grotesque communists clamping chains on a suffering Aryan. They portray Jews as rats and vermin. As the dates in the title suggest, the exhibition chronicles how anti-semitism grew at the end of the 19th century and reached a horrible culmination in the Holocaust.

The works all come from private collection of Arthur Langerman, a Holocaust survivor. Born in Antwerp in 1942, at the age of two he was placed in an orphanage by the SS after his father and mother were sent to Auschwitz. Although his father perished, his mother survived and recovered her son, but never spoke to him about her wartime suffering. Langerman went on to found a successful diamond dealership, specialising in coloured gems.

The trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961 jolted him awake to the horrors of the Holocaust. Fascinated, and finding a strong desire to understand, he began collecting antisemitic objects. Today, he has assembled some 7,000 pieces, including postcards, posters and paintings, not to mention dozens of wooden figurines from Strasbourg. At the end of the 19th century, these intricately carved images of grotesquely bearded, disfigured representations of Jewish peddlers and rabbis were popular in eastern France – an example of how hatred of Jews had for centuries pervaded western art, politics and popular culture, from fine arts and crafts for the elite to everyday toys and knick-knacks.


Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Mar 28, 2017, 05:23 AM (4 replies)

(The Jewish Group) The JCC Arrest and Antisemitism in the USA


When news broke that the prime suspect for the JCC bomb threats was a young Israeli Jew, I was thrown for a bit of a loop. For months, the assumption had been that the person or people responsible were White Nationalists. In the immediate wake of learning the identity of the suspect, I found myself asking the following two questions:

1.Does this mean that the situation in the United States isn’t really as bad for Jews as we had feared?
2.Does it mean that we have misjudged the effects of the presidential election on our place in this country?

And while I am all in favor of taking a breath and stepping outside of the collective fear response to have a more rational, empirically-informed discussion, this latest plot twist has done very little to reassure me. A synagogue in Indiana had a bullet fired through its window. Another synagogue in Chicago was vandalized with swastikas and had its windows smashed. Jewish cemeteries across the country have been desecrated. Friends of mine are being sent antisemitic messages with depressing regularity both online and through the US postal service. In short, no matter who is behind the JCC threats, something has changed here over the past year.

It is important to acknowledge that the winds of bigotry-tainted nationalism always hit the most disadvantaged the hardest and that is still not American Jews. The effects of Trump’s political machinations on the Muslim, immigrant, and undocumented communities make the apparent rise in antisemitism turn a whiter shade of pale and our priority should be allying with and protecting those communities. Nevertheless, the bubbling up of antisemitism over the past year in this country is not a figment of the media’s imagination as some would have you believe. Nor is it absurd to lay a significant portion of the blame at the president’s doorstep. Having Jewish relatives ought not inoculate one from charges of antisemitism. Furthermore, as with other forms of prejudice, antisemitism doesn’t require personal animus for it to function in the world.


....An atmosphere that the negligent narcissist currently occupying the White House bears a great deal of responsibility for.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Mar 27, 2017, 03:29 PM (0 replies)

Jewish Group: Jewish man makes anti-semitic bomb threats: is this internalized oppression?


The joint investigations by Israeli law enforcement agencies and the FBI in the arrest of the suspected perpetrator of bomb threats on Jewish community centers in the United States and other countries raises more questions than it answers.

Was this Jewish 19-year-old of dual U.S. and Israeli citizenship the only person involved? And what were his motives?

In response to the arrest, the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement asserting: “These were acts of anti-Semitism. These threats targeted Jewish institutions, were calculated to sow fear and anxiety, and put the entire Jewish community on high alert.”

Though we do not yet have a psychological profile of this young man, if it turns out that he was, in fact, the architect and agent of these terrorist threats, it matters not that he is Jewish. The choice of targets makes these acts anti-Semitic.

Jewish people, and other people of socially marginalized identities and communities, still live in a world that, in many quarters, teaches that we are “less than,” that we do not have a right to exist, and even that we actually do not exist. As such, we can find it difficult at best not to internalize society’s negative teaching about ourselves.


Take a look at a few of the comments to see anti-Semitism in action, even on a liberal/"progressive" GLBTQI site.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Mar 27, 2017, 12:26 AM (7 replies)

Leaflets with swastikas found at Virginia Tech Jewish center

Leaflets with hand-drawn swastikas were found this weekend strewn across the lawn of the Chabad Librescu Jewish Student Center at Virginia Tech, officials said Sunday.

Rabbi Zvi Zweibel, the center’s co-director, said he was shocked Saturday afternoon to discover about 100 leaflets scattered in front of the Chabad House, located just off campus on Wall Street.

“It’s something that I never believed would happen in Blacksburg,” he said.

The incident came a day after the center announced it would bring Holocaust survivor Rabbi Nissen Mangel to campus for an event on April 24. The event is meant to honor professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor who was killed in the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings when he blocked the door of his classroom so students could escape through windows.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Mar 21, 2017, 12:58 AM (10 replies)

Holocaust survivor confronts resurgence in anti-Semitism

Washington (CNN) — On a frigid morning in Washington, about 200 high school students file into the auditorium at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

On the stage, frail and in a wheelchair, sits 100-year-old Fanny Aizenberg, a Holocaust survivor. She's a featured speaker in the museum's program to have individuals who were persecuted by the Nazis share their stories of seven-plus decades ago, keeping their stories alive as long as long they can, so the world doesn't forget.

Now, anti-Semitism is back in Aizenberg's life. For elderly survivors, it's a struggle to again understand why people hate.

In recent weeks, more than 80 Jewish Community Centers and schools across the country have received bomb threats, including the community center where she lives in a Maryland suburb just outside Washington DC.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Mar 18, 2017, 04:33 AM (7 replies)

America Awakes to Anti-Semitism

A huge spike in anti-Semitism across America is occurring. Jewish community centers in particular are targets of bomb threats and vandalism. For all Americans, this should be deeply worrisome. On March 7, all 100 senators sent a letter to Trump administration officials calling for "swift action" against this surge of Jew-hatred. This is a very welcome development, and the president needs to respond with action.

During his speech to Congress on Feb. 28, Trump finally condemned this outpouring of anti-Semitism, (an outpouring which began when his presidential campaign did). But the president must do much more in both in his language and his actions to denounce anti-Semitism. It is not enough to simply "condemn hate and evil" on the same day that he claims that such anti-Semitism was designed to make him look bad, as he did. Every bomb threat, every cemetery desecration, every slur must be addressed and countered proactively.

Trump needs to use what Teddy Roosevelt famously called the "bully pulpit" to forcefully condemn anti-Semitism, declaring it anathema to this country, in his administration and around the world. Further, as the elected leader of the United States, Trump needs to put forward a plan to address the global uptick in hate speech and hate crimes involving not just anti-Semitism but also Islamophobia and other language and actions directed against any person.

It is imperative that the president order the FBI to investigate and the Justice Department to prosecute every hate crime under our federal laws and to provide resources and support to states to prosecute the same actions under state law. The president has at his disposal the Federal Hate Crime Statute of 1968 and the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act. In fact, the recent attacks on Jewish cemeteries in Kansas City should be investigated and processed under the "damage to religious property" statute of the Church Arson Prevention Act, which "prohibits the intentional defacement, damage or destruction of religious property because of the religious nature of the property."

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Mar 18, 2017, 04:31 AM (2 replies)

A Dangerous Rise In Anti-Semitism: The Past Is Present

Daily reports of anti-Semitism in different areas of the U.S. are alarming many in the Jewish community and beyond. Last year, there were 600 hate crimes against Jews on American college campuses and more than 130 such instances, including Swastikas painted on doorways, slurs, and physical assaults, have occurred since the beginning of 2017 less than three months ago.

Many American Jews had become complacent in the feeling that they were living in halcyon times where anti-Semitism was a thing of the past, something they would never have to confront in their own lifetimes. And yet, current events are now eerily reminiscent of a difficult and tragic past that Jews experienced in various parts of the world at different points throughout history. This ugly, age-old phenomenon is sending jolts through a forward-thinking society that prides itself on embracing diversity. The resurgence of anti-Semitism is not an isolated event – racism and intolerance of other groups have also increased.

Why is anti-Semitism rearing its head in the U.S. and what can be done?

Over the last year, as the presidential campaign heated up, the political scene became increasingly polarized. The moderate perspective nearly disappeared as the candidates’ rhetoric attracted voters to the ideology of the far right and far left. The resurgence of anti-Semitism is occurring across the political spectrum. On the far right, anti-Semitism is instigated by hyper-nationalism as it has been for millennia. American exceptionalism has been conflated with anger and fear directed against those who are perceived as different. Even Jews who have been an integral part of American society for centuries have been targeted by a small cadre of agitated “believers.”

On the far left, Jews and Israel are viewed and vilified as privileged and influential elites who wield control over U.S. banking and political systems. For some “progressives”, anyone with power is automatically suspect and corrupt. As politics have become more polarized, so has the media. With the proliferation of online outlets, everyone now has the option of reading only those news sources that espouse their own viewpoint and engaging only with those who speak their own political language. This reduces peaceful discourse and amplifies and exacerbates the national polarization and vitriol against specific groups.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Mar 16, 2017, 05:21 AM (19 replies)

Report: US Anti-Semitism, Hate Crime Up 20% in 2016


Hate crimes, most notably attacks against Jews and Muslims, have risen sharply in several Major American cities in 2016, starting with the presidential campaign and continuing since, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. Previously unpublished data by the university’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism show double-digit increases in hate crimes in New York City, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Columbus, Ohio last year.

There were 1,037 incidents, a 23.3% increase from 2015, in the nine areas the report examined: New York; Washington; Chicago; Philadelphia; Montgomery County, Maryland; Columbus, Ohio; Seattle; Long Beach, California; and Cincinnati. Here are a few striking notes:

New York City saw a rise of 24% in hate crimes, the highest in more than a decade.

New York state had an increase of 20% in hate crimes.

Chicago had a rise of 24% in hate crimes, highest since 2010.

Cincinnati, Ohio, had a phenomenal jump in hate crimes by 38%.


No real surprises, the only "real" surprise is the "sudden interest" we see from certain segments of society. Of course, there are those who still will find any excuse to change the subject or 'explain away' anti-Semitism, including by redefining it.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Mar 15, 2017, 05:28 AM (2 replies)
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