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PM Uproar Over NYT Anti-Semitic Cartoons, from Peter Myers

(1) Uproar Over NYT Anti-Semitic Cartoons; NYT likened to Protocols of Zion(2) Lobby attacks NYT over Left-Anti-Semitic cartoons; but Cartoonist defends them(3) Letters to NYT re Anti-Semitic Cartoons(4) New York Times slammed for another Netanyahu cartoon days after 'anti-Semitic' sketch(5) Cartoonist Defends Anti-Semitic New York Times Cartoon(6) Israeli Cartoonist Responds with Anti-New York Times Cartoon(7) Jeff Blankfort (Facebook): In the 1980s, many cartoons likened Israel to Nazi Germany & South Africa(8) Israeli rabbis at military prep school are caught on video praising Hitler(9) Marc Ellis bases his Theology of Liberation on the Exodus narrative(1) Uproar Over NYT Anti-Semitic Cartoons; NYT likened to Protocols of ZionNYT cartoon shows Netanyahu as a dog leading blind Trump: as a blind Moses bringing a tablet containing not the Ten Conmmandments but the Israeli flag: Jew leads Winston Churchill; The Jew leads #DonaldTrump Wilson@kishkushkayPic 1: The Jew leads Winston Churchill. Nazi Germany 1940.Pic 2: The Jew leads #DonaldTrump @nytimes USA 2019.NYT likened to Protocols of Zion: Lobby attacks NYT over Left-Anti-Semitic cartoons; but Cartoonist defends them York Times Suspends All Future Syndicated Cartoons Amid Antisemitism Crisis Inside NewspaperMATTHEW BOYLE29 Apr 2019Washington, D.C.604 10:19The New York Times has suspended the publication of all future syndicated political cartoons in its international print edition, the newspaper’s spokeswoman Eileen Murphy confirmed late Monday. The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove spoke with Murphy in the wake of the newspaper’s publication of a second controversial cartoon that drew critical condemnation from the Jewish community–after a first cartoon, which the paper now admits was antisemitic, was retracted and then subsequently apologized for over the weekend.The newspaper is in a full internal crisis on this matter, as executives and editors have launched a full-scale internal investigation into what happened, who is responsible, and what procedural and structural changes need to take place so the Times does not publish more antisemitic content.It all started last Thursday when the Times published a cartoon on the opinion pages of its international print edition showing Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu as a dog with a Star of David around his collar on a leash leading U.S. President Donald Trump–depicted as blind and wearing a skullcap–around.Under immense criticism, the Times on Saturday retracted the cartoon and issued an "editor’s note" in response admitting it was antisemitic and an "error in judgement to publish it.""A political cartoon in the international print edition of The New York Times on Thursday included anti-Semitic tropes, depicting the prime minister of Israel as a guide dog with a Star of David collar leading the president of the United States, shown wearing a skullcap," the initial editor’s note on Saturday retracting the image reads. "The image was offensive, and it was an error of judgment to publish it. It was provided by The New York Times News Service and Syndicate, which has since deleted it." ...Under immense pressure from critics including President Trump’s son Donald Trump, Jr., and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s son Yair Netanyahu–among many others–the Times finally on Sunday apologized for the "error in judgment" in a follow-up statement to the first editor’s note. The apology reveals a few new facts, including that there is a mass internal investigation into the matter, that the Times is blaming a single editor for the mistake but not naming said editor, and that the Times is promising "significant changes" to its newsroom structure to prevent future mistakes like this.The New York Times said in its apology statement, the second official newspaper statement on this matter:We are deeply sorry for the publication of an anti-Semitic political cartoon last Thursday in the print edition of The New York Times that circulates outside of the United States, and we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again. Such imagery is always dangerous, and at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, it’s all the more unacceptable. We have investigated how this happened and learned that, because of a faulty process, a single editor working without adequate oversight downloaded the syndicated cartoon and made the decision to include it on the Opinion page. The matter remains under review, and we are evaluating our internal processes and training. We anticipate significant changes.But then, on Monday, it was revealed that in the weekend edition of the Times international edition published on Saturday–meaning it hit newsstands before the Times officially retracted the original antisemitic cartoon–the Times had published a second anti-Israel cartoon that has come under similarly significant scrutiny from the pro-Israel community.Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), called the second cartoon from the Times "insensitive" and "inappropriate":Jonathan Greenblatt ? @JGreenblattADL This is insensitive, inappropriate, and offensive. It shows once again that the @NYTimes needs to educate its staff about #antiSemitism. We call on them to take immediate action.Other Jewish leaders like The Jewish Voice went further, calling the second one antisemitic like the first one:theJewish Voice ? @JewishVoice ANOTHER antisemitic cartoon from the @nytimes.Protest outside of NY Times headquarters tonight on 8th Avenue at 5:30 P.M.H/T: @StopAntisemiti3The Reagan Battalion ? @ReaganBattalion So the @nytimes removed the original anti-Semitic cartoon and replaced it with a different (anti-semitic) cartoon two days later.For hours on Monday after Breitbart News originally reached out to Murphy’s co-worker and fellow Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades-Ha on Monday morning, the newspaper remained silent on the second cartoon. But now, in a statement from Murphy to the Daily Beast late Monday evening, the Times–while claiming the second cartoon is not as bad as the first cartoon–is in the wake of this revelation completely suspending all cartoon publication."The cartoon that ran in the international print edition of The Times last Thursday was clearly anti-Semitic and indefensible and we apologize for its publication," Murphy told the Daily Beast. "While we don’t think this [second] cartoon falls into that category, for now, we’ve decided to suspend the future publication of syndicated cartoons."Murphy’s comments on the second Times cartoon come in response, the Daily Beast’s Grove wrote, to criticisms that ADL’s Greenblatt leveled in an interview with the Daily Beast about the Times‘ misconduct."It looked like the Ten Commandments," Greenblatt said of the second cartoon, "It might not be as blatantly anti-Semitic as the first cartoon, but it was clearly insensitive and absolutely offensive after the first piece of propaganda."Some experts have noted that the first cartoon resembles literal Nazi propaganda cartoons from 1940 that show a Jewish man on a leash leading British Prime Minister Winston Churchill around:Kay Wilson @kishkushkay Pic 1: The Jew leads Winston Churchill. Nazi Germany 1940.Pic 2: The Jew leads #DonaldTrump @nytimes USA 2019.12.5K 10:04 AM - Apr 28, 2019Greenblatt told the Daily Beast that the Times‘ apology was "a good start but it’s insufficient," adding: "We need action and accountability. We don’t need apologies at this point."Interestingly, the Times continues to refuse to publicly name the editor it says made the decision to publish the first antisemitic cartoon and has provided scant details about the publication process for the second cartoon.In its own piece on the matter published under New York Times reporter Stacy Cowley’s byline on the business pages of the Times, the Times explained a little more detail about where it came from and how the process played out with the publication of this cartoon.Cowley wrote:The cartoon was drawn by the Portuguese cartoonist António Moreira Antunes and originally published by Expresso, a newspaper in Lisbon. It was then picked up by CartoonArts International, a syndicate for cartoons from around the world. The New York Times Licensing Group sells content from CartoonArts and other publishers along with material from The New York Times to news sites and other customers. The Times’s United States edition does not typically publish political cartoons and did not run this one, but the international edition frequently includes them. An editor from The Times’s Opinion section downloaded Mr. Antunes’s cartoon from the syndicate and made the decision to publish it, according to Ms. Murphy.The Times‘ own piece noted that the Times is declining to publicly identify the editor it says is responsible."Ms. Murphy declined to identify the editor, who she said was ‘working without adequate oversight’ because of a ‘faulty process’ that is now being reviewed," Cowley wrote, quoting the Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy. "‘We are evaluating our internal processes and training,’ Ms. Murphy said. ‘We anticipate significant changes.'"Cowley also quoted the editor of all Times editorial page content, James Bennet, as declining to comment further on what happened or who was responsible for it. "James Bennet, the editor who oversees all content on The Times’s editorial pages, declined to comment in detail," Cowley wrote. "‘I’m going to let our statement speak for us at this point,’ Mr. Bennet said."Greenblatt, in his interview with the Daily Beast, said that the Times‘ efforts to pass this off as some kind of "clerical error" are not likely an accurate description of what happened.Greenblatt said:They absolutely need policies and procedures. They need a clarification about how these decisions get made. And the person who would make such a decision to publish a cartoon like that, I think it’s kind of obvious that they don’t have the judgment that’s necessary to be in an institution like the Times… I think they need a thorough review and an overhaul of how those decisions get made. I don’t know, was it one person? Multiple people? I don’t think it’s very clear at this point. This wasn’t a misjudgment, it was a moral failing. It wasn’t a clerical error.All of this comes in the wake of multiple investigative reports by Breitbart News on this matter, and continued public pressure from the pro-Israel community. The latest and highest profile criticism of the Times‘ antisemitism came from Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, who at a public event on Monday in remembrance of the Holocaust bashed the Times as a "cesspool" of hatred."We have… seen one of the world’s most prestigious newspapers become a cesspool of hostility towards Israel that goes well beyond any legitimate criticism of a fellow, imperfect democracy," Dermer said:The same New York Times that a century ago mostly hid from their readers the Holocaust of the Jewish people has today made its pages a safe space for those who hate the Jewish state. Through biased coverage, slanderous columns and anti-Semitic cartoons, its editors shamefully choose week after week to cast the Jewish state as a force for evil.Through Rhoades-Ha, the Times has not replied to requests for comment in response to Dermer’s criticisms against the newspaper. But the New York Post quotes an anonymous spokesperson to the Times, who also confirmed the news that the Times was cutting off its cartoon service, as declining to respond to Dermer."On Monday, a Times spokesperson told The Post that the paper has ‘suspended the future publication of syndicated cartoons,'" the Post’s Ben Feuerherd wrote late Monday. "The Times did not immediately respond to the ambassador’s comments.Meanwhile, despite all of this and as the mess continues to grow and spread deeper into the Times newsroom, the Daily Caller reports–citing a Portuguese newspaper–that the cartoonist behind the original first antisemitic cartoon from last Thursday has now come forward to defend his work."It is a critique of Israeli policy, which has a criminal conduct in Palestine, at the expense of the UN, and not the Jews," the cartoonist António Moreira Antunes, who according to the Caller’s report goes simply by "Antonio," said in an interview with the Portuguese newspaper where he works, Expresso. The interview and article from Expresso was published in Portuguese.As the Times continues its investigation, the newspaper keeps not answering the critical questions of who exactly was responsible for publishing these two cartoons–particularly the first one–and whether that person or those persons will face any consequences whatsoever, up to and including termination. The Times also has not answered what exact structural reforms it will implement internally to prevent this from happening again, and the Times has not replied when asked if it will, in the interest of transparency, make its entire internal investigation’s findings–including underlying source materials like interview transcripts or notes, emails, and text messages–publicly available so its readers can see what happened.Greenblatt, in his interview with the Daily Beast, called on the newspaper to "institute sensitivity training for the staff on anti-Semitism.""Clearly they need it, to make sure they cover these issues with an eye toward focusing on the facts rather than perpetuating prejudice," Greenblatt said. "And thirdly, I think they owe it to their readership to educate them on the persistent poison of anti-Jewish hate."The Times spokeswoman, the Daily Beast’s Grove wrote, would not entertain Greenblatt’s arguments for sensitivity training for all New York Times staff on antisemitism–or entertain Greenblatt’s push for the Times to fire the editor it says is responsible for this mishap to begin with."Murphy declined to comment on Greenblatt’s recommendation to start sensitivity training sessions, or his suggestion that the editor or editors involved shouldn’t be working for the Times," Grove wrote.(3) Letters to NYT re Anti-Semitic Cartoons Uproar Over an Anti-Semitic Cartoon  Readers react to a political cartoon showing President Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu that ran in the international edition of The Times.April 29, 2019Re "Times Apologizes for Printing Anti-Semitic Cartoon" (Business Day, April 29):We write you deeply concerned about the reprehensible cartoon published in your international print edition depicting Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as a guide dog for a blind President Trump.Under the guise of political commentary, the caricature blatantly trafficked in age-old anti-Semitic tropes that have contributed to violence against Jews throughout history. How cruelly ironic that your cartoon was published the week of another synagogue shooting.Given the frightening rise in anti-Semitism around the globe today, your paper must exercise much greater judgment in recognizing the boundaries of acceptability.Angela Buchdahl Elliot Cosgrove Joshua M. Davidson Peter J. Rubinstein New York The writers are rabbis at, respectively, Central Synagogue, Park Avenue Synagogue, Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York and 92Y.To the Editor:Re "A Despicable Cartoon in The Times" (column, April 29):I completely agree with Bret Stephens that it’s a "despicable" cartoon. I saw the actual cartoon when a friend living abroad shared it on social media and was shocked that a respected newspaper would publish such obvious anti-Semitic propaganda.The cartoon is reminiscent of Nazi propaganda in its style and message. It plays to rabid anti-Semitism, which has seen a frightening resurgence in the United States and in Europe.This is your last free article. Subscribe to The Times If the political message of the cartoon was to decry President Trump’s acquiescence to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demands, why the Jewish — rather than Israeli — symbolism? This cartoon is a very obvious expression of age-old anti-Semitic sentiment, the belief that a Jewish cabal secretly controls the world’s political and financial systems with world leaders too blind to see that they are being led by Jews.I am not writing this as a supporter of the Netanyahu government, or of its policies toward Palestinian territories. A legitimate criticism of those policies would be a totally appropriate topic for political commentary or a cartoon. This is obviously not such commentary, and it has no place in any newspaper.Deborah Majerovitz BrooklynTo the Editor:I was able to find the cartoon online and can see why some people might view it as distasteful. But anti-Semitic, I’m not sure. The cartoon appears to me to be a direct criticism of President Trump and the way he has unquestionably supported Benjamin Netanyahu, not just in the recent hotly contested Israeli election but in abandoning the nuclear treaty with Iran.If some folks perceive it as anti-Semitic, they are free to do so. But I don’t see why criticism of Mr. Netanyahu (or Israel) has to be viewed as anti-Semitism. The cartoon itself might be in bad taste and terribly offensive, as is the growing anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere, but it appears to be legitimate criticism of two flawed national leaders and not of a religion and its supporters.Michael Barrett Reston, Va.To the Editor:I would like to thank Bret Stephens for his thoughtful column and thank The Times for publishing this self-criticism.There is one nuance that I would like to point out. Mr. Stephens writes: "So long as anti-Semitic arguments or images are framed, however speciously, as commentary about Israel, there will be a tendency to view them as a form of political opinion, not ethnic prejudice."However, it’s important to leave open the ability to forcefully criticize Benjamin Netanyahu without the suggestion that one is being either anti-Zionist or anti-Israel or, worse yet, anti-Semitic. Mr. Netanyahu is not the State of Israel, does not encompass all that is Zionist and does not represent all Jews. To suggest otherwise is equivalent to portraying criticism of President Trump as anti-American.L. Ross New YorkA version of this article appears in print on April 30, 2019, on Page A22 of the New York edition with the headline: Uproar Over an Anti-Semitic Cartoon.(4) New York Times slammed for another Netanyahu cartoon days after 'anti-Semitic' sketch Victor GarciaAfter apologizing over the weekend for publishing a syndicated cartoon with "anti-Semitic tropes" in its depiction of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump, The New York Times was criticized again Monday over yet another caricature of Netanyahu.Dan Senor, a former Pentagon aide and advisor to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, called out the "paper of record" for printing another anti-Netanyahu cartoon, this time depicting him as a blind Moses-like figure holding a tablet with the Israeli flag on it instead of the Ten Commandments.TRUMP BLASTS NEW YORK TIMES REPORTING, SAYS PAPER WILL BE GONE 'IN 6 YEARS'Dan Senor ? @dansenor Wait...the ?@nytimes? featured ANOTHER Netanyahu cartoon? This one AFTER the Thursday cartoon depicting Netanyahu as a dog? Am I reading this right? Is the Times obsessed with Israel’s prime minister?3,056 9:56 PM - Apr 29, 2019 1,930 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy "Wait...the ?@nytimes? featured ANOTHER Netanyahu cartoon? This one AFTER the Thursday cartoon depicting Netanyahu as a dog? Am I reading this right? Is the Times obsessed with Israel’s prime minister?" Senor tweeted.The cartoon appears to have been published this weekend in the international edition of the paper, the same edition that printed Thursday's cartoon.Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on the Times to take "immediate action" over the new cartoon."This is insensitive, inappropriate, and offensive. It shows once again that the @NYTimes needs to educate its staff about #antiSemitism. We call on them to take immediate action," Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted Monday.Jason D. Greenblatt, assistant to President Trump, demanded to know why another controversial cartoon was published."Confounded & shocked by another terrible decision by @NYT. As our nation is grieving the deadly attack in #Poway, how did a cartoon like this make it into their paper...again?! We need answers!" Jason Greenblatt tweeted.Requests for comment were not immediately returned by the Times.The New York Times Opinion section issued a second apology Sunday over a cartoon of President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu which had been criticized."We are deeply sorry for the publication of an anti-Semitic political cartoon last Thursday in the print edition of The New York Times that circulates outside of the United States, and we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again," the opinion section tweeted Sunday."Such imagery is always dangerous, and at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, it's all the more unacceptable," continued the apology, which was widely shared on Twitter.The new apology said that the decision to run the syndicated cartoon was made by a single editor working without adequate oversight.Thursday's cartoon showed Trump wearing a pair of sunglasses and being led by a dog depicted as Netanyahu. The dog had a Star of David collar. The cartoon appeared in the paper’s opinion section next to a column penned by Thomas Friedman.Fox News' Frank Miles contributed to this report.(5) Cartoonist Defends Anti-Semitic New York Times Cartoon PM 04/29/2019Mike BrestThe cartoonist who drew the anti-Semitic caricature of President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his work Monday in a Portuguese newspaper.The cartoon in question, which appeared in Thursday’s New York Times international paper, featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog with a Star of David collar leading a blind Trump, who is wearing a yarmulke. There was no caption or text alongside the caricature."It is a critique of Israeli policy, which has a criminal conduct in Palestine, at the expense of the UN, and not the Jews," said António Moreira Antunes, who goes by António, in an interview with Expresso, a Portuguese paper where he works.NYT cartoon labeled anti-Semitic (Twitter screenshot from Zemer Mizrahi) NYT cartoon labeled anti-Semitic (Twitter screenshot from Zemer Mizrahi)"The reading I made is that Benjamin Netanyahu’s politics, whether by the approach of elections or by being protected by Donald Trump, who changed the embassy to Jerusalem by recognizing the city as capital, and which first allowed the annexation of the Golan Heights and after the West Bank and more annexations in the Gaza Strip, which means a burial of the Oslo Accord, it represents an increase in verbal, physical and political violence," he continued. "It is a blind policy that ignores the interests of the Palestinians. And Donald Trump is a blind man The Star of David [Jewish symbol] is an aid to identify a figure [Netanyahu] that is not very well known in Portugal."The New York Times  issued two separate editor’s notes Saturday and Sunday respectively.It says in part, "We are deeply sorry for the publication of an anti-Semitic political cartoon last Thursday in the print edition of The New York Times that circulates outside the United States, and we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again."Dan Senor ? @dansenor Wait...the ?@nytimes? featured ANOTHER Netanyahu cartoon? This one AFTER the Thursday cartoon depicting Netanyahu as a dog? Am I reading this right? Is the Times obsessed with Israel’s prime minister?3,057 9:56 PM - Apr 29, 2019 1,933 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy Since then, the Times published another cartoon of Netanyahu. This one depicts a blind Netanyahu holding a tombstone that has an Israeli flag drawn on it.The backlash surrounding the Times’ cartoon coincided with a terror attack that left one person dead when a man opened fire Saturday inside a California synagogue. (RELATED: One Dead, Several Injured In Shooting At San Diego Synagogue)The Times did not respond to a request for comment about Antonio’s comments.(6) Israeli Cartoonist Responds with Anti-New York Times Cartoon 29, 2019The caricature depicts a dog with a book called The Protocols leading an individual with the New York Times in place of his head.By United With Israel StaffAfter the New York Times published an anti-Semitic caricature last week, an Israeli cartoonist has responded i the Makor Rishon newspaper with the title: "No Clarification Necessary."The Times cartoon appeared on Thursday in the international edition of the newspaper. It depicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog with a Star of David around his neck leading a blind U.S. President Donald Trump wearing a skullcap.The response from cartoonist Shay Charka was a caricature of a dog as well, but this time, instead of the face of the Israeli prime minister, it depicts a book called The Protocols, an obvious reference to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an infamous work of fiction blaming Jews for a supposed conspiracy to dominate the world.Around this dog’s neck are the letters BDS, the acronym for the anti-Israel "Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions" movement.Being led by the dog in this cartoon is an individual with a copy of the New York Times in place of his head.The New York Times has apologized for the cartoon, claiming that a single editor was responsible.Send Passover Food Packages to Needy Israeli SoldiersWe are honored to thank the young men and women of the IDF who risk their lives to protect the citizens of Israel. Join us in sending Passover food packages (and personal notes) to needy Israeli soldiers and their families.Bring Passover joy and blessing to the heroes of Israel who defend our freedom every day! Many soldiers spend the Passover holiday with needy families back home. The soldiers greatly appreciate your love and concern.(7) Jeff Blankfort (Facebook): In the 1980s, many cartoons likened Israel to Nazi Germany & South Africa Blankfort 1 hr · Tuesday humor from the Jewish Insider:On Monday evening, the New York Times announced it had decided to cease its relationship with the syndication service that supplied the cartoon. The decision came after ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt submitted a complaint about a second cartoon appearing to denigrate the faith of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and published over the weekend in the paper’s international edition. "It might not be as blatantly anti-Semitic as the first cartoon, but it was clearly insensitive and absolutely offensive after the first piece of propaganda," Greenblatt explained to the Daily Beast.During last night's NYU panel, Bret Stephens said that writing his op-ed in response to the antisemitic cartoon in the paper’s international print edition last week was an easy choice."The moment I saw the cartoon, I realized, I’m either going to denounce it or feel ashamed of myself," he said. "It was an emotional decision, it was easy. But most importantly it was easy because the senior leadership at the Times — the editorial page editor James Bennet, and people, in fact, more senior to him — were horrified by the publication of the cartoon. It took them by surprise. These things happen at newspapers, and even if they didn’t agree with every word that I wrote, they understood that it was essential that the paper of record also provide the most biting criticism of the cartoon." [JewishInsider]Jeff BlankfortI posted the following on another link but it's apt here:In the 80s, both during Israel's invasion of Lebanon and during the First Intifada, there were many cartoons in the mainstream US media which pilloried Israel in a manner that made both of these cartoons seem tame. I reproduced some in the Middle East Labor Bulletin and the ADC put them together in a pamphlet.They compared Israel with Nazi Germany and South Africa, playing up the IDF's sadism, strung the star of David with barb wire and one, by Oliphant, showed Uncle Sam stripped of his shirt with a chain around his neck held by Menachem Begin.One, that I suggested to Kent Conrad, a legendary LA Times cartoonist, depicted a religious Jew, standing on the back of a bent over Palestinian carrying a sign that said, "Free Soviet Jews." That drew a round the block protest from local Jews but no apology from the Times.At the same time, articles critical of Israel, some from Ha'aretz would appear in the op ed pages as well as interviews with critics of Israel. Robert Fisk' articles were routinely republished.But then, Israel's 5th Column tightened the screws and all of it, cartoons and commentaries disappeared.(8) Israeli rabbis at military prep school are caught on video praising Hitler Ofir on April 30, 2019Yesterday, Israeli Channel 13 aired video recordings by rabbi educators at the state-sponsored military prep-academy Bnei David in the West Bank settlement of Eli. The rabbis hail Hitler’s Nazi racist ideology as "100% correct", only criticizing it for not being applied to the right people – that is, the Jews should be the master-race, and non-Jews the ‘untermenschen’.The statements are jaw-droppers. The full coverage with subtitles can be seen in a video prepared by journalist David Sheen.These educators send young men to the army, and have been advocating these ideas for years. They have close ties to lawmakers, specifically to Rabbi Rafi Peretz, now head of the Union of Right Wing Parties, the notorious merger with the Kahanist party Jewish Power, who is now the leading candidate for Minister of Education. The academy is also tied to a Yeshiva, to which many students come after their military service.Slavery should returnIt starts out with Rabbi Eliezer Kashtiel, who bemoans that slavery has been abolished:Abolishing legal slavery has created deficiencies. No one is responsible for that property. With God’s help it will return. The goyim (non-Jews) will want to be our slaves. Being a slave of the Jews is the best. They must be slaves, they want to be slaves. Instead of just wandering the streets, being foolish and harming each other, now he’s a slave, now his life is beginning to come into order.The ‘goyim’ in this context is to be understood as Palestinians.He says it’s because they have "genetic problems", and posits that they want to be under occupation:There are around us people with genetic problems. Ask any average Arab where he wants to be. He wants to be under occupation. Why? Because they have genetic problems, they don’t know how to run a country, they don’t know how to do anything – look at the state of them.Yes, we are racists"Of course there is racism", Kashtiel continues.Are we unaware that there are different races? Is it a secret? Is it untrue? What can you do? It’s true. Yes, we are racists, we believe in racism.Kashtiel suggests that because Jews are a superior race, they can "help" the inferior ones:Correct, there are races in the world, nations have genetic characteristics, so we [the Jews] must consider how to help them. Racial differences are real, and that’s precisely a reason to offer help.A student asks the rabbi: "Who put you to decide who is who?"Kashtiel:I can see that my accomplishments are much more impressive than his.The Holocaust is humanism and pluralismAnother rabbi, Giora Radler, says that the Holocaust is not what you think, it’s not about killing Jews. It is humanism and pluralism that is killing us for real:The Holocaust for real is not about the killing of Jews – that’s not the Holocaust. All of these excuses claiming that it was based on ideology or that it was systematic, this is ridiculous.  Because it was based on ideology, to a certain extent, makes it more moral than if people murdered people for no reason. Humanism, all the secular culture about us believing in the human, that’s the Holocaust. The Holocaust, for real, is being pluralist, believing in "I believe in the human". That’s what’s called a Holocaust. The Lord (blessed be his name) is already shouting for many years that the [Jewish] exile is over, but people don’t listen to him, and that is their disease, a disease which needs to be cured by the Holocaust.In other words, the Holocaust was there to teach Jews a lesson – drop pluralism, isolate yourself in the Jewish State and let go of the diaspora "illness".These remarks were made in a lesson titled "relating to the Holocaust".The Nazi logic was rightRadler:The Nazi logic was right unto themselves. Hitler says that a certain group in society is the seed of all calamity for all humanity, that because of it all of mankind will go to oblivion, that they harm humanity, and therefore must be exterminated.Radler asks a student: "Does this ideology sound illogical to you? Very bad?"Student answers: "It doesn’t sound moral."Radler: "Was Moses as bad as Hitler?"Student: "No."Radler:Why not?  There is one thing in the world that is truly evil and that is to be a hypocrite. Does it make a difference to you if they killed you now with a knife the way they did to Agag [the Amalekite king whom the prophet Samuel ‘hacked in pieces’] or if they kill you in a gas chamber?Hitler was right, "100% correct"Radler goes on to speak about Hitler, and now adds that the disease is not just pluralism and humanism, but also feminism, and that Hitler was absolutely right:"Let’s start with the question whether Hitler was right or not".Student: "Not".Radler:[Hitler] is the most righteous person. Of course he is right in every word he utters. In his ideology he is right. There is a male world which fights, which deals with honor and the brotherhood of soldiers. And there is the soft, ethical feminine world [which speaks of] ‘turning the other cheek’. ‘And we [Nazis] believe that the Jews carry on this heritage, trying, in our words, to spoil the whole of humanity, and that’s why they are the real enemy.’ Now, he [Hitler] is 100% correct, aside from the fact that he was on the wrong side.So here, Radler was emulating Hitler, mouthing Nazi arguments approvingly. The only fault of the Nazis, per Radler, was that they didn’t know who the real master race was, and who the real ‘untermenschen’ were. The Nazis couldn’t be right, because only Jews could be the superior ones. But if Jews now apply this race theory and ideology currently – that is, essentially upon Palestinians, then they would really be "100% correct" – maybe even "101%", because they got it even more right than Hitler.ResponsesThis is a big mouthful. Real Judeo-Nazism.The rabbis were contacted for response and tried to whitewash the whole thing as a misunderstanding.Rabbi Kashtiel said that he was "sorry and at pain that a class on human rights got the opposite exposure to what it means, a modern-socialist understanding of slavery."Rabbi Radler said that his words were "taken out of context" and that the lesson about the Holocaust "seeks to explain the sick logic of Hitler as well as the reasons and motives for the Holocaust".Israeli-Palestinian lawmaker Ahmad Tibi responded to the airing: "In German it would have sounded more authentic".Of course, Zionist Israeli politicians were also alarmed. Centrist lawmaker Yair Lapid wrote on Twitter:This is not Judaism. These are not values. People who speak like this are not worthy of educating youths.Lapid called for halting the state financing of the Yeshiva "until the racist rabbis are expelled".  But there’s a problem here, because Lapid’s own ideology is about "maximum Jews on maximum land with maximum security and with minimum Palestinians", and although Lapid points out now that "secular people established Israel", really, his religion is the ultra-nationalist Zionism, and he is just a slightly prettier face of that Judeo-Nazism we see emanating from Bnei David.Leftist Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg:The Eli academy should have been closed long ago, and whoever let the chauvinism, homophobia and all the rest of the hate which comes out of there to continue the madness, should not be surprised by the horrible expressions which came out of there today.Zandberg said she applied to the education ministry to stop funding the academy.But the Eli Yeshiva and academy are now closely tied with the government. It was the Yeshiva head rabbi Eli Sadan, who campaigned for Rafi Peretz to become head of the Union of Right Wing Parties, now the top candidate for Minister of Education. Peretz was allowed to speak to the students there before the elections, even as Naftali Bennett (who until now has been Minister of Education) and Prime Minister Netanyahu were refused.In other words, there is a whole political reality that is even more radical than both Netanyahu and even Bennett, who was considered extreme-right, one that really does speak of Jewish power, in an overtly fascist, literally Nazi, vein. And this ideology is poised to gain a central place in the Israeli government.Not a slip of the tongueAs the Channel 13 coverage also notes, what we have heard here is no slip of the tongue:"These statements have been repeated again for years at Bnei David. Not a slip of the tongue, but a set agenda."And Bnei David is not an isolated island. A similar story of a genocidal educator of security forces is rabbi Dov Lior from the settlement Kiryat Arba, who endorsed the book Torat Hamelech (‘King’s Torah’) of 2009, which advocates the killing of non-Jewish babies since "it is clear they will grow to harm us". Lior has been teaching police forces in a special program for religious recruits called ‘Believers in the Police’. The authors of the book, by the way, are from the Od Yosef Chai Yesiva in the settlement of Yitzhar, a Yeshiva that received funds from Jared Kushner’s family’s foundation until 2011. Views of the Holocaust as a divine punishment for sinners have been expressed by the former chief Sephardic rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who also believed that the purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews, and he likened non-Jews to donkeys.It is possible that the above mentioned airing of shocking views may cause a certain temporary and local stir, but this ideology is deeply embedded, and now an integral part of a central Israeli political reality. It is clear that the rabbis treat this attention as a nuisance by liberals who have no understanding, and it is likely that they will regard this as an unfortunate ‘Azarya’ – like the soldier medic who was filmed murdering an incapacitated Palestinian at point blank range three years ago and had to spend some months in prison. The problem for Azarya’s supporters wasn’t the murder – but the video. And so these people may find ways to crawl out of this debacle, but they will continue believing in the righteousness of their Jewish supremacy.H/t Ofer Neiman, Richard Silverstein, David SheenAbout Jonathan OfirIsraeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.(9) Marc Ellis bases his Theology of Liberation on the Exodus narrative‘Thou shalt not murder those who resist your oppression’:#NoPassover reflections on a Jewish theology of liberationMarc H. Ellis on April 29, 2019The following is a speech given on the panel "Exploring Liberation Theology in the Palestinian Struggle" during the International Conference on Palestine held at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs, I?stanbul Sabahattin Zaim Üniversitesi, Istanbul Turkey, April 27-29.This post is part of Marc H. Ellis’s "Exile and the Prophetic" feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.Two years ago in Jerusalem, I celebrated the 30th anniversary of my book, Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation. Though I use the word, "celebrated," noting that my book is still relevant in our fast moving times, the very relevance of my book occasioned a mourning. In the decades since its publication regression in Israel-Palestine rather than progress has been the watchword. What has unfolded during these decades is decisive. It has rendered the occupation of Palestine permanent. It has brought us to the end of ethical Jewish history – from which there will be no return.When I launched my Jewish Theology of Liberation I was unknown in Israel and elsewhere. I remember wondering why the audience was overflowing. The atmosphere was tense. Something was in the air. In Jerusalem, I called for a (real) two state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. I called for the Prime Minister of Israel to confess to the Palestinian people the following: "What we, as Jews, have done to you, the Palestinian people, is wrong. What we, as Jews, are doing to you, the Palestinian people, is wrong. We pledge to you a new beginning. Let us take the road of justice and equality into the future." I called for Israel, with the help of Jews around the world, to pay reparations to the Palestinian people. To put it mildly, my words were controversial.Months after my book launch the Palestinian Uprising began. In 1989, a second edition was issued with a new Epilogue: "The Palestinian Uprising and the Future of the Jewish People." During this time I wrote a sequel, published in 1990, with a three part title that still resonates: Beyond Innocence and Redemption: Confronting the Holocaust and Israeli Power: Creating a Moral Future for the Jewish People. With the Great March of Return and the recent Israeli elections, the thoughts contained in both books remain ingrained in Jewish history, albeit with a terrible twist: Within a permanent occupation, at the end of ethical Jewish history, what is the future for Jews and Palestinians?My Jewish Theology of Liberation begins with the Exodus narrative. In the Biblical account, Jewish nationality, culture and religiosity are forged in an act of liberation enacted by a liberating God. For me, though, the Exodus points to a more important fact about Jewish history: that the prophetic, which reappears in the Land, is our Jewish indigenous. The critique of unjust power, especially within our own community, is the litmus test for the affirmation of God. Put simply: In Jewish life, No justice, No God.With the creation of the state of Israel the equation of justice and God was already under assault. This is why that, after mentioning the Exodus, I shifted to the contemporary formative event of Jewish history, the Holocaust. Where was God and the prophetic at Auschwitz?The state of Israel is a response to the twists and turns of European Christian history, culminating in the Holocaust. Yet in Israel’s birth a terrible evil was committed, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. In Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation, I affirm Jewish empowerment after the Holocaust but question the cost of Israel’s empowerment. At the same time, I point to an ethical path to redress the wrong done in the creation of Israel.The first Palestinian Uprising represented the possibility for a reckoning and forward movement. In the decades since, Israel, with the assistance of the Jewish establishment in America and, surprisingly with the help of progressive Jews as well, foreclosed that possibility. Over the years both groups insured there would be no way forward.A Jewish Theology of Liberation questioned what was occurring in the Jewish community in the United States. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Jewish community was among the most liberal communities in America – on civil and women’s rights and on economic, political and international affairs. As the 1980s arrived, Jewish liberalism tacked right; neo-conservatism became the hallmark of Jewish thought and commitment. I wondered about this drift and the reasons for it. Part of my Jewish Theology of Liberation centered on the question: Is the neoconservative drift of the American Jewish community occasioned and furthered by the increasing centrality of the Holocaust and Israel to Jewish identity?Many of these understandings of Israel and the world come within a consciousness that endures today and is formative. Though highly political in its outward manifestations, it takes on an ultimate concern, one might say a theological one. In a Jewish Theology of Liberation, I identify this consciousness as Holocaust Theology.Holocaust Theology begins in the 1960s and solidifies after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Whether justified or not, large parts of the Jewish world felt in the weeks before the 1967 war that the very existence of Israel was on the line. Many Jews feared that if Israel was defeated, Jews in Israel would be annihilated; a second Holocaust would occur. Thus Israel’s swift victory in the war seemed to some more than a military victory. Those, like Elie Wiesel, who experienced the Holocaust and feared another one, rejoiced. For Wiesel, victory in the 1967 war was a miracle in the making, especially after he with other Jews felt that the world, indeed God, had abandoned Jews during the Holocaust. Could Israel’s victory in the 1967 war be a redemptive response to the Holocaust?Emil Fackenheim, himself briefly imprisoned during the war years, posited a new commandment in relation to the 1967 war, a commandment which he believed issued from the "Commanding Voice of Auschwitz" rather than the "Commanding Voice of Sinai" – "Thou Salt Not Grant Hitler Posthumous Victories." Elie Wiesel saw Israel’s victory as fueled less by its military might than by the victims of the Holocaust who, in his mind, pressed Israel’s forces to victory.Holocaust Theology became the introduction to my Jewish Theology of Liberation for a variety of political and religious reasons, though mostly because it presaged a deep identity shift within the Jewish people as a whole. Though controversial then and now, Holocaust Theology speaks to a people brutally assaulted, humiliated, maimed and murdered in Europe during the Nazi years. It speaks to the survival of an ancient people and tradition.At least initially, Holocaust Theology also carried warnings about the misuse of the power Jews needed and had acquired, though mostly in the abstract and under a maximum definition of self-defense. Holocaust Theology does not acknowledge what Jews initially did on the Palestinian people in the creation of Israel. Nor does it address the injustice Israel continues to commit against the Palestinian people under a variety of forms of occupation.For the most part, Holocaust Theology renders the Israeli occupation of Palestine and Palestinians themselves invisible. Israel is a Jewish drama of innocence and redemption. When visible, Holocaust theologians define Palestinians as challenging the need for Jewish empowerment and, worse, actively opposing it. Holocaust theologians do not understand the reasons Palestinians oppose Jewish power except to declare that Palestinians have a deep animus toward Jews and Jewish history. Within Holocaust Theology, Jews who argue with Israel’s empowerment, or parts thereof, are painted with a similar brush. In Holocaust Theology, Palestinians are mostly seen as anti-Semites. Jews who argue with Israel’s use of power against Palestinians are defined as self-hating.The Interfaith Ecumenical Deal that emerges from the dialogue between Jews and Christians after the Holocaust was important in the early days of a Jewish Theology of Liberation. After the Holocaust, Jews instructed Christians to clean up their anti-Jewish theology. Many Christians wanted to do just that. Part of the dialogue, insisted by Jews, was that Christians accept Jewish self-definition. This includes Israel as central to Jewish life. And more, Jews in the dialogue insist Christians accept the centrality of Israel to Jews as the main vehicle of repentance for their sin of anti-Semitism. To further this understanding and imbue it with theological significance, Christians developed a Christian Holocaust Theology. In Christian Holocaust Theology, Christians and the Christian covenant are dependent on their Jewish forerunners and Jewish empowerment, especially in Israel.Since Jewish Holocaust Theology sees Jews as innocent in suffering and empowerment, including in the creation and maintenance of the state of Israel, any criticism of Israel vis-a-vis Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is deemed a return to anti-Semitism. Quite soon after the 1967 war, the Jewish-Christian dialogue morphed into the Interfaith Ecumenical Deal. In this deal, Christian repentance for the sins of anti-Semitism is assured by Christian silence on the plight of Palestinians.As with Jewish Holocaust Theology, Christian Holocaust Theology and the Interfaith Ecumenical Deal has a deep and abiding political impact in Europe, the site of the Holocaust, and in the United States, where an increasingly empowered Jewish community demands Israel be most favorably set apart in American foreign policy. Combined with the rise of Evangelical Christianity in America and in different parts of the world over the last decades, the concerted effort to suppress the indigenous Jewish prophetic becomes obvious. Jewish Holocaust Theology is explicit on this point with a logic spelled out in the following way: "The Jewish prophetic turned inward threatens the empowerment of Jews, especially in Israel; Taken to its final demand for justice for the aggrieved, in this case Palestinian freedom, the Jewish prophetic threatens the very existence of Israel; In so doing, the Jewish prophetic, intentionally or not, lays the groundwork for a second Holocaust."Yet in its inception, and against the odds, a Jewish Theology of Liberation recognized and was part of the revival of the Jewish prophetic precisely on the point Jewish Holocaust Theology feared most: Israel’s unjust power wielded against the Palestinian people. Though Israel’s invasion of Lebanon and the crushing of the Palestinian Uprising in the 1980s mark the beginnings of this fracture in Jewish consciousness, it was during and after the second uprising in 2000 and beyond that a final prophetic break occurred.The initial division between what I have called Constantinian Jews or, if you prefer, Empire Jews, and Progressive Jews, occurred within the second Palestinian Uprising. Progressive Jews criticized the Jewish establishment with regard to Palestinians. Yet the criticism was often paternalistic toward Palestinians and critical of Jews who see the crisis in Israel-Palestine more critically. The second Palestinian Uprising confirmed that Progressive Jews essentially functioned as the Left-wing of Constantinian Judaism.A third group of Jews, Jews of Conscience, realized that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is permanently imbedded in Israeli and Jewish life.  Jews of Conscience understand that the Constantinian-Progressive Jewish axis is complicit in an injustice that will continue. Only by refusing this axis can Jews and Palestinians be saved from a future characterized by a permanent occupation and, by definition, the end of ethical Jewish history.If we fast forward to the present, the continuing relevance of a Jewish Theology of Liberation becomes clear. In writings since 1987, I have narrated the failure of Israel and the Jewish establishments in America and elsewhere. As well, I have narrated the explosion of Jewish prophetic movements over the last decades. Attempts at detailing and expanding a Jewish Theology of Liberation are ongoing and include critical historical analysis of Israel’s founding, the importance of international law, the expanding BDS movement and questions about the coloniality of Israel and Jewish life. Though all have their importance, they make sense only in the broader framework that a Jewish Theology of Liberation provides. The central question I raised more than thirty years ago remains: Has Jewish empowerment in Israel and elsewhere empowered Jews? Or has the abuse of that empowerment enslaved Jews in and outside of Israel?I speak as Passover comes to an end. But this year, as a Jewish Theology of Liberation enters its fourth decade, with an occupation that has, in my view, become permanent, I suggested that Passover be, literally, passed over. In essence, out of conscience, and in light of the situation in Israel-Palestine, especially but not limited to the maiming and murdering of Gazans participating in the Great March of Return, I argued that all attempts at reforming Jewish life, including in the political and religious arenas, should be suspended. Hence my #NoPassover signage in my writing running up to Passover this year.Just days before Passover and a week or so before I boarded the plane for Istanbul, I read of three young Gazans who attempted to cross back across the border into what is now Israel.  All three were shot by Israeli soldiers, then held in Israel. Ten days later the lifeless body of the 16-year-old, Ishaq Abd al-Mu’ti Eshtawi, from Rafah City, was returned. When I saw the story I wrote in my diary: "The Israeli soldiers carry the wounded Gazan away. His crime? Trying to return home. So they shot him and took him in. Now he’s returned. To his other home. Dead. I ask: When is silence better than empty words of outrage and deliverance? At least change the subject. Out of respect for the dead and the living. Who tomorrow might be murdered. #NoPassover."Sometimes I am asked where would I begin if I were to write a Jewish Theology of Liberation today from scratch. I could not begin with the Exodus, since Jewish liberation cannot be a one-sided affair and, besides, we are now aware of the complications of the Exodus narrative from a variety of perspectives, including Israel’s Biblical entry into the land and the consequences for the native inhabitants. I could not begin with the Holocaust either, since the Holocaust today functions as a blunt instrument against the aspirations of the Palestinian people and, as well, a blunt instrument against Jews of Conscience who embrace the prophetic.Israel, of course, has failed to bring the redemption from the Holocaust it initially promised. Just the opposite has occurred. Today, Jews in Israel and beyond are enslaved to an empowerment characterized by ethnic cleansing, occupation and land theft. As the Jewish philosopher, Hannah Arendt, predicted in the 1940s, the formation of Israel has led to the militarization of Jewish life within and outside the state of Israel. The post-Holocaust Jewish hope for a demilitarization of the global community has given way to Israel’s free use of violence which, in turn, only encourages threats of violence against  it.A Jewish Theology of Liberation might begin with an addition to Emil Fackenheim’s 614th commandment or, more to the point, the positing of another commandment. While the 614th commandment represents the resolve for Jewish continuity after the Holocaust, crystallized in an empowered Israel – "Thou Shalt Not Hand Hitler Posthumous Victories" – the 615th Commandment places the desire for Jewish continuity and need for Jewish empowerment in a second after: after the Holocaust and after Israel – and what Israel has done and is doing to the Palestinian people. The 615th Commandment?  "Thou Shalt Not Murder Those Who Resist Your Oppression."Fackenheim believed, what with the silence of God during the Holocaust and thus of Sinai, the 614th commandment was issued by the Commanding Voice of Auschwitz. The 615th commandment combines the Commanding Voice of Auschwitz with the Commanding Voice of Palestine. It is only by hearing and heeding these two voices that Israel, indeed Jews around the world, can move into an ethical future characterized by justice and equality.Marc H. Ellis is Professor of History and Jewish Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of the Global Prophetic. His latest book is Finding Our Voice: Embodying the Prophetic and Other Misadventures.