Archive for Righteous Gentiles

How A Sane Person Thinks

The nanny who saved the little boy in the Chabad House describes the scene inside and her reactions

…But Sandra Samuel sees no heroism in her actions amid last week’s terror attacks on India’s financial capital that killed nearly 180 people — including baby Moshe’s parents, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka. She only wishes she could have done more.

“Even today, I am thinking I should have sent the baby and done something for the rabbi and his wife,” Samuel told CNN in an exclusive television interview in Israel, where she now lives.

Samuel and Moshe were among the few to make it out of the Chabad House alive after gunmen stormed the Jewish center, killing the Holtzbergs and four others.

Israel’s Chabad movement has set up a fund to provide for Moshe’s care. He is being looked after by members of the community, although who will serve as his guardian has not yet been established.

The nanny says she came face to face with a gunman late Wednesday, the first night of the siege. “I saw one man was shooting at me — he shot at me.”

She slammed a door and hid in a first-floor storage room and attempted to reach the rabbi and the others on the second floor.

Overnight, Samuel frantically tried to call for help as gunfire and grenade blasts shook the Chabad House.

Samuel says she emerged early the next afternoon, when she heard Moshe calling for her. She found the child crying as he stood between his parents, who she says appeared unconscious but still alive.

Based on the marks on Moshe’s back, she believes he was struck so hard by a gunman that he fell unconscious at some point as well.

“First thing is that a baby is very important for me and this baby is something very precious to me and that’s what made me just not think anything — just pick up the baby and run,” Samuel said.

Read it all. She’s not Jewish but is planning to stay in Israel as long as Moshe needs her. We should all be glad that there are people like her in the world. This is how a normal human being responds when a baby that she loves is threatened. Compare her thoughts and feelings to the mothers of terrorists, those women who not only pray for the deaths of total strangers, but pray that their own children will commit suicide. They pray that we will be their prey. They are predators. And we owe it to our children to teach them this basic fact.

- Aggie

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Religious Pacifists Aren’t Bothered By Anti-Semitism, Genocide

They just want to be nice to everybody

RELIGIOUS GROUPS HOST AHMADINEJAD

September 22, 2008

On Thursday, September 25, the following religious organizations will host a Ramadan fast-breaking event (Iftar) honoring Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City: Americans Friends Service Committee, Mennonite Central Committee, Quaker United Nations Office, Religions for Peace and the World Council of Churches (United Nations Liaison Office).

To protest this event, a press conference and a rally will be held at 5:30 p.m. that evening outside the Grand Hyatt at 109 E. 42nd Street, near Lexington Avenue. Led by Women International and the Jewish Action Alliance, approximately two dozen organizations, across many faith lines, will stage the protest; the Catholic League will also be represented.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented on the rally today:

“Catholics need to stand with their Jewish brothers and sisters in protesting this obscene event. Ahmadinejad is a menace to freedom-loving people the world over, and the sight of religious groups embracing him is nauseating. The Catholic League is proud to take part in this rally and we encourage people of all religious groups to have a contingent represent them on Thursday evening.”

To learn more about this protest, please go to www.925rally.org.

I would like to thank the Catholics for their support. When I was a child, the Catholics that I knew were openly, vehemently anti-semitic. Then came Pope John Paul II. He had grown up in Poland, had many Jewish friends, and saw what happened to them first hand. And he seems to have changed the nature of Catholic-Jewish relations. He was a great man.

- Aggie

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What Our Schools Can Produce

Regarding the story of Irena Sendler (see below), one history teacher in rural Uniontown, Kansas inspired four girls to research the story. They figured out what Irena Sendlerowa accomplished, how she did it, and began to search for her final resting place. Instead, they learned that she was still living and wrote a play to teach the world about her.

This was accomplished by one teacher, three ninth grade girls and one junior. You can see pictures and read more about the project here.

The community of Uniontown has little diversity and no Jewish students in the school district. The community was inspired by the project and sponsored an Irena Sendler Day. The students began to search for the final resting place of Irena and discovered she was still alive and living in Warsaw, Poland. Irena’s story was unknown world-wide, even though she has received esteemed recognition from Yad Vashem in the 1960′s and support from the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous in New York City. Forty-five years of communism had buried her story, even in her own country.

As if that wasn’t enough:

From that time on they would take a jar to every performance and collect fund for Irena and other Polish rescuers. (They call their performance, “Life in a Jar”) The significance of this project really started to grow with many numerous contacts. These contacts assisted the girls in sending the funds to Poland for the care of Irena and of other rescuers. The girls wrote Irena and she wrote and continues to write deeply meaningful letters to them, with such comments as, “my emotion is being shadowed by the fact that my co-workers have all passed on, and these honors fall to me. I can’t find words to thank you, for my own country and the world to know of the bravery of rescuers. Before the day you had written ‘Life in a Jar’, the world did not know our story, your performance and work is continuing the effort I started over fifty years ago, you are my dearly beloved girls.”

They discovered a Polish student, Anna Karasinska, at a local college and she began to translate for them. They made a collection of the letters and have shared these documents with universities, historical societies, and the Chicago and New York City Jewish Foundations for the Righteous. Their cause for Irena Sendler became a national cause; they had rediscovered this courageous woman. The girls appeared on C-SPAN, National Public Radio, CBS, CNN and in numerous newspaper articles, and magazine articles, such Ladies Home Journal. They were invited to perform in Washington, D.C. and before a Jewish foundation in New York City. They have become knowledgeable on subjects such as the Holocaust, World War II, and the Polish Underground. At least five colleges have been using their letters from Irena and their project information in their curriculum.

Wow.

In the very progressive town where I live, they have recently dropped the overview of the Holocaust from the curriculum, replacing it with some multiculturalism mumbo jumbo. Sad that our children can’t live in Uniontown, Kansas.

- Aggie

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May She Rest In Peace

Some people do amazing things with their lives.

Irena Sendler – a Polish social worker who helped save some 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazis by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto and giving them false identities – has died. She was 98.

…Sendler was serving as a social worker with the city’s welfare department during World War II when she masterminded the risky rescue operations of Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during Nazi Germany’s brutal World War II occupation.

…Under the pretext of inspecting the ghetto’s sanitary conditions during a typhoid outbreak, Sendler and her assistants went inside in search of children who could be smuggled out and given a chance of survival by living as Catholics.

Babies and small children were smuggled out in ambulances and in trams, sometimes wrapped up as packages. Teenagers escaped by joining teams of workers forced to labor outside the ghetto. They were placed in families, orphanages, hospitals or convents.

In hopes of one day uniting the children with their families – most of whom perished in the Nazis’ death camps – Sendler wrote the children’s real names on slips of paper that she kept at home.

When German police came to arrest her in 1943, an assistant managed to hide the slips, which Sendler later buried in a jar under an apple tree in an associate’s yard. Some 2,500 names were recorded.

“It took a true miracle to save a Jewish child,” Elzbieta Ficowska, who was saved by Sendler’s team as a baby in 1942, recalled in an AP interview in 2007. Mrs. Sendler saved not only us, but also our children and grandchildren and the generations to come.

She was captured, tortured, sentenced to death by firing squad. Her release came because someone was able to bribe a guard. She withstood the torture and refused to give up anyone working on the rescue or any of the children.

She was honored in Israel, the first of the Righteous Gentiles, but forgotten in Poland. Until this:

Only in her final years, confined to a nursing home, did she finally become one of Poland’s most respected figures, with President Lech Kaczynski and other politicians backing a campaign that put her name forward for the Nobel Peace Prize.

That effort came after her name was brought to the world’s attention in 2000 by a group of U.S. schoolgirls from Uniontown, Kansas, who wrote a short play about her bravery based on historic records called Life in a Jar.

It went on to garner international attention, and has been performed more than 200 times in the United States, Canada and Poland.

- Aggie

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Bush Visits Yad Vashem, Ghandi Slams Jews

Yahoo news service pulled it rather quickly but here is a moving piece about yesterday’s visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Israel.

JERUSALEM – President Bush had tears in his eyes during an hour-long tour of Israel’s Holocaust memorial Friday and told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the U.S. should have bombed Auschwitz to halt the killing, the memorial’s chairman said.

Bush emerged from a tour of the Yad Vashem memorial calling it a “sobering reminder” that evil must be resisted, and praising victims for not losing their faith.

Wearing a yarmulke, Bush placed a red-white-and-blue wreath on a stone slab that covers ashes of Holocaust victims taken from six extermination camps. He also lit a torch memorializing the victims.

I’m tempted to make a snide remark here about different kinds of tears, but I’ll let it go.

In the memorial’s visitors’ book, the president wrote simply, “God bless Israel, George Bush.”

Just imagine how sick Ghandi’s grandson, Arun Ghandi must feel reading those words. Two days ago in the Washington Post religion blog, this peace activist said:

Apparently, in the modern world, so determined to live by the bomb, this is an alien concept. You don’t befriend anyone, you dominate them. We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity.

Jews are the biggest players in the culture of violence, eh?

And you wonder why I’m not a “Progressive”. We’ve progressed ourselves all the way back to the scapegoating past, where all the world’s problems are the fault of “the Jews”. Ghandi is right; there is a snake pit. It is in his mind and in his pen.

- Aggie

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A Christmas Present To The Jews Of Iran

The Fellowship of Christians and Jews brought another group of Iranian Jews to Israel.

And they’re very happy:

Greeted by joyous relatives and a crowd of reporters, about 40 Iranian Jews landed in Israel on Tuesday, leaving behind their lives in the Islamic republic for new homes in the Jewish state.

Iranian Jews, who didn’t want to be identified, arrive at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, on Tuesday.

Family members screamed in delight and threw candy at the newcomers as they emerged into the airport reception hall after a long bureaucratic procedure. No details about their route of exit from Iran were given.

“I feel so good,” said Yosef, 16. He and his brother Michael arrived with their parents and a sister and were greeted by their grandparents, who went to Israel six years ago.

“I just saw all of my family. You can’t put that into words,” Yosef said. The brothers declined to give their family name to protect relatives still in Iran.

Nice.

Actually, nice but a little sad. For centuries, Jews lived in Muslim countries, but that has became impossible, starting in the 1940′s when certain Arab countries adopted the Nazi philosophy, and then later, in the 50′s when Jews were expelled from Egypt and other countries. Today more than half of the population of Israel are refugees from Arab or African lands and their descendants. Iran has the biggest population of Jewish citizens of any Middle Eastern country outside of Israel, but their position is untenable. This probably started to become evident in the 70′s with the the fall of the Shah and the rise of the Islamicist regime, but, whatever the cause, Iran is not a safe place for Jews today.

- Aggie

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Jew Attacked On NY Subway, Rescued By Muslim

What a nutso world we live in. A lovely group of Christians decided to beat the shit out of a Jewish guy for the crime of saying Happy Hannukah. The crime of enjoying life while Jewish, I guess. Luckily, a Muslim guy stepped in and tried to keep them crowd of 10 gentle Christians from beating him into a pulp:

Friday’s altercation on the Q train began when somebody yelled out “Merry Christmas,” to which rider Walter Adler responded, “Happy Hanukkah,” said Toba Hellerstein.

“Almost immediately, you see the look in this guy’s face like I’ve called his mother something,” Adler told CNN affiliate WABC.

Two women who were with a group of 10 rowdy people then began to verbally assault Adler’s companions with anti-Semitic language, Hellerstein said.

One member of the group allegedly yelled, “Oh, Hanukkah. That’s the day that the Jews killed Jesus,” she said.

When Adler tried to intercede, a male member of the group punched him, she said.

Another passenger, Hassan Askari — a Muslim student from Bangladesh — came to Adler’s aid, and the group began physically and verbally assaulting him, Hellerstein said.

There are just too many whack jobs in the world.

- Aggie

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Academics Respond To British Boycott

They’ve found their voices, 10,000 of them in just seven weeks.

In response to the May 30 boycott vote, a campaign was launched by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, an organization of scholars with more than 18,000 academics and professional members, demanding the boycott be overturned. The initiative was led by Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz (read his JPost blog) and Prof. Steven Weinberg, a Nobel Prize laureate in physics from the University of Texas.

The petition urged scholars to stand in solidarity with “our Israeli academic and professional colleagues” and that for the purpose of any academic boycott targeting Israel, the signatories agreed to regard themselves as “Israeli academics” and decline to participate “in any activity from which Israeli academics are excluded.”

“Today more than 10,000 of the world’s leading scholars speak together with one voice to demand academic freedom for all scholars and to declare that we are all Israeli academics for purposes of any academic boycott,” Weinberg said.

Professor Weinberg is a two time Nobel Laureate in physics who refused to give a scheduled talk at a university in Great Britain to protest the boycott and British antisemitism.

Here’s what Danny Pearl’s father, Judea Pearl, has to say about the boycott:

“For those of us who are actively engaged in peace-building programs in the Middle East, the UCU vote came as a stab in the back to the efforts in which we have invested so much energy and hope,” Judea Pearl, professor of Computer Science at UCLA and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, said. “I find it hard to understand how my academic colleagues in the UK could stand by and let a handful of anti-coexistence radicals hijack their union and stain their professional reputation by trampling on academic freedom, one of the most sacred tenets of free societies.”

Read it all; it’ll bring a smile to your face. I would love to know the breakdown of the professors and college presidents who signed the petition – what % Jewish, what % not. How many are self-described liberals or progressives, how many moderates, how many conservatives? It is nice to fantasize that everyone simply saw the ridiculous injustice of the British position and decided to take a stand.

- Aggie

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Question About the Rest of Us

This is another of a long series of articles about the inaccuracies and anti-Semtic content of Jimmy Carter’s book and the peculiar habit he has of falling into anti-Semitic stereotypes when challenged publicly.

Here’s a quote and a question:

Is the Palestinians’ situation equivalent to Darfur, which our own government has branded genocide?

Carter has repeatedly fallen back — possibly unconsciously — on traditional anti-Semitic canards. In the Los Angeles Times last month, he declared it”politically suicide” for a politician to advocate a “balanced position” on the crisis. On Al-Jazeera TV, he dismissed the critique of his book by declaring that “most of the condemnations of my book came from Jewish-American organizations.” Jeffrey Goldberg, who lambasted the book in The Post last month, writes for the New Yorker. Ethan Bronner, who in the New York Times called the book “a distortion,” is the Times’ deputy foreign editor. Slate’s Michael Kinsley declared it “moronic.” Dennis Ross, who was chief negotiator on the conflict in the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, described the book as a rewriting and misrepresentation of history. Alan Dershowitz teaches at Harvard and Ken Stein at Emory. Both have criticized the book. Because of the book’s inaccuracies and imbalance and Carter’s subsequent behavior, 14 members of the Carter Center’s Board of Councilors have resigned — many in anguish because they so respect Carter’s other work. All are Jews. Does that invalidate their criticism — and mine — or render us representatives of Jewish organizations?

On CNN, Carter bemoaned the “tremendous intimidation in our country that has silenced” the media. Carter has appeared on C-SPAN, “Larry King Live” and “Meet the Press,” among many shows. When a caller to C-SPAN accused Carter of anti-Semitism, the host cut him off. Who’s being silenced?

Ok, she asks a good question but I have another one. Why is it that all of the elite criticism of the book is coming only from Jewish people? Why don’t gentiles stand up and say something when a former President of the United States writes such anti-Semitic trash? Furthermore, why are Jewish people forever running to help the victims of bigotry, but when we ourselves are in need of help, no one stands up? What’s that all about?

- Aggie

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Europe’s Last Best Hope?

Secular androids like me have a hard time cosying up to evangelical Christians (and others)–but the problem is entirely mine, not theirs.

Case in point:

The board of directors of the Pentecostal European Fellowship, an umbrella of over 40 denominations across Europe representing close to 5 million members, has decided to take a stand of friendship and solidarity with Israel, the group announced at a reception hosted at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem on Wednesday evening (1 November 2006).

“We regret that certain churches are considering divesting from Israel, while we’ve also seen some nations in Europe stepping away from Israel,” said PEF Chairman Rev. Ingolf Ellssel from Germany. “Pentecostal and Charismatic churches in Europe have a tradition of praying for and engaging with Israel, but we are determined to harness our rapidly growing movement to do even more for the Jewish people and their embattled nation.”

Ellssel estimates that there are now as many as 34 million Christians on the European continent who identify themselves as Pentecostals/Charismatics – the fasting growing segment of Christianity with some 625 million followers worldwide. Ellssel’s group is seeking to organize this expanding constituency into a lobbying force in Europe that will also be able to positively impact European relations with Israel.

That’s good stuff. And a tonic after reading so much about the Islamification of Europe and the enervation of Christianity on the Continent. These people get no coverage, but they quietly carry on, heedless of the contempt and scorn of their “cosmpolitan” neighbors. God bless them.

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