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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fighter of Anti-Semitism for America: Hannah S. Rosenthal

Nadene Goldfoot
The United States has a Special Envoy to monitor and combat Anti-Semitism who works with the United Nations as well as the individual nations themselves. She was a guest speaker tonight at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center.   She is Hannah S. Rosenthal, daughter of a rabbi who was a Holocaust survivor.  Hannah was from Chicago and knew both President Barak Obama and his wife quite well and works with Secretary Hillary Clinton in the State Department.  Besides studying  to become a rabbi, she has had lots of experience  as executive director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.  Her job is to be concerned with world wide anti-semitism and do something about it.

Hannah feels that it doesn't do any good if she goes out and and says that anti-semitism is wrong.  She tries to get the people themselves to learn that it is wrong and then become the ones to make a difference and teach others what they have learned.  She gave us a great example of how this can happen.  She did something that I never would have thought of doing.

Hannah took 8 Imams to Auschwitz to learn that the Holocaust actually did happen, being so many like Ahmadinejad and others are Holocaust deniers.  Her hope was they would then condemn such a thing as the Holocaust.  She took them to Dachau which was the #1 place where Jews were killed.  The Imams were blown away.  They got down on their knees and prayed, which attracted an audience of passersby.  Then she took them to Auschwitz.  They had a catharsis.  They wrote a statement against denial and against anti-semitism.  This gives me hope for the human race.  I am so impressed in her decision on this type of education and am so thankful that they felt the same way I would have.  To me she is a #1 great educator.

Hannah has only been in her position since November 23, 2009 when she was sworn in.  There hasn't been a person in such a position before.  She's a first.  She's been in Washington DC for 16 months and must be very aware of her role in diplomacy and understands the power of words.  She said this power was almost biblical.  There are tools she can use to fight anti-semitism with such as foreign aid, but some countries do not receive this and are the worst anti-semites so she must use other methods. 

One thing she has found is that the old time  anti-semitism is alive and  well in 2011, much to her surprise.  It's not only on the increase, such as the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, finding swastikas, the blood libel for matzo making, but they even revere a boy child they think was drained for his blood which we know never existed- an accusation from the Middle Ages.   Now days they have new accusations to hate Jews.  There are the Holocaust denials from governments such as Iran and even from religions.

January 27th is a world-wide Holocaust Day of Rememberance.  Hannah was in Auschwitz in 2010 in -40 below temperature remembering the victims.   Some survivors that were still living attended and stood the freezing weather as they had been there before.  Someone brought to Hannah's attention that in Crakow, Poland the Bishop Heronik was reported on the Vatican News to be saying that the Holocaust was just an invention of the Jews. Since Jews controlled the world media, this is how the idea spread.   Hannah was horrified.  Here she was on the job and this became her first challenge.  She contacted him and talked about it but he wouldn't recant.  Nothing she said changed his mind.  Her assistants were in shock and shame for what he had said.  In July she met with the Cardinal in Crakow who was then giving a reception.  She found out that the Bishop Heronik had been retired.  She had made a difference by her further contacts.

Another form of anti-semitism is Holocaust glorification.  Collecting and revering artifacts from the Holocaust is going on.  Neo Nazis are on the increase.  Clerics from Egypt were showing films from the Holocaust of dead Jewish  bodies in pits and they were saying that they would soon finish what had been started.   "We  will be the perpetrators to finish the job," were their words.

Belittling the immensity of the killing machine of the Nazis is happening.  Other oppressed people only inform their people of their own oppression without mentioning the horror of trying to exterminate all of a people that the Nazis tried to do to the Jews.  For instance, in Vilnius, Lithuania, where my family most likely had lived, the city built a museum to educate about the horrors of the KGB.  That was it.  Europe is actually going toward more of a nationalism right now and showing hatred of religious groups.

One exception is Greece.  It's in an economic mess, and when this happens to a country, usually the Jews are blamed as the cause.  The ambassador was very worried about the few Jews who lived there and was afraid for their lives.  As it turned out, the synagogue in Crete was bombed.  The ambassador and other Greeks were upset and said that this was not like them to do such a thing. 

Hannah seemed to be as upset with Holland who is angered over the Muslim population there.  I wonder if she has heard about the events in Malma, Sweden which also now has a large Muslim population.  Jews have had to leave there because it has become an unsafe city that they had lived in since the end of WWII.

Criticism of Israel is also anti-semitism.  First Hannah had to define anti-semitism for her department.  It's when Israel and Israelis are demonized, when there are cartoons that are offensive and such things.  She goes by Natan Sharansky's 3 D's; demonization, deligitimatization and using a double standard against Israel.  For instance, there are terrible acts being committed by many other nations and they are ignored.  Israel does one small thing concerning Palestinians to protect their own citizens  and the 3 D's come out.  Another example is that the UN passed 160 resolutions against Israel.  The Sudan had 5 and North Korea had 8.  The UN and the world is obsessed with negativity against Israel.  It has become something like a compulsion.  She didn't mention it, but there are more reporters in Israel than in any other country just ready to pounce.  They never report good things, only something they think the world can use in their quiver of grievances against Israel.  I wonder if they all work for the UN.  There is a Human Rights Council, and who was the chairman but Libya charging Israel with breaking the rules. 

Hannah realized that in a few years the world will contain most people 30 years of age and younger.  Today's youngsters don't even watch much TV.  They all text and do facebook and such.  So she had a very creative idea and started the campaign of  2011 Hours Against Hate. which is a campaign to stop bigotry and promote respect across lines of culture, rellgion, tradition, clas and gender.  The young people she has been finding are not happy with their country's goals and they want to do something.  This is a hands on challenge to give their time to stop such hatred.  .  She started with Turkey, Azerbaijan and Spain, countries who had in their past Muslims and Jews living together in peace.  Young people have the challenge of doing deeds that will fight hatred. 

Remember the UN's fiasco, Durban 3?  It turned into a hate-fest against Israel instead of the original goal.  It ended on September 7, 2001.  On September 11, 2001 the Twin Towers fell , so the news veered away from Durban 3 which was vile .  The United States did not participate in it.  It was racism singling out Israel for attack and was Islam sponsored.  Now they want to commemmorate the 10th anniversary of something we condemned.  Their mentality behooves me.

We heard about Venezuela where Jews are leaving.  Their family members have been mugged, kidnapped or murdered, and I'm not even sure it's because they are Jews.  The country just sounds unsafe for all.  The few Jews that are there are businessmen who hate to leave everything and lose so much, but they're losing it all anyway.  She interviewed a man in the media businness who said that last week he had 10 radio stations and today had 5.  Next week he may have none.  I suppose he'll leave then if it isn't too late.  Buenos Aries, Argentina did not   sound like a good place for Jews, either.  Iran is involved with oil. 

The surprise was that anti-semitism is increasing in Germany.  The reason that's a surprise is that Germany has done so much to educate its citizens against anti-semitism and to learn about their history and why Nazis came into power.  They are doing all the things we would list as being essential for the people to learn.  However, they're also caught up in attacks against Israel. 

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