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JTNews | August 2, 2013

JTNews | August 2, 2013

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Published by Joel Magalnick
JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington for August 2, 2013
JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington for August 2, 2013

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Published by: Joel Magalnick on Aug 01, 2013
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august 2, 2013
26 av 5773
volume 89, no. 16
the voice of
peace talks begin page 16german preoccupation page 2
@jew_ish • @jewishcal
connecting our local Jewish community
th b d  c
o p 6
Shuttle diplomacy
JTn .
friday, augusT 2, 2013
Our 2014 Community Campaign is Underway!
The Jewish Federation is looking ahead to a new and exciting year ofsupporting organizations carrying out great projects for our community.
Helping Our LocalCommunity in NeedStrengtheningGlobal JewryExperiencing JudaismBirth-Grade 12Experiencing Judaism:Post Grade 12
Give to Any of Our Four Impact Areas at
or call
Grm prccupti: Wh bthr with Dvid Irvig?
Steven Blum
When I ound out David Irving, notedanti-Semite, Holocaust denier, and widely discredited “historian” was coming toBerlin, I had the kind o reaction I think many Jews can relate to: I groaned andwanted to move on to the next article inGoogle News.Why? Because Holocaust deniers, inthis day and age, seem like low-hang-ing ruit, sensationalist odder or any lazy journalist in search o a Nazi-relatedheadline. “Holocaust Denier David IrvingPlans to Return to Germany, But WillHotels Let Him Stay?” is a headline many will click, even i the story is vacuous.On the other hand, I understand why it’s a very big deal that Irving is coming toGermany: Irving’s “research,” having beenroundly rejected by journalists, WorldWar II historians, and laymen the worldover, has allowed him — and the entire“revisionist” movement — to ashion him-sel as what Christopher Hitchens calls“ree speech martyr.”One need only look at the commentssection underneath the Hungton Post’sstory to see the supposed “ree-speechactivists” out in ull orce.“I would like to see an open debate onMr Irvings [sic] ndings and make up my own mind i they have any truth in them,”reads one comment. “Why do a group o sel appointed censorsthink people are notintelligent enough todraw their own conclu-sions?”In March o last year,when the Daily Mailreported that a Munichcourt had overturnedIrving’s lietime ban inGermany, more com-menters cheered thedecision as a victory orreedom o speech.“Why is it a crimeto deny the holocaust?”one bewildered-seeming comment reads,beore going on to deliver a paranoid dia-tribe about Jewish control o the media.“What do they not want us to know? Don’tbelieve the lies. We are NO ree.”Inciting hatred, violence, murder andeven genocide begins with speech, whichis one reason why Germany has made it acrime to openly deny the Holocaust in therst place. I don’t see that as a bad thing,and I think the ban on Irving should haveremained in place.Irving’s minimizing o Jewish deathmakes him particularly inuriating to read.He has claimed that “more peopledied on the back seat o Senator EdwardKennedy’s motor car inChappaquiddick thandied in the gas cham-ber o Auschwitz.” He’salso said outright thathe thinks the Holocaustwas a “hoax” inventedby the Jews, and madeominous claims aboutwhat will happen tothem when the worldnds out the truth.“wo years romnow, too, the Germanhistorians will acceptthat we are right. Tey will accept that or 50 years they havebelieved a lie,” he said.In England, the court ound Irving tobe “an active Holocaust denier, antisemite,and racist, who associates with right-wingextremists who promote neo-Nazism,” andthat he had “or his own ideological reasonspersistently and deliberately misrepresentedand manipulated historical evidence.”And yet, even today, Irving contin-ues to enjoy a large ollowing. In 2011, hecrisscrossed the U.S., visiting over 30 citieson a lecture tour titled “Te Lie and Deatho Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s Lieuten-ant, 44 years in 44 minutes.” A ew yearsbeore, he led his own tour o Auschwitz,stopping by the gas chambers to lectureabout Hitler being “a great man, one o thegreatest Europeans or centuries.”And just last week, when the Hung-ton Post wrote about Irving coming toGermany, the Holocaust ruther orceocked to the comments section to deendtheir beleaguered leader.Part o this is the ault o the journalistwho wrote the story. Simply calling Irvinga “Holocaust denier” is not enough. With-out providing evidence that contradictsIrving’s claims, the press is essentially saying, “Here’s a bad man coming to Ger-many; why don’t you Google him and seewhat you nd?” Tey’re not writing thatthe historians o the world have already “debated” Irving’s claims and come to theconclusion they are entirely made up.Even the angle o the story is suspect:A league o hoteliers have joined orcesto ban Irving rom staying at any o theirproperties? Hooray! Except he’s still beingallowed to come here.Irving is still being allowed to spew hisracist, anti-Semitic bile in the ormer seato Nazi power. He will be able to sleep ona riend’s bed or at a B&B, eat some Wie-nerschnitzel, walk around the city and talk about how the Jews have been lying all along.
Wikimedia Commons
British histri Dvid Irvig i July 2003.
PaGe 3
 the rabbi’s turn
friday, august 2, 2013 .
“He would probably school me.” — Taylor Halperin, an intern for Sen. Maria Cantwell and big basketball fan, on whether he would take the court withPresident Obama while he’s in the other Washington for the summer. Read about the M.O.T. on page 9.
Th tst f blcig urcmmuitis
RaBBi alliSon B. FlaSh
Tmp Bth am
Since becoming a rabbi,I have come to believe therereally are ive seasons tothe year. Tere are the typi-cal our: Fall, winter, spring,and summer, but or rabbis,there is an additional seasoncalled “pre-High Holidays.”It is the time o year whenrabbis reect on the messageswe want to give our congre-gants and plan the services inobservance o Rosh Hashanah and YomKippur. As a Jewish educator, I spend thistime preparing to open religious schoolor our almost 600 students, making sureour program is the best it can be.Tis year, my attention is being spenton something much more mundane and,ironically, more stressul. With many school districts beginning at the same timeas Rosh Hashanah, I nd mysel preoc-cupied with what to do about the act my daughter will miss the rst day o her highschool classes. While I know our amily belongs in synagogue, I also am keenly aware she will actually miss an exam beinggiven on the rst day. For many, this doesnot sound like such a big issue, but or my daughter, it is certainly a concern. WhileI understand that legally she cannot bepenalized or missing school due to reli-gious observances, I also understand thereare ways in which she will eel punished.his is but one example o what itmeans to live as Jews in the secular world.Let’s ace it — we don’t live in Israel oreven a city large enough that secular schoolcalendars are aected by the Jewish calen-dar. For many o us, we are the only Jew in our school or oce. We are constantly being asked to balance our Jewish and sec-ular identities, whether at school unc-tions, with social engagements, or at work.Te balancing act can be tricky at times.Te larger problem is how this constantbalancing ofen makes us eel like an out-sider in our own community.I recently overheard a teenage girl tellanother how she does not like wearingher necklace with a Jewish star on it. Sheexplained that wearing it made her look “too Jewish” and how shedidn’t like to set hersel apartrom her peers at school. Formany, being dierent is apositive, but or ar too many,this eeling o being dier-ent is isolating. his isola-tion aects people regardlesso age. Make no mistake —teens are not the only oneswho struggle with this issue.Unortunately, the chal-lenge o nding a balance between theJewish and secular parts o our identity willnot go away. Navigating these challengesas they occur will be an ongoing process.Tere will be times when we eel like theoutsider, but the answer is not to turn away rom our Jewish identity. Rather, we needto turn to our synagogue or chavurah oryouth group, to remind ourselves that wedo belong, that we are not alone. When webelong to and are active in a synagogue,attend religious school or adult learningclasses, take part in Jewish summer camps,belong to Jewish youth groups (regardlesso which one), and are active with orga-nizations such as Hillel, the Jewish Com-munity Center, Jewish Family Service,or Federation, we remind ourselves thatwe are not “the other.” We are, in act,together. By taking part in a vibrant Jewishcommunity, we surround ourselves withother Jews and are invited into a sense o belonging ofen lacking in other areas o our lives. I repeatedly hear students tellme they love coming to religious schoolbecause, while they are the only Jew intheir grade or school, they have commu-nity in our synagogue. Tey eel validated.As a rabbi, Jewish educator, andmother, this “pre-High Holiday” seasonis spent contemplating how importantit is to live as a Jewish American — onewho straddles both the Jewish and secularworlds and one who proudly belongs toboth communities. It is exactly this prideI wish or all Jews to have so when choicesmust be made, it brings pride — not dis-comort. May this New Year bring withit deeper connections within the Jewishcommunity or each o us.He will be able to walk to the placeswhere the storm troopers burned Jewishbooks, past the businesses that were stonedduring Kristallnacht, and the homes romwhich Jewish amilies were evicted, dispos-sessed and then murdered en masse as heopenly questions whether it was all madeup by the Jews or attention, money andpower. He’ll be able to stand where Hitleronce gave speeches about Jews being ratsand say, essentially, the same thing — andpeople will listen.It’s as i nothing has changed at all.
Fom si sv Bm idipch fo J-ih.com fom hi  homi Bi.
oPInIonPaGe 2
Hl Thms itrviwr:Mdi whitwshd lt jurlist’s ti-Smitism
JacoB KamaRaS
On June 1, 2010, the day ater theGaza otilla incident in which nine urk-ish militants were killed afer attackingIsraeli soldiers aboard the Mavi Marmara,amed reporter Helen Tomas didn’t hideher opinions about Israel in a briengwith White House Press Secretary RobertGibbs.“Te initial reaction to the otilla mas-sacre, deliberate massacre, an interna-tional crime, was pitiul. What do youmean you regret something that should beso strongly condemned? And i any othernation in the world [besides Israel] haddone it, we would have been up in arms.What is this ironclad relationship wherea country that deliberately kills people…and boycotts, and we aid and abet the boy-cott?” Tomas asked Gibbs.Little did the public know at the timethat just a ew days beore that press brie-ing, homas had uttered anti-Semiticcomments that would go on to garnerar more attention than what she saidabout the Gaza lotilla. Adam Nese-no, the 17-year-old son o Rabbi Dr.David Neseno who handled the tech-nology-related aspects o his ather’sRabbiLive.com blog, was busy graduatinghigh school. Tat meant a May 27 videointerview that Helen Tomas gave DavidNeseno on the White House lawn — inwhich Tomas said Jews should “get thehell out o Palestine” and “go home, toPoland and Germany, America and every-where else” — would not be posted onlineuntil a week afer it was recorded.homas, who worked 57 years orUnited Press International and a decadeor Hearst Newspapers, died July 20 at age92. She covered every U.S. president romJohn F. Kennedy to Barack Obama, and iscredited with opening the White Housepress corps to women. But all it took wasa roughly 90-second interview to end hercareer in 2010 — Neseno’s video broughtabout her retirement shortly afer it wasposted.Neseno believes that the “rst part”o Tomas’s obituary should be her anti-Semitism, because her “poison inectedeverything she ever wrote.” Yet that wasn’tthe type o Helen Tomas obituary Nese-no saw rom the mainstream media aferher death.“I got to hear people like Mika Brzez-inski o MSNBC say that, ‘Helen Tomasis my role model,’” Neseno said in aninterview with JNS.org. “Tat CBS Newsdecided to say, ‘Well, it was a little contro- versy, she said that Jews should go back toEurope.’ Tey couldn’t even say the wordGermany, because they have to whitewasheverything.”“It’s bothersome to see that the newsreally can’t call an anti-Semite an anti-Semite,” Neseno said.Neseno was alerted to Tomas’s deaththrough anti-Semitic email messages hereceived such as, “Happy now, kike?”“It tells you the type o people that likedHelen Tomas, and basically it’s kind o emblematic o what my lie has been likesince being the reporter on the ront lawno the White House who uncovered ananti-Semite,” Neseno said.Neseno said the media “didn’t know what to do about” Tomas’s commentsbecause “here’s this sweet old lady, andshe’s saying these vile things about Jewsgoing back to Germany.”Over time, some came to understandTomas’s statement that Jews should “getthe hell o Palestine” as reerring to Jewishcommunities located beyond the pre-1967lines, not all o Israel. But Neseno dis-putes that interpretation, explaining thati Tomas was okay with Jews remainingin parts o Israel, she would have said, “Goback to el Aviv.”“She said tell them to ‘get the hell out’and ‘go back to Germany,’” Neseno said.Tomas apologized or her remarksto Neseno shortly afer the interview,saying, “I deeply regret the comments Imade last week regarding the Israelis andthe Palestinians. Tey do not reect my heart-elt belie that peace will come to theMiddle East only when all parties recog-nize the need or mutual respect and toler-ance. May that day come soon.”Yet it wouldn’t be the last time sheuttered anti-Israel and anti-Semitic com-ments. Tomas went on to say that Zion-ists own the White House, Hollywoodand Wall Street in an interview or Play-boy magazine, in addition to similar com-ments in other interviews, Neseno noted.Neseno said the legacy o his 2010interview with Tomas was that it “broughtdown that wall o ‘I’m anti-Israel, not anti-Jewish.’” National legislators, includingU.S. Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and SteveChabot (R-OH), took notice and in April2012 wrote a letter to Palestinian Author-ity President Mahmoud Abbas denounc-ing an award the PA gave Tomas.Engel and Chabot also warned Abbasthat the honor or Tomas might hurt U.S.assistance to the PA due to the parameters
PaGe 4

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