Under-educated, Liberal, Black Women Know The Least About The Holocaust

The Whoopi Goldberg incident regarding her comments about Jews in the Holocaust took another turn as she was suspended from her show ,”The View,” for two weeks. Instead of being a teaching moment for everyone, it turned into another incident of ‘cancel culture.’

Whoopi is not a boldfaced anti-Semite who wants to see Jews harmed; she is ignorant about the Holocaust – and anti-Semitism – as are many uneducated, liberal, Black women.

The Pew Research Center conducted a poll of Americans in January 2020, about their knowledge of the Holocaust. The results were pretty stark.

Black Americans know much less about the Holocaust than other groups.

Four questions were posed to people – when did the Holocaust happen; how were ghettos used for Jews; that 6 million Jews were killed; and that Hitler was democratically elected in Germany. On average, Blacks got 1.2 questions right out of 4, compared to 2.5 for Whites and 1.7 for Hispanics.

Women are also less informed about the Holocaust, especially, adult women who knew much less than adult men.

The general level of education also correlates to an understanding of the Holocaust. While 84 percent of college graduates knew that the Holocaust happened between 1930 and 1950, only 55 percent of those without any college knew such fact. Only 29 percent of those without any college knew that Hitler was democratically elected.

Lastly, liberals are marginally more ignorant than conservatives regarding the Holocaust, according to the Pew study.

So consider Whoopi Goldberg, a liberal Black adult female who dropped out of high school. She falls into the intersectionality of ignorance as it relates to the Holocaust. In all probability, she knows remarkably little about the genocide of European Jewry, and her “views” on the subject are probably similar to other Black women without any college education.

Society should focus on the glaring failure of our schools and which people are given coveted platforms. Today, the ignoramuses we churn out are given soap boxes on mass media, and can do severe damage in spreading disinformation with “views” which are seemingly blessed and fact-checked by the major networks.

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NY Times Holocaust Revisionism For Poles, Not Palestinians

To mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, The New York Times posted an editorial by Jan Grabowski about “The New Wave of Holocaust Revisionism.” The essay described how Poland was setting up monuments for Polish non-Jews who helped Jews during the Holocaust – directly in the location where hundreds of thousands of Jews were slaughtered, often with the help of other Poles.

Grabowski warns that this distortion of history is a new form of Holocaust denial – one that tries to whitewash Polish collaboration with the Nazis. It is taking flight since Poland passed a law in 2018 to penalize those people who attribute some of the blame of the Jewish Holocaust on Poland. The historian faces a number of lawsuits from the country for his detailed published research, including his book “Hunt for Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland” which won the Yad Vashem International Book Award in 2014.

Polish-Canadian historian Jan Grabowski predicts a bleak future for holocaust research.

It was appropriate for the Times to publish the lengthy essay shortly after the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning Holocaust denial. Alas, the paper did not do the same when Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) distorted the role that Palestinian Arabs played in the murder of European Jewry.

In May 2019, Tlaib said that she got a “calming feeling” thinking about ancestors who helped “create a safe haven for Jews.” Jews and many Republicans denounced the Holocaust revisionism as pure anti-Semitism, while fellow Democrats and liberal outlets rushed to her defense. The plain facts are that Palestinian Arabs pushed the British to limit Jewish immigration to Palestine during Kristallnacht, and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem met with leading Nazi officials to support the annihilation of the Jews. When Jews arrived in Palestine after the war, Arab armies came to slaughter the Survivors.

Telegram from Nazi Heinrich Himmler to Palestinian Grand Mufti of Jerusalem about their “joint fight” against the Jews.

The Times similarly avoids writing that the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, wrote his doctoral thesis distorting the Holocaust.

It is wrong of Poland to reorient history from the complicity of Poles in the Holocaust and to come after those who discuss the actual history, much as it is shameful for Tlaib to twist history that Palestinians were saviors of European Jews and the Democratic party loyalists to rally to her defense and demand silence on Muslim anti-Semitism.

Holocaust revisionism is finding a home in the alt-right, the alt-left and among radical Islamists. If the mainstream media selectively highlights the poison only among the racist right, it is complicit in the same Holocaust denial.

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The Ultimate Chutzpah: A New Form of Holocaust Denial

Mahmoud Abbas’s Particular Anti-Zionist Holocaust Denial

The Left Wing’s Accelerating Assault on the Holocaust

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

Frightening New York Times 4/27/14 article on “Mahmoud Abbas Shifts on Holocaust”

80 Years After Wannsee Conference, Arab/Muslim Anti-Semitism Dominates

On January 20, 1942, Germans met in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee to develop the “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem.” The persecution of Jews was already well underway, and on that day, the Nazi regime put into place a program to push the Jews to extinction. They succeeded in wiping out nearly all of the Jews in Europe, about one-third of global Jewry.

Since the end of World War II, the Arab and Muslim world picked up the fight to “the Jewish Problem.”

The Arabs in Palestine were successful in lobbying the British in impeding Jewish immigrants desperate to leave the Holocaust in Europe with the “White Papers”, likely causing well over 100,000 Jewish deaths. The remaining Holocaust survivors landing on the shores of Palestine after World War II were very vulnerable targets. The Palestinian Arabs enlisted the help of neighboring Muslim countries to complete the genocide of the Jews, killing nearly one per cent of the region’s Jews in the 1948-9 Arab-Israeli War. The Arabs then ethnically-cleansed all Jews from the lands they seized, and forbade Jews from visiting their holiest locations in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Angry at the survival of the Jewish nation, Muslim Arab countries purged their Jews. Roughly 99% of the region’s Jews were forced out, an estimated 850,000 Jews, a total which does excludes the Jews who fled Afghanistan and Iran.

  • Algeria 140,000
  • Egypt 75,000
  • Iraq 135,000
  • Lebanon 5,000
  • Libya 38,000
  • Morocco 265,000
  • Syria 30,000
  • Tunisia 105,000
  • Yemen 55,000

Arab countries attempted to kill all of the Jews in Israel again in 1967, though they failed spectacularly. Stinging from the loss, the Arab League adopted the Khartoum Resolution which called for “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel.” The Arabs soon launched another war against Israel – during Judaism’s holiest day, Yom Kippur – in 1973, while pushing the noxious idea that “Zionism is a form of racism” at the United Nations under the watch of former Nazi, Kurt Waldheim, who was serving as the UN Secretary General.

Meanwhile, Christianity rethought its complicity in the European Holocaust and declared in 1965 that Jews were no more responsible for the death of Jesus than anyone else, and declared clearly that Jews should not be persecuted. Less than 25 years later, the “Iron wall” in the Soviet Union crumbled and allowed thousands of Jewish “refuseniks” to leave the country to Israel and elsewhere.

But the bile in the Arab Muslim world did not let up during this time, even as Egypt made peace with Israel in 1979.

The Palestinians declared themselves to have an independent state in 1988 on all of the land of Israel including the “West Bank” and Gaza, a move which was rejected by much of the western world. At the same time, Hamas introduced its foundational charter calling for the death of Jews and complete destruction of the Jewish State. The group (and other Palestinian terrorist groups) became immensely popular and received funding from Iran and Syria.

Iran and its proxies like Hezbollah, together with Palestinian Arabs, targeted and killed thousands of Jews around the world in the following decades. Iranian leaders have continued to hold Holocaust denial conferences, call for the destruction of Israel and pursue nuclear weapons and long range ballistic missiles.


On the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, the United Nations approved a resolution condemning Holocaust denial, with only Iran standing in opposition. The story was covered by The New York Times and other media outlets which wrote about the resolution and described today’s prevalent “right-wing” anti-Semitism and completely ignored that the vast majority of anti-Semitism stems from the Islamic world.

Not only will Muslim anti-Semitism not go away by ignoring it, but it may enable the leading state sponsor of terrorism and Holocaust denial to obtain weapons of mass destruction to carry out another genocide of the Jews.

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Paying to Murder Jews: From Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran to the Palestinian Authority

The Lies Conflating the Holocaust and The Promised Land

The Holocaust decimated the Jewish population in Europe from 1939 to 1945. After the war, the vast majority of the remnant of European Jewry moved to either France, the United States or the Mandate of Palestine. Just three years after the end of the genocide of the Jews, the modern state of Israel was born.

Many people believe that the world endorsed the notion of a Jewish State because of the terrible tragedy which befell the Jews. While some countries may have indeed voted at the United Nations in favor of recognizing Israel because of the Holocaust, its reestablishment was sponsored by the global community years before World War II.

First by the British in the 1917 Balfour Declaration, then by the League of Nations in the 1920 San Remo Agreement and the 1922 Mandate of Palestine, the leading countries of the world supported Jews reestablishing their homeland. In the late 1930’s the British specifically called for creating a distinct Jewish State in Palestine. All of these actions were taken before the genocide of European Jewry.

Similarly, God’s promises of the land of Canaan to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob predated the Children of Israel becoming slaves in Egypt. The divine promises for a particular family to have a particular plot of land are found throughout the Book of Genesis and include:

  • The Lord appeared to Abram and said ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’” (Genesis 12:7)
  • For all the land which you see, I will give it to you and your descendants forever.” (Genesis 13:15)
  • To your descendants I have given this land.” (Genesis 15:18)
  • And I will give to you and your descendants after you, the land of your sojourning, the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:8)
  • To your offspring I will give this land” (Genesis 24:7)

The Promised Land is an integral part of Judaism. It is a unique dynamic among world religions that a particular people is tied to a specific parcel of land. The history of Jews in their holy land goes back thousands of years.

Yet people confuse the nature of the Jewish State and how it came to be reestablished in 1948. The global community did not create Israel as a safe haven for Jews after the Holocaust; it voted to reestablish the Jewish homeland years before the Holocaust. Further, Zionists do not aspire for a Greater Israel from “the Nile to the Euphrates” the way anti-Semites at the United Nations claim; they want to live, pray and have autonomy in their small patch of the world promised to them by God.

The relevance of the Holocaust to Israel today is about underscoring the absolute imperative of Israel’s security, which means ensuring that the country’s neighbors cannot threaten it. Critical features include: Israel having full control of its borders and airspace; no military for a possible future Palestinian State; no ability for terrorist groups like HAMAS in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon to attack Israel; and most significantly, no nuclear weapons for Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism which has threatened to wipe Israel off of the map.

The anti-Zionist false narrative connecting the Holocaust and the Promised Land spins a web of lies that European countries created a safe haven – a metaphorical “Promised Land” – for Jews as a gift to allay its guilt in permitting and participating in the Holocaust, an act of charity taken on the backs of Palestinian Arabs. The slander of original sin of the theft of “Arab Land” to create a Jewish State leads to noxious claims that Jews will continue to try to steal more land as “colonialists” as well as demands that the British apologize for the Balfour Declaration. It falsely inverts the indigenous Jews to invaders; those needing protection to aggressors who must be held in check.

The Promised Land of Israel is an eternal gift from God to the Jewish forefathers thousands of years ago and to their descendants in the present day, not from European nations in response to the Holocaust. The critical lesson of the Holocaust is to protect the Jews in Israel from neighbors who wish to do them harm, politically, economically, militarily and most definitely, journalistically.

Israeli soldiers prepare to enter Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Israel (photo: First One Through)


Related First One Through articles:

The Cultural Appropriation of the Jewish ‘Promised Land’

Seeing the Holocaust Through Nakba Eyes

The Holocaust and the Nakba

From Promised Land to Promised Home

The Shrinking Modern Jewish Homeland

Squeezing Zionism

The Calming Feeling of Palestinian Refugees: Rashida Tlaib in Her Own Words

Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies

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God is a Zionist (music by Joan Osborne)

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How Many Polacks Does it Take to Deny the Holocaust?

A satire.

The Polish government wanted to mark the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in January 2018. After all, it was in Poland that loss of Jewish life was the greatest of any country in the world. The new popular right-wing party in charge, the Poland Law and Justice Party (PiSS), decided to put forward a multi-prong approach, similar to its retreat from Germany in 1939.

PiSS established several committees, including one to address the Polish educational system, one for the press and another for tourism. PiSS tasked each group with finding a new approach to commemorate the horrors that took place in the country during World War II.

The educational team hatched a novel idea that all students should be taught that the Polish people in Word War II were the only victims of Nazi atrocities and that no Poles participated in the rounding up and killing of Jews. It advised that the term “Polish Death Camps” should become illegal, and that the country should demand that all concentration camps be solely associated with Nazi Germany.

The PiSS parliament enthusiastically passed the proposal. It made the usage of the phrase punishable by up to three years in prison. The educational team was elated and quickly went to work.

A team of 400 people went into the libraries and book stores across the country and began to scour the contents for any mention of the phrase “Polish Death Camps.” Armed with white-out and scissors, the team seized upon the work like a German Shepherd on a fraulein in heat. They shouted “Arbeit Macht Frei” as they attempted to complete the cleanse by Labor Day on May 1.

The press team waited until parliament approved the Complicity Removal Proclamation, “CRaP,” as it was known within the halls of PiSS, to announce its contribution to Holocaust Remembrance Day. In addition to promoting the efforts put in place by the educational committee, the Holocaust press team developed a mascot for the public radio and TV broadcasters that was consistent with Poland’s new clean history: a bottle of white out capped with a crown.

The crowned white out bottle will be featured on all future government propaganda. “We originally wanted something that would recall the placards at our rallies ‘For a White and European Brotherhood,‘” said Jaroslaw Rasistowski, the Minister of Loud PiSS. “But thought that it would be too aggressive now that we’re in power. So we opted for a nail polish bottle as a play on the word ‘Polish.’ However, when the CRaP passed, we decided to modify the design into a white-out bottle. It really conveys everything we’re about.

The tourism committee is still convening. The current rumored plans are for the Polish government to assume greater control of the former Nazi concentration camps and put in place a few changes to “enhance” the sites for tourists:

  • Pokemon Go will be introduced to the camps with new characters sporting Nazi swastikas
  • Virtual reality goggles will be distributed to visitors and feature virtual straight white Christians in striped pajamas walking around the camp grounds
  • A new Carmelite convent will open at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp and feature free communion and lunch for all visitors

All in all, the PiSS government estimates that the new initiatives will employ a total of 3,000 Polaks, a tribute to the estimated 3 million Jewish citizens of Poland that were killed in the Holocaust.

The Polish efforts were extensive. And many countries and organizations have taken notice.

Just last night, the US Olympic Committee demanded that any story that mentions the infamous doctor Larry Nassar who abused the USA Women’s Team gymnasts for years, may no longer say that he worked for the “USA Olympic team,” as it considers that the Olympic Committee was itself a victim of the attacks too.


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Mahmoud Abbas’s Particular Anti-Zionist Holocaust Denial

There are several forms of Holocaust denial that have found a foothold in anti-Semitic societies. As described by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, (USHMM), Holocaust deniers “are generally motivated by hatred of Jews and build on the claim that the Holocaust was invented or exaggerated by Jews as part of a plot to advance Jewish interests.”

The most common form of denial is that the Holocaust did not happen. The entire event is described as a fabrication. The religious leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran said “the Holocaust is an event whose reality is uncertain and if it has happened, it’s uncertain how it has happened.The Iranian government then went on to promote a Holocaust cartoon competition.

The second type of denial is not absolute, but about scale and purpose. Those people question whether Jews were intentionally targeted by Nazis for death, or whether the six million Jewish victims figure was grossly exaggerated. The peddlers of these theories seek to minimize Jewish suffering to further exaggerate the “plot to advance Jewish interests.”

The third form of denial is not commonly sold: It is that Jewish Zionists actively helped kill the Jews of Europe.

Never heard of that one? It is advanced by the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.


Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas

Abbas wrote his doctoral thesis about an evil Holocaust plot that Zionists were desperate to attract more Jews to Palestine during the 1930s and 1940s. In order to encourage immigration to Palestine from Europe, Zionist Jews collaborated with the leaders of Nazi Germany to make life unbearable for Jews so that they would flee to Palestine. Abbas claimed that Zionists collaborated with the Nazis and sabotaged Jewish rescue operations.

This was Abbas’s doctoral thesis, written over many years. A new form of Holocaust denial with malevolent messages.

Jews as Schemers

The Abbas Holocaust denial takes a very different tack than the classic forms of questioning the scale of the destruction of European Jewry. Abbas does not focus on the number of Jews killed. His argument is that the Zionist Jews were schemers. His sick form of denial was that Jews always controlled their own fate, even in the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a story of Zionist Jews against European Jews.

Zionism was Unpopular

In Abbas’s worldview, Jews had no love or attachment to the Holy Land. They were content with where they lived; they had no connection to Palestine. Most Jews had no interest of ever moving to Palestine.

However, a handful of Zionist Jews needed to force European Jews to move in great numbers to make the Jewish State viable. These Zionist Jews were so hell-bent on their mission, that they thought nothing of instigating the destruction of European Jews to achieve their mission.

Imagine What Zionists Can Do to Arabs

According to Abbas, if Zionists could perpetuate the slaughter of their own Jewish brethren, why should anyone be surprised of their treatment of Arabs? The Zionist Jews were so selfishly consumed by their mission to create a foreign transplant of a Jewish State in the Arab soil of Palestine, that the killing and expulsion of Arabs from the land in the “Nakba” looked like an after-thought after their participation in the annihilation of fellow Jews.


According to the USHMM, most anti-Semites concoct a Holocaust denial narrative for particular reasons. “Holocaust denial, distortion, and misuse are strategies to reduce perceived public sympathy to Jews, to undermine the legitimacy of the State of Israel—which some believe was created as compensation for Jewish suffering during the Holocaust—to plant seeds of doubt about Jews and the Holocaust, and to draw attention to particular issues or viewpoints.

Mahmoud Abbas has spent his lifetime with a particularly noxious form of Holocaust denial which he has peddled at the United Nations and capitals around the world: The Jewish Zionists are schemers and murderers. They have no connection to the land of Palestine and think nothing of killing Jew or Arab to steal a country.

With such a leader, is it any surprise that the Palestinian Arabs are the most anti-Semitic people in the world?


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Abbas Knows Racism

The United Nations Applauds Abbas’ Narrative

“Mainstream” and Abbas’ Jihad

Frightening New York Times 4/27/14 article on “Mahmoud Abbas Shifts on Holocaust”

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza Today

Stopping the Purveyors of Hateful Propaganda

Palestinian Jews and a Judenrein Palestine

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Ban Ki Moon Defecates on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

One of the basic laws established on December 10, 1948 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the ability to change one’s religion. Yet apostasy – converting from Islam – remains a capital offense in various countries including: Afghanistan; Brunei; Mauritania; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Sudan; United Arab Emirates; and Yemen.

So how did the outgoing Secretary General of the United Nations choose to recognize the basic rights of people? He rewarded one of those countries with a “humanitarian” post.

On December 8, 2016 – two days before the anniversary of the UDHR – Ban Ki Moon announced that Ahmed Al Meraikhi of Qatar would be his Humanitarian Envoy.  The press release included the role of that position:

“The Humanitarian Envoy will ensure stronger linkages between the United Nations and decision makers in Qatar and the broader region.  His overall objective will focus on supporting multilateral humanitarian response efforts by raising the profile of humanitarian crises with Governments and non-governmental organizations and increasing their engagement with the international humanitarian community.”

Imagine that a country that flagrantly defies the basic premise of human rights is awarded with a position by the same United Nations.

It underscores the current farce of the United Nations and its embarrassment to humanity.

ban-ki-moon-9-16
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon


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An Easy Boycott: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

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The Holocaust and the Nakba

Goodbye Moon

The Termination Shock of Survivors

Elie Wiesel on Words

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Elie Wiesel on Words

Most people think that shadows follow, precede or surround beings or objects. The truth is that they also surround words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories.”

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)

Elie Wiesel
Author and Nobel Prize Winner, Elie Wiesel

The Holocaust of the Jews in Europe was one of the most brutal acts of inhumanity in the history of the world. Not only did an elected government murder its own defenseless citizens, it tortured them and enlisted other citizens to eradicate and humiliate the Jews.

The destructive actions of Nazi Germany led the United Nations to create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on December 10, 1948. It was designed to protect the basic human rights of all people, not just an elected majority. The opening article declares: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” and goes on to enumerate various human rights. Article 7 builds on that theme:

“All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.”

Decades later, the United Nations looked for ways to combat the emergence of global terrorism, and on September 8, 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Similar to the UDHR, it recognized the threat of incitement:

work to adopt such measures as may be necessary and appropriate and in accordance with our obligations under international law to prohibit by law incitement to commit a terrorist act or acts and prevent such conduct.”

The United Nations advanced the position that actions do not live in a tight bubble. Words lead to actions, whether discrimination, terrorism, or even the Holocaust.

Elie Wiesel on Words

There have been many people who worked to place a spotlight in the shadow of the Holocaust, such as Simon Weisenthal (1908-2005), who fought to bring Nazis to justice. Elie Wiesel, who passed away yesterday, had a different path for combatting the horrors of the Holocaust. He wrote about it.

Over the course of dozens of books, Wiesel wrote about his personal experiences surviving concentration camps, as well as faith, God and humanity. He understood the power of his words to help create a better world, just as he understood and experienced how words can create a vicious, violent reality.

Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds.”

I’m a teacher and a writer; my life is words. When I see the denigration of language,
it hurts me, and it’s easy to denigrate a word by trivializing it.”

Elie Wiesel

Wiesel often spoke at conferences about his experiences, and sought to educate people about words, thoughts and ideas.  He believed that words could be creative agents for the speaker, as well as for those who heard the message.

In 1999, Wiesel recalled how American soldiers liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945, including himself as a young man. For that action, and years living in the United States, he would be forever grateful.  For him, the act of being grateful was not simply a byproduct of another’s action: it was an action in itself, and speaking about gratitude, was an important message:

“Gratitude is a word that I cherish.
Gratitude is what defines the humanity of the human being.”

Wiesel believed in the power of words to heal, but he also understood its destructive powers.  He felt that too often mankind hid from its responsibilities.

Human beings should be held accountable.
Leave God alone. He has enough problems.”

One of the greatest threats to humanity, according to Wiesel, was not just the negative incitement to violence that the United Nations addressed in 1948 and 2006, but the threat of the vast masses who say nothing; who are indifferent to the words and terrible actions of evil doers.

“The opposite of love is not hate. It’s indifference.”

“Indifference is not a beginning, it is an end. And, therefore,
indifference is always the friend of the enemy…
Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment.
And this is one of the most important lessons of this outgoing century’s
wide-ranging experiments in good and evil.”

The world appreciated the efforts of Wiesel, and awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for “his message …of peace, atonement and human dignity.”


The First.One.Through blog and channel are about Judaism, Israel and the United States of America.  The messages it conveys are that words matter: not just blatant incitement to violence, but even subtle forms of discrimination, as well as positive, constructive words.  The words and videos are not made so that the producer has a voice, but for those that read and watch the material, to be positive catalysts by forwarding the anonymous pieces on to others.

We mourn the loss of Elie Wiesel, an advocate who advanced the cause that words matter, whether negative, positive, or the bitter lack thereof.


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“An anti-Semitic Tinge”

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Netanyahu’s Doctoral Thesis on the Nakba

A Satire

In honor of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a declaration that the “Nakba was a terrible tragedy for the Palestinian Arabs.” The New York Times, BBC and various media outlets proclaimed in their headlines that Netanyahu had turned a corner from some of his prior comments belittling the “Nakba,” the term that Arabs use to describe their “disaster” when Arabs left their homes and were unable to return after the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-9.

Netanyahu continued about the Nakba that “Israelis understand the pain of being expelled from their homes. Jews were ethnically cleansed from their holiest city, Jerusalem, by Jordanian Arabs. Jews were evicted from their second holiest city, Hebron, after Arabs massacred them in 1929. And the Jewish people were evicted from their ancient homeland in Judea and Samaria, and barred from re-entry, by the Jordanians in 1949. Is there a people on the planet that understands the pain of losing their homes more than the Jewish people Jews have been targeted for death and eviction by Arabs for a century.

When Netanyahu was asked to comment not only about evictions, but about being banned from returning to their properties, Netanyahu reviewed how Palestinian Arabs effectively convinced the British to block Jewish immigration to Palestine at the beginning of the Holocaust in 1939, causing hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women and children in Europe to perish. “We Jews understand being excluded very well.

netanyahu-holocaust
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Holocaust survivors ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. January 26, 2016 (Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90)

The comments acknowledging the Nakba were a sharp reversal from Netanyahu’s doctoral study in which he detailed many questions surrounding both the numbers and source of the Nakba. His study concluded that the Arabs in Palestine conspired with the major global parties to funnel billions of dollars in perpetuity to Palestinian Arabs via the United Nations.

Netanyahu’s thesis reviewed the many secret meetings between Arab leaders and the French, British, Americans and Russians that would set the Arabs as the aggrieved party by the UN.   The Arab plan pushed the UN to endorse the partition plan of 1947, which the Palestinians would then publicly reject. The UN would then create a unique stand-alone agency, UNRWA, designed to exist forever, as a means of transferring billions of dollars to Palestinian Arabs.

As part of the Arab plan, the United Nations inflated the number of Arab refugees from the 1948 war to 711,000 from the actual 100,000 figure. By inflating the number of refugees, the UN was able to funnel even greater sums of money to Palestinians.

The Arab plan had the further benefit of giving the entire Arab world a scapegoat for their corrupt regimes.

As it turned out, the joint Arab- global powers’ plan worked almost perfectly, aside from a few unexpected results.  The UN did not realize that the Arab leadership would ultimately double-cross the UN and steal most of the funds promised to the Palestinian people; and the corrupt financial structure ultimately made Palestinian Arab leadership completely incapable of governing.

The NY Times and BBC did not review the contents of Netanyahu’s doctoral thesis in their articles. However, the Times did have a lead editorial noting Netanyahu as “a man of empathy, and a true moderate who is Abbas’s best chance for a peace partner.

Abbas did not provide any statement.


Related First.One.Through article:

The NY Times on Abbas’s Change of heart about the Holocaust: Frightening New York Times 4/27/14 article on “Mahmoud Abbas Shifts on Holocaust”

The Holocaust and the Nakba

Other Satires:

Silwan Circulars, Christmas 2014

Palestinian Job Fair for Peace

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The Last Sounds of “Son of Saul”

The Holocaust movie “Son of Saul” is unlike every other movie ever made in the genre. While much has and will be written about the narrow focus on the principal actor’s face throughout the movie, words cannot properly convey the impact of the sounds infused in each scene.

Sounds of a Concentration Camp

The movie opens with the camera focused on a faraway subject, completely out-of-focus. The viewer struggles to make out the distant activity, and in a short time realizes that this is intentional, when the main protagonist of the film, Saul Ausländer, slowly walks into the middle of the image in sharp focus. He remains centered there for the remainder of the movie.

The close-up of Saul leaves the movie viewer with a sliver of background imagery. The war is mostly inferred by the rapidly passing images on the screen’s edges. The viewer’s mind is left to expand upon the brutality of the concentration camp where Saul works processing the dead for the Nazis.

The picture is further clouded by Saul. His face, which fills 70% of the frame, is expressionless. He is a walking dead, somewhere between the prisoners that arrive by train at the camp, and those “pieces” that he carts to the crematoria for burning. Saul shares no emotion and offers little in the way of dialogue with the other Sonderkommandos, those Jews tasked with helping the Nazis annihilate the Jews of Europe. The little dialogue that occurs, is choppy as the Sonerkommandos come from a variety of countries – Hungary, Poland, Germany, Ukraine – and do not speak the same language.

Devoid of strong visuals and dialogue, the movie provides rich sounds. There is no background music to direct our emotions.  The sounds are of the camp itself that fill the viewers’ ears. Sounds of babies crying. Mother’s screaming. Gun shots. Metal doors crashing closed. Rocks crunching under the feet of the Sonderkommandos. Papers scraping the floor, gathered for burning.

This is the dialogue of “Son of Saul.” These sounds transport the viewer from a modern movie theater to 1944 Nazi Europe. It is not surround sound; it is transportive sound.

The Last Sounds

Saul’s journey to an awakening begins when he sees a boy survive the gas chambers. While terminal, the child won a minor victory over the Nazis’ efficient killing machine. He beat the system.

This boy gives Saul some depth of vision. He gives Saul hope – not of his own survival – but that the humanity of the natural world can break through into the unnatural brutality where he exists. Saul’s mission is set, that with the help of a rabbi, the boy will not be incinerated like everyone else in the Nazi’s ovens, but will have a proper Jewish burial.

Saul risks his own life and those around him to fulfill this mission. He understands that he and the other Sonderkommandos are the unnatural walking dead who will soon die and be incinerated. However, the boy is nature’s dead, who must have a natural burial.

As Saul manages to get the boy, his “son”, out of the concentration camp ground, he loses the body in a river. The body is taken by nature and cleansed in water. Then, without the boy’s body, Saul’s mission and hope disappear and he almost drowns before being saved by another prisoner.

Saul sits with fellow Sonderkommando in a broken shed, all catching their breaths. The dialogue between them remains almost non-existent. As they sit, a new sound slowly is introduced that seems out of place.  The noise grows louder, but unclear. The viewer considers whether this is rain falling on the leaves of the trees in the forest. But the picture tells us that it is not raining. We see the men are damp, but it is from the swim across the river, not from raindrops.

Slowly the viewer becomes aware that the sound is not raindrops, but the crackle of the fire from the crematoria ovens.

The movie viewers witness Saul showing some expression at last, as the movie’s hero understands both his completed mission and fate: he helped his son escape to nature; his fate will be to burn with the other Sonderkommandos in the Nazi’s fire.

In the unnatural world where he exists, fire extinguishes water.  However, he achieved a moment of humanity, where the water was able to extinguish the Nazi fire.

Son of Saul
Géza Röhrig who played Saul Ausländer, talking to the audience at
screening of “Son of Saul” sponsored by the Claims Conference, December 2015
(photo: First.One.Through)

In December 2015, the Claims Conference put on a special showing of “Son of Saul” in New York City. The Claims Conference obtains money from Germany and other countries that participated in the slaughter of Jews during the Holocaust, and distributes that money to the Holocaust Survivors as well as educational projects like this movie.

The Executive Chairman of the Claims Conference, Greg Schneider, interviewed the film’s star Géza Röhrig who played Saul Ausländer at the end of the screening. Via Skype, Géza relayed that the sound editing of the movie took over five months, involving hundreds of man-hours to create the environment the writers and directors sought to convey.

It was a remarkable effort that helped create one of the great movies of our time.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Eyal Gilad Naftali Klinghoffer. The new Blood Libel.

Memory and Responsibility in Germany

Wearing Our Beliefs

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