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Demjanjuk free pending appeal an insult to his victims and survivors

 
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“When we first heard the news that Demjanjuk had been convicted of his crimes, we were very pleased that justice had finally caught up with John Demjanjuk,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“But upon hearing the comments of the presiding judge, Ralph Alt, that Demjanjuk was free pending appeal and that -‘Keeping him confined would be disproportionate. The sentence can only begin once any appeal in the case is rejected. It doesn’t seem likely that Demjanjuk will actually serve any more time in the end. … The appeal will take at least a year and at that time his health may not allow putting him in prison’ — we feel that this is an insult to his victims and to the survivors, that after all of this they may see John Demjanjuk strolling in the park in Germany for having been complicit in the mass murder over 28,000,” added Rabbi Hier.

“At the very least they should have done, pending his appeal, is placed him under house arrest,” Hier concluded.

Simon Wiesenthal Center

 
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Beyond sanctions and kerfuffles

A look at the Iran deal Netanyahu wants to avoid

WASHINGTON — When Benjamin Netanyahu faces the Congress next month, two things are unlikely to come up in his speech: a consideration of diplomatic protocol and an analysis of the efficacy of sanctions.

Media attention before the speech has focused on the diplomatic crisis set off by the invitation to the Israeli prime minister from U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who kept President Barack Obama in the dark, and the ensuing political tussle between backers and opponents of new sanctions on Iran.

But Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to Washington who coordinated the invitation with Boehner, has made it clear that Netanyahu’s focus on March 3 will be on the bigger picture: what Netanyahu thinks will be a bad nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 nations, the sobriquet for the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany, and Britain.

 

French Jews face uncertain future

A look at some stories from a local leader

In the wake of the terror attacks at the Charlie Hebdo magazine office and the Hyper Cacher grocery store — a kosher market — I participated in a Jewish Agency mission to Paris.

Our delegation of Americans and Israelis arrived last week to show solidarity with the French Jewish community. We also sought to better understand the threat of heightened anti-Semitism in France (and, indirectly, elsewhere in Europe). We met with more than 40 French Jewish community leaders and activists, all of them open to sharing their concerns.

On January 7, Islamist terrorists murdered a dozen Charlie Hebdo staffers as retribution for the magazine’s cartoon depictions of the prophet Mohammed. Two days later, another terrorist held a bunch of Jewish grocery shoppers hostage, killing four, which French President Francois Hollande acknowledged as an “appalling anti-Semitic act.”

 

Transformative learning

Local YU students learn about service from the Joint

“People think Jews only give to Jewish causes, so it’s important to immerse ourselves in different cultures to learn about them and to show that Jews are there to help everybody,” said Yoni Mintz of Fair Lawn.

Mr. Mintz, 20, is a second-year psychology and business student at Yeshiva University. He had just returned from a winter-break American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee program, the Insider Service Trip to Haiti. On that trip, 15 Y.U. students collaborated on several humanitarian projects and met with JDC partner organizations. They learned about the ongoing difficulties Haiti has faced as a result of the massive earthquake there five years ago.

Mr. Mintz said that he was proud to learn that the Israel Defense Forces sent one of the first delegations that reached Haiti to provide disaster relief. Galila Shapiro, an Englewood senior at Y.U.’s Stern College for Women, was taken aback to see how much the Haitians appreciate help they continue to receive from Israeli and American Jews.

 

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Israel launching drive to void Goldstone Report

WASHINGTON – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would launch an international campaign to cancel the Goldstone Report after its author, ex-South African Judge Richard Goldstone, wrote in an Op-Ed in the Washington Post that Israel did not intentionally target civilians as a policy during the Gaza War, withdrawing a critical allegation in the report.

Netanyahu said he had asked his security adviser, Ya’akov Amidror, to establish a committee focused on “minimizing the damage caused” by the report.

 

Facebook and Zuckerberg does an about-face and deletes Palestinian page calling for a Third Intifada

Following widespread criticism, a Facebook page calling for a third Palestinian intifada against Israel was removed on March 29. On the Facebook page, Palestinians were urged to launch street protests following Friday May 15 and begin an uprising as modelled by similar uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan. Killing Jews en masse was emphasized.

According to the Facebook page, “Judgment Day will be brought upon us only once the Muslims have killed all of the Jews.” The page had more than 340,000 fans. However, even while the page was removed, a new page now exists in its place with the same name,  “Third Palestinian Intifada.”

 

Did heated rhetoric play role in shooting of Giffords?

WASHINGTON – The 8th District in southern Arizona represented by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords comprises liberal Tucson and its rural hinterlands, which means moderation is a must. But it also means that spirits and tensions run high.

Giffords’ office in Tucson was ransacked in March following her vote for health care reform — a vote the Democrat told reporters that she would cast even if it meant her career. She refused to be cowed, but she also took aim at the hyped rhetoric. She cast the back-and-forth as part of the democratic process.

 
 
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