Germany Rearming: Where will this lead?


Germany’s military, the Bundeswehr, is going on a buying spree to make up for years of neglect. The challenge it faces, however, is more than a matter of money. As the Defense Ministry pours tens of billions of borrowed euros into planes, tanks and shells, it also needs the people to fly, drive and shoot them — and keep all of it in working order.

That’s why conscription has emerged from the dustbin of Cold War history for a possible second act. In Germany, as in many of parts of Europe, a political debate over the issue is heating up. Opposition parties, such as the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), have expressed interest in some kind of mandatory national service. The three-way governing coalition has been more skeptical.

Une agression antisémite dans un bus parisien (en français)

Times of Israel:

La vidéo a fait le tour des réseaux sociaux ces derniers jours : elle montre un homme, Léo Nicolian, extrémiste connu de la sphère complotiste, se filmant harcelant et tenant des propos antisémites envers un autre passager d’un bus de la RATP, un homme qui semble être un Juif orthodoxe.

Le Parquet de Paris s’est depuis saisi de l’affaire, après que la séquence, filmée le 6 février, a été largement partagée en ligne.

Vous pouvez voir la vidéo sur X.

Voir aussi: European Jewish Congress

New Documentary on October 7 Hamas Attack

Three days after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, Israeli filmmaker Duki Dror visited site of the Supernova music festival and began work on a documentary. The 51-minute documentary is available to rent on Vimeo.

The Times of Israel explains that the film focuses on six festival-goers who survived, all of whom are in their teens and 20s — plus a father whose son and daughter were both abducted that day and eventually released and a policeman credited with rescuing 150 people.

Dror also directed a 2018 documentary Inside the Mossad.

Harvard Crimson Editorial on the Antisemitic Cartoon

Campus discourse has gone toxic, and this ugly, thoughtless Instagram post is the worst of it.

Harvard Crimson

Yad Vashem Chairman Reacts to Statements made by Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan strongly condemned the remarks made by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, asserting that they are not only outrageous but also deeply hateful and indicative of ignorance. Dayan emphasized that President Lula da Silva’s statements,

exhibit clear antisemitism, a stance consistent with the definition provided by the IHRA, an organization Brazil itself aims to join. Drawing false comparisons between the defensive actions of a sovereign nation protecting its citizens from a terrorist incursion, which resulted in the tragic deaths of over 1,200 innocent civilians, and the heinous atrocities committed by the Nazis, who systematically exterminated 6 million Jews, is unacceptable.

Dayan is the Chairman of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. Prior to his position at Yad Vashem, he served as Israel’s Consul General in New York. Previously, he served as Chairman of the YESHA Council and before that as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Elad Software Systems Ltd., a company he founded. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1955.

Why Antisemitism Persists - A Jewish Perspective

Boaz Munro1 writing in Tablet:

Why don’t we see more efforts to dismantle antisemitism? Well, for one thing, Jews make up only 0.2% of the global population. We’re outnumbered more than 110:1 by Muslims and Christians—each. So if the onus is on Jews to start the conversation—which it shouldn’t be—then we’re spread laughably thin.

Non-Jews seem to have no interest in the subject; societies are loath to name the bigotries they’re founded on, much less challenge them. The American South was built on hideous racism, but do you think antebellum Southerners went around saying, “Hi there, fellow racist! Another wonderful day for racism”? Of course not.

That society couldn’t begin to change on its own. It had to be confronted.

After thousands of years of grinding persecution, culminating in the Holocaust, Zionism and Israel represent Jewish resistance—the stubborn assertion of our right to live and the legacy of those who refused to tiptoe, rationalize, or minimize any longer.

  1. Boaz Munro is a writer, web designer, and educator. He studied Hebrew, Arabic, and modern Middle East history at Brown University and The George Washington University. A grandson of Holocaust survivors from Poland with family in Israel, he’s originally from Pittsburgh. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife and daughter. ↩︎

Margot Lobree, child survivor of the Holocaust

Olivia Grady writing for Elon University’s ‘Today at Elon’:

“Now, I want you all to take a moment and imagine as a child, coming home one day, and being told that all alone, you’re going to leave your entire family, your friends, all your belongings, and go to a foreign country, with a foreign language, and live with complete strangers. That is what happened to me at the age of 13,” Holocaust survivor Margot Lobree explained to those gathered on Tuesday, Feb. 13, in Turner Theater to hear her story.

In 2010, Lobree shared her story in detail with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Her interview is available to watch online.

Simone Veil (1927-2017)

An interesting podcast episode recounting the life of Simone Veil, Holocaust survivor, abortion rights activist and former president of the European Parliament.

Film: ‘Ida’

Anna, a young woman training to be a nun in 1960s Poland is on the verge of taking her vows when she meets her only living relative for the first time and learns that she is Jewish and that her real name is Ida Lebenstein. Together they discover what happened to Anna/Ida’s family.

This jewel is only 82 minutes long and every moment makes good use of the viewer’s time. The story is one example of the decimation of Poland’s Jews during World War II. But in the end, this is not a film about Poland or the Holocaust – but about life.

The film, which came out in 2013, is in black and white. The places photographed are ordinary yet the cinematography is stunning. Each scene looks like a black and white photograph made by a Magnum photographer using a Leica camera. Łukasz Żal is a superb, young cinemaphotographer born in Koszalin, Poland.

Ida is played by Agata Trzebuchowska. Her character is sweet, innocent and beautiful. Her aunt Wanda – Agata Kulesza – is also a fine actress.

Pawel Pawlikowski directed the film. He was born in Warsaw in 1957. At the age of 14, Pawlikowski left Poland to live in Germany and Italy, before settling in Britain. In 2004, he directed My Summer of Love with Emily Blunt and Natalie Press.

Highly recommended.

Harvard Antisemitic Cartoon

Harvard University Interim President Alan M. Garber:

A few groups purporting to speak on behalf of Harvard affiliates recently circulated a flagrantly antisemitic cartoon in a post on social media channels. The cartoon, included in a longer post, depicted what appeared to be an Arab man and a Black man with nooses around their necks. The nooses are held by a hand imprinted with the Star of David, and a dollar sign appears in the middle of the star. Online condemnation of this trope-filled image was swift, and Harvard promptly issued a statement condemning the posted cartoon. While the groups associated with the posting or sharing of the cartoon have since sought to distance themselves from it in various ways, the damage remains, and our condemnation stands.

Alan Garber, assumed the office on January 2, 2024, following the resignation of Claudine Gay.

David Wolpe, from Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, is a visiting scholar at the Harvard Divinity School. Rabbi Wolpe shared the post in question. It’s clearly antisemitic.

A group of pro-Palestinian faculty and staff at Harvard University later apologized. But The Times of Israel reported that the group:

then republished the post but replaced the antisemitic image with one of radical civil rights activist Kwame Ture — formally known as Stokely Carmichael — famous for saying the “only good Zionist is a dead Zionist.”

See also, WSJ.