Germany's Domestic Secret Service Continues Legal Battle with AfD


The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, BfV), Germany’s domestic intelligence service, argues that the populist far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD) is anti-constitutional. It therefore classified it as a “suspected case” in 2021. The party took legal action against this at the Cologne Administrative Court, but was unsuccessful. The appeal subsequently lodged by the AfD will be heard by the Münster Higher Administrative Court on March 12 and 13, 2024.

The appeal proceedings draw attention to a state organization that acts as an early warning system to detect threats to democracy and is one of the most important intelligence agencies in Germany. It gathers intelligence while coordinating information gathered by the 16 state-level intelligence agencies.

Jews in Hiding

Dara Horn, writing in The Atlantic:

At a Shabbat dinner I attended at one college, students went around the table sharing what they wished they could say to their non-Jewish friends: I wish I could say I want to spend a semester in Israel. I wish I could say I work at a Jewish preschool. I wish I could say I volunteered at a Jewish hospital. I sat at the table stupefied. They were in hiding.

Josette Molland, Member of French Resistance, Holocaust Survivor and Artist (1923-2024)

Josette Molland was a member of the French Resistance during World War II. She was captured by German forces and imprisoned in Romainville, Ravensbrück and Holleischen.

The New York Times explains:

She survived, after witnessing and enduring repeated episodes of brutality. Later, after her return to France, she spoke to students about her experiences for years.

In the 1980s, however, worrying that her story wasn’t getting through to them, she concluded that telling the young of her camp life was not enough. She would have to show them. So she set about painting, from painful memory, scenes of the harsh incarceration that she and many other female inmates had suffered. She produced 15 paintings in all, in folk-art style. Here are five of them, with the text she wrote to accompany them.


US Attorney General Speaks Out Against Antisemitism

US Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke to the ADL’s “Now Is Never” Summit in New York on March 7, 2024.

Garland1came from a family of immigrants who fled religious persecution early in the 20th Century and sought refuge in the United States. His grandmother was one of five children born in what is now Belarus. Three made it to the United States, including his grandmother. Two did not make it. Those two were killed in the Holocaust.2

  1. Garland was raised in Conservative Judaism. His family name had been changed from Garfinkel several generations earlier. ↩︎

  2. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Administers the Oath of Allegiance and Delivers Congratulatory Remarks at Ellis Island Ceremony in Celebration of Constitution Week and Citizenship Day ↩︎

Never Again?

David Horovitz, founding editor of The Times of Israel, writes in his newspaper:

We had thought, after World War II, that much of humanity had recognized the evil it could demonstrably do, recoiled, and largely determined that it must not happen again. We had thought that, at least in our lifetimes and for a few generations to come, the oldest hatred had been marginalized. We were wrong.

Two generations ago, most of my father’s family fled Nazi Germany for London just in time — a year before the Frankfurt synagogue founded by my great-grandfather was burned down on Kristallnacht. No governments in purportedly reasonable countries are endorsing antisemitism and the targeting of Jews. But there is growing empathy in some government quarters for the obsessive and skewed hostility to Israel, and for policies that would weaken the only Jewish state’s capacity to defend itself against its avowedly genocidal enemies.

I don’t think there’s been a more worrying period for the Jewish people since World War II.

The central lesson of the Holocaust is what it says about humanity’s capacity for evil. It never occurred to me that it couldn’t happen again.

Israel has never been more important to the Jewish people. Jews must defend themselves to survive. I don’t think defeating antisemitism is a realistic goal.

I hope I’m wrong,

Orthodox Jew Stabbed in Zurich


Swiss Jews are planning a vigil after a 50-year-old member of the Orthodox community in Zurich was stabbed Saturday night in what police say may be a hate crime.

The 50-year-old man who was stabbed is now hospitalized after suffering life-threatening wounds, according to Tachles, a Swiss Jewish magazine.

A 15-year-old male suspect was arrested at the scene, in the center of Zurich a few minutes’ walk from multiple synagogues. A first responder told Blick, a Swiss news site, that the teenager laughed while he was arrested. The site and accounts in Orthodox media reported that witnesses said the suspect made Islamist statements and antisemitic comments during the attack.

Two Famous Holocaust Photos in the Public Domain

Jerry Seinfeld Heckled by Anti-Israel Supporters


Jerry Seinfeld exited the annual State of the World Jewry address . . . in NYC to anti-Israel protesters accusing him of supporting genocide … but he didn’t seem too fazed.

The event featured Bari Weiss, founder of The Free Press.

Video of Heckling

Very sad.

This is the address that Bari Weiss delivered at 92NY, a proudly Jewish cultural and community center where people all over the world connect through culture, arts, entertainment and conversation. 

Paris: Man Attacked Near Synagogue

ABC News:

French authorities are searching for an assailant who attacked a man leaving a synagogue in Paris, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said late Saturday.

Darmanin said the alleged attack on Friday evening targeting a man in his early 60s was “a new antisemitic attack that occurred in Paris." “Everything is being done to apprehend the perpetrator of this unspeakable act,” Darmanin said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, Saturday evening.

A statement from the Paris public prosecutor’s office said an assailant was seen physically and verbally assaulting a 62-year-old man, wearing a Jewish skullcap, as he was leaving a synagogue Friday at around 5:30 p.m. local time in Paris’s 20th arrondissement.

Le Parisien (en français)

Antisemitism Today

Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School, writing in Time, asserts that today’s antisemitism is more likely to come from the left:

Neither South Africa nor other states have brought a genocide case against China for its conduct in Tibet or Xinjiang, or against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. There is something specifically noteworthy about leveling the charge at the Jewish state—something intertwined with the new narrative of the Jews as archetypal oppressors rather than archetypal victims. Call it the genocide sleight of hand: if the Jews are depicted as genocidal—if Israel becomes the very archetype of a genocidal state—then Jews are much less likely to be conceived as a historically oppressed people engaged in self-defense.

The new narrative of Jews as oppressors is, in the end, far too close for comfort to the antisemitic tradition of singling out Jews as uniquely deserving of condemnation and punishment, whether in its old religious form or its Nazi iteration. Like those earlier forms of antisemitism, the new kind is not ultimately about the Jews, but about the human impulse to point the finger at someone who can be made to carry the weight of our social ills. Oppression is real. Power can be exercised without justice. Israel should not be immune from criticism when it acts wrongfully. Yet the horrific history and undefeated resilience of antisemitism mean that modes of rhetorical attack on Israel and on Jews should be subject to careful scrutiny.

Feldman’s book, To Be a Jew Today: A New Guide to God, Israel, and the Jewish People will be released on March 6, 2024.

If anything is new about post-Holocaust antisemitism, it’s the accusations that the only Jewish state in the world is committing another Holocaust. As Professor Feldman notes, “Israel’s efforts to defend itself against Hamas, even if found to involve killing disproportionate number of civilians, do not turn Israel into a genocidal actor comparable to the Nazis or the Hutu regime in Rwanda.” Those who hurl this accusation at the State of Israel — and sometimes any random Jew in the world — expect that the statement will be hurtful. And a desire to hurt Jews is at the core of antisemitism.

Audrey Hepburn's Poignant Reaction to Anne Frank's Diary

Audrey Hepburn describing her reaction to reading the Anne Frank’s diary in 1946:

I was exactly the same age as Anne Frank. We were both 10 when war broke out and 15 when the war finished. I was given the book in Dutch, in galley form, in 1946 by a friend. I read it—and it destroyed me. It does this to many people when they first read it. But I was not reading it as a book, as printed pages. This was my life. I didn’t know what I was going to read. I’ve never been the same again, it affected me so deeply. We saw reprisals. We saw young men put up against the wall and shot, and they’d close the street and then open it, and you could pass by again. If you read the diary, I’ve marked one place where she says, ‘Five hostages shot today.’ That was the day my uncle was shot. And in this child’s words I was reading about what was inside me and is still there. It was a catharsis for me. This child who was locked up in four walls had written a full report of everything I’d experienced and felt.

Capturing a Film Princess in Life

UK Prime Minister Speaks Out Against Antisemitism; Pledges More Funding

On February 28, 2024, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke at the annual dinner of the Community Security Trust (CST), whose mission is to protect the UK’s Jewish community:

We’ve got to end this passive tolerance of words and actions that go against what we stand for.

Yes, you can march and protest with passion; you can demand the protection of civilian life but no, you cannot call for Jihad there is no “context” in which its acceptable to beam antisemitic tropes onto Big Ben and there’s no cause you can use to justify the support of proscribed terrorist groups, like Hamas.

And yes, you can freely criticise the actions of this government, the Israeli government or indeed any government.

But no, you cannot use that as an excuse to call for the eradication of a State – or any kind of hatred or antisemitism.

These statements are fundamental to the liberal democratic values that define Britain.

They are the very essence of our identity of who we are as a country.

To belong here is to believe these things; to stand up for these things.

And it’s time we were much, much clearer about this.

Sunak also pledged a minimum of £18 million in CST funding every year for the next four years. Previously, CST was required to bid for funding every year. This will give the organization a reliable funding stream.

The full transcript of the speech is available here.

See also, The Times of Israel

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.