Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

They survived the Holocaust. Must they go back into hiding?

December 10, 2018

They survived the Europe of the Holocaust. But a recent rise in anti-Semitic acts in the United States has rekindled old fears: Should they again go into hiding, or should they instead reach out to share their experiences?

Nearly all of them were children or adolescents in the early 1940s. They remember having their youth stolen from them — by fear, by desperate flight, by separation from relatives, and in some cases by the Nazi death camps.

GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File / SPENCER PLATT
Amid a rise in reported anti-Semitic acts in the US, neo-Nazis in the state of Georgia burned a swastika on April 21, 2018

If there was one country where they felt they were safe, it was the United States, where many of them have now lived for decades.

They have, to be sure, heard the occasional anti-Semitic slight or perhaps seen a swastika daubed on a wall, but still they felt safe — an all-important word for them.

Now, however, these survivors — several of whom came together in the Oheb Shalom synagogue in an affluent New Jersey suburb to celebrate Hanukkah and to mark International Holocaust Survivors Night — are deeply worried: Anti-Semitic acts in the US soared last year by 37 percent, according to FBI statistics.

The October 27 slaughter at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, where a white nationalist has been charged with gunning down 11 mostly elderly Jews as they worshiped, greatly heightened those fears.

AFP/File / Brendan SMIALOWSKI
A woman stands at a memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue after a shooting there left 11 people dead in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on October 27

“A crazy man listened to Trump,” said David Lefkovic, 89, referring to the Pittsburgh shooter.

As an adolescent in southwestern France during World War II, he was saved only by his blond hair from being snatched up in a round-up of Jews.

Trump “calls anybody that he doesn’t like ‘weak’ — that’s exactly Nazi language,” said Adela Dubovy, who, as a 6-year-old, survived the notorious Theresienstadt concentration camp. “You’re weak, you’re to be destroyed.”

– ‘It can happen again’ –

“Before, they were hiding,” Lefkovic said of America’s anti-Semites.

“It’s now out in the open that it’s okay to pick on the Jews all over again,” said Hanna Keselman, who was born in Germany in 1930 and spent much of the war in France and Italy.

The anti-Semites “are very strong, even in colleges,” said Roman Kent, who survived life in camps including Auschwitz. “They should have people that are more intelligent.”

AFP/File / Don EMMERT
Roman Kent, who survived life in several Nazi concentration camps, regrets that more young Jews are not stepping forward to ensure the Holocaust is never forgotten

In recent weeks, anti-Semitic acts have taken place on the campuses of some of America’s most prestigious universities, including Columbia and Cornell in New York state and Duke in North Carolina.

Of the Pittsburgh massacre, said Kent, who took part in negotiations with Germany over compensation to be paid to Jews, “I’m afraid that it can happen again, and it will happen again.”

– ‘I don’t want to live that way’-

Adela Dubovy said she has four grandchildren at various universities.

She said she lives in a retirement home — a “bubble” that insulates her to some extent. But she admits to being “scared.”

“Now I don’t wear my Star of David. I tell my grandkids: Don’t wear your kippah (yarmulke) in the street — you don’t want to be attacked.”

“I understand” the urge to be discreet, said Keselman, “but I would not tell my grandchildren that.”

“I don’t want to live that way anymore… I did it. Enough of that.”

When she traveled back to Italy, where her father was arrested and then killed, “I purposely wore a Jewish Star of David. I felt, ‘This is me back, and I feel safe here.'”

Today, said the soft-spoken 88-year-old, “I want to live free and open with everyone.”

Keselman, a painter, is not fond of public speaking but she forces herself to meet with young people to keep alive the haunting memories that some people feel will be lost forever when the final survivors die.

Roman Kent says he regrets that too few members of younger Jewish generations have picked up the torch.

“If they would, then there would not be 60 or 70 percent that don’t know the word Holocaust,” he said.

A study published in April by the Claims Conference, the group behind the International Holocaust Survivors Night, found that 49 percent of America’s young “millennial” generation could not name a single concentration camp.

“I realize that I do make an impact on people who are not Jewish, because they come back and tell me they never realized a lot of things that were going on” during the war, said Keselman.

“The problem,” she added, “is that the people who want to hear the stories are not the people who would be behaving as anti-Semites.”

https://www.afp.com/en/news/3954/they-survived-holocaust-must-they-go-back-hiding-doc-1bg0k42

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Anti-Semitism pushes 40% of European Jews to consider leaving — poll

December 10, 2018

Fears over anti-Semitism surge amid increasing attacks on Jewish communities in their home countries The poll by the EU agency for fundamental rights found that 28 per cent of European Jews experienced anti-Semitic harassment over the past 12 months © EPA Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share on LinkedIn (opens new window) Save Save to myFT

By Tobias Buck in Berlin 50 MINUTES AGO Print this page

Close to 40 per cent of European Jews have considered leaving their home countries over the past five years because of rising anti-Semitism, according to a poll released on Monday. The survey, which was conducted by the EU agency for fundamental rights (FRA), highlights growing concern among Jewish communities in Europe, with almost 90 per cent of respondents saying that anti-Semitism has increased since 2013.

The Jewish community in France — which has suffered a number of high-profile deadly attacks in recent years — appears to have been especially shaken: almost 80 per cent of French Jews told pollsters that anti-Semitism in the country had “increased a lot”, the highest proportion in Europe. But there was also a marked deterioration in Germany, where 44 per cent of Jews said they had thought about emigrating, up from 25 per cent five years ago.  “Decades after the Holocaust, shocking and mounting levels of anti-Semitism continue to plague the EU,”

Michael O’Flaherty, the director of the FRA, said in a statement. “Member states must take note and step up their efforts to prevent and combat anti-Semitism.

 A man raises his arm in a Heil Hitler salute towards heckling leftists at a right-wing protest  in Chemnitz.

Jewish people have the right to live freely, without hate and without fear for their safety.”  According to the FRA poll, however, that ideal is far from the reality of Jewish life in Europe today. It finds that 28 per cent of European Jews experienced anti-Semitic harassment over the past 12 months, including offensive and threatening comments, offensive gestures or offensive comments on social media. That number was especially high in Germany, where 41 per cent of respondents said they had suffered anti-Semitic harassment over the past year.

“The survey findings suggest that anti-Semitism pervades the public sphere, reproducing and ingraining stereotypes about Jews,” the FRA notes in the report. The agency also points out that “people face so much anti-Semitic abuse that some of the incidents they experience appear trivial to them . . . respondents report very few experienced incidents of anti-Semitism to the police or other institution[s]”.

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Asked about the perpetrators of the most anti-Semitic incidents, 31 per cent of respondents said they were not able to identify the assailant. Thirty per cent said the perpetrator was “someone with an extremist Muslim view”, followed by 21 per cent who said the attacker had been “someone with a leftwing political view”.

Concern over the rise of hatred against Jews prompted the German government earlier this year to appoint a special commissioner tasked with combating anti-Semitism. Berlin also announced plans to establish a national database for anti-Semitic incidents.  The FRA survey covers 12 European countries that together are home to 96 per cent of the Jewish population in the EU.

More than 16,000 Jews took part in the poll between May and June 2018.

https://www.ft.com/content/a8f26a56-fc62-11e8-aebf-99e208d3e521

See also:

‘The word Jew was not a common insult when I went to school…it is now.’

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/28/europe/germany-anti-semitism-education-intl/index.html

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Lindsey Graham spar on Twitter over Tijuana-Holocaust comparison

November 27, 2018

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is sparring with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Twitter over immigration policy, after Ocasio-Cortez compared the plight of migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. to Jewish families seeking refuge from Nazi Germany.

The back-and-forth began Sunday when Ocasio-Cortez tweeted after border agents used tear gas against some migrants who attempted to illegally enter the U.S. near Tijuana, Mexico.

“Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime. It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted along with a photo from NBC News depicting a woman and children fleeing the tear gas. “It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda. It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria. And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America.”

By Diana Stancy Correll

Graham responded, advising Ocasio-Cortez to visit the Holocaust Museum to “help her better understand the differences between the Holocaust and the caravan in Tijuana.” He also called on Congress to pass immigration reform legislation to heighten border security.

The comment didn’t go unnoticed by Ocasio-Cortez, who told Graham “the point of such a treasured museum is to bring its lessons to present day” and accused the Trump administration of violating human rights. She also referenced a remark Graham made last month during an interview with “Fox & Friends” when he said it would be “like terrible” if a DNA test revealed he was Iranian.

“While we’re recommending museums @LindseyGrahamSC, I heard your ‘joke’ about ethnic DNA preferences last month,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Monday evening. “Perhaps you would enjoy a visit (or revisit) to the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture (@NMAAHC). It’s a great educational experience.”

The dispute comes as Congress is facing a deadline next month to pass a 2019 spending bill that includes a minimum of $1.6 billion in wall funding, even though President Trump and some GOP lawmakers have pushed for as much as $5 billion.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday that 600 members of the 10,000 migrants that are part of the caravan making their way from Central America to the U.S. were convicted criminals in their countries of origin, but did not provide sourcing for the number.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-lindsey-graham-spar-on-twitter-over-tijuana-holocaust-comparison

Past ‘Hitler’ talk dogs Duterte’s Israel trip

September 2, 2018

When President Duterte makes the first visit to Israel by a Philippine President next week, officials on both sides will try to play down his record of jarring invective while promoting commercial and military ties.

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Israel sees the four-day tour by Mr. Duterte and his top ministers as a chance to thank Manila for taking in Jews during the Holocaust and backing the Israeli independence campaign that followed.

Defense, labor and tourism deals are also on the agenda, cementing relationships between the Asian power and booming Israel, both historical US allies.

Yet Israel’s Government Press Office has said most of the visit will be closed to the media, an apparent precaution against faux pas by a President whose two-fisted crime-fighting tactics and rhetoric have raised hackles at home and abroad.

Nazi reference

Some Israeli pundits have recoiled at his planned attendance at Holocaust commemorations.

Mr. Duterte is set to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and attend an event of the Filipino community in Israel during his four-day visit that begins on Sunday.

“We assign great importance to this visit, which symbolizes the strong, warm ties between our two peoples, as well as the enormous potential for developing and strengthening the relations. Cooperation between the two countries is thriving,” Israel’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

‘Happy to slaughter’

In 2016, in a bungled reference to an opponent’s remark that his rise could be like that of Adolf Hitler, Mr. Duterte said he himself would be “happy to slaughter” drug addicts on the scale of the Nazi leader’s Jewish genocide.

While Mr. Duterte apologized for that, he has been dogged by accusations from activists that thousands of killings in his ongoing war on drugs were executions, which he rejects, and is rebuked by women’s groups for remarks that make light of rape.

Mr. Duterte has lashed out repeatedly at the Catholic Church, deeming it hypocritical. His visit will include sightseeing in Jerusalem’s walled Old City, which houses major Christian, Jewish and Muslim shrines.

Aides say Mr. Duterte hopes to regulate labor relations with Israel, where between 24,000 and 28,000 Filipinos work, mostly as caregivers, and to promote Holy Land tourism from the predominantly Catholic Asian country, which has been growing by 30 percent to 50 percent annually in recent years.

Security cooperation

Establishing a direct air connection between Israel and the Philippines is in discussion.

Mr. Duterte also wants to improve security cooperation with Israel, which has sold the Philippines three radar systems and upgraded 100 armored vehicles, and which Manila is now eyeing for an aircraft deal.

Mr. Duterte makes no secret of his personal disdain for Washington and its foreign policy. He has pivoted the Philippines away from its former colonial master, the United States, and toward warmer diplomatic and business ties with China and Russia.

Still, he shares Netanyahu’s rapport with US President Donald Trump. That has stirred modest hope in Israel that the maverick Asian leader might use his visit to announce recognition of Jerusalem as the country’s capital, as Trump did last December, outraging the Palestinians.

Hardware deals

The United States and Canada have both had military hardware deals fall apart with the Philippines due to concerns over Mr. Duterte’s drug war. But so far sales with Israel have gone smoothly.

“[The visit] is for President Duterte to look for an alternative market for … weapons for our Armed Forces as well as for the police,” Henelito Sevilla, an international relations expert at the University of the Philippines, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Israel is among the world’s top arms dealers, with nearly 60 percent of its defense exports going to the Asia-Pacific region, according to Israeli defense ministry data.

Accompanied by an entourage including retiring military and police officials, Mr. Duterte is set to leave Manila at 1 p.m. on Sunday. From Israel, he heads to Jordan on Sept. 5, where he is expected to meet with King Abdullah II. —REPORTS FROM AFP AND AP

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1027229/past-hitler-talk-dogs-dutertes-israel-trip#ixzz5PxCmlz00
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Philippine President Duterte Heads to Israel: Compared Himself to Hitler, Likes Rape Jokes, No Friend of Human Rights, Global Leader in Extrajudicial Killings

September 1, 2018

When Rodrigo Duterte makes the first visit to Israel by a president of the Philippines next week, officials on both sides will try to play down his record of jarring invective while promoting commercial and military ties.

Israel sees the four-day tour by Duterte and his top ministers as a chance to thank Manila for taking in Jews during the Holocaust and backing the Israeli independence campaign that followed.

Image may contain: 1 person

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte  (AP Photo/File)

Tourism, labour and defence deals are also on the agenda, cementing relationships between the Asian power and booming Israel, both historical U.S. allies.

Yet Israel’s Government Press Office has said most of the visit will be closed to the media, an apparent precaution against faux pas by a president whose two-fisted crime-fighting tactics and rhetoric have raised hackles at home and abroad.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Davao City, in the southern island of Mindanao on February 9, 2018. (AFP)

Some Israeli pundits have recoiled at his planned attendance at Holocaust commemorations.

In 2016, in a bungled reference to an opponent’s remark that his rise could be like that of Adolf Hitler, Duterte said he himself would be “happy to slaughter” drug addicts on the scale of the Nazi leader’s Jewish genocide.

    While Duterte apologised for that, he has been dogged by accusations from activists that thousands of killings in his ongoing war on drugs were executions, which he rejects, and is rebuked by women’s groups for remarks that make light of rape.

In June, Duterte called God “stupid” and has lashed out repeatedly at the Catholic church, deeming it hypocritical. His visit will include sight-seeing in Jerusalem’s walled Old City, which houses major Christian, Jewish and Muslim shrines.

Image may contain: 1 person, hat and closeup

“There’s just no knowing what he will say from one moment to the next, so both sides want to keep this (Israel) visit as low-key as possible,” one official involved in the planning, and who asked not to be identified by name or nationality, told Reuters.

TAKING CARE

Aides say Duterte hopes to regulate labour relations with Israel, where between 24,000 and 28,000 Filipinos work, mostly as care-givers, and to promote Holy Land tourism from the predominantly Catholic Asian country which has been growing by 30 percent to 50 percent annually in recent years.

Establishing a direct air connection between Israel and the Philippines is in discussion.

int.

In this December 8, 2016 photo, An empty shell of a pistol lies near the body of a woman, later identified by her husband as that of Nora Acielo, after she was shot by still unidentified men while about to bring her two children to school at a poor neighborhood in Manila. Credit AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

Duterte also wants to improve security cooperation with Israel, which has sold the Philippines three radar systems and 100 armoured vehicles, and which Manila is now eyeing for an aircraft deal. According to Israeli government data, exports to the Philippines were worth $143 million last year.

Duterte, who has kept domestic opinion on edge by hankering for retirement before his term ends in 2022, makes no secret of his personal disdain for Washington and its foreign policy.

Image result for philippines, dead on the street, photos

Extrajudicial killings in the Philippines have become commonplace

Still, he shares Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rapport with U.S. President Donald Trump. That has stirred modest hope in Israel that the maverick Asian leader might use his visit to announce recognition of Jerusalem as the country’s capital, as Trump did last December, outraging the Palestinians.

“We have been encouraging the Philippines on this (Jerusalem recognition), as we do with all countries,” one Israeli diplomat said. “We don’t know that Duterte will do it – but neither do we know that he won’t.”

Ernesto Abella, an official with the Foreign Ministry in Manila and a former Duterte spokesman, said the issue of moving the Philippine embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as the United States did in May, had not been discussed.

Abella said the controversy around Duterte’s Hitler comments had been settled “way back”.

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said in a statement that Israel “assign(s) great importance to this visit, which symbolises the strong, warm ties between our peoples as well as the enormous potential for developing and strengthening the relations”.

Duterte arrives in Israel on Sunday and on Wednesday departs for neighbouring Jordan.

(Editing by Kim Coghill)

Reuters

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Cohen flipped after dad said didn’t survive Holocaust for Trump to ‘sully’ name

August 23, 2018

Wall Street Journal reports conversation with attorney’s father was turning point, frustration began after Trump family stopped paying his legal fees

 

Michael Cohen, former lawyer to US President Donald Trump, exits the Federal Courthouse on August 21, 2018 in New York City. (Yana Paskova/Getty Images/AFP)

Michael Cohen, former lawyer to US President Donald Trump, exits the Federal Courthouse on August 21, 2018 in New York City. (Yana Paskova/Getty Images/AFP)

Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen turned on his former boss after a conversation with his father in which the elder Cohen told his son that he did not survive the Holocaust to have his name tarnished by the US president, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The longtime lawyer and fixer pleaded guilty Tuesday to eight counts, including violations of campaign finance rules during the 2016 presidential race — and implicated his former boss in the process.

Questioned by the federal judge, Cohen said he had paid sums of $130,000 and $150,000 each to two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump, acting at his boss’s request, in a bid to buy their silence “with the purpose of influencing the election.”

Cohen said the first payment was “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” and the second was made “under direction of the same candidate.” The payments were made to prevent publication of information that would have harmed that candidate’s campaign.

The payments, apparently made using campaign funds, would be a violation of campaign finance laws.

Cohen’s explosive assertion — which suggests Trump may have committed a crime — was all the more spectacular coming from a man who once declared he was so loyal he would “take a bullet for the president.”

But as federal prosecutors began progressing in their case against Cohen, the attorney’s once close relationship began to be tested.

Following April 9 raids of Cohen’s office, home and hotel, Trump stood by his then attorney calling the measures against him a “disgrace” and a “witch hunt.”

But the Journal reported that the rupture began soon after when the Trump family stopped paying for part of Cohen’s legal fees, which the attorney had claimed were driving him into bankruptcy.

Cohen told associates that he felt the president “didn’t have his back,” the WSJ reported.

US President Donald Trump pauses while speaking during a rally Tuesday, August 21, 2018, in Charleston, West Virginia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

As the attorney’s legal woes expanded, Cohen eventually turned on Trump for good.

However, the “turning point,” as the Journal referred to it, was a conversation that the former Trump confidant had with his father, Maurice Cohen, a Polish Holocaust survivor.

The elder Cohen told his son that he did not survive the Holocaust to have his name “sullied” by Trump, WSJ reported.

The younger Cohen went on to reference his father’s history when he publicly broke with the president on June 20.

Then, the attorney tweeted (and later deleted), “as the son of a Polish holocaust survivor, the images and sounds of this family separation policy [are] heart wrenching.”

Since the guilty pleas this week, Trump has hit back at Cohen, accusing him of making up “stories” in order to get a plea deal.

He went on to claim Wednesday that hush payments made by his former lawyer before the 2016 election did not breach campaign finance rules.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/cohen-flipped-after-dad-said-didnt-survive-holocaust-for-trump-to-sully-name/

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(Wall Street Journal)

Mr. Cohen’s father urged him not to protect the president, saying he didn’t survive the Holocaust to have his name sullied by Mr. Trump, according to a person who was told about the conversation. The elder Mr. Cohen couldn’t be reached for comment.

Facebook: Farrakhan’s Anti-Semitic Talks Do Not Violate Hate Speech Rules — Isn’t This Racism?

August 8, 2018
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s official Facebook page seems rife with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and other hateful speech, which have not been censored by Facebook content monitors….
  • Facebook has allowed Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to espouse anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on its platform
  • Facebook deleted right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ page on Monday for violating rules against hate speech
  • Videos on Farrakhan’s page show him accusing Jews of secretly controlling government agencies and “weaponizing” marijuana to “feminize” black men

Videos posted to Farrakhan’s Facebook page show the Nation of Islam leader claiming that Jews are secretly controlling government agencies to suppress black Americans and blaming Jews for “weaponizing” marijuana with “chemicals” to “feminize” black men.

Image result for Louis Farrakhan, photos

Neither of those videos violate Facebook’s rules prohibiting hate speech, a Facebook spokeswoman told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a phone interview Tuesday.

Another video that showed Farrakhan warning against interracial marriage — which he blames on “the enemy” in Hollywood — to keep the black race “from being any further mongrelized,” was originally ruled not to violate hate speech rules, according to the Facebook spokeswoman.

After this article was published, the spokeswoman called back and said that a closer review by the company’s content monitors determined Farrakhan’s use of the word “mongrelized” did violate Facebook’s rules, and that the video would be deleted.

Facebook and other tech giants, including Spotify, YouTube and Apple, banned right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their platforms Monday for violating prohibitions against hate speech.

Here’s how Facebook defines hate speech:

a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disease or disability. We also provide some protections for immigration status. We define attack as violent or dehumanizing speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation.

Farrakhan has repeatedly advanced anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on his Facebook page.

“The FBI has been the worst enemy of black advancement. See the Jews have control over those agencies of government,” Farrakhan said in a March 7 video clipped from his annual Saviour’s Day speech.

WATCH:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FOfficialMinisterFarrakhan%2Fvideos%2F1607016972738902%2F&show_text=0&width=560

“This enemy, he’s so angry with Farrakhan that now if you like me, you have to either hide it, especially if you want advancement in the white man’s world. Now if you go to work tomorrow and Jews are your boss, don’t tell em where you been,” Farrakhan said to laughs from the audience.

Farrakhan claims in another video that the U.S. government and Jews are working together to “weaponize” marijuana “with chemicals that perform lobotomies.” (RELATED: Twitter Finally De-Verifies Farrakhan After ‘Satanic Jew’ Rant)

“Minister Farrakhan talks about the role of the U.S. government and the Jewish community in the weaponization of marijuana that is feminizing and killing Black men,” the video’s description reads.

“Now God don’t want you inter-marrying with them,” Farrakhan said of white people in a November 2016 video. Farrakhan claimed that: “God wanted us to be to ourselves, us with our women. He respected white people who wanted to keep their race white, because we sure want to keep ours from being any further mongrelized.”

The Nation of Islam leader blamed Hollywood — which he has repeatedly and unapologetically said is under Jewish control — for promoting interracial marriage. After this article was published, a Facebook spokeswoman said that that video was, upon closer examination, determined to be in violation of Facebook policy.

One February 2017 video posted to Farrakhan’s page shows him telling a Nation of Islam audience, “Your fathers built civilization while the white man was crawling around the hills and cave sides of Europe. Stand up, black man and woman, and be yourself, and stop copying this freak of a human.”

This article has been updated to note Facebook’s reversal on Farrakhan’s video warning against interracial marriage  

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

http://dailycaller.com/2018/08/07/louis-farrakhan-anti-semitism-facebook-hate-speech/

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The soft bigotry of the New York Times — Identity politics and racism

Gatekeepers or Censors? How Tech Manages Online Speech

August 8, 2018

The rules that Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter follow in their roles as arbiters of online speech are often vague. Critics say they are arbitrary.

Apple, Google and Facebook this week erased from their services many — but not all — videos, podcasts and posts from the right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars site. And Twitter left Mr. Jones’s posts untouched.

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The differing approaches to Mr. Jones exposed how unevenly tech companies enforce their rules on hate speech and offensive content. There are only a few cases in which the companies appear to consistently apply their policies, such as their ban on child pornography and instances in which the law required them to remove content, like Nazi imagery in Germany.

When left to make their own decisions, the tech companies often struggle with their roles as the arbiters of speech and leave false information, upset users and confusing decisions in their wake. Here is a look at what the companies, which control the world’s most popular public forums, allow and ban.

Facebook at the Center of the Storm

Of all the tech companies, Facebook has faced the biggest public outcry over what it allows on its platform.

Whenever the social media company has been pressed to explain its decision-making, it has referred to its community standards, a public document that outlines Facebook’s rules for users. The company has outright bans against violent content, nudity and terrorist recruitment propaganda. The rules on other types of content, including hate speech and false news, are more ambiguous.

When asked about Infowars last month, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said he wouldn’t remove pages hosting popular conspiracy theories of the type Mr. Jones is known for sharing. Mr. Zuckerberg then turned the conversation to the subject of the Holocaust, defending Facebook users who deny the Holocaust occurred.

His awkward explanation prompted outrage, and less than a day later, Mr. Zuckerberg offered a public apology.

Now, less than a month later, Facebook has banned Mr. Jones and removed four pages belonging to him — including one with nearly 1.7 million followers — for violating its policies. The ban means that while Mr. Jones still has an account and can view content on Facebook, he is suspended from posting anything to the platform, including to his personal page or any pages on which he is an administrator.

Read the rest:

NYT:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/07/technology/tech-companies-online-speech.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

Related:

The soft bigotry of the New York Times — Identity politics and racism

Holocaust experts want to help Zuckerberg solve Facebook’s denial dilemma — Anti-Semitic, Holocaust denial is racism

August 8, 2018

After Facebook chief told interviewer he doesn’t think Holocaust deniers were ‘intentionally getting it wrong,’ 6,000 individuals and institutions call for content’s removal

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Idaho, July 14, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/via JTA)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Idaho, July 14, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/via JTA)

Holocaust experts want to meet with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the social network’s unwillingness to automatically remove anti-Semitic and Holocaust denial material.

The heads of organizations and experts involved in Holocaust and genocide education offered to meet with Zuckerberg and help raise Holocaust awareness within the Facebook community.

In late July, Zuckerberg said in an interview published online that he would not automatically remove Holocaust-denying posts from the social network he founded.

“Facebook must not allow complete and utter falsehoods about the Holocaust, and about the Jewish people, to go systematically unchecked,” the letter dated Tuesday to Zuckerberg says. “Virulent antisemitism is a proven pathway that leads from rhetorical hatred to actions of violence. Freedom of speech laws are not a reason to do nothing — inaction is always the opportunity for evil to flourish. All genocide starts with distortion of the truth and prejudice.”

The experts later say: “We offer you tangible, rapidly executable steps towards Facebook becoming part of the solution. We can deliver proven educational resources in multiple languages, ready for digital deployment with Facebook — important as you may wish to break the task down by different jurisdictions with different laws.”

They also offer “cost-free professional development programs for educators on Facebook to give them resources, skills and confidence to tackle hate and prejudice, and to teach empathy, understanding and respect.”

Among the signers are Simon Bentley, head of Yad Vashem UK; Peter Schafer of the Jewish Museum Berlin; Stephen D. Smith, executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation; Laura Marks, chairwoman of the UK Holocaust Memorial Day Trust; and Diane Lee, director general of the Imperial War Museum in London.

In an interview published on the Recode website, Zuckerberg had told tech journalist Kara Swisher: “I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened. I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong.” He said, “I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.”

Zuckerberg later clarified his comments, saying “I personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that.”

Meanwhile, some 6,000 educational institutions, museums and individuals from around the world signed a Change.org petition started by the New York-based Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect along with the Association of Holocaust Organizations, and Holocaust Learning and Education Fund calling on Zuckerberg and Facebook to stop hosting Holocaust denial on the social network.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/how-holocaust-experts-want-to-help-zuckerberg-solve-facebooks-denial-dilemma/

Related:

Zuckerberg’s stance on Holocaust denial is ‘dangerous,’ Trump appointee says

July 31, 2018

Chairman of US Commission to Preserve America’s Heritage Abroad pens letter to Facebook head slamming policy not to remove ‘abhorrent’ posts from social media platform

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg testifies during a US House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 11, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB)

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg testifies during a US House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 11, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB)

The chairman of the US Commission to Preserve America’s Heritage Abroad has said Mark Zuckerberg’s stance on not removing Holocaust-denial posts from Facebook is “dangerous.”

Paul Packer, who was appointed to the independent government agency by President Donald Trump, sent a letter to Zuckerberg a day after the Facebook founder and CEO told Recode, a tech news website, that he would not automatically delete Holocaust-denying posts.

In the interview earlier this month, Zuckerberg said that while Facebook would not remove a post denying the Holocaust, the social network would push it down the News Feed to make sure the post did not go viral.

“(At) the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong,” he said.

Packer’s letter in response, dated July 19, was first obtained and published by Axios.

“By attempting to rationalize Holocaust denial and by enabling anti-Semites to publish their abhorrent views freely on your platform, you have failed your users and the world at large,” he said. “Furthermore, you have failed to uphold Facebook’s own mission to ‘give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.’

“Your comments were not only divisive — they were dangerous. Through your words and Facebook’s policies, you have empowered those who would deny the undeniable,” he wrote.

Packer called on Zuckerberg to “meet your ethical obligation not to allow the further destruction and endangerment of our history by changing Facebook’s policy immediately so that historical denial of the kind you defended is no longer allowed.”

He invited Zuckerberg to join him on one of the commission’s “many trips to countries impacted by Nazi brutality.”

Packer, a former New York hedge fund manager, told Axios that he met with senior Facebook executive Joel Kaplan this week in Washington, DC, to raise his concerns in the wake of the letter. Multiple Facebook executives joined the meeting via video conference, Axios reported.

Kaplan told Axios that Facebook agrees that Holocaust denial is “abhorrent and offensive.”

“That said,” he added, “we do not remove content simply for being factually inaccurate, whether it’s about the Holocaust, any other world event or anything else.”

https://www.timesofisrael.com/zuckerbergs-stance-on-holocaust-denial-is-dangerous-trump-appointee-says/

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