February 2015

Sheldon Richman

Today, American politicians of both major parties — conservatives, “moderates,” and so-called liberals alike — insist that the United States is an “exceptional,” even “indispensable” nation. In practice, this means that for the United States alone the rules are different. Particularly in international affairs, it — the government and its personnel — can do whatever deemed necessary to carry out its objectives, including things that would get any other government or person branded a criminal. / ... Today we see signs of the doctrine of American exceptionalism all around. U.S. foreign policy is not bound in the ways in which U.S. officials expect other countries’ foreign policies to be bound. America is special, chosen. So the rules are different. We might say America has a James Bond complex ... It apparently has a de facto license to kill.

Thomas Sowell

... Europe is currently in the process of paying the price for years of importing millions of people from a culture hostile to the fundamental values of Western culture. And this is by no means the last of the installments of that price, to be paid in blood and lives, for smug elites' Utopian self-indulgences in moral preening and gushing with the magic word "diversity." Generations yet unborn will still be paying the price, whether in large or small installments, depending on how long it takes for the West to jettison Utopianism and come to grips with reality. Meanwhile, in the United States, no one seems to be drawing any lessons about the dangers of importing millions of people from fundamentally different cultures across our open border.

Timothy Stanley - The American Conservative

... The sheer disgust that many liberals direct at UKIP reflects the fact that Britain is undergoing a culture war. On the side of ordinary folk with old-fashioned tastes is UKIP. Pitched against them is the entire edifice of the metropolitan elite located in the nicer bits of London: the mainstream parties, big business, and the media. That this battle is taking place is no shock to anyone with eyes and ears. But that UKIP has become the people’s party is a real surprise, considering its beginnings on the marginal, eccentric right ... Polls show that the number of voters who admire the party is dwarfed by those who strongly dislike it ... Paradoxically, while the rise of UKIP has illustrated the failure of mainstream politics, its limited success has demonstrated the establishment’s stubborn resilience.

James Jackson – Taki’s Magazine

... Without a single vote being cast or our opinion being sought, the [British] nation has been hijacked ... This is not glib observation or casual racist comment. It concerns the survival of this country ... Rather than a country with a core common value system — a prerequisite for national identity and existence — we have simply become a lump of rock inhabited by migrants with no love for, loyalty to, or pride, stake, or belief in our nation. For decades, the liberal-left has peddled the view — without explanation or apology — that multiculturalism is good for our souls and society at large ... I have watched the Balkanization of Britain, the fragmentation of a country into ethnic and sectarian groupings ... For the liberal-left elite, the situation is a joy ... The end result is that the nation dies.

Daniel Pipes - National Review

Woe to anyone in Sweden who dissents from the orthodox view that welcoming large numbers of indigent peoples from such countries as Iraq, Syria, and Somalia is anything but a fine and noble idea. Even to argue that permitting about one percent of the existing population to emigrate annually from an alien civilization renders one politically, socially, and even legally beyond the pale. (I know a journalist threatened with arrest for mild dissent on this issue.) Stating that there exists a Swedish culture worth preserving meets with puzzlement.

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (1987)

… This relentless cult of novelty, with its assertion that art need not be good or pure, just so long as it is new, newer, and newer still, conceals an unyielding and long-sustained attempt to undermine, ridicule and uproot all moral precepts … To decorate public spaces we put up sculptures that aestheticize pure ugliness — but we no longer register surprise. And if visitors from outer space were to pick up our music over the airwaves, how could they ever guess that earthlings once had a Bach, a Beethoven and a Schubert, now abandoned as out of date and obsolete?

Loren Thompson - Forbes

Hopefully, the latest ceasefire in Ukraine will hold. However, recent history is not encouraging, so proposals in Washington to provide “lethal assistance” to the embattled Kiev regime will remain on the table ... It appears Washington is poised to inject itself into yet another foreign conflict where the costs and consequences are only dimly grasped ... A brief review of the kind of arguments being made this week to justify sending weapons illustrates how America manages to continuously stumble into new military commitments without grasping where they might lead.

Gary Leupp - Counterpunch

If reason and justice prevailed in this country, you’d think that the recent series of articles in the Washington Times concerning the U.S.-NATO attack on Libya in 2011 would torpedo Hillary Clinton’s presidential prospects. Clinton as U.S. Secretary of State at that time knew that Libya was no threat to the U.S ... But she wanted to topple Gadhafi. Over the objections of Secretary of “Defense” Robert Gates but responding to the urgings of British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicholas Sarkozy, she advocated war ... The “humanitarian intervention” was in fact a grotesque farce and huge war crime. But the political class and punditry in this country do not attack Hillary for war crimes, or for promoting lies to validate a war of aggression ... She was [also] a strident supporter of the Iraq War.

Sheldon Richman

If one tried to design a foreign policy to embroil Americans in endless conflicts that would otherwise be quite remote, one could hardly do better than recent presidents of the United States. What could you do that these men have not done to keep Americans mired in distant turmoil? ... There was no ISIS in Iraq or Syria before America invaded the former and called open season on the regime in the latter ... Unsurprisingly, the ruling elite has no incentive to reconsider the premise of U.S. foreign policy, namely, that America can and should run the world. It is “our” manifest destiny and not to be questioned ... As over two centuries show, American hegemony — “exceptionalism” — is in the nation’s political DNA.

Kevin Drum – Mother Jones

... The question for hawks at this point is: what makes you think American military force has even the slightest chance of improving things in the Middle East? It's been nothing but disasters since 9/11, and there's no reason at all to think we've learned how to do things better in the intervening years. Bush started big wars, and Obama has started small ones, but the result has been the same ... What reason is there to believe that ever more military action will work out any better than it has before? In the past 50 years, has there been any case of the U.S. successfully training local troops to prosecute a war against insurgents?

Alan Taylor – The Atlantic

In the last months of World War II, Allied bombers from the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force conducted several major bombing raids on the eastern German city of Dresden. Beginning on the night of February 13, 1945, more than 1,200 heavy bombers dropped nearly 4,000 tons of high-explosive and incendiary bombs on the city in four successive raids. An estimated 25,000 people were killed in the bombings and the firestorm that raged afterward. More than 75,000 dwellings were destroyed, along with unique monuments of Baroque architecture in the historic city center. With photographs.

BBC Breakfast (Britain) - Video

Victor Gregg, now 95 years old, movingly recalls the firebombing of Dresden. When the city was attacked by British and American bombers in mid-February 1945, he was being held there as a British prisoner of war. During this touching guest appearance on a morning television show, he relates that it took him 40 years to get over what he experienced and saw in this “evil” attack. Runtime: 7:29 mins.

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

... Between 7:50 and 8:12 p.m. local time on February 23, 1945, RAF aircraft dropped 1575 tons of high explosive and incendiary bombs on Pforzheim, setting off a firestorm that is widely seen as one of the most devastating in military history. According to official statistics, 17,600 people died, and tens of thousands of others were injured. The market square and old town area were destroyed and completely depopulated. In the entire city, over 80 percent of the architecture that existed in 1945 was defaced, making Pforzheim, proportionally speaking, the worst instance of destruction at the end of WWII. The Allied bombardments of Dresden and Hamburg have been well documented and remain in the public consciousness today, both in Germany and abroad. But Pforzheim doesn't.

Simon Wiesenthal Center (Los Angeles)

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is calling for the cancellation of a program that glorifies a notorious World War II-era Hungarian writer and Nazi collaborator. Mark Weitzman, the Wisenthal Center's Director of Government Affairs said that the program - scheduled for later this week at the Hungarian House in New York - will, "celebrate Albert Wass, who has been described by prominent historian and Holocaust survivor Professor Randolph Braham, as a 'notorious anti-Semite' who collaborated with the Hungarian fascist regime during World War II'." Wass, who received an Iron Cross, fled with the Nazis at the end of the War.

The Local (Germany)

Researchers at the Munich Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ) plan to publish an annotated edition of Adolf Hitler's infamous book “Mein Kampf" [My Struggle] after its copyright runs out this year. It's a moment the academics have spent years preparing for, knowing that the deadline for the copyright to expire – 70 years following the author's death – was soon to arrive. IfZ deputy director Magnus Brechtken said that the two-volume new edition will contain 2,000 pages. Just 780 of those will contain Hitler's original 27 chapters, while the rest will be made up of around 5,000 comments from researchers, an introduction and the index. IfZ director Andreas Wirsching said last year that “what we are publishing here is an anti-Hitler text”.

Chris Hedges - Truthdig

... We are blinded by self-destructive fantasy. An array of amusements and spectacles, including TV “reality” shows, huge sporting events, social media, porn (which earns at least twice what Hollywood movies generate), alluring luxury products, drugs, alcohol and magic Jesus, offers enticing exit doors from reality. We yearn to be rich, powerful and celebrities ... That nearly all of us will never attain these ambitions is emblematic of our collective self-delusion and the effectiveness of a culture awash in manipulation and lies ... There are few people on the left who grasp the immense danger of allowing pornography to replace intimacy, sex and love. Much of the left believes that pornography is about free speech ...

Reuters

China is building some "fairly amazing submarines" and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top U.S. Navy admiral told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee's seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of deployment. For instance, China had carried out three deployments in the Indian Ocean, and had kept vessels out at sea for 95 days, Mulloy said.

The Telegraph (Britain)

... Thomas Cromwell [1485-1540], whose life it chronicles, comes across as a plucky, self-made Englishman, whose quiet reserve suggests inner strength and personal nobility. Back in the real world, Cromwell was a “ruffian” (in his own words) turned sectarian extremist, whose religious vandalism bears striking comparison with the iconoclasm of Islamic State or the Afghani Taliban ... With lazy strokes of his pen, he condemned royalty, nobles, peasants, nuns, and monks to horrific summary executions ... And then there is his impact on this country’s artistic and intellectual heritage. No one can be sure of the exact figure, but it is estimated that the destruction started and legalised by Cromwell amounted to 97% of the English art then in existence.

Reuters

Ultra-radical Islamist militants in northern Iraq have destroyed a priceless collection of statues and sculptures from the ancient Assyrian era, inflicting what an archaeologist described as incalculable damage to a piece of shared human history. A video published by Islamic State [or Isis] on Thursday showed men attacking the artifacts, some of them identified as antiquities from the 7th century BC, with sledgehammers and drills, saying they were symbols of idolatry. "The Prophet ordered us to get rid of statues and relics, and his companions did the same when they conquered countries after him," an unidentified man said in the video. The smashed articles appeared to come from an antiquities museum in Mosul, the northern city which was overrun by Islamic State last June ...

Fiscal Times

While the world was watching the Academy Awards ceremony, the people of Mosul [Iraq] were watching a different show. They were horrified to see ISIS members burn the Mosul public library. Among the many thousands of books it housed, more than 8,000 rare old books and manuscripts were burned ... Notables in Mosul tried to persuade ISIS members to spare the library, but they failed ... Among its lost collections were manuscripts from the eighteenth century, Syriac books printed in Iraq's first printing house in the nineteenth century, books from the Ottoman era, Iraqi newspapers from the early twentieth century and some old antiques like an astrolabe and sand glass used by ancient Arabs.

Graeme Wood – The Atlantic

... We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal ... The risks of escalation are enormous. The biggest proponent of an American invasion is the Islamic State itself ... Given everything we know about the Islamic State [or ISIS], continuing to slowly bleed it, through air strikes and proxy warfare, appears the best of bad military options ... Properly contained, the Islamic State is likely to be its own undoing. No country is its ally, and its ideology ensures that this will remain the case. The land it controls, while expansive, is mostly uninhabited and poor.

Trevor Timm – The Guardian (Britain)

After more than six months of virtually ignoring the fact that the war against Isis [the `Islamic State’] was illegal by almost anyone’s standards -- given Congress’s cowardly refusal vote on it and the White House’s refusal to ask them first – the Obama administration has finally submitted a draft war authorization against Isis to Congress. That means the media can go back to doing what it does best: creating a “debate” over how many countries we should invade, without any discussion of how our invasions created the very situation in which we feel we have to contemplate more invasions. It’s like the early Bush years all over again.

Institute for Historical Review (1991)

The Institute for Historical Review has won a resounding victory in its ten-year-old legal battle with California businessman and Holocaust personality Mel Mermelstein ... Victory in the case (No. C629224) caps an acrimonious legal clash that has attracted nationwide media attention. Mermelstein's long-standing campaign to shut down the IHR was sensationalized, for example, in a made-for-television movie, "Never Forget," broadcast nationwide on the TNT cable television network. Veteran actor Leonard Nimoy played the former Auschwitz and Buchenwald camp inmate, who was portrayed as a man of courage, rectitude and integrity.

T. J. Espenshade, C. Y. Chung - Princeton University

... Elite universities give extra weight in admissions to candidates whose SAT scores are above 1500, who are African American, and who are student athletes. A smaller, but nevertheless important, preference is extended to Hispanic and legacy applicants. African-American applicants receive the equivalent of 230 extra SAT points (on a 1600-point scale), and being Hispanic is worth an additional 185 SAT points. Other things equal, recruited athletes gain an admission bonus worth 200 points ... Asian-American applicants face a loss equivalent to 50 SAT points.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Israel’s top representative to the United Nations is demanding that the world body condemn the Iranian government for hosting a contest featuring Holocaust-themed cartoons. Ron Prosor wrote a letter over the weekend to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and global delegates urging them to publicly censure the contest, which is scheduled to take place this coming April ... The organizers argued that the event is in line with Western values that preserve humans’ right to freedom of expression.

The Guardian (Britain)

Binyamin Netanyahu’s dramatic declaration to world leaders in 2012 that Iran was about a year away from making a nuclear bomb was contradicted by his own secret service, according to a top-secret Mossad document. It is part of a cache of hundreds of dossiers, files and cables from the world’s major intelligence services – one of the biggest spy leaks in recent times ... In a secret report shared with South Africa a few weeks later, Israel’s intelligence agency concluded that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons”. The report highlights the gulf between the public claims and rhetoric of top Israeli politicians and the assessments of Israel’s military and intelligence establishment.

CBS

... The revelation is part of a trove of leaked cables obtained by Al Jazeera and shared with The Guardian newspaper that shed a startling light on the behind-the-scenes workings of Mideast politics for a period from 2006 until December 2014. One secret cable reveals that Mossad said in late October 2012 that Iran had not begun the work needed to build any kind of nuclear weapon. Instead, the Islamic Republic's scientists were at the time "working to close gaps in areas that appear legitimate such as enrichment reactors.”

AFP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's acceptance of an invitation to address the US Congress, without the blessing of the White House, is destructive to US-Israeli ties, a senior official said Tuesday. The comments by National Security Advisor Susan Rice are some of the harshest yet amid a controversy over Republican House speaker John Boehner's invitation to the Israeli leader to address lawmakers, without following protocol and advising President Barack Obama first ... [Secretary of State] Kerry also told the House foreign affairs committee that in 2003 Netanyahu had been “profoundly forward leaning and outspoken" on the US invasion of Iraq, and everyone knows the outcome of that decision.

Matt Agorist - Free Thought Project

A short clip from the [1960s] “Andy Griffith Show” has been making the rounds on the web, and for good reason. The clip shows a young Opie (Ron Howard) and [town Sheriff] Andy Taylor (Griffith) discussing a recording that Opie had obtained from the jail cell. Griffith explains to Opie the unjust reasoning behind recording a conversation that is meant to be private, no matter who is involved, or what crime they’re suspected of committing ... “You overheard a conversation that’s supposed to be private. I can’t be a part of that,” Andy says ... The video clip below serves as a benchmark to illustrate how much freedom the American population has surrendered over the years. Comparing this decades-old clip that glorifies the protection of rights, to today’s television shows that promote torture, war, and militarized police forces, should shock the conscious.

Daily Mail (Britain) with Associated Press

The Orthodox Jewish tradition known as oral suction circumcision reaches back to biblical times but it has created a modern-day dilemma for New York City health officials, who have linked it to 17 cases of infant herpes since 2000. Two died and two others suffered brain damage ... City health officials estimate more than 3,000 babies are circumcised each year using the oral suction method — formally called metzitzah b'peh in Hebrew. A 2012 report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised against the practice, saying it increases the risk of herpes infection in baby boys by 3.4 times that of other male newborns.

Associated Press

The city [New York] said Tuesday it has reached a tentative agreement with members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over a tradition known as oral suction circumcision. Health officials have linked 17 cases of infant herpes since 2000 to the ancient ritual of sucking blood from the wounds on the infants' penises. On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration said mohels, as the circumcisers are called in Yiddish, should no longer be required to obtain signed consent forms before the rites.

Associated Press

A South Florida man who wrote a discredited memoir about meeting his wife at a World War II concentration sub-camp has died. Officials at Levitt Weinstein Eternal Light Funeral Service say Herman Rosenblat died Feb. 5, and was buried Feb. 8 in Hollywood, Florida. He was 85. In 2008 Berkley Books cancelled Rosenblat's memoir, "Angel at the Fence," after he acknowledged he and his wife of 50 years did not meet — as they said for years — at a sub-camp of Buchenwald, where she allegedly sneaked him food. Historical records show Rosenblat was indeed imprisoned at Buchenwald and other camps. However, the love story was discredited following allegations by scholars, friends and family members that it was untrue.

BBC News

A 94-year-old man is charged with more than 3,600 counts of accessory to murder in Germany on allegations he served at Auschwitz. Prosecutors said the defendant was a former SS sergeant, who acted as a medical officer at the Nazi concentration camp in 1944. If found guilty he could face a jail term ranging from three to 15 years. Defence lawyer Peter-Michael Disetel told the Bild newspaper there was no evidence of a "concrete criminal act.” It is alleged that in his role as medical officer he helped the camp function and could therefore be linked to deaths that occurred during his period of service from 15 August to 14 September 1944.

L. Schwartz – Alternet

... Slavery-era presidents are the obvious candidates for the “racist” label. More surprising are these five 20th-century presidents who can compete for the title of most racist modern president. One: Woodrow Wilson. Let’s start with a progressive Democrat, so our conservative critics don’t accuse us of right-wing bashing. Wilson is not on this list as a token, though. He earned the right to be called a racist ... Two: Theodore Roosevelt. Next up, a progressive Republican ... Three: Franklin Roosevelt ... Four: Richard Nixon ... Five: Lyndon Johnson ...

K. Deacon – CounterPunch

Gerald Horne’s The Counter-Revolution of 1776 was overlooked by most liberal media when it was published last spring ... Horne argues instead that preserving slavery was an impelling motivation for colonial secession, and the outcome proved a human rights disaster ... Horne argues that there was little ambiguity about the Founding Fathers’ intention to preserve slavery. Notwithstanding the inspirational language of the Declaration of Independence, they “had normalized this form of property as any other.” ... Africans, for their part, according to Horne, almost universally sided with England and were hoping for an English victory, which they believed would deliver them from slavery.

Mark Weber

... The ever more obvious symptoms of social decay are inevitable in a nation as unhealthy as today’s America. We understand that a nation guided by false principles, wishful thinking and unrealistic notions about society and history cannot and will not survive; that a society as inwardly sick as this one will not last ... On this anniversary of American independence, it is altogether fitting that we recall the sacrifices and the outlook of the men who acted boldly out of principle, and risked everything in following the dictate of their conscience.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... One understands Russia's vital interest in retaining its Black Sea naval base in Crimea, and keeping Ukraine out of NATO. And one sees the vital interest of Ukraine in not losing the Donbas. But what is America's vital interest here? ... Of all of the secessionist movements from the Atlantic to the Urals, none imperils a vital interest of the United States. None is really our business. And none justifies a war with Russia. Indeed, what is it about this generation of Americans that makes us such compulsive meddlers in the affairs of nations we could not find on a map?

Shaul Magid - The Tablet (New York)

One of the more striking, and to my mind surprising, results of the recent 2013 Pew Research Poll “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” is that in response to the question “What’s Essential to Being Jewish?” the No. 1 “essential” was “remembering the Holocaust.” Seventy-three percent of respondents listed the Holocaust as the primary essential of Jewish identity ... In other words, most American Jews, living in an incredibly tolerant, open, and accepting society in which they are free to practice their faith, still identify with something that did not happen to them nor did it happen in the country in which they live (and in many cases, did not happen to any members of their family) ... After 1967 American Jews in many ways adopted the Holocaust myth procured in Israel, a myth of shoah u’gevurah (catastrophe and redemption).

Erris Langer Klapper - The Times of Israel

... At my core, I am a Jewish woman in every fiber of my being. ... What I’m really thinking is that we are not doing enough to never forget. I want to know as much as I can to honor the memory of six million lives. I feel I owe them that much. Never again, we say. And I agree – I’m not living in fear of a duplicate Holocaust, but I do live in fear of an astronomical rise in antisemitism, and an astounding apathy. I find it hard to comprehend that I did not see more than a few commemorative posts or videos on Jewish friends’ pages on Holocaust Remembrance Day ... There is an alarming rise in anti-Semitism that is steadily permeating our everyday lives. And I fear that we are closing our eyes. Are we too comfortable to stand up, speak out and rock the boat?

Francis Carr Begbie - The Occidental Observer

When it comes to a crude illustration of who has power in Britain you could hardly do better than take a look at the plans for the massive new Holocaust Memorial complex to be built in the centre of London. This gleaming new temple of worship for the state religion of the Holocaust will be located, most likely, beside Tower Bridge making it an indelible part of the London skyline ... It will be the largest of its kind in Europe ... The announcement came at the end of perhaps the longest propaganda bombardment that the British public has endured in peacetime. For in the days leading up to Holocaust Memorial Day it has been impossible to open a newspaper or turn on TV without Holocaust remembrance shoved down our throat.

N. Narayanan - Scroll (India)

Indian school history textbooks don’t use the word “holocaust” while teaching world history and the second World War ... In surveying five prescribed textbooks in India, the study found that none of them makes a mention of the term “holocaust” or its Hebrew equivalent “shoah” ... Similar descriptions of World War Two and its outcomes in Chinese textbooks are described in relation to happenings in China, the report said. Chinese textbooks refer to the holocaust as genocide and then compare it to the Japanese invasion of China in 1937. The texts treat the massacre of Chinese civilians by Japanese troops in Nanjing with more historical significance than the holocaust.

The Conversation (Australia)

As the world pauses to remember the Holocaust, it is important to take a look at what children around the world are learning about the horrific events of 70 years ago and their aftermath. A recent research project between the Georg Eckert Institute and UNESCO attempted to map the status of the Holocaust in secondary school-level history and social studies curricula and textbooks around the world ... The curricula analysis revealed considerable disparities around the world, which have been visualised in various maps ... In total, 57 curricula clearly stipulate the Holocaust with a direct reference to words such as “Holocaust” or “Shoah”, while 28 do not. The countries which make no reference to the Holocaust in their curricula – shaded in yellow on the maps – include Egypt, Palestine, New Zealand, Iraq and Thailand.

Patrick Cockburn - The Independent (Britain)

... What is striking about the Brian Williams debacle, and the exposure of other self-regarding tales for which the media occasionally berate themselves, is their triviality. Television, newspapers and radio seldom indulge in truly damaging self-criticism over false stories that precipitated unjust wars or get a lot of people killed. The New York Times published numerous pieces before and after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 falsely claiming proof that Saddam Hussein possessed or was building weapons of mass destruction ... Brian Williams’s vainglorious boasting looks likes destroying his career, but those who purvey the most destructive lies in the media will seldom be identified or punished.

Sheldon Richman

... For quite a while these same media stars have been hawking the claim that Iran has been relentlessly working toward building nuclear weapons. Yet, although the U.S. and Israeli governments have repeatedly threatened Iran over the years — claiming “all options are on the table” (which logically includes nuclear strikes) — and have engaged in covert and proxy war and terrorism against the Islamic Republic — Iran has not started down the road to acquiring a nuclear arsenal ... They casually refer to “Iran’s nuclear weapons program” as if it were an indisputable fact ... This can only have the effect of softening up the American people for a war of aggression against Iran ...

The New York Times

... Behind the dark glass towers of the Time Warner Center looming over Central Park, a majority of owners have taken steps to keep their identities hidden, registering condos in trusts, limited liability companies or other entities that shield their names. By piercing the secrecy of more than 200 shell companies, The New York Times documented a decade of ownership in this iconic Manhattan way station for global money transforming the city's real estate market ... The Times also found a growing proportion of wealthy foreigners, at least 16 of whom have been the subject of government inquiries around the world, either personally or as heads of companies ... Four owners have been arrested, and another four have been the subject of fines or penalties for illegal activities.

Glenn Greenwald - The Intercept

... Since 2011, Libya has rapidly unraveled in much the way Iraq did following that invasion: swamped by militia rule, factional warfare, economic devastation, and complete lawlessness. And to their eternal shame, most self-proclaimed “humanitarians” who advocated the Libya intervention completely ignored the country once the fun parts — the war victory dances and mocking of war opponents — were over. The feel-good “humanitarianism” of war advocates, as usual, extended only to the cheering from a safe distance as bombs dropped. The unraveling of Libya is now close to absolute ... Far from serving as a model, this Libya intervention should severely discredit the core selling point of so-called “humanitarian wars.”

Rami G. Khouri - Al Jazeera

... In today’s Arab world, the primary driver of public protests and violence is not religion but citizens’ desperate reactions to the policies of governments — both their autocratic Arab governments and aggressive foreign governments. In other words, the problem is policy, not piety ... The impoverishment and political marginalization of the majority of Arabs outside the Gulf oil producers have driven small groups of desperate youths into increasingly radical movements that speak in religious tongues and seek to transform the existing order by any means necessary. The overwhelming majority of the 370 million Arabs shun violent extremists such as Al-Qaeda and ISIL ... And with every Israeli or U.S. military action in the region and the entrenchment of Arab dictators, these pockets expand even faster.

John Cobden – Institute for Historical Review

... All in all Berben's Dachau, 1933-1945: The Official History is fascinating. The book tells us that the prisoners had a brothel, a canteen, Sundays off, church services, plays, lectures, a library, newspapers, concerts, and movies ... It tells us they had a modern hospital with doctors and nurses who made every effort to help the prisoners, until they were finally overwhelmed by disease near the end of the war. It tells us that disease was the primary cause of death at Dachau, and that even the American liberators lost thousands of prisoners to disease ... In the face of continuing propaganda efforts to represent Dachau and other German concentration camps to the public at large as centers of annihilation, Berben's official history if anything gives authoritative support to the revisionist position.

Joseph Halow - Institute for Historical Review

... There can also be no question about the use of duress and physical force by the interrogators. This was confirmed by the review of the Malmedy case, but was present in other American cases as well. There were certainly American legal personnel who were disturbed by the beatings administered to the prisoners in order to extract confessions of guilt, but for the most part they kept silent ... I was the reporter assigned to record the last session of the Nordhausen trial, which was also the last trial session held in Dachau ... The time is long past for one-sided recriminations over German war crimes and concentration camps. As anyone who worked in Dachau, impartially, could testify, there were also injustices committed in the trials instituted to punish the Germans.

The Times of Israel

Luxembourg’s wartime bosses willingly cooperated with German Nazis in the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust, a government-commissioned study determined. The report by a panel of historians led by Vincent Artuso of the University of Luxembourg was published on Tuesday, two years after it was commissioned by Jean-Claude Juncker, a former prime minister of the small, landlocked country ... “The Luxembourg administrations under occupation were not forced to participate in Nazi anti-Semitic persecution under threat,” the 190-page report said. “They collaborated once they were invited to by the occupier and often fulfilled their task with diligence, zeal even — certain heads of the administration did not hesitate to take the initiative,” it said.

RFE/ RL

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called on young people in Europe and North America to gain a better understanding of Islam and not judge it based on Western media reports. In an unusual letter published January 21, Khamenei said he decided to address Western young people directly in the wake of “recent events in France and similar ones in some other Western countries.” ... Khamenei claims that the truth about Islam has been distorted in the West. Young Westerners, he writes, should try to learn about Islam from its primary sources: the Koran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad. “Many attempts have been made over the past two decades, almost since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, to place this great religion in the seat of a horrifying enemy,” writes Khamenei ...

C. Glenn, G. Nada – US Institute of Peace

The Islamic world is rife with political diversity, from ultraconservative monarchies to new democracies. But two places reflect the escalating rivalry over an ideal Islamic state in the 21st century: The Islamic Republic of Iran, predominantly Shiite, was born of a revolution against centuries of monarchical rule. The Islamic State, purely Sunni, was born out of war in the modern nations of Iraq and Syria. On the surface, the two have the same goal – a pure, idealized government based on Sharia law. Both have global visions. Yet the two Islamic systems differ in political systems, economic life, culture and, most of all, the role of religion. They are also now enemies that basically want to destroy each other.

Tyler Durden - Zero Hedge

In 1988, America was the best place to be born in the world. Based on The Economist Intelligence Unit's quality-of-life index - which links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys (how happy people say they are) to objective determinants of the quality of life across countries - USA was #1. Fast forward 25 years or so ... and the United States now ranks 16th, just above South Korea and just below Taiwan and Belgium.

Forward (New York)

A CNN poll found that 63 percent of Americans believe it was wrong of congressional Republican leaders to invite Benjamin Netanyahu to speak without first notifying the president ... In another finding, Americans told the poll they believe the U.S. should stay out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with 66% in the new poll advocating the U.S. remain neutral. Of those who do support picking a side, the majority, 29%, back Israel, while just two percent support Palestine. A significant age gap suggests U.S. sentiment may, in the long term, be moving further in favor of neutrality in the conflict. While 56% of those age 50 or older believe the U.S. should stay out of the Israeli-Palestinian fight, that number skyrockets to 75% of Americans under age 50.

CNN

A large majority of Americans believe that Republican congressional leaders should not have invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress without consulting the White House, according to a new CNN/ORC survey. The nationwide poll, released Tuesday, shows 63% of Americans say it was a bad move for congressional leadership to extend the invitation without giving President Barack Obama a heads up that it was coming. Only 33% say it was the right thing to do. And as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to simmer in the Middle East, the survey found that a similar majority thinks the U.S. should stay out of that fight altogether ... Americans overall believe the U.S. should stay out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with 66% in the new poll advocating the U.S. remain neutral.

Arutz Sheva (Israel)

Swedish public radio apologized on Tuesday after a presenter questioned the Israeli ambassador about the responsibility of Jews for anti-Semitism, in the wake of the shooting of a Jewish man in neighboring Denmark, AFP reported. Relations between Israel and Sweden are already strained over the Swedish parliament's decision last year to formally recognize the state of “Palestine”. On Tuesday, a journalist for Sveriges Radio (SR) asked Israeli ambassador Isaac Bachman on air, "Are Jews themselves responsible for the progression of anti-Semitism?" The ambassador appeared shocked by the suggestion, and replied, "I purely and simply reject the question."

The Times of Israel

Left-wing Israeli organizations are calling for the Attorney General to investigate a Jewish settler organization under Israel’s anti-incitement law for a video it shared on social media. The Samaria Settlers’ Committee, an organization headed by veteran settler leader and Gush Emunim founder Benny Katzover, uploaded the two-minute-long animated clip to YouTube on Saturday. Its critics accuse it of being anti-Semitic and an incitement to violence against the leaders, members and supporters of left-wing organizations ... The video, titled “The Eternal Jew” (also the name of an infamous anti-Semitic propaganda movie put out by the Nazis in 1940), ends with an image of the Jew hanging from a tree.

Gilad Atzmon

In the following piece of right-wing Israeli propaganda, the Jewish leftist is presented as a guardian of ‘anti-Semites.’ But the leftist’s fate is tragic: when he is no longer useful he is sent to meet his creator. The message of the video [titled “The Eternal Jew”] is clear: “The Europeans may all seem different to you, but to them ... you are all exactly the same.” The ‘Goyim,’ according to the video, are an untrustworthy genocidal collective. It doesn’t take a genius to produce a psychoanalytical reading of this horrid propaganda video ... This video provides a window into Zionist psychosis. It reveals that the fear of anti-Semitism is a Jewish fantasy of destruction fueled by deep-rooted Goy-hatred.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... So what does Zionism mean nowadays? The word is bandied about in Israel without much thought. Almost every party wants to be seen as Zionist and brands its adversaries as anti-Zionist – a deadly accusation in Israeli politics. Only small minorities at the edges decline the honor ... For many Israelis, Zionism means nothing more than Israeli patriotism. If you want Israel to exist as a "Jewish state" (whatever that means) you are a Zionist. Also, you have to believe that Israel is a part of the world-wide "Jewish people" and its leader, a kind of command-center. In up-to-date terminology: "the Nation-State of the Jewish people".

The Globe and Mail (Canada)

A criminal court in Normandy has sentenced French Nazi ideologue Vincent Reynouard to two years in jail for denying the Holocaust in Facebook postings ... Reynouard represented himself in the three-hour trial in the city of Coutances, although he was not present for the verdict on Wednesday. The prosecution had asked for a one-year jail sentence. The three-judge panel that convicted him doubled that. The judges likely considered Mr. Reynouard’s previous convictions on similar charges, said David Chilstein, a criminal law professor at the Sorbonne. But the sentence also may reflect the broad concern in France at rising anti-Semitism since the killings last month at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris.

J. Young - VOA News

The massive U.S. Navy scandal involving an East-Asia Pacific ship supply contractor and its convicted chief executive has now reached up into the admiral’s ranks. And the probe is far from over. Three admirals were censured this month by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, effectively ending their careers, in the wake of the Glenn Defense Marine Asia “bribes-for-business” scandal. The scandal, primarily involving the U.S. Seventh Fleet, has spread like an oil stain through the admiral’s ranks. Defense News quotes defense officials as saying as many as three dozen admirals are under a federal probe for their role in a Singapore-headquartered ship “husbanding” corporation.

Reuters

The United States accused Israel on Wednesday of distorting its position in the Iran nuclear talks through selective leaks, intensifying tensions before a controversial U.S. visit by Israel's prime minister. "We see that there is a continued practice of cherry-picking specific pieces of information and using them out of context to distort the negotiating position of the United States," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters. "There's no question that some of the things that the Israelis have said in characterizing our negotiating position have not been accurate," Earnest said.

Stephen M. Walt

... Russia is not an ambitious rising power like Nazi Germany or contemporary China; it is an aging, depopulating, and declining great power trying to cling to whatever international influence it still possesses and preserve a modest sphere of influence near its borders, so that stronger states — and especially the United States — cannot take advantage of its growing vulnerabilities ... It is lingering fear, rather than relentless ambition, that underpins Russia’s response in Ukraine ... The solution to this crisis is for the United States and its allies to abandon the dangerous and unnecessary goal of endless NATO expansion and do whatever it takes to convince Russia that we want Ukraine to be a neutral buffer state in perpetuity.

Eric Margolis

Has Russia’s Vladimir Putin pulled Barack Obama’s chestnuts out of the fire for a second time? Will the shaky cease-fire in Ukraine that began this weekend hold up and end a conflict that was threatening a nuclear war between the United States and Russia? ... President Putin proposed the solution over a year ago: autonomy in a federal state and the right to speak Russian for eastern Ukraine. Most important, Ukraine would never join NATO ... A peace deal comes not an hour too soon. A full battalion of US Army troops is scheduled to arrive in western Ukraine to “train” government troops and lead them into battle. This hare-brained scheme has a potential clash with Russia written all over it ... Putin’s goal is clearly not to annex Ukraine to Russia – at least not now.

BBC News

... Churchill used emotive language, metaphor and powerful imagery, delivering his speeches with such authority that they strengthened the nation’s resolve during the darkest of days. He understood how to use words to let the listener’s imagination take over, transporting them to the scene of the battle. Churchill had mastered the art of alliteration, often repeating the same sounding words for maximum impact ... Churchill’s most famous speech came on June 18, 1940, when Britain stood alone after the fall of France ... Although it is now widely credited with galvanising the nation ahead of the invasion of the German Luftwaffe, the initial reaction to the [“Finest Hour”] speech in the Commons was less than enthusiastic ...

Andrew Cockburn – Harper’s

At the beginning of World War I, Britain set up a blockade designed, according to one of its architects, Winston Churchill, to “starve the whole population of Germany — men, women and children, old and young, wounded and sound — into submission.” ... Not until five months after the armistice did the Allies allow Germany to import food — not out of concern for the ongoing death and suffering, but out of fear that desperate Germans would follow the Russians into Bolshevism. By the time it was lifted, the peacetime blockade had killed about a quarter of a million people, including many children who either starved or died from diseases associated with malnutrition.

The Free Information Society

Here, in their own voices, are remarks and statements by dozens of historical figures, including Franklin Roosevelt, Lenin, Stalin, Winston Churchill, Hitler, Thomas Edison, Malcolm X, Ronald Reagan, Fidel Castro, Dwight Eisenhower, Warren Harding, and many others.

Associated Press

A German court says a 93-year-old man has been charged with 170,000 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he served as an SS guard at the Nazis’ Auschwitz death camp in occupied Poland. The defendant, whose name wasn’t disclosed in line with privacy laws, allegedly served in Auschwitz from January 1942 to June 1944, the Detmold state court said in a statement Monday. He’s alleged to have been assigned to the Auschwitz I camp, but also to have helped supervise new prisoners, largely Jews, as they arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the part of the camp complex where most of its 1.1 million victims were killed. Defense attorney Johannes Salmen says his client has acknowledged being at Auschwitz I, but denies being assigned to Birkenau or being involved in killings.

Doug Bandow

... The U.S. has made a habit of promiscuously meddling around the world. The results rarely have been pretty. Thousands of Americans have been killed, tens of thousands have been wounded, hundreds of thousands of foreigners have died, and a multitude of international furies have been loosed ... There is at least a Baker’s Dozen of good reasons for America to stay out of today’s messy, tragic, and bloody conflict involving Ukraine and Russia. The first six are reason enough: Ukraine isn’t important geographically; Russia matters more than Ukraine to America; blame is widely shared for Ukraine’s travails; Washington never guaranteed Ukraine’s security; Vladimir Putin is not Hitler and Russia is not Nazi Germany (or Stalin’s Soviet Union); and there’s no genocide ... Ukraine is largely irrelevant to American security.

Doug Bandow

... Washington policymakers should put America’s interest before that of other nations. In which case there’s no justification for jumping into the Ukraine-Russia imbroglio ... America and Europe should initiate discussions with Moscow, using sanctions as a negotiating tool rather than an endless penalty. A ceasefire should be policed by international monitors. Russia should acknowledge Ukraine’s sovereignty and end military support for the rebels. Kiev should halt military operations and formalize further devolution of power on the Donbas. Ukraine should declare its military neutrality, endorsed by the West. Russia should accept Kiev’s economic orientation both west and east.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

Who Is the Ruler of Israel? ... The real ruler of Israel is one Sheldon Adelson, 81, American Jew, Casino king, who was rated as the world’s tenth richest person, worth 37.2 billion dollars at the latest count ... Besides his casinos in Las Vegas, Pennsylvania, Macao and Singapore, he owns the U.S. Republican party and, lately, both Houses of the US Congress. He also owns Binyamin Netanyahu ... Both Adelsons are fanatical supporters of Israel. Not just any Israel, but a rightist, supremacist, arrogant, violent, expansionist, annexationist, non-compromising, colonialist Israel. In "Bibi" Netanyahu they found their man. Through Netanyahu they hope to rule Israel as their private fief.

Haaretz (Israel)

... Netanyahu chose to take a risk himself: He turned to a very senior Japanese government official and asked to meet with him privately regarding granting a legal franchise to build a casino – for Sheldon Adelson. The senior Japanese official was shocked by the unusual request, and rejected it out of hand. He was so astonished that already during the visit he told his associates about the Israeli prime minister’s request.

Elhanan Miller - The Times of Israel

During a closed meeting with the heads of France’s Jewish organizations Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likened the complacency of French Jewry to the state of Jews in Spain prior to the Spanish Inquisition of 1492, which led to their expulsion from the Catholic kingdom, The Times of Israel has learned ... While Netanyahu’s public call during his two-day visit to Paris for French Jews to emigrate to Israel drew sharp criticism from domestic political opponents as well as from community leaders in Europe, his meeting with the Jewish leaders was described by participants as “harsh” and “deeply insulting.” .... Netanyahu then cited the academic research of his late father, Benzion Netanyahu, who specialized in the Jews of the Spanish Golden Age.

P. Bedard - Washington Examiner

Further proof that World War II and Nazi artifacts are on fire in the collectors’ world, a watercolor painted by Adolf Hitler before he became Germany’s mad man dictator sold at auction this week for $35,235, three times the winning bid of an original Picasso drawing. The watercolor of one of Vienna’s oldest Gothic churches, Maria am Gestade, sold for nearly twice the expected bid prior to the auction at Alexander Historical Auctions in Chesapeake City, Md., an international seller of historical artifacts and autographs ... Hitler and Third Reich artifacts have been jumping in price recently, even as the dollar gets stronger, he said. For example, the Hitler watercolor was the latest Panagopulos has sold in recent years, with each winning a higher bid that the previous.

UPI

The Austrian transport minister said he wants to amend the Motor Vehicle Act to ban license plates with coded Nazi messages. Alois Stoger, the country’s transport minister and a member of the Social Democrat Party, said Monday he wants to add Nazi and neo-Nazi-related codes and symbols to the list of banned license plates, which currently covers “ridiculous or offensive” number and letter combinations. The minister said some license plates have been found to contain Nazi messages using substitution codes such as “18” for the initials of Adolf Hitler and “88” to symbolize the Nazi greeting “Heil Hitler.”

C. Bruce - Autoblog

There's a village in New York where you are unlikely to find any female drivers on the roads, at least not ones that live there. While there are obviously no legal boundaries, the predominantly Hasidic Jewish community of Kiryas Joel, NY, shuns women for getting behind the wheel out of a belief that it harms their modesty. As part of Public Radio International's Across Women's Lives series, Frimet Goldberger tells her story of leaving the town with her husband and eventually getting her license when she was 23, including one of her harrowing early driving experiences.

Ron Paul

Last week President Obama sent Congress legislation to authorize him to use force against ISIS “and associated persons and forces” anywhere in the world for the next three years. This is a blank check for the president to start as many new wars as he wishes, and it appears Congress will go along with this dangerous and costly scheme. Already the military budget for next year is equal to all but the very peak spending levels during the Vietnam war and the Reagan military build-up, according to the Project on Defense Alternatives ... As we continue to teeter on the verge of economic catastrophe, Washington’s interventionists in both parties show no signs of slowing ... Can anyone point to a single success that the interventionists have had over the last 25 years?

David Cole - Taki’s Magazine

... In no other field are fakes, frauds, and forgeries tolerated as they are in Holocaust history. And in no other field are the people who try to sort the fakes from the facts so ruthlessly attacked and (in many countries) imprisoned ... Let’s get something straight — I am not the one “empowering” Holocaust deniers. That honor goes to the mainstream “experts” who manufacture or tolerate the fakes. Those are the folks who’ve polluted the history; I’m just trying to sort that mess out ... Every fake I discovered or helped expose in the 90s was the product of people who should’ve known better: For decades, the staff of the Auschwitz State Museum misrepresented an air raid shelter as an “original state” gas chamber. I exposed that fraud in 1992 after interviewing senior curator Dr. Francizsek Piper on camera.

AFP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday urged European Jews to move to Israel after a Jewish man was killed in an attack outside Copenhagen's main synagogue. “Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe," Netanyahu said in a statement, repeating a similar call after attacks by jihadists in Paris last month when four Jews were among the dead. Two police officers were also wounded in Sunday's attack in Copenhagen, one of two fatal shootings in the normally peaceful Danish capital on the weekend.

EJP

France’s leaders on Monday urged French Jews to stay in France as they dismissed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for Jews in Europe to return “home” to Israel due to anti-Semitism on the continent. "Jews have their place in Europe and in particular in France,” President Francois Hollande declared one day after around 300 Jewish tombs were desecrated in Sarre-Union, in Alsace, eastern France ... On Sunday, Israel's government approved a $ 45 million (39,4 million euros) immigration plan aimed at assisting French, Belgian and Ukrainian Jews.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s 1984 book linking Nazism to Zionism, as part of his pursuit of a doctorate degree at a Moscow institution, is set to be translated into Hebrew, the Walla news website reported Monday. The work, titled The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism ... claims that Nazi and Zionist ideologies aligned. He outlined their cooperative relationship ... Abbas also denied what he called “the Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie that six million Jews were killed.” Instead, he claimed only some 890,000 Jews were killed by the Nazis ... He quotes from Holocaust deniers such as Robert Faurisson, who has claimed that gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps were not used to kill Jews but only to disinfect them to prevent the spread of disease.

Mark Weber

A little-known chapter of history is the wide-ranging collaboration between Zionism and Hitler's Third Reich. During the 1930s, Jewish Zionists and German National Socialists shared similar views on how to deal with the “Jewish Question.” They agreed that Jews and Germans were distinctly different nationalities, and that Jews did not belong in Germany. During the 1930s no nation did more to substantively further Jewish-Zionist goals than Hitler's Germany.

National Constitution Center (Philadelphia)

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, has a birthday today [Feb. 12]. So how much do you really know about Lincoln, the man? We’ve gone through the tons of research available about Abraham (don’t call me Abe) Lincoln, so you can impress your friends and family with your Lincoln knowledge. Here are our top ten Lincoln facts, followed by 40 other pieces of trivia that you can research on your own.

Henri Astier -- BBC News

In 2009 the US not only inaugurated its first black president - it also honoured the president who paved Barack Obama's way to the country's highest post. Events across the nation marked the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, celebrating a man widely seen as the greatest US president - the secular saint who redeemed America's original sin of slavery … Despite his visceral hatred of slavery, Mr Yacovone says, Lincoln - like the overwhelming majority of his contemporaries - never believed in the equality of races. "He supported enactment of the anti-fugitive slave law, he supported exclusion of black jurors and all basic civil rights," Mr Yacovone says.

Business Insider

A Russian city might go back to its old name: Stalingrad. Volgograd, famous as the site of a major World War Two battle, might once again be renamed Stalingrad after a referendum, the chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenkom, said, according to RT. “This battle is known all over the world as a turning point [in the Second World War]," she said. And there's definitely some strong support for this decision: Russia's Deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin agrees with the idea of a referendum, and last year Vladimir Putin said that renaming the city isn't out of the question ... Over the last few years, Stalin's popularity has gone up in Russia. In the mid-2000's, high school textbooks "praised his work in industrializing Russia" and in 2008 a poll showed the he was the leading historical figure in Russia ...

Interfax - Kyiv Post (Ukraine)

... German expert on Russia Alexander Rahr said ... “When [German] Wehrmacht and SS marched on and the Hitlerite German army entered the Soviet territory, you should not forget that whole villages from border districts and lands of former Russia or the Soviet Union would surrender to the Germans and welcome them with bread and salt so that they would liberate them from the Stalin rule," Rahr said. "These traditions, attitudes and understanding of WWII are still quite strong in the west of Ukraine. The Germans are still perceived as liberators from Stalin's Russia, which had conquered and kept them in its totalitarian system," he said.

Video - 1941

Ukrainians greet German troops as liberators from Soviet tyranny. People in Lvov (Lviv) or Lemberg in western Ukraine welcome the soldiers as they enter the city. Mass killings come to light. Just before fleeing the city, Soviet police used axes, knives and firearms to kill many Ukrainians in the GPU police headquarters. Bodies of victims are carried from the GPU building and laid out for identification. Enraged civilians round up and take revenge on those who had supported the Soviets. Ukrainians applaud as a Stalin statue is destroyed and a Soviet propaganda poster is torn down. This film report is from the wartime German weekly newsreel, “Die Deutsche Wochenschau,” No. 566 of July 9, 1941. German-language narration. Runtime: 3:54 mins

Non-Aligned Media / Basse-Normandie (France)

In the aftermath of the “Charlie Hebdo” killings in Paris and solemn pledges by French officials to support freedom of speech, a court in the French town of Coutances has sentenced Vincent Reynouard to two years in jail for non-violent expression of skeptical views on the ‘Holocaust.’ / The former math teacher had already been convicted by the court on similar charges. He appeared Wednesday in Coutances for a video questioning the extermination of European Jews. At the hearing on Wednesday afternoon at the court of Coutances, the accused ... held to the classical arguments of a Holocaust denier, citing freedom of expression ...

RFE/ RL

A cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad on the latest cover of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has been denounced in Iran, where two organizations say they are challenging the West’s commitment to free speech with a cartoon contest aimed at questioning the Holocaust ... The contest organizers, House of Cartoon and the Sarcheshmeh Cultural Center, say that by questioning the Holocaust, which they don’t recognize as a historical fact, they aim to demonstrate that Western countries have double standards when it comes to freedom of expression ... Masud Shojaei Tabatabaei, the contest’s administrator who is also the head of House of Cartoon, was quoted by Iranian media as saying that the West is “sensitive” about the Holocaust. Therefore, “we decided to use it to confront them” ...

Leon Degrelle – Kindle Book available

A gripping first-person memoir of soldierly sacrifice, heroism and fierce combat against numerically superior Soviet forces during World War II, by a charismatic Belgian writer and politician turned front-line infantryman. New, revised IHR edition, with index and photos. Here is the epic story of the Walloon Legion, a volunteer Belgian unit of the World War II pan-European SS force, as told - in absorbing prose -- by the legendary Degrelle. Captures the grit, terror and glory of Europe's crusade against Communism.

(Also available from the IHR in both hardcover and paperback editions.)

Charles Lutton – Institute for Historical Review

... In the United States, Britain, and other Western countries, there has been much self congratulation about how "we" won the Second World War. Yet, it was on the Eastern Front that the outcome of the war was decided. Had the best of Hitler's forces not been fighting the Soviets, it is unlikely that there would have been any Allied victory in 1945, or anytime foreseeable thereafter ... The Soviet Union proved to be a far more resilient opponent than predicted ... Even through the last weeks of the war, German regular troops and officers were, on average, superior to their opponents in the East and the West. The Wehrmacht was simply overwhelmed by the forces of the Soviet Union and her Western Allies.

Charles Lutton – Institute For Historical Review

Most of the actual fighting during the Second World War took place on the Eastern Front between the Soviet Union and Germany and her allies. The last stages of the war in the East are vividly described by the German journalist and historian, Juergen Thorwald. In Defeat in the East, Thorwald traces the military debacle of the Third Reich and shows what happened to the civilian population wherever the Red Army conquered.

Tyler Levitan

... Hasbara Fellowships was started in 2001 by the right-wing Zionist organization Aish HaTorah and the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Its declared goal is to train students outside of Israel how to promote the Israeli state’s image on their respective campuses. Aish HaTorah supports illegal Israeli settlements within the Occupied Palestinian Territory ... “Hasbara”, which is the term used to describe Israel’s public relations efforts, is widely seen as a euphemism for Israeli state propaganda. When a government is engaged in criminal behaviour, it is helpful to have students on campuses of higher learning in allied countries to serve as de facto ambassadors ... I have come to realize that Hasbara Fellowships is simply the tip of the iceberg of a global propaganda effort aimed at silencing criticism of Israel’s criminal behaviour.

Arutz Sheva TV (Israel) – Video

Report from a training and coordination conference in Israel of internet activists who promote pro-Zionist and pro-Jewish views online. These Zionist bloggers work together to delete and revise internet content to shape public opinion to Israel's benefit. They explain how they remove and rewrite (“edit”) Wikipedia entries to conform with Jewish and Israeli interests. Runtime: 2:03 mins.

Philip Giraldi - The American Conservative

... The war against Gaza was so lopsided and obviously contrived that even in the United States pro-Israel sentiment began to soften ... That Israel is engaged in perception management on a large scale has more-or-less been admitted by the Israeli government, and some of its mechanisms have been identified ... The American public in particular should be aware of the extraordinary efforts that Israel and its supporters make to present a crafted and coordinated image through the media, particularly by way of the Internet. There are certainly many reasons why the United States uniquely views Israel favorably, but the skillful use of information manipulation and perception management certainly contributes to the process.

Richard Silverstein -- The Guardian (Britain)

With Israel's foreign ministry organising volunteers to flood news websites with pro-Israeli comments, Propaganda 2.0 is here / The hasbara brigade strikes again! You always hear about Israeli attempts at media manipulation. Everyone knows it's going on but usually the process happens through cyber insurgents like those involved with Giyus (and its media monitoring software, Megaphone). Now [Jan. 2009], we know that the Israeli foreign ministry itself is orchestrating propaganda efforts designed to flood news websites with pro-Israel arguments and information.

Eric Margolis

... Having followed bin Laden’s career since the late 1980’s, I am convinced that he had no direct support from the ruling Saudi princes – nor from CIA. The Saudis were even more afraid of him than Iran. But I have no doubt, as I said on CNN back in 2001, that numerous wealthy Saudis and Kuwaitis were giving private donations to al-Qaida and other militant groups ... In fact, the reasons for the 9/11 attacks have been all but obscured by a torrent of disinformation and hysteria. The attackers were quite clear in their reasons: to punish the US for supporting Israel and oppressing the Palestinians; and for its “occupation” of Saudi Arabia and keeping a tyrannical regime there in power.

Dr. Tom Sunic - Arutz Sheva (Israel)

... Since the end of the cold war, the political class all over Europe claims its own bizarre brand of antifascist victimology by resurrecting the fascist straw man, as if the invocation of the fascist demonology could exonerate it from its fascist past and possibly give it a free pass in the eyes of Jews. It appears that liberal democracies in the EU and the USA cannot function at all without regurgitating fake philo-Semitic terms of endearment on the one hand, while indulging in a false self-denial on the other ... Self-serving victimhoods only exacerbate the false prejudices of the Other and lay the ground for new conflicts.

Tom Sunic - Institute for Historical Review

… Putting different people together into larger, unnatural entities brings disaster. Mutual vilification and name calling eventually become the norm. Among the similarities between the former Soviet Union and present-day America is a comparably linear and static view of history ... It seems to me that the only way to stop the process of Western collective suicide is by discarding the ideology of progress, the myth of egalitarianism, and the theology of market democracy … The linear concept of the “end of history,” a currently fashionable notion that holds that liberal democracy is a final or a permanent form of social order, is a willful act of intellectual stupidity.

Revilo P. Oliver

... Spengler, above all, has forced us to inquire into the nature of civilization and to ask ourselves by what means -- if any -- we can repair and preserve the long and narrow dikes that alone protect us from the vast and turbulent ocean of eternal barbarism. For that, we must always honor him.

Little as we know about the events of the future, one thing is certain: the moving forces of the future will be none other than those of the past -- the will of the stronger, healthy instincts, race, will to property, and power. / This is our task: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us, this reality with which fate has surrounded us; to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves; to act in such a way that some part of us lives on.

The Guardian (Britain)

Barack Obama’s proposed framework for the US-led war against the Islamic State will not restrict the battlefield to Iraq and Syria, multiple congressional sources said on Tuesday, placing the US into a second simultaneous global war that will outlast his presidency. Several congressional sources familiar with the outlines of the proposal, all of whom expected the White House to formally unveil it on Wednesday, told the Guardian the so-called Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) would bless the anti-Isis war for three years ... Though Obama has boasted this year of drastically reducing the number of US forces in ground combat, the addition of another broad war authority ensures that he, like George W Bush, will also hand over two wars to his successor.

The Telegraph (Britain)

... As 4,500 tons of explosives fell from 800 British planes, 25,000 Dresdeners died in a raging firestorm and the heart of their historic city was obliterated. A second wave of bombing, by the US Air Force, followed the next day. The raids were designed to create panic behind the German front line, just as Russian troops advanced ... Even Winston Churchill queried whether the bombs might have been “mere acts of terror and wanton destruction” ... Where once February 13 was a day of quiet contemplation, it has now become a violent clash of historical interpretations ... Many more civilians had died during a raid on Hamburg in July 1943, and by the time Dresden was bombed, most other German cities had already been targeted.

Deutsche Welle‎ (Germany)

Foreign dignitaries and German survivors of the February 13-14, 1945, firebombing of Dresden gathered in the city Friday for commemorations to mark the 70th anniversary of the attack. “We remember all of those who were killed at that time, as victims of violence and war, not only in Dresden, but also in other places," German President Joachim Gauck said ... Calling the church a symbol for peace and reconciliation, Gauck faced Germany's balancing act between expressing grief for those killed in an act which brought the Allies little military advantage when the Nazis were being defeated in the final throes of World War II, and Germany's message that it accepts the blame for unleashing that war in the first place.

J. Stephenson – Times Higher Education (Britain)

... One of Overy’s major preoccupations is with the morality of bombing civilians. At the start of the war, all sides agreed that the intentional bombing of civilians was illegal and that bombing should be confined to military targets. But desperate straits on the Western Front in spring 1940 (rather than the German bombing of Rotterdam) led the British to abandon this policy in favour of bombing targets in Germany for a military purpose even where civilians would undoubtedly be in the firing line. Both Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee were strongly in favour of this approach. For Overy, one of the many myths of the Second World War was that the Germans were the first to bomb civilians: in his view, the British got their retaliation in first.

Leo McKinstry -- New Statesman (Britain)

The British government has long denied that wartime air raids on German cities were intended to kill as many civilians as possible. In fact, the raids, led by Arthur Harris, were motivated largely by a desire to hit back and destroy indiscriminately / … “The aim of [Britain’s] Bomber Command should be unambiguously and publicly stated," he [Harris] wrote in 1943. "That aim is the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers and the disruption of civilised life throughout Germany." He wanted the government to declare its commitment to "the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale", and he expressed his contempt of the official eagerness "to downplay the obliteration of German cities and their inhabitants".

The Associated Press

Foreign fighters are streaming into Syria and Iraq in unprecedented numbers to join the Islamic State or other extremist groups, including at least 3,400 from Western nations among 20,000 from around the world, U.S. intelligence officials say in an updated estimate of a top terrorism concern. Intelligence agencies now believe that as many as 150 Americans have tried and some have succeeded in reaching in the Syrian war zone, officials told the House Homeland Security Committee in testimony prepared for delivery on Wednesday. Some of those Americans were arrested en route, some died in the area and a small number are still fighting with extremists.

JTA

The University of California Student Association passed two resolutions urging the university to divest from several countries, including Israel, the United States and Mexico. On Sunday, the association’s board of directors cited human rights violations in several countries in backing measures that urged the University of California Board of Regents to divest its funds. One resolution targeted a number of corporations doing business with Israel for “violating Palestinian human rights.” The other called for divestment from the governments of several countries — what the resolution described as an “illustrative and non-exhaustive list” that included Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Israel, Russia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Mexico and the United States. The resolution on Israel passed by a 9-1 vote with six abstentions.

J. Kabbany – The College Fix

The University of California Student Association board – which represents all 233,000 students enrolled in the UC system’s ten campuses – approved a resolution on Sunday that calls on the system’s leaders to financially divest from the United States ... A separate resolution passed with a 9-1-6 vote Sunday called for divestment from companies that do business with Israel ... It is common for universities’ student governments to approve nonbinding resolutions asking their leaders to divest from Israel in what has become known as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, UC Riverside, UC Los Angeles have all passed Israel divestment measures, as have many other student associations at colleges across the nation. But it’s rare to see a call to divest from America itself.

G. Greenwald - The Intercept

Each year, Reporters Without Borders issues a worldwide ranking of nations based on the extent to which they protect or abridge press freedom. The group’s 2015 ranking was released this morning, and the United States is ranked 49th. That is the lowest ranking ever during the Obama presidency, and the second-lowest ranking for the U.S. since the rankings began in 2002 (in 2006, under Bush, the U.S. was ranked 53rd). The countries immediately ahead of the U.S. are Malta, Niger, Burkino Faso, El Salvador, Tonga, Chile and Botswana. Some of the U.S.’s closest allies fared even worse, including Saudi Arabia (164), Bahrain (163), Egypt (158), the UAE (120), and Israel (101) ...

RT News (Russia)

The first-ever Palestinian embassy in Western Europe has opened in Sweden on Tuesday evening, the Swedish prime minister’s press service said. President Mahmoud Abbas has arrived in Stockholm for the event ... Under the newly signed deal, Sweden’s financial help to Palestine will grow by 1.5 billion kronas (US$179.74 million) over the next five years. Palestine has diplomatic missions in countries that either recognize or partially recognize it as an independent state ... On October 30, Sweden was the first Western EU member (and 135th of the world's 193 nations) to officially recognize Palestinian statehood. Britain, France, Spain and Portugal followed suit. ... A total of 135 countries recognize Palestine – including several Eastern European nations, which did so before joining the EU.

The Guardian (Britain)

... On Friday the city will mark the 70th anniversary of the bombings, which killed 25,000 civilians, many of whom if not blown up, were asphyxiated or burnt to death. Citizens will come together to commemorate the bombing at an array of ceremonies, bell-ringings, readings and plays, with a speech by the German president, and a human chain where candles will be lit in silent tribute to the victims of war ... Historians say that, terrible though the destruction of Dresden was, there was nothing remarkable about it. “Hamburg, Cologne and Pforzheim suffered more,” says Thomas Widera, a historian at the Hannah Arendt Institute at Dresden’s technical university. Allied carpet bombing had been going on under the command of, Arthur “Bomber” Harris since 1942 ...

Michael Bess -- Los Angeles Times

World War II is widely considered one of the most morally unambiguous military conflicts in history — the quintessential "Good War," as journalist Studs Terkel once described it ... At the same time, 60 years of research and reflection have gradually brought to light numerous aspects of this conflict that do not fit a straightforward pattern of black-and- white moral clarity ... Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo — entire cities, tens of thousands of noncombatant civilians at a time, incinerated or blasted to bits under a steady torrent of British and American bombs. The large-scale killing of children, women and old people had now become routine facets of Allied warfare.

Victor Gregg – The Guardian (Britain)

... As the incendiaries fell, the phosphorus clung to the bodies of those below, turning them into human torches. The screaming of those who were being burned alive was added to the cries of those not yet hit. There was no need for flares to lead the second wave of bombers to their target, as the whole city had become a gigantic torch. It must have been visible to the pilots from a hundred miles away. Dresden had no defences, no anti-aircraft guns, no searchlights, nothing ... The affair was a war crime at the highest level, a stain upon the name Englishman that only an apology made in full public view would suffice to obliterate.

BBC News

Social media users who spread racial hatred should be banned from sites such as Twitter and Facebook, MPs say. The All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism wants prosecutors to examine whether prevention orders like those used to restrict sex offenders' internet access could be used. The cross-party group also highlighted the use of anti-Semitic terms online ... Although the primary focus of the inquiry was anti-Semitism, one recommendation it made was that those who carry out any kind of hate crime should be prevented from using social media ... Their report said the terms "Hitler" and "Holocaust" were among the top 35 phrases relating to Jews during the conflict. The hashtags "Hitler" and "genocide" featured with "high frequency", it added. The "Hitler Was Right" hashtag trended worldwide in July 2014.

Reuters

Urgent action is needed to tackle a "disturbing" rise in anti-Semitism in Britain including measures to deal with growing "cyber hate" on social media, a group of senior lawmakers said on Monday. Last week, the body which advises Britain's estimated 260,000 Jews on security reported that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain had risen to a record level last year ... They also said prosecutors should review possible action to prevent the spreading of hate online, noting that "Hitler" and the "Holocaust" were amongst the top 35 key words used on Twitter during the summer months of 2014. Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday's report was "hugely important".

Aldo Guerrero - Antiwar.com

When the Senate released its shocking report on CIA torture late last year, it renewed a debate from the Bush years about the merits of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Polls released afterward suggested that most Americans thought that torture was effective and, in some cases, justified. Yet the report was very clear: Torture produced virtually no valuable intelligence. So why did so many people get the wrong idea? One possible explanation is that they heard it over and over again on TV. In a new study, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting found that major news programs interviewed twice as many torture defenders as torture critics in their coverage of the Senate’s report.

Reuters

Germany said on Monday there was "zero" chance of it paying World War Two reparations to Athens, following a renewed demand from Greece's new leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Tsipras, in his first major speech to parliament on Sunday, laid out plans to dismantle Greece's austerity program, ruled out any extension of its 240 billion euro international bailout and vowed to seek war reparations from Berlin.
The demand for compensation, revived by a previous Greek government in 2013 but not pursued, was rejected outright by Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's vice chancellor and economy minister. "The probability is zero," said Gabriel, when asked if Germany would make such payments to Greece, adding a treaty signed 25 years ago had wrapped up all such claims.

The Economist (Britain)

... German-Americans are America's largest single ethnic group (if you divide Hispanics into Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, etc). In 2013, according to the Census bureau, 46 million Americans claimed German ancestry: more than the number who traced their roots to Ireland (33m) or England (25m). In whole swathes of the northern United States, German-Americans outnumber any other group ... Yet despite their numbers, they are barely visible ... Today German-Americans are quietly successful. Their median household income, at $61,500, is 18% above the national norm. They are more likely to have college degrees than other Americans, and less likely to be unemployed. A whopping 97% of them speak only English at home.

Ted Galen Carpenter - The National Interest

... Concerns that Mexico might become a “failed state” — which had gained traction during the most turbulent years of Calderón’s presidency — are again on the rise. Such concerns are excessive, since Mexico has an array of powerful institutions ranging from the Catholic Church to well-organized political parties to a significant (and growing) legal business community. Mexico is not Somalia, Bosnia, Yemen, Sudan or other failed states, where such stabilizing features are largely absent; nor is it fractured by bitter ideological or religious conflicts, as those countries have been.

B. Ivry - Forward (New York)

Born in 1918, Helmut Schmidt, who served as chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982, has been enjoying cultural prestige in his old age ... So it came as something of a shock when a new book appeared, stating that Schmidt’s thinking was once “contaminated by Nazi ideology.” Weighing hitherto unpublished documentary evidence, the literary and legal historian Sabine Pamperrien points out that despite his postwar protests that he was anti-Nazi, during the war Schmidt was a successful and highly-rated officer in the Wehrmacht (the unified armed forces of Germany) after many years as a leader in the Hitler Youth movement, resulting in controversy that has gripped the European media. One 1942 commendation in the Wehrmacht archives in Freiburg, Germany praises Schmidt for his “irreproachable National Socialist behavior.”

EJP

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu declared that his government ‘’will not succumb to the Jewish lobby, the Armenian lobby or the lobby of the Turkish-Greek minority.’’ ... The climate for Turkey’s Jewish community has deteriorated dramatically in recent years. Last summer, Erdogan compared Israel’s actions in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge to Nazi Germany, and even charged that Israel’s fight against Hamas terrorists in the coastal enclave had “surpassed what Hitler did.”

The Guardian (Britain)

From neo-pagan marriage ceremonies to edda study groups and plans for a new temple, Iceland is seeing a revival of interest / ... Hilmarsson has conducted more than 200 weddings during his time as high priest, but he and the Norse pantheon of Thor, Odin, Freyr and Frigg are likely to find themselves even busier in future. In the twelve years since he took over its leadership, membership of the Ásatrúarfélagið [Asatru Association], which the Icelandic government recognises as a formal state religion, has increased sixfold. In March, after decades of planning, the group will start building what is almost certainly the first temple to the pagan Norse deities since Iceland was officially converted to Christianity in 1000 AD.

Associated Press

The Israeli prime minister's upcoming speech to Congress without President Barack Obama's blessing has angered Democratic lawmakers, but they see little remedy except to hope for minimal damage to their party and U.S.-Israel relations. Democrats simmered in frustration as they faced a thankless choice between defending their president and defending a country they consider a vital ally ... Many Democrats object for three reasons. The invitation rebukes Obama. The speech, scheduled three weeks before Israel's elections, might be designed to boost Netanyahu's re-election hopes. And Netanyahu is certain to back new penalties against Iran that the Obama administration and Western powers argue could scuttle sensitive negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.

Forward (New York)

As the controversy surrounding Benjamin Netanyahu speech to Congress reaches new heights, one of the Jewish community’s top leaders is calling on the Israeli prime minister to stay home. Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League said that the political uproar ignited by Netanyahu’s invitation to speak to a joint meeting of Congress makes such a move unhelpful and therefore it should be scrapped. “It’s a tragedy of unintended consequences,” Foxman told the Forward, describing how the idea of presenting Israel’s view on Iran spiraled out of control ...

JTA

sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to make a controversial speech to Congress and compared the appearance to his journey to Paris after last month’s terror attacks against Jews. “I went to Paris not just as the prime minister of Israel but as a representative of the entire Jewish people,” Netanyahu said during a conference for French-speaking Likud activists, Haaretz reported. “Just as I went to Paris, so I will go anyplace I’m invited to convey the Israeli position against those who want to kill us. Those who want to kill us are, first and foremost, any Iranian regime that says outright it plans to destroy us. I will not hesitate to say what’s needed to warn against this danger, and prevent it.”

Mirror (Britain)

A parish council is set to do a U-turn over its decision to call a road 'Hitlers Walk' after the Jewish community threatened to blacklist the village. The sign, overlooking Mevagissey in Cornwall, was taken down by now-defunct Restormel district council in 2005 after complaints that it was inappropriate. But recently the parish council sparked outrage by ordering a new one. They claim the road is not named after Adolf Hitler, but after an "overzealous local park warden" who was around in the 1930s.

University of Virginia - ScienceDaily.com

Political conservatives in the United States are somewhat like East Asians in the way they think, categorize and perceive. Liberals in the U.S. could be categorized as extreme Americans in thought, categorization and perception. That is the gist of a new University of Virginia cultural psychology study, published recently in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin ... According to Talhelm, political conservatives in the United States, generally, and East Asians, particularly, are intuitive or "holistic" thinkers, while Westerners, generally, and American liberals, in particular, are more analytical thinkers. The so-called "culture war," he said, is an accurate if dramatic way to state that there are clear cultural differences in the thought processes of liberals and conservatives.

Historic Columbia (South Carolina)

Although often overshadowed in the popular imagination by the burning of Atlanta, Georgia, the burning of Columbia, South Carolina, was a major event in American history and a defining moment in the history of the state and city ... Columbia surrendered to the Union Army under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman on February 17, 1865 ... During the evening of February 17 th and the morning of the 18 th, the city suffered widespread destruction while under occupation ... While the exact extent of the damage may never be known, without question the fires razed political, military and transportation targets while indiscriminately destroying commercial, educational, religious and private properties in the process.

Benjamin Ivry – Forward (New York)

Most accounts of the Frankfurt School of critical theory, the grouping of social and political thinkers briefly based at the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research until Hitler’s arrival to power forced them into exile, note that they were predominantly German Jews. Yet to date, whether to praise or — more often — blame these philosophers, sociologists, and psychoanalysts influenced by Karl Marx, there has been no concentrated analysis of how Judaism impacted their lives and work ... The thinkers of the Frankfurt school must henceforth be seen, thanks to [Jack] Jacobs’ lucid presentation [The Frankfurt School, Jewish Lives, and Antisemitism], in the light of their Jewish ancestry and awareness of the international blight of anti-Semitism.

Philip Giraldi

... Starting with Iran, the entire narrative of Iran as a nuclear threat is bogus, largely invented in Israel and the United States and in part based on manufactured evidence ... There are three good reasons for saying “no” to Benjamin Netanyahu, or, even better, telling him to go away and stay away. First, he is striving mightily to involve the United States in a war with Iran for which there is no compelling national interest and which will cost Americans heavily in both lives and treasure ... And third, he and his associates in the Israel Lobby are a cancer in our political system, using money and even coercion to bring about a “special relationship” that is hardly a relationship at all but is instead a mechanism to impel U.S. subordination to Israeli interests.

Gareth Porter

... Netanyahu’s approaching speech to Congress is a reflection of the increasingly open interference in US politics by Israel and its political forces in the United States. In the most recent manifestation of the subservient character of a large proportion of the US Congress in relation to Israel, Senator Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.) told Netanyahu, “The Congress will follow your lead” on Iran and would demand a role in the final settlement. The phenomenon is a direct result of the large campaign contributions that go into the coffers of those in Congress who “follow the lead” of Israel and to the opponents of those who fail to do so. Such is the power wielded by AIPAC that very few dare to stand up to its threats.

Mark Weber – Video

A factual, reasoned 16-minute talk on the immense power and influence of the “Jewish lobby” in the US, and its harmful role, especially in directing US Middle East policy. As long as this power remains entrenched, says Weber, there will be no end to the Jewish-Zionist domination of American political life and the mass media, Zionist oppression of Palestinians, the Israeli threat to peace, and the bloody conflict between Jews and non-Jews in the Middle East.

Jeffrey Blankfort

The apparent ability of Israel, one of the world’s smallest countries, to shape the Middle East policies of the world’s remaining superpower has been a source of puzzlement, conjecture, and constant frustration on the part of those fighting for justice for the Palestinians and for the peoples of the region, as a whole ... In the arena of foreign policy, no lobby has proved more powerful than that of the organized American Jewish community in support of Israel; what is generally referred to as the Israel Lobby and in the halls of Congress, simply as “the lobby.” Its power is all the more impressive when one realizes the lobby represents no more than a third of America’s six million Jews.

James Maynard - Tech Times

The H.L Hunley was the first submarine built during the American Civil War, and after the vessel became the first submersible to sink another ship in wartime, it sunk off the coast of South Carolina. Now, researchers are able to study the construction and design of this historic marine vessel ... On February 17, 1864, crew aboard the submarine successfully attacked the USS Housatonic, killing three seamen and two officers on the Union ship. The Hunley later sank on the way back to port, for reasons still unknown to historians, taking the lives of all eight people in the vehicle. From training to its lone attack, the Hunley took the lives of 21 southerners, while killing just five union troops. Despite this, the ship brought the reality of submarine warfare to the forefront of modern military thinking.

A. Zurcher - BBC News

New York magazine's Jonathan Chait took a 2x4 to the proverbial hornet's nest earlier this week when he penned a nearly 5,000-word essay under the provocative headline, "Not a very PC thing to say: How the language police are perverting liberalism".
For those not familiar with the term, PC refers to politically correct - a derogatory description coined in the 1990s to label those contending, in part, that language was a weapon used by the powerful to deny the interests of the oppressed ... “In a short period of time, the PC movement has assumed a towering presence in the psychic space of politically active people in general and the left in particular," he writes. And the end effect is that it is causing some writers to avoid controversial topics, lest they be subjected to online opprobrium that often crosses over to real-world threats.

The Times of Israel

... In an unprecedented case heard half a year after these violent anti-Israel demonstrations, last week in Essen, German Judge Gauri Sastry convicted 24-year-old Taylan Can for incitement against an ethnic minority for events at a July 18, 2014, anti-Israel demonstration in the town ... Can was prosecuted for his use of the term “Zionist” as incitement against a minority. During the hearing, Can claimed he was not an anti-Semite and had nothing against the Jewish people but only against the Zionist state. In response, Judge Sastry is quoted by Die Welt saying, “‘Zionist’ is the language of anti-Semites, the code for ‘Jew.'” Sastry’s judgment, which does not form a binding precedent in German law, essentially semantically equates anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

Walter E. Williams

New York’s schools are the most segregated in the nation, and the state needs remedies right away. That was Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch’s message to New York’s governor and Legislature. She said that minority children are disproportionately trapped in schools that lack teaching talent, course offerings and resources needed to prepare them for college and success. Simply calling for more school resources will produce disappointing results. There are several minimum requirements that must be met for any child to do well in school. Someone must make the youngster do his homework, ensure that he gets eight to nine hours of sleep, feed him breakfast and make sure that he behaves in school and respects the teachers.

Haaretz (Israel)

One of the most well-known, if not iconic, facts known about the Holocaust is the number of Jewish victims killed by Nazi Germany up through the end of World War II. Perhaps not surprisingly, it is also this number - six million - that Holocaust deniers aim at when trying to discredit the essential nature of the Holocaust. Where did the number six million come from? ... The number seems to have first been mentioned by Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, an Austrian-born official in the Third Reich and a trained historian who served in a number of senior positions in the SS. In November 1945, Hoettl testified for the prosecution in the Nuremberg trials of accused Nazi war criminals ... “Six million” is not, and was never intended to be, a precise accounting.

Mark Weber

… The Six Million figure is hammered into the public consciousness, not only in newspapers, magazines, motion pictures, and television, but also routinely in our schools … Just what is the basis for this familiar figure? ... This figure was not the result of any careful investigation, research, or calculation. The only specific evidence presented for it to the Nuremberg Tribunal was the hearsay testimony of former SS officer Wilhelm Höttl (sometimes spelled Hoettl), who said that he recalled it from a remark by Adolf Eichmann, the wartime head of the Jewish affairs section of Himmler's Reich Security Main Office (RSHA).

Carl O. Nordling – Institute for Historical Review

... It has been a common belief that about six million Jews died in these camps, intentionally killed in accordance with a grand program for the physical extermination of the entire Jewish population of Europe ... Our general conclusion must be that the question posed in this article's title cannot be answered with any precision as long as we have recourse only to the above-mentioned sources. The general magnitude was certainly half a million, but the actual number of Jews who died in the German concentration camps might well have been as low as 300,000 or as high as 600,000.

EJP

Serbia' President Tomislav Nikolic was urged to apologize for a controversial remark he made during a ceremony in Belgrade to commemorate the Holocaust and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. He declared that the Nazis targeted the Jews because of their "overrepresentation" of Jews in certain prestigious professions. Although the main focus of the Nikolic's speech was the importance of remembrance, he also said that ‘’for the Nazis the biggest threat was seen in the Jewish people, probably on the account of their characteristics and being prominent in the prestigious professions in the domains of finances, art and science.”

BBC News

A Cornish village has angered the Jewish community after agreeing to reinstate a sign saying Hitlers Walk. The sign for a park overlooking Mevagissey was taken down by the now-defunct Restormel Council in 2005 after complaints that it was inappropriate. Now Mevagissey Parish Council has ordered a new sign, saying that is what local people call the park ... The park, on a sloping site a little smaller than a football pitch at the top of Polkirt Hill, was named in the 1930s after a dictatorial local councillor, who was nicknamed Hitler. Parish councillor John Daniel, who has campaigned for the sign's reinstatement, said: "Local people have known it as Hitlers Walk since the 1930s."

Agence France-Presse

The CIA and Israel's spy agency Mossad were behind an elaborate plot to kill Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh in a 2008 car bomb attack in Syria, the Washington Post reported." Citing former intelligence officials, the newspaper reported that US and Israeli spy agencies worked together to target Mughniyeh on February 12, 2008, as he left a restaurant in the Syrian capital Damascus. He was killed instantly by a car bomb planted in a spare tire on the back of a parked car, which exploded shrapnel in a tight radius, the Post said. The bomb, built by the United States and tested in the state of North Carolina, was triggered remotely by Mossad agents in Tel Aviv who were in communication with Central Intelligence Agency operatives on the ground in Damascus.

Bruce Fein – The Washington Times

Stupidity, thy name is neo-cons. Their trademark is to hallucinate about “moderate forces” from South Asia to the Sahel; and, to urge the United States to partner with them to defeat extremism and spread democracy, the rule of law and secularism throughout the solar system ... Neo-cons are clueless about human nature and the primal craving for power that inclines all societies toward executive despotism. The rare combination of an educated public and long-headed, selfless political leaders is required to avoid tyranny ... The neo-cons duped President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney into thinking Ahmed Chalabi and Hamid Karzai would be the George Washingtons of Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively.

David Cole – Taki’s magazine

... Welcome to the world of Holocaust scammers. I know that world well, as, for a period of time after 1997, I was one. And I was an innovator of the “lost Holocaust film” meme ... News hacks, like career sitcom writers, love nothing more than to recycle dialogue. In 1996, I discovered the 1948 documentary film Nuremberg ... Farr and I had indeed located it in the National Archives, but it was far from a “discovery.” It had been shown in theaters in Europe in the 40s, and on TV in the U.S. in the 60s. But it had been out of circulation for a while, so it was ripe for being billed as a new discovery. And the media uncritically ate it up ... The world of Holocaust history plays by different rules. Blatantly false claims are allowed, because no one (who matters) dares question the sacred cause of “remembrance.”

Associated Press

NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams apologized Wednesday for incorrectly claiming as recently as last week that he rode on a helicopter that came under enemy fire when he was reporting in Iraq in 2003. Instead, Williams said, he was in another helicopter trailing a Chinook that actually was hit. He apologized on "Nightly News" for getting it wrong. The embarrassing admission came after a story in the Stars & Stripes newspaper pointing out the discrepancy. Williams had made the claim on the air last Friday during a story about Tim Terpak, an Army officer who he had befriended when Terpak was assigned to protect the NBC crew.

J. Naureckas – FAIR (New York)

Not getting shot down in Iraq is just the beginning of things Brian Williams needs to correct ... As long as he's in a confessional mood, Williams might as well admit that he didn't see "a lot of people shooting at people to make dead bodies," nor would people have killed him for his car if he hadn't been surrounded by feds – none of which appeared in his original reporting ... Or perhaps Williams would like to withdraw his remark that Iran was "suddenly claiming they don't want nuclear weapons” ... Nor did George W. Bush provide "an example of presidential leadership that will be taught in American schools for generations to come." He might want to clear that up.

J. Band – Politico

The new film Selma has sparked a bitter public debate ... Less discussed, however, is the degree to which the MLK [Martin Luther King, Jr.] estate’s tough stance on copyright affected the historical accuracy of the film — and has affected many other films and books before it ... The film’s numerous scenes of King delivering powerful speeches regarding civil rights all had to be paraphrased, because the MLK estate has already licensed the film rights in those speeches to DreamWorks and Warner Bros., for an MLK biopic Steven Spielberg is slated to produce. The litigious MLK estate, controlled now by King’s descendants, has a long history of employing copyright to restrict the use of King’s speeches. The estate appears to have two objectives: maximize revenue and control King’s image.

The Age (Australia)

A Melbourne man wanted by police for questioning over an alleged sex offence at St Kilda's Yeshivah [Jewish orthodox education] centre wrote on an internet blog that it is acceptable to kill a Jew who reports another to secular authorities. The man, who Fairfax Media has chosen to not to name, made his comments on an internet blog allegedly associated with prominent figures from Melbourne's Orthodox Jewish community ... Fairfax Media has confirmed the man, who is a member of one of the St Kilda Yeshivah centre's leading families and is presently overseas, is wanted for questioning by police in connection to an alleged sexual assault in the 1990s. The man's extreme views were posted in 2011 and were made as part of a discussion on an ancient Jewish rule known as Mesirah, under which a Jew is forbidden from informing on a fellow Jew.

J . Hammerman – The Jewish Week (New York)

There has been considerable consternation and media coverage of late about how child sex abuse cases are handled in the haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, community ... The coverage has pinpointed an obscure rabbinic prohibition as a major source of the problem: the ancient prohibition against mesirah, the handing over of a Jew to non-Jewish authorities ... He [Jewish philosopher Maimonides] writes: “It is forbidden to hand over a Jew to the heathen, neither his person nor his goods, even if he is wicked and a sinner, even if he causes distress and pain to fellow-Jews. Whoever hands over a Jew to the heathen has no part in the next world. It is permitted to kill a moser (informant) wherever he is. It is even permitted to kill him before he has handed over (a fellow Jew).”

Jared Taylor - American Thinker

... Of all American professional games, the Super Bowl is the most expensive, the most hysterical, and possibly the most vulgar. People actually think that part of the fun is being able to talk about the commercials the next day. The commercials! The Super Bowl is certainly the most pretentious game in American sports. The pre-game and half-time shows are as gussied up with patriotic bunting as a political convention. The promoters and commentators act as if it’s our patriotic duty to watch their silly game. But maybe they’re right. Super Bowl Sunday might as well be a national holiday. Americans celebrate it almost as earnestly as Christmas or Thanksgiving, and with a lot more gusto than Memorial Day or Presidents’ Day. When is the nation more united than at the kickoff?

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Following a protracted undercover investigation, two Jerusalem bankers were arrested Monday for allegedly defrauding an elderly female Holocaust survivor out of hundreds of thousands of shekels, police announced on Tuesday. According to the Jerusalem police fraud unit, the investigation into the Bank Benleumi officials began over a month ago, after a complaint by a concerned social worker caring for the 88-year-old victim in a nursing home.

Ralph Lopez - Digital Journal

Becoming the first credentialed, well-known media insider to step forward and state publicly that he was secretly a "propagandist," an editor of a major German daily has said that he personally planted stories for the CIA. Saying he believes a medical condition gives him only a few years to live, and that he is filled with remorse, Dr. Udo Ulfkotte, the editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany's largest newspapers, said in an interview that he accepted news stories written and given to him by the CIA and published them under his own name. Ulfkotte said the aim of much of the deception was to drive nations toward war. Dr. Ulfkotte says the corruption of journalists and major news outlets by the CIA is routine, accepted, and widespread in the western media ...

Patrick J. Buchanan

... America has never had a vital interest in Crimea or the Donbass worth risking a military clash with Russia. And we do not have the military ability to intervene and drive out the Russian army, unless we are prepared for a larger war and the potential devastation of the Ukraine ... What is happening in Ukraine is a tragedy and a disaster. And we are in part responsible, having egged on the Maidan coup that overthrew the elected pro-Russian government. But a greater disaster looms if we get ourselves embroiled in Ukraine’s civil war. We would face, first, the near certainty of defeat for our allies, if not ourselves.

Euro News (France)

French comic Dieudonne is expected in court on Wednesday to answer to charges of ‘apology for terrorism’ after appearing to praise the suspect who killed four people in a kosher supermarket in Paris, Amédy Coulibaly by writing “Je me sens Charlie Coulibaly” (I feel like Charlie Coulibaly) on his Facebook page ... The latest incident has opened up debate about freedom of expression and where to draw the line. In the wake of the attacks, the defence of free speech took on a quasi-religious status and yet it is well defined in French law. Supporters of Dieudonné have claimed France has double standards when it comes to freedom of expression.

C. Isidore – CNN

If you're a U.S. taxpayer then you're subsidizing the wildly profitable National Football League, regardless of whether you're a fan. / The NFL is the most profitable pro sports league in the U.S., raking in an estimated one billion dollars in profits on $10.5 billion in revenue last season, figures that are sure to increase this year. Those massive profits are made possible in part by the billions of taxpayer dollars that local governments spend on teams, coupled with tax breaks worth hundreds of millions for the teams, the league, their sponsors and fans ... The NFL's not for profit status strikes critics as particularly unseemly, given its financial might. But it's categorized that way because the league's profits are distributed to each of the teams, rather than kept by the league itself.

The Times of Israel

The new finance minister of Greece has been accused of harboring anti-Semitic views and expressing empathy for Palestinian suicide bombers. In 2005, Yanis Varoufakis was suspended from a radio show for what the station called the promotion of anti-Jewish stereotypes. Varoufakis, who at the time was an economics professor at the University of Athens, defended himself a few years later by stating that in his criticism of Israeli policies he was merely basing himself on reports in the Israeli daily Haaretz. During his weekly broadcast at the Australian state-owned radio station SBS on August 29, 2005, Varoufakis had claimed that Israel used the blockade of Gaza as part of “a strategy for retaining a large part of the West Bank” and called the West Bank security fence a “concrete monster,” according to his blog.

The Times of Israel

British historian Sir Martin Gilbert died Tuesday from a 2012 heart arrhythmia from which he never recovered, according to a friend of the family. Gilbert, 78, was the official biographer of former British prime minister Winston Churchill, and also one of the world’s preeminent Holocaust historians. Gilbert authored over 80 books, many on Jewish topics ... A practicing Jew, a frequent visitor to Israel and a winner of the Dan David prize in 2012, Gilbert wrote extensively on Churchill’s support for Zionism.

The Times of Israel

The sexual proclivities of ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn come under the spotlight again Monday when he goes on trial in France for “pimping” four years after a sex scandal cost him a shot at the presidency. The disgraced 65-year-old economist finds himself back in the dock — this time in the northern French city of Lille — accused of being part of a prostitution ring used by his entourage to organize sex parties for him in Brussels, Paris and Washington. Lurid details of group sex and high-end prostitution are likely to emerge in the three-week trial during which Strauss-Kahn will take the stand alongside a colorful cast of characters including luxury hotel managers, police, freemasons and a brothel owner nicknamed “Dodo the Pimp.”

BBC News

"I beg to report that lately I received information that the Shaikh of Sharjah had been opening his wireless set on the German Arabic Broadcast so loudly that one could hear it from 200 yards from his palace," wrote the agent, Abdurrazzaq al-Razuki, to his Bahrain-based superior, Hugh Weightman, in June 1940. "A large crowd gathers there to hear the German news of which they took much interest." To confirm this he went round to the palace incognito one night and heard both the radio broadcasts and people arguing with each other - for and against Germany. There was other evidence too, that could not be ignored: "Long live Hitler" and "Right is with Germany" had been chalked on walls around the town.

Yûnus Bahrî - Institute for Historical Review

Among the Lufthansa passengers arriving in Berlin on April 5, 1939, was a cheerful, outgoing, dark-haired man in his late 30s. Though evidently a foreigner, he had a good command of the German language and confidently found his way through the crowds at the airport and into the bustling capital of the Third Reich. Yûnus Bahrî, Iraqi journalist and independence activist, had visited Berlin several times before … He was now embarked on quite a different mission: to launch and run Radio Berlin's first-ever Arabic language service.

Patrick L. Smith - Ask the Pilot

... The United States of America may have pioneered commercial aviation, but today the crossroads of global air commerce are places like Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Seoul, Hong Kong and Bangkok. These are the places — not New York or Chicago or Los Angeles — that are setting the standards. They’ve got the best airports, the fastest-growing airlines, and they offer the most convenience for travelers ... There’s no excuse for the American aviation sector to have fallen so far. We’ve done it to ourselves, of course, through shortsightedness, underfunding, and flyer-unfriendly policies ... Our airports are substandard across a number of fronts, both procedurally and infrastructurally; our terminals are dirty and overcrowded; our air traffic control system is underfunded ...

Texas Tech University - ScienceDaily.com

New research through visual analysis and social media gives a good indication that voters pick up on nonverbal communications as much as a candidate's rhetoric / ... When it comes to presidential candidates in nationally televised debates, though, a series of studies by a Texas Tech University professor in the College of Media and Communication are showing the nonverbal repertoires that make up a presidential candidate's communication style are important influencers of voter reaction ... What Bucy and his colleagues discovered is candidates' facial expressions, gestures and voice tone do as much do as much or more to drive public reaction to the debates than what the candidates actually say.

J. Greenspan - History/ A&E Television

... Seventy years later, explore some illuminating facts about the “Desert Fox” ... He was an early admirer of Hitler ... His devotion to Hitler was incontrovertible ... He probably never knew of the plot to kill Hitler ... Rommel was friends with some of the conspirators and certainly conversed with them about a post-Hitler future. Nonetheless, the full extent of his involvement in the plot remains unknown. (According to his widow, he opposed assassination but wanted Hitler to be arrested and brought to trial.) Whether innocent or not, his name came up during the subsequent Nazi dragnet, prompting Hitler to arrange for his death.

Video

Film review, in color, of the life of an outstanding World War II military commander. Rommel is shown inspecting defense fortifications along the Atlantic coast, with his troops in North Africa, and with his family. With striking musical accompaniment. Runtime: 2:21 mins.

Daily Mail (Britain)

This intimate collection of photos capture Russia's imperial Romanov family like you've never seen them before. Huddled together on a day out at the beach or around the beds of soldiers wounded in the Great War, the pictures were taken shortly before their 300-year dynasty came to a tragic and abrupt end. Within a year of the album's latest photos, the Russian revolution swept across the country, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated and he and his family were exiled, before being murdered on Lenin's orders.

Mary Ball Martinez – Institute for Historical Review

This tragic historical record was to become a treasure almost as soon as it was published in 1920. Even then, a few voices were already sounding the alert about the threat of Bolshevism, which had just recently taken power in Russia. This book [The Last Days of the Romanovs] was one of the first writings that attempted to tell the true story of how the Bolsheviks had come to power, and just who was behind the phenomenon. Robert Wilton, The Times of London’s man-in-Moscow from 1902 through 1919, in chronicling the cold-blooded murder in Ekaterinberg, Siberia, of the last Tsar, his wife, four daughters, son, physician, three servants and little pet dog, was fully aware of the true facts ..

Anthony Lawson - Video

A Jewish member of Britain’s House of Lords, Baroness Deech, has rebuked renowned violinist Nigel Kennedy for remarks he made about Israel’s “apartheid” policies during a BBC Proms concert that featured the Palestinian Strings, a group of talented young musicians. How valid is her rebuke? How justified is Kennedy’s remark. Anthony Lawson takes a closer look. Runtime: 18:16 mins.

Eric Margolis

The United States has just made an exceptionally dangerous, even reckless decision over Ukraine ... The war-craving neocons in Washington and their allies in Congress and the Pentagon have long wanted to pick a fight with Russia and put it in its place for daring to oppose US policies against Iran, Syria and Palestine. What neocons really care about is the Mideast ... In 2013, President Putin proposed a sensible negotiated settlement to the Ukraine dispute: autonomy for eastern Ukraine and its right to speak Russians as well as Ukrainian. If war or economic collapse is to be avoided, this is the solution ... So now it appears that Washington’s economic warfare over Ukraine is going to turn military, even though the US has no strategic or economic interests in Ukraine.

Andrew J. Bacevich - The American Conservative

... Seldom have well-credentialed and well-meaning people worked so hard to produce so little of substance. Not one of the signature foreign-policy initiatives conceived in Obama’s first term has borne fruit. When it came to making a fresh start with the Islamic world, responsibly ending the “dumb” war in Iraq (while winning the “necessary” one in Afghanistan), “resetting” U.S.-Russian relations, and “pivoting” toward Asia, mark your scorecard 0 for 4 ... Taking the president’s record as a whole, noting that on his watch occasional U.S. drone strikes have become routine, the Nobel Committee might want to consider revoking its Peace Prize.

The New York Times

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan on Thursday criticized an American textbook that he said inaccurately depicted Japan’s actions during World War II ... Speaking in Parliament, Mr. Abe pledged to increase efforts to fight what he called mistaken views abroad concerning Japan’s wartime actions, when the Japanese military conquered much of Asia. He singled out a high school history textbook published by McGraw-Hill Education that he said contained the sort of negative portrayals that Japan must do more to combat. In particular, he objected to a description of women forced to work in Japanese military brothels during the war, a highly fraught issue in Japan and elsewhere in Asia.

The Intercept

Steven Salaita, an academic whose contract for tenured professorship was abruptly terminated by the University of Illinois board of trustees last September for tweets critical of Israel, has filed a lawsuit against the university’s administrators and unnamed donors. Salaita’s attorneys and the Center for Constitutional Rights commenced the lawsuit this morning in United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ... Critics of the decision allege that Salaita was not fired to maintain “civility,” but due to outside pressure in response to his criticism of Israel. Students and faculty at UIUC and many prominent scholars have risen to his defense in protests, formal complaints, and boycotts of the university.

JTA

A 93-year-old woman is being investigated by prosecutors on suspicion of serving as a Nazi SS guard at the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. "We can confirm that we are looking into allegations that Hilde Michnia from Hamburg was involved in a so-called death march from the former Gross-Rosen concentration camp to Gubin labor camp," Carsten Rinio from the Hamburg prosecutor's office told NBC News ... A German court's landmark ruling in 2011 has made it simpler to prosecute cases by opening the door to charges of "accessory to murder." Former Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk was the first person convicted in Germany solely on the basis of serving as a camp guard, with no evidence of involvement in any specific killing.

Associated Press

A German court says a 93-year-old man dubbed the 'accountant of Auschwitz' will go on trial in April on allegations he was accessory to 300,000 murders as an SS guard at the Nazis' death camp. The Lueneburg state court said Monday Oskar Groening's trial would open April 21. Groening has openly talked about his time as a guard and says he witnessed atrocities but didn't commit any himself. He's one of some 30 former Auschwitz guards against whom federal investigators in 2013 recommended that state prosecutors pursue charges. Groening is accused of helping the Nazis economically, and supporting mass killings by processing the belongings stolen from camp victims.

Mark Weber - Institute for Historical Review

… The authorities responsible for Germany's wartime concentration camp network carried out extensive measures at Auschwitz, and other camps, to save inmates' lives. Though for decades widely known among specialized historians, this remarkable story has been unknown to the wider public, and one extraordinary aspect of it has remained secret for decades. In 1944, during the final year of the war in Europe, the Germans installed and operated state-of-the-art high frequency facilities at Auschwitz to kill disease-bearing lice and other pests … Deployment of "microwave" delousing facilities was just one of many conscientious measures taken by the SS authorities to save inmates' lives.

AFP

The number of anti-Semitic acts doubled in France during 2014, with acts involving physical violence leading the increase, the country's main Jewish group said on Tuesday. Some 851 anti-Semitic acts were registered in 2014, compared with 423 the previous year, with acts of physical violence jumping to 241 from 105, the CRIF said ... “These anti-Semitic acts represent 51 percent of racist acts committed in France while Jews make up only one percent of the French population," said the group in a statement ... The CRIF group said there was a "very significant and very worrying increase in the violence of anti-Semitic acts" and warned that "anti-Semitic" prejudices were rife in the country.