A German cartoonist has apologized for causing offense by depicting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as a hooked-nose octopus, after Jewish groups complained it resembled Nazi propaganda.
Cartoonist Burkhard Mohr says he had intended to make a point about Facebook devouring rival WhatsApp and didn’t realize the parallels to the Nazis’ anti-Semitic portrayal of Jews as hungry tentacle monsters.
The cartoon was published Friday in early editions of the Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Later editions showed an empty hole where Zuckerberg’s face had been.
“I’m very sorry about this misunderstanding and any readers’ feelings I may have hurt,” Mohr said in an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
“Anti-Semitism and racism are ideologies that are totally alien to me,” he added.
Efraim Zuroff, the head Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, said he wasn’t convinced by the apology.
“He drew a caricature that is so reminiscent of Der Stuermer caricatures that it’s inconceivable to me he didn’t realize this,” said Zuroff, referring to the weekly propaganda paper that the Nazis used to whip up hatred against Jews. “Maybe he should pay a visit to their archives.”
Although riots and protests have given way Monday to some measure of calm in Kiev, the tension felt by Jews Ukraine-wide has not abated. Many of those who could, fled, but the majority—who do not have the means to leave—are sitting tight, waiting out a period of unnerving uncertainty.
“Jews are not a factor in the politics here, but whenever there’s chaos, Jews become a target and feel vulnerable,” said Rabbi Mayer Stambler, a Chabad representative in Dnepropetrovsk. With most of the protests going on in Kiev, things have been relatively calm in his city but the sense of anarchy struck closer to home for other Chabad representatives.
In Zaparozhye, for example—Ukraine’s sixth largest city, several hooligans threw Molotov cocktails at the community’s synagogue Sunday night. The thugs fled before security guards managed to pursue them, but the incident was captured on the synagogue’s security cameras. “We have guards at the building round the clock,” said Rabbi Nachum Ehrentreu, Chabad representative to Zaparozhye, “and thankfully, this happened after we had finished all of our evening classes and programs so no one was hurt.”
Ehrentreu points out that the perpetrators were stragglers who had joined a major protest by some 2000 opposition supporters earlier in the day. But, insists Ehrentreu, “the protestors were not here to target Jews; in fact in the four years that the opposition was in power (2006-2010) it maintained good relations with the Jewish community. These were four individuals looking to make trouble.”
ABANDONING LOCAL JEWS NOT AN ANSWER
Chabad representatives—there are roughly 70 couples serving Jewish life Ukraine, which has an estimated Jewish population of 300,000—are not leaving. In interviews with lubavitch.com, they echoed similar attitudes, saying that their role is to serve the Jewish people there and they would not consider abandoning them. “We have nurtured deep bonds with Jewish people here. How can we leave them?” said Rabbi Stambler.
But according to Rabbi Mordechai Levenharts, a Chabad representative to Kiev, that doesn’t mean that he won’t encourage local Jews to make Aliyah. Unrelated to the recent turmoil, he said, “trying to live an observant Jewish lifestyle here is not easy, and if someone has grown in his or her Jewish observance and now wants to live in an environment that is more supportive of Jewish life, of course I encourage them to move to Israel.”
In the four years since Yanukovych was president, Ukraine’s economy has fallen apart, and is now on the verge of bankruptcy, leaving a population angry and resentful at the financial abuses by government officials while businesses were forced to close down. Chabad Shluchim state-wide are struggling to meet the growing demand on their respective community’s programs and services while funding from local business people has dropped by more than half.
(JTA) — A synagogue in eastern Ukraine sustained minor damage from firebombs hurled at it by unidentified individuals.
The firebombs hit the Giymat Rosa Synagogue in Zaporizhia, locateded 250 miles southeast of Kiev, on the night of Feb. 23, according to a report Monday on the news site timenews.in.ua.
The website published photos that showed the traces of a fire on the facade of the balcony of the synagogue, which opened its doors in 2012.
A spokesperson for the Zhovtneviy District where the synagogue is located said no one was hurt in the attack and that police were searching for suspects. Officers found the neck of a glass bottle which was used as a Molotov cocktail, according to the Central Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Several Ukrainian media reported erroneously that the attack happened in Kiev.
The Ukrainian capital and other cities have seen the eruption of a wave of violent demonstrations that culminated this weekend with the apparent ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych.
The country’s new acting government has issued a warrant for his arrest, accusing him of the murder of about 100 protesters who died in street clashes last week.
The unrest began in November over Yanukovych’s refusal to sign a deal which would have tightened Ukraine’s ties with the European Union - a move which many saw as jeopardizing the country’s complicated relationship with Russia.
Several Jewish communities in Kiev have beefed up their security arrangements during the unrest. Other communities put their activities on hold out of safety concerns.
Read more: jta.org
JERUSALEM — There is no plot to speak of, and the characters are woefully undeveloped. On the upside, it can be a quick read — especially considering its 1,250 pages.
The book, more art than literature, consists of the single word “Jew,” in tiny type, printed six million times to signify the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust. It is meant as a kind of coffee-table monument of memory, a conversation starter and thought provoker.
“When you look at this at a distance, you can’t tell whether it’s upside down or right side up, you can’t tell what’s here; it looks like a pattern,” said Phil Chernofsky, the author, though that term may be something of a stretch. “That’s how the Nazis viewed their victims: These are not individuals, these are not people, these are just a mass we have to exterminate.
“Now get closer, put on your reading glasses, and pick a ‘Jew,’ ” Mr. Chernofsky continued. “That Jew could be you. Next to him is your brother. Oh, look, your uncles and aunts and cousins and your whole extended family. A row, a line, those are your classmates. Now you get lost in a kind of meditative state where you look at one word, ‘Jew,’ you look at one Jew, you focus on it and then your mind starts to go because who is he, where did he live, what did he want to do when he grew up?”
Max Blumenthal haz a butthurt over this exhibit.
I couldn't get my book reviewed in the NY Times. I guess I had the wrong formula. http://t.co/WZScQRZJWm
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) January 27, 2014
@ChipFFL what if I had written "Jewish and democratic state" 7 million times to mark each Palestinian refugee?
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) January 27, 2014
@MaxBlumenthal There is one gentile in there. It's like Where's Waldo.
— Eric Thornton (@EricWHThornton) January 27, 2014
Nearly 350 years after his wrongful execution, a French Jew who had been convicted of a blood libel was exonerated and declared a martyr.
The village of Glatigny in the eastern district of Moselle set the record straight Sunday on the wrongful conviction of Raphael Levy in 1670 for murder. Levy, a simple merchant, was found guilty and burned at the stake for the alleged killing of three-year-old Didier Lemoine for ritual purposes, Le Figaro reported Sunday.
City officials affixed a plaque in Levy’s memory to a public building in the village of Glatigny, where he was killed. The text refers to him as a “Jewish martyr from Boulay,” Levy’s village, who was “accused of a ritual crime which he did not commit.”
The ceremony was attended by about 100 people, including members of the Jewish community of Moselle, and Joel Mergui, president of the Consistoire - the French Jewish community’s organization responsible for religious services.
“Today we are back to square one, we are reconciled, we resume normal relations with the Jewish community,” the mayor of Glatigny, Victor Stallone, said. “Glatigny was cursed since that time because of a principled prohibition decided upon by the Jewish community.”
Read more at Jewish Daily Forward: forward.com
Something to think about the next time Sarah Palin talks about a “Blood Libel” or Christians complain they are being “martyred” for not baking a Gay Wedding Cake.
Fox News host Martha MacCallum lashed out at Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein on Thursday because he supported gun control in the United States while wishing that Jews could have fought back with firearms during the Holocaust.
In an interview with radio host Howard Stern this week, Weinstein revealed that he was working on a film about the National Rifle Association (NRA) because he opposed guns.
“I don’t think we need guns in this country and I hate it, and I think that the NRA is a disaster area,” Weinstein said. “I’m gonna make a movie with Meryl Streep and we’re gonna take this issue head on.”
“They’re gonna wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.”
It was that line that got Fox News host Martha McCallum and radio host Mike Slater fired up on Thursday.
“What do you make of a guy who made ‘Kill Bill’ carrying the torch for anti-NRA?” MacCallum asked.
“Harvey and his friends have built their careers on making incredibly violent movies, and they have contributed to this desensitizing to violence in America,” Slater opined.
“Let me remind you and our viewers at home that the one thing that stopped [Newtown shooter] Adam Lanza from continuing the rampage in the school was when he saw a gun and a police officer in his line of sight,” MacCallum insisted, turning to liberal guest Jehmu Greene. “Just recently, we had another school shooting. We have them almost weekly, sometimes it feels like almost daily, and what ends them all is when — or in most cases — is when there is a gun introduced into the situation that scares that person into stopping what they are doing.”
“Any responsible gun owner knows that you don’t need an AR-15 to protect your home, you need it to kill a lot of people,” Greene pointed out. “Any responsible hunter knows that you barely get off a third shot at killing a deer, much less a thirtieth shot… The NRA using responsible gun owners to protect gun manufacturers from stopping common-sense gun laws, they do need to be wiped off.”
“Spoons don’t make people fat and pencils don’t misspell words,” Slater shot back. “We need to strike at the root of gun violence. You mentioned, Martha, whether it’s mental illness or breakdown of society, breakdown of the family, breakdown of religious values. Whatever that is.”
The New York Post — New York City’s arbiter of news ethics and breaking stories — wants readers to know that it isn’t sorry about its front page headline today.
The headline, “Slumlord found burned in dumpster: Who didn’t want him dead?” accompanies a story about Menachem Stark, a man who was kidnapped outside of his office on Thursday and found dead and still smoldering Sunday in a dumpster on Long Island.
The story, as one might surmise from the headline, isn’t really about the horrific crime scene, but rather, conjecture loaded with unflattering Jewish references.
“He’s a Hasidic Jew from Williamsburg, and we think he’s a scammer,” the Post quotes an unnamed source as saying.
“His slanted shtreimel on his head gives his crookedness away,” goes another quote from “one commenter… on FailedMessiah.com, referring to the victim’s fur hat in a photo.”
General Orders #11
GENERAL ORDERS No. 11.
HDQRS. 13TH A. C., DEPT. OF THE TENN.,
Holly Springs, December 17, 1862.
The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled from the department within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order.
Post commanders will see that all of this class of people be furnished passes and required to leave, and any one returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permit from headquarters.
No passes will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application for trade permits.
By order of Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant:
JNO. A. RAWLINS,
Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. 17, Part II, p. 424.
Plea from deported Jewish citizens
December 29, 1862.
Hon. ABRAHAM LINCOLN,
President of the United States:
General Orders, No. 11, issued by General Grant at Oxford, Miss., December the 17th, commands all post commanders to expel all Jews, without distinction, within twenty-four hours, from his entire department. The undersigned, good and loyal citizens of the United States and residents of this town for many years, engaged in legitimate business as merchants, feel greatly insulted and outraged by this inhuman order, the carrying out of which would be the grossest violation of the Constitution and our rights as good citizens under it, and would place us, besides a large number of other Jewish families of this town, as outlaws before the whole world. We respectfully ask your immediate attention to this enormous outrage on all law and humanity, and pray for your effectual and immediate interposition. We would respectfully refer you to the post commander and post adjutant as to our loyalty, and to all respectable citizens of this community as to our standing citizens and merchants. We respectfully ask for immediate instructions to be sent to the commander of this post.
D. WOLFF & BROS.
C. F. KASKELL.
J. W. KASWELL.
Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. 17, Part II, p. 506.
The Order is Rescinded
Washington, January 4, 1863.
Holly Springs, Miss.:
A paper purporting to be General Orders, No. 11, issued by you December 17, has been presented here. By its terms it expels all Jews from your department. If such an order has been issued, it will be immediately revoked.
H. W. HALLECK,
[CIRCULAR.] HDQRS. 13TH ARMY CORPS, DEPT. OF THE TENN.,
Holly Springs, Miss., January 7, 1863.
By direction of General-in-Chief of the Army, at Washington, the general order from these headquarters expelling Jews from the department is hereby revoked.
By order of Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant:
JNO. A. RAWLINS,
An apology was posted Saturday by a Christian journal that had published and republished an anonymous essay on its blog saying that Jews killed Jesus and deserve God’s punishment.
“Firstly, we apologize for inadequate editorial oversight in the publishing and re-publishing of this blog post,” wrote Aaron Gyde, editor-in-chief of the Harvard Ichthus, which is run by Harvard College undergraduates.
The publication’s apology took the place of the essay “Why Us?” which was written by an anonymous Jewish convert to Christianity and posted on the Ichthus website Wednesday. The author, who remained anonymous due to concern of personal attacks, wrote, “We, the Jews, collectively rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we deserved the punishments that were heaped on our heads over the last 2000 years.”
Gyde wrote the apology on behalf of the Ichthus editorial board, adding in thoughts from the author of the controversial essay.
“While this does not excuse the post of responsibility, it was not the intent of the writer, nor the Ichthus, to present a piece that is anti-Semitic in nature or in interpretation,” the apology stated. “The writer holds nothing but love for his heritage and feels very deeply for the welfare of the Jewish people. The blog was not intended to communicate animosity, but concern and a sincere desire to communicate the necessity of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.”
The essay was originally removed from the website, edited, and reposted Friday morning, when the author wrote that he or she was looking “to warn my beloved Jewish friends and family of the judgment that lies ahead.”
The essay was removed again Friday, this time permanently.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD is looking into a series of attacks on Jews in Brooklyn. At least one attack was caught on surveillance tape.
Some of the assaults may be part of a disturbing game, CBS 2’s John Slattery reported on Tuesday.
Police have yet to connect all the incidents, but released surveillance video that shows one group attacking a Jewish man. The video shows from a few different angles the victim, a man in a hooded jacket, getting punched.
One man who didn’t want to be identified told Slattery his 12-year-old son was attacked in the same way.
“It’s clearly anti-Semitism,” the man said.
The 64-year-old said his son, who was dressed in traditional Jewish clothing, was attacked last Wednesday afternoon on President Street.
“One, full strength with his fist, whacked him, punched him, on the side of the face, full force,” the man said.
The child went to the ground as he heard the group of five to six teens yell out.
“A hysterical, happy shout, ‘We got him,’” the man said.
Video also shows a 19-year-old Jewish man being sucker-punched.