• irvsafdieh

Polish Amnesia, Once a Thug Always a Thug, Klein in Qatar


Polish President ‘Flabbergasted’ by ‘Violent’ Israeli Reaction to Holocaust Bill Times of Israel, January 29th 2018

Recap:

A Polish proposal to make the phrase "Polish death camps" punishable by up to three years in prison [1] sparked outrage in Israel. The bill still needs approval from Poland’s Senate and President [2].

The Context:

  • Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War 2 and millions of its citizens were killed, including three million Polish Jews. The country insists it was blameless in the Holocaust and that Poland’s death camps were run entirely by Germany.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fiercely criticized the proposed bill, which was announced on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, [3] saying Israel has zero tolerance for “distorting the truth, rewriting history or denying the Holocaust [4].” MK Yair Lapid, the son of a Holocaust survivor, believes Poland bears some responsibility since “hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered on its soil without them having met any German officer [5].”

  • Polish President Andrzej Duda insisted there was “no systematic participation of the Polish nation in the Holocaust”, and that “the Polish resistance fought the Holocaust in an organized way.” Duda said Israel’s aggressive reaction to Poland’s position is “proof of how much this bill is needed [6].”

  • Israel has honored more righteous gentiles from Poland than any other nation however, historians say many more were responsible for compromising Jews in hiding and participating in Nazi-led massacres [7].

  • Critics say the law will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression in Poland and that the legislation would be virtually impossible to enforce outside of the country [8].

Conversation Points:

  • Should Poland’s culpability during World War 2 be judged by its government-in-exile’s official policy or the actions of its people?

  • Does war absolve an occupied nation of its responsibility to act morally?

  • Why did Poland announce the bill on International Holocaust Remembrance Day?

  • If Holocaust revisionism is alive and well in 2018, what might happen when the last of the Holocaust survivors disappear?

Terrorists Released in Shalit Deal Leading Attacks Against Israel

Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News, January 29th 2018

Recap:

420 of the 1,027 terrorists exchanged for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit have returned to terrorist activity over the last six years.

The Context:

  • Shalit was captured in 2006 during a Hamas attack and was released in 2011 in exchange for over 1,000 convicted terrorists. Since then, Hamas has carried out additional kidnappings in an effort to replicate a similar deal [9].

  • Murders, rock attacks, stabbings, Molotov cocktail assaults, car rammings, and shootings are directly or indirectly attributed to prisoners involved in the swap. 210 were rearrested, and 100 are once again incarcerated [10].

  • Some of the released terrorists are now high-ranking Hamas officials, including Yahya Sinwar, the group’s Prime Minister in Gaza. Most of the freed prisoners now live out of Israel’s reach in Gaza, instead of the West Bank [11].

Conversation Points:

  • Should a soldier ever be ransomed? Does the answer depend on whether or not a nation requires mandatory military service?

  • Will these findings deter Israel from organizing similar exchanges in the future?

Qatar Meets With Morton Klein In Outreach To Pro-Israel Jews

Forward, January 30th 2018

Recap:

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton Klein joins a list of prominent American Jews who accepted an invitation to visit Qatar.

The Context:

  • Qatar has been internationally isolated since July after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other Arab states cut connections with it for threatening stability in the region by supporting Hamas and Hezbollah [12].

  • Qatar is on a charm offensive to drum up Western support. Malcolm Hoenlein, Alan Dershowitz, and Martin Oliner are among some of the other prominent Jews to visit the country in recent months [13].

  • Klein used his visit to present a 50-page report to Qatari officials that included details on Israelis held in Gaza and Qatar’s alleged terrorism financing. Qatar’s leaders said they no longer fund the Muslim Brotherhood [14].

Conversation Points:

  • Is Qatar’s outreach to Zionist Jews a result of its global isolation?

  • Will Qatar’s proclivity to engage Zionist Jews continue once it regains its international footing?

Notes:

  1. Poland president to review Holocaust bill after Israel outcry, BBC, January 29th 2018

  2. Israel Appalled Over Poland Effort To Criminalize The Term ‘Polish Death Camps’, Forward, January 28th 2018

  3. PM: ISRAEL WON'T TOLERATE POLAND 'DISTORTING TRUTH OR RE-WRITING HISTORY', HERB KEINON, JERUSALEM POST, JANUARY 28TH 2018.

  4. Ibid.

  5. Lapid: Poland was complicit in the Holocaust, new bill ‘can’t change history’ Times of Israel, January 27th 2018

  6. PM: ISRAEL WON'T TOLERATE POLAND 'DISTORTING TRUTH OR RE-WRITING HISTORY', HERB KEINON, JERUSALEM POST, JANUARY 28TH 2018

  7. Poland president to review Holocaust bill after Israel outcry, BBC, January 29th 2018

  8. Lapid: Poland was complicit in the Holocaust, new bill ‘can’t change history’ Times of Israel, January 27th 2018

  9. Hamas publishes new pictures of Gilad Shalit in captivity, Arutz Sheva, January 3rd 2018

  10. Warning – abductions planned, Israel Hayom, January 26th 2018

  11. Ibid.

  12. ZOA PRESIDENT: I WENT TO QATAR FOR ISRAEL AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE, SETH J. FRANTZMAN, JERUSALEM POST, JANUARY 30th 2018

  13. ZOA PRESIDENT: I WENT TO QATAR FOR ISRAEL AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE, SETH J. FRANTZMAN, JERUSALEM POST, JANUARY 30th 2018

  14. Ibid.