Shattering a 'National Mythology'
... According to the Tel Aviv University historian, Prof. Shlomo Sand, author of "Matai ve'ech humtza ha'am hayehudi?" ("When and How the Jewish People Was Invented?"; Resling, in Hebrew) ... the Jews now living in Israel and other places in the world are not at all descendants of the ancient people who inhabited the Kingdom of Judea during the First and Second Temple period. Their origins, according to him, are in varied peoples that converted to Judaism during the course of history ...
A Look at the Allies� Air War Against Germany
Stanley Hoffman - Foreign Affairs
This horrific and fascinating study of the Anglo-American air assaults on German cities during World War II, which was published a few years ago in Germany, requires a very strong stomach: Reader beware. It is about as thorough and methodical as a history book can be. J�rg Friedrich [in The Fire: The Bombing of Germany] examines the weapons used; the firestorms that engulfed many German cities; the crews that carried out the bombing missions; Winston Churchill's determination - until the winter of 1945 -- to destroy German cities; the Allies' strategy; the fate of the populations in their shelters ... all this in a matter-of-fact, dispassionate style.
Genocide in Gaza, Ethnic Cleansing in the West Bank
Not long ago, I claimed that Israel is employing genocidal policies in the Gaza Strip. I hesitated before using this very charged term and yet decided to adopt it. The responses I received indicated unease in using such a term. I rethought the term for a while, but concluded with even stronger conviction: it is the only appropriate way to describe what the Israeli army is doing in the Gaza Strip.
The Bungled War
We have passed the five-year anniversary of George W. Bush's bungled war in Iraq. What has it gained the American people? I'm afraid the answer is nothing. Let's look at the accomplishments ... The military is strained to the breaking point, so we are now recruiting high-school dropouts and people with criminal records. The American economy is on the tipping point of disaster. Bush's disapproval rating is at 65 percent ... To a large extent, we have lost our economic independence.
German Nationalist Party Leader Charged With Incitement
The Associated Press
The head of the main German far-right party was charged Tuesday with incitement and defamation for allegedly publishing a pamphlet before the 2006 soccer World Cup that prosecutors said called into question whether nonwhite players should be on the national team. A prosecutor, Simone Herbeth, said in a statement that Udo Voigt, head of the National Democratic Party, had been charged with incitement and defamation over the pamphlets.
French Civil Servant Fired for Anti-Israel Pamphlet
European Jewish Press
A French senior civil servant was fired after publishing an anti-Israeli pamphlet on internet, the Interior Ministry announced Sunday. According to French television, Bruno Guigue, deputy prefect of the southwestern French town of Saintes, wrote in an online column this month that Israel was the only regime that allows "snipers shoot down little girls outside their school gates...
Most Germans Reject Notion of `Special Responsibility� Toward Israel
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)
A little more than 60 years after the Holocaust, a public opinion poll shows that a majority of Germans believe their country has no special responsibility toward Israel. A recent opinion poll conducted by the German television station Sat1/N24 and the Emnid polling organization revealed that 52 percent of 1,000 respondents see no significant obligation toward the Jewish state. Sat1 spokeswoman Kristina Fassler told The Jerusalem Post that the finding is "extremely alarming" and displays "an ignorance of history" in Germany.
Britain is World�s Seventh Most Stable and Prosperous Country
The Times (Britain)
The United Kingdom has been ranked as one of the most stable and prosperous countries in the world, beating the United States, France and even Switzerland in a global assessment of every nation�s achievements and standards. A one-year investigation and analysis of 235 countries and dependent territories has put the UK tied for seventh place in the premier league of nations. The top ten comprise also the Vatican, Sweden, Luxembourg, Monaco, Gibraltar, San Marino, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands and the Irish Republic. The US is 22nd and Switzerland is 17th.
How Able Are Americans to Bear the Costs of War?
The Christian Science Monitor
War in Iraq presents a paradox on the American home front: The military effort has had little discernible impact on most Americans, but by some forecasts, the Iraq effort will end up costing more per citizen than many US wars with higher numbers of casualties ... Korea, Vietnam, and the Civil War ... But the Iraq war has cost taxpayers about $526 billion so far - and could reach $2 trillion by 2017, according to one study by Congress's Joint Economic Committee.
US Pushed Allies on Iraq, Diplomat Writes
The Washington Post
In the months leading up to the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration threatened trade reprisals against friendly countries who withheld their support, spied on its allies, and pressed for the recall of UN envoys that resisted US pressure to endorse the war, according to an upcoming book by a top Chilean diplomat. The rough-and-tumble diplomatic strategy has generated lasting "bitterness" and "deep mistrust" in Washington's relations with allies in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere, Heraldo Mu�oz, Chile's ambassador to the United Nations, writes in his book A Solitary War...
David Peters - Asia Times (2003)
The US economy is on the verge of collapse, and the whole world is going down with it. Or so Richard Duncan would have us believe. His 2002 book The Dollar Crisis: Causes, Consequences, Cures offers an unabashedly alarmist view of the imminent unraveling of the global economy - an outcome he argues has now become unavoidable ... As long as the world's central banks were willing to hold US-dollar-denominated debt as reserves, the United States could run an almost endless series of large trade deficits without paying the monetary consequences in terms of a collapse of the dollar. But having sown the wind for 30 years, the US is now about to reap the whirlwind.
The Second Battle of NAFTA
Patrick J. Buchanan
... Under Bush, the U.S. trade deficit has doubled. Three million manufacturing jobs have vanished. And America has begun to run a trade deficit in advanced technology goods of more than $50 billion ... What has free trade wrought? Lost sovereignty. A sinking dollar. A hollowing out of U.S. manufacturing. Stagnant wages. Wives forced into the labor market to maintain the family income. Mass indebtedness to foreign nations, and a deepening dependency on foreign goods and borrowings to pay for them. We have sacrificed our country on the altar of this Moloch, the mythical Global Economy.
Wounded Nation: South Africa�s Growing Woes
Fred Bridgland -- Sunday Herald (Scotland)
The lights are literally and figuratively going out all over South Africa as crime, corruption and mismanagement push the rainbow country towards becoming another failed African state. / After bathing in the warm, fuzzy glow of the Mandela years, South Africans today are deeply demoralised people. The lights are going out in homes, mines, factories and shopping malls ... The currency, the rand, has entered freefall. Crime, much of it gratuitously violent, is rampant, and the national police chief faces trial for corruption and defeating the ends of justice as a result of his alleged deals with a local mafia kingpin and dealer in hard drugs.
McCain Renews His Commitment to Israel
JTA (New York)
Wearing a white knitted kippah [yarmulke], Sen. John McCain stood at the Western Wall, tucked a note inside one of its crevices and pressed his hand on the ancient stone, striking an image meant to speak to American Jewish voters across the sea that he is indeed their man. McCain, the Arizona senator who is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, spoke March 19 of his "deep and abiding commitment to Israel" - a theme he stressed throughout his meetings this week with Israeli leaders.
Five Years in Iraq: A Deep Disquiet in the US
The Christian Science Monitor
The Iraq war has been perhaps America's bitterest lesson since Vietnam in the realities of war and geopolitics ... profoundly altering ordinary citizens' sense of their country, its essential abilities, and the overall role it plays in the world. Poll after poll shows that Americans are worried about US troops. They're distressed at the war's rising human and financial cost and are fully aware of the globe's rising tide of anti-Americanism. Most of all, they may be confused ... The bottom line may be that today many in the US view the Iraq invasion as a mistake they don't want to see repeated.
Who�ll Stop the Gangs?
Tim Rutten - Los Angeles Times
Gang violence is to Los Angeles politics as the weather is to conversation: Everybody talks about it, and nobody ever does anything about it ... Conservative analysts estimate that as many as 40,000 people belong to the 700 or so gangs in the city of L.A. Countywide, there may be as many as 1,200 gangs with 80,000 members. The material cost of their criminality may be as much as $2 billion a year; the human toll in lives lost or deformed defies calculation. Every few years, our political establishment runs out of ways to look away and begins demanding another study, a fresh approach, a new initiative.
McCain Touts His Stance on Israel
Forward (New York)
John Mc Cain prides himself on being a straight shooter, a political maverick who speaks his mind even when it riles his own camp or alarms voters ... On Israel, however, McCain has been uncharacteristically conventional. He offers unqualified support, expressed in years of public statements. He has the endorsement of pro-Israel icon Joseph Lieberman, the independent senator from Connecticut, and of former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the favorite among Jewish Republicans until he quit the race ...
Germans Don�t Owe Us a Dime
Yoram Kaniuk - Ynet News (Israel)
Asking the Germans for more reparations looks bad. The Germans who are alive today did nothing wrong, and those who did have already died, and their misdeeds were paid for. How much can a people humiliate itself? How low can we go? Israelis who have not worked a day in Germany, and whose parents do not come from there, were able to arrange a German pension for themselves that exists because German laborers saved money. This pension is more generous than what Israel offers.
How to Be an Israeli Journalist
... If the words occupation, apartheid and racism (not to mention Palestinian citizens of Israel, bantustans, ethnic cleansing and Nakba) are absent from Israeli discourse, Israeli citizens can spend their whole lives without knowing what they have been living with. Take racism (Giz�anut in Hebrew). If the Israeli parliament legislates that 13 per cent of the country�s lands can be sold only to Jews, then it is a racist parliament...
The Only Lesson We Learn is That We Never Learn
... How easily the little men took us into the inferno [of Iraq], with no knowledge or, at least, interest in history. None of them read of the 1920 Iraqi insurgency against British occupation, nor of Churchill's brusque and brutal settlement of Iraq the following year ... For these were the men who had the temerity, the sheer, unadulterated gall, to dress themselves up as Churchill, heroes who would stage a rerun of the Second World War, the BBC dutifully calling the invaders "the Allies" - they did, by the way - and painting Saddam's regime as the Third Reich.
There Must Be A Reckoning For This Day Of Infamy
Seumas Milne - The Guardian (Britain)
... Given that the invasion of Iraq was regarded as illegal by the majority of the UN security council, its secretary general, and the overwhelming weight of international legal opinion, it must by the same token be seen as a war crime ... Those who insist that the immolation of Iraq was the consequence of errors in the execution of an otherwise defensible policy are simply evading their own responsibility and culpability. The likelihood of a bloody quagmire was widely foreseen before the attack. The failure to do so by those who launched the aggression reflects a blindly arrogant refusal to accept that people are bound to resist foreign occupation, however much they detest their own government ...
Jewish Advocates Demand Obama Show 'Fealty� to Israel
... A debate arranged by United Jewish Committees in D.C. among Jewish advocates for Hillary, Obama, and McCain. The debate became a rout, the Post columnist averred, in which the advocates for Hillary and McCain "used their time to raise doubts about Obama's fealty to Israel." Fealty to Israel? They portrayed Obama as a dangerous leftwinger ... Ann Lewis, Hillary's advocate, responded: "The role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel. It is not up to us to pick and choose from among the political parties."
Germany Plans Expellees Museum in Berlin
Germany on Wednesday unveiled plans for a museum to document the fate of millions of Germans forced out of eastern Europe after World War Two following a years-long row over the idea with neighboring Poland. Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet approved the Berlin centre, which will house a permanent exhibition on the experiences of 12.5 million Germans expelled from Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia after the Nazi defeat.
Jewish Group Demands YouTube Purge Anti-Semitic Videos
Deutsche Presse Agentur
Germany's national Jewish body said Thursday it has filed suit against YouTube and its parent company Google, demanding a court order for the site to be permanently purged of anti-Semitic videos. Stephan Kramer, secretary general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in Hamburg, "we charge Google with aiding and abetting racial hatred and discrimination on its YouTube video- platform subsidiary.
Winston Churchill Walked on Moon, Say Many Pupils
The Telegraph (Britain)
One in three primary school pupils [in Britain] believe that Sir Winston Churchill was the first man to walk on the moon, according to a survey. The children, aged between four and ten-years-old, confused the war time Prime Minister with the American astronaut Neil Armstrong, despite the fact they were born in different centuries and different countries ... Last month a similar poll of British teenagers revealed a quarter think that Sir Winston never existed at all. It transpired they associate the name Churchill with a nodding dog that stars in an advert for insurance, rather than the Second World War leader.
Roland Arnall: Mortgage Innovator, Jewish Activist
The New York Times
Roland E. Arnall, the founder of the Ameriquest Mortgage Company, which once billed itself as a sponsor of the American dream but later found itself at the center of the subprime mortgage crisis, died Monday ... Last year, Forbes magazine estimated Mr. Arnall�s fortune at $1.5 billion ... He and his wife were among the top ten donors to the Republican Party in 2003-5 and gave nearly $1 million to help pay for President Bush�s second-inauguration celebration. In 1977, Mr. Arnall helped start the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Jewish organization based in Los Angeles, and for many years he was chairman of its board.
The Collapse of American Power
Paul Craig Roberts
... The Bush administration forecasts a $410 billion federal budget deficit for this year, an indication that, as the US saving rate is approximately zero, the US is not only dependent on foreigners to finance its wars but also dependent on foreigners to finance part of the US government�s domestic expenditures ... The US has squandered $500 billion dollars on a war that serves no American purpose ... The fact of the matter is that the US is bankrupt ... In everyday language, the US government cannot pass an audit.
Austrians Tire of Holocaust Burden
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Most Austrians want an end to the debate about their country's role in giving rise to Nazi Germany, a poll found. A survey released Tuesday found that 60 percent of Austrians want the debate about this period in history to end, while 36 want it to continue. The data showed that while there has been a slight rise in the number of Austrians seeking to revisit the issue, the majority remain solidly against. Though Austria enthusiastically persecuted its Jews and contributed many top-ranking officials to the Third Reich, Vienna since the end of World War II has sought to distance itself from responsibility for the Nazis.
German Kids Tired of Holocaust, Says Berlin Official
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)
German youth are experiencing "Holocaust fatigue," the head of the German delegation to an international organization of Holocaust education and remembrance said Monday. "German children tend to show Holocaust fatigue," said Dr. Benedikt Haller, the German Foreign Ministry official who serves as special representative for relations with Jewish organizations and issues relating to anti-Semitism ... "The Holocaust has a very strong place in our national curriculum and it is not going away or [being taken] out," he said. "This is not a reason to take it out of our curriculum."
Anti-Jewish Sentiment Rising Globally, Says State Dept.
A report from the U.S. State Department details "an upsurge" across the world of anti-Semitism -- hostility and discrimination toward Jewish people. "Today, more than 60 years after the Holocaust, anti-Semitism is not just a fact of history, it is a current event," the report says. The report -- called Contemporary Global Anti-Semitism ... details physical acts of anti-Semitism, such as attacks, property damage, and cemetery desecration. It also lists manifestations such as conspiracy theories concerning Jews, Holocaust denial, anti-Zionism and the demonization of Israel ...
How Americans Have Been Misled About World War II
... Many people are misled by formalities. They assume, for example, that the United States went to war against Germany and Japan only after its declarations of war against these nations in December 1941. In truth, the United States had been at war for a long time before making these declarations. Its warmaking took a variety of forms ... Probably not one American ... in 10,000 - has an inkling of any of this history. So effective has been the pro-Roosevelt, pro-American, pro-World War II faction that in this country it has utterly dominated teaching and popular writing about U.S. engagement in the "Good War."
Rare Mozart Portrait Discovered
A portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that lay unidentified for more than 200 years has been proved to be authentic, according to an expert on the composer. Professor Cliff Eisen from London's King's College has spent more than a year trying to confirm that the picture was of Mozart, who died in 1791. He said: "This is arguably the most important Mozart portrait to be discovered since the composer's death." Its significance came to light after it was bought by a US collector in 2005. The portrait of Mozart shows the composer in profile in a red jacket.
Us and Them: The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism
Jerry Z. Muller - Foreign Affairs
Americans generally belittle the role of ethnic nationalism in politics. But in fact, it corresponds to some enduring propensities of the human spirit, it is galvanized by modernization, and in one form or another, it will drive global politics for generations to come. Once ethnic nationalism has captured the imagination of groups in a multiethnic society, ethnic disaggregation or partition is often the least bad answer. ... Whether politically correct or not, ethnonationalism will continue to shape the world in the twenty-first century.
Thousands March in Latvia to Commemorate Waffen SS Unit
The Associated Press
About 3,000 Latvians marched through the capital Sunday under heavy police protection to honor countrymen who fought in a German combat unit during World War II. The procession, included a few surviving members of the Waffen SS unit known as the Latvian Legion, was met by dozens of jeering protesters as it arrived at the Freedom Monument, in downtown Riga.
Dollar's Clout Sinks Worldwide
The Associated Press
... Hit by a free fall with no end in sight, the once mighty US dollar is no longer just crashing on currency markets and making life more expensive for American tourists and business people abroad; its clout is evaporating worldwide as foreign businesses and individuals turn to other currencies. Experts say the bleak U.S. economic forecast means it will take years for the greenback to recover its value and prestige. Negative dollar sentiment is growing in nations where the dollar was historically accepted as equal or better than local currency ...
Many Brits Ignorant of Magna Carta
The Telegraph (Britain)
Nearly half of the UK population does not know what the Magna Carta is, according to a YouGov poll. The survey commissioned by the British Library found 45 per cent of the 2,000 people questioned had no knowledge of the English charter. And only 32 per cent knew that it set written limits on the authority of the monarch.
Sixty Percent of Americans Think Iraq War Was Mistake
... As the fifth anniversary of the invasion approaches next week ... a new USA Today/Gallup Poll finds attitudes toward the nation's deadliest conflict since Vietnam threaded with crosscurrents ... The survey finds the 40% of Americans who want to stay the course in Iraq are relatively united - confident the invasion was justified and the consequences of withdrawing too soon disastrous. However, the 60% who call the invasion a mistake and want to set a timetable to get out are fractured into four distinct groups, a USA Today analysis of public opinion toward the war concludes.
Many Americans Now Think US Will Succeed in Iraq
The Spectator (Britain)
New polling data reveals that 53 percent of Americans now believe that the United States will ultimately achieve its aims in Iraq compared to 39 percent who think it will fail. As The Politico points out, this is the highest level of support for the war since the summer of 2006. This shift in opinion combined with Admiral Fallon�s departure makes it far more likely that the United States will not quit Iraq prematurely. Certainly, we can expect only limited troop draw downs before January 2009.
No More Preferential Treatment for Israel, Say German Professors
Ynet News (Israel)
These are words that have been brewing just below the surface in Germany for quite a while, and now they were uttered aloud, right here in Israel. In a conference held Monday at Netanya�s Academic College, German professors asserted that their country ... should stop giving the Sate of Israel preferential treatment ... This statement comes at the heels of a manifesto, recently published by 25 German scholars, which maintained that Germany must be more �balanced� in its political relations with Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Something Bad is Happening to Us
Haaretz (Israel) -- Editorial
... We have become accustomed to treating the Palestinians as inferior people. Generations come and go, and new soldiers abuse the residents of occupied Hebron in almost the same manner ... They exposed their backsides and sexual organs to Palestinians, pressed an electric heater to the face of a young boy, beat young boys senseless, recorded everything on their mobile phones and sent it to their friends ... The soldiers described activities to "break the routine" that consisted entirely of abuse. It was enough for a boy "to look at us the wrong way" for him to be beaten.
Detailed Review Finds No Link Between Saddam and al Qaida
An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network ... Then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld claimed in September 2002 that the United States had "bulletproof" evidence of cooperation between the radical Islamist terror group and Saddam's secular dictatorship ...
The Gaza Bombshell
David Rose - Vanity Fair (New York)
Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war. The plan was for forces led by Dahlan, and armed with new weapons supplied at America�s behest, to give Fatah the muscle it needed to remove the democratically elected Hamas-led government from power.
Belgian Government, Banks to Pay $170 Million in Holocaust Funds
The Associated Press
The Belgian government and banks have agreed to pay $170 million to Holocaust survivors, families of victims and the Jewish community for losses during World War II. Campaigners on Tuesday welcomed the decision to compensate those whose property and goods in Belgium had been looted by Nazi occupiers. Overall, $54 million will be paid to claimants and the rest will go to a trust to help the needy and ensure that the horrors of the Holocaust are remembered.
Belgium Unable to Trace Holocaust Victims for Payments
AFP and EJP
The Belgian government, banks and insurance companies have agreed to pay 35.2 million euros (54 million dollars) to families of Jews for their material losses during the Holocaust ... But authorities have been unable to trace most of the Jewish Holocaust victims, entitled to payments from a 110 million euros (169 million dollar) fund, according to an official report ... The balance of 75 million euros will be handed over to a special Foundation that will help keep the memory of the Holocaust alive and will help finance religious, cultural and social projects in the Jewish community of Belgium.
Israeli Headed Sex Ring Linked to Jewish Governor
The Associated Press
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, touted in the past as the first potential Jewish U.S. president, found his political career on the brink of collapse after he was accused of paying for a romp with a high-priced call girl, in a prostitution ring allegedly led by a man found with an Israeli passport at his home. The Associated Press reported that U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael H. Dolinger ordered Mark Brener, 62, of Cliffside Park, N.J., to be held without bail after the passport and $600,000 in cash were found in his apartment.
Syphilis Rate Up in US for Seventh Year in a Row
The U.S. syphilis rate rose for the seventh straight year in 2007, driven by a continued surge in cases among homosexual and bisexual men, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. Since 2000, when the national syphilis rate sank to a low of 2.1 per 100,000 people after a decade of progress in the 1990s, the rate has soared by 76 percent, the CDC reported. Homosexual and bisexual men accounted for 64 percent of syphilis cases in 2007, up from about 5 percent in 1999.
Military Recruit Numbers Drop
The Washington Times
U.S. military recruitment is declining despite studies suggesting the armed forces are more diverse and educated than ever, said David S. C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. The longevity of the Iraq war, a negative view of military life and rising obesity rates nationwide were cited as principal reasons for the decline by military and data analysts who discussed the issue at the Heritage Foundation. About a third of potential military recruits are rejected because of an inability to meet physical standards ...
Battle Lines Drawn Between Jewish Groups and Protestant Churches
Forward (New York)
Tensions are re-emerging between Jewish organizations and some mainline Protestant churches in the wake of a renewed drive for churches to divest from companies doing business with Israel ... Relations with the Presbyterian Church (USA) are also strained, following remarks by church officials criticizing Israel because of the Gaza closure ... The divestment campaign, thought by many in the Jewish community to be dormant, is still active among mainline Protestant churches and is re-emerging as a main issue on the agenda of Jewish groups.
Britain Enlisted Astrologer to Fight Hitler
The Associated Press
Desperate for a glimpse into Adolf Hitler's unpredictable mind, British spies hired an astrologer during World War II to write horoscopes for him and other Nazi leaders, documents declassified Tuesday show. They soon regretted it. The file released to Britain's National Archives [the Public Record Office] catalogs the frustrations of MI5 handlers as they tried to prevent the astrologer, Louis de Wohl, from publicly embarrassing high-rank intelligence and military officers.
German Memoir Revives Horrors of Communism
The Telegraph (Britain)
Hankering in the former East Germany for a return to the supposed simplicity of life under communist rule has been challenged by a 73-year-old woman's account of eight years of rape and torture she suffered when she was a political prisoner. Erika Riemann was 14 when she was imprisoned by the communist regime. She had defaced a portrait of Stalin hanging in her school by painting a red bow over his moustache with her mother's lipstick. In three East German prisons, including a former Nazi concentration camp, she was repeatedly raped, starved and beaten. Finally she was forced to endure a mock mass extermination in a gas chamber.
List Released of Germans who Died in Postwar Sachsenhausen Camp
The Associated Press
Researchers at the former Nazi Sachsenhausen concentration camp have finished compiling a list of nearly 12,000 Germans who died there during its use as an internment camp by the Soviets after World War II ... Soviet secret police used the camp just north of Berlin to imprison many Nazis as well as critics of the Soviet occupation of eastern Germany after the defeat of Adolf Hitler's regime. In all, an estimated 60,000 people were sent to "Special Camp No. 1" in 1945-50.
America�s Ghost Story: Shadows of `History�
James Carroll - Boston Globe
The unfolding political contest in the United States is a window into America's soul. The nation is arguing with itself ... "History" is not a mere record of past events and choices; it is an interpretation of those events and choices. In today's America, the "national security" interpretation is sacred. When that consensus assumes, for example, that World War II was "good," or that the United States arms build-up "won" the Cold War, it protects the militarized economy, the status of the military-industrial elite, the iron lock of incumbents on office.
Christopher Columbus: Jew?
Forward (New York)
... Claims that Columbus was of Jewish origins have been circulating for years now, mostly from a handful of professors and history buffs ... Those claims, however, have been met with researched assertions that Columbus was a Christian who lived during a time when learned European men viewed Jewish literacy as a sign of erudition. Findings in a DNA test performed by University of Granada forensic geneticist Jos� Lorente at Columbus�s gravesite in Seville, Spain, proved that Columbus was surely Caucasian. Lorente did not find any evidence that Columbus was of Jewish descent.
What Do We Stand For?
Paul Craig Roberts
Americans traditionally thought of their country as a "city upon a hill," a "light unto the world." Today only the deluded think that. Polls show that the rest of the world regards the U.S. and Israel as the two greatest threats to peace ... Do we Americans have any honor, any humanity, any integrity, any awareness of the crimes our government is committing in our name? Do we have a moral conscience? ... There is no one in the Bush administration with enough integrity to resign. It is a government devoid of truth, morality, decency, and honor.
History Survey Stumps Teens
The New York Times
Fewer than half of American teenagers who were asked basic questions about history and literature during a recent telephone survey knew when the Civil War was fought, and one-quarter thought that Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World sometime after 1750, not in 1492. The results of the survey ... demonstrate that a significant proportion of American teenagers live in "stunning ignorance" of history and literature, according to the group that commissioned it.
Moses Was High on Drugs, Says Israeli Researcher
Agence France Presse
High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published this week. Such mind-altering substances formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times, Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wrote in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy.
History Written in Concrete: The Wartime Atlantic Wall
... Today, 63 years after the end of World War II, the remains of the Nazis' Atlantic Wall are there for all to see, although few observers realize the extent of what they are seeing ... Specialists estimate that some 6,000 pillboxes and blockhouses still dot Europe's coastline. Constructed between 1942 and 1944, the Wall stretches from Finland and Norway, southwest through Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Channel Islands, down into France and Spain. Its purpose was to halt any Allied invasion by stopping it at beach level.
Holocaust `Denier� Toben Accuses Judges in Australia
JTA (New York)
A Holocaust denier accused two Jewish federal justices in Australia of "propagating the Jewish Holocaust" to "protect an historical lie." Dr. Fredrick Toben, 62, the founder of the notorious Adelaide Institute, made his accusations against Justices Alan Goldberg and Stephen Rothman in a submission to the Federal Court last week. The Sydney court is hearing a long-running case over Holocaust denial material Toben appears to continue to publish on the institute's Web site. Toben was ordered by the Federal Court in 2002 to purge the material from the site of his institute, which is widely considered to be anti-Semitic.
Anti-Semitism is `Unique�
David Matas - B�nai Brith (Canada)
... The whole contemporary human rights superstructure has its foundations in revulsion to the Holocaust. It is impossible to understand human rights today without understanding how and why the standards developed ... The Holocaust was a crime in which virtually every country in the globe was complicit ... Anti-Semitism is unique because the situation of Israel is unique. Israel is the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack. The Holocaust and struggle against anti-Semitism, because they are seen as reasons for the existence of the State of Israel, are uniquely attacked and must be uniquely supported.
Did Hitler Draw Disney Characters?
The Telegraph (Britain)
The director of a Norwegian museum claimed yesterday to have discovered cartoons drawn by Adolf Hitler during the Second World War. William Hakvaag ... said he found the drawings hidden in a painting signed "A. Hitler" that he bought at an auction in Germany. He found coloured cartoons of the characters Bashful and Doc from the 1937 Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which were signed A.H., and an unsigned sketch of Pinocchio as he appeared in the 1940 Disney film.