By Amy Zewe—
Thank you to all who stepped up on Giving Tuesday yesterday and gave an extra boost to our cause. If you missed it, you can still go to our website or any of our social media sites and click to help!|
This week I’d like to update you on a few goings on that you can keep in your prayers and take action as you are able.
Holocaust denial is alive and well within American pop culture even in the face of undisputed evidence and eye-witness accounts. Podcasts are still peddling lies and it is our job to fight back by illuminating truth.
An American rapper has produced a podcast denying the scale of the Holocaust. Lord Jamar, 52 (real name Lorenzo Dechalus), former member of hip-hop band Brand Nubian, is now a record producer and podcaster. In a podcast with Muslim Scientologist Rizza Islam, Lord Jamar claimed that a far smaller number of Jews died in the Nazi genocide, saying that the numbers have been exaggerated because “there was no six million Jews living in Europe at that time.”
Rizza Islam appeared to agree, asserting that he “did the research.”
If either had done any research, they would have seen census records confirming that there were more than 9.5 million Jews in Europe before WWII, more than six million of whom were murdered in the Holocaust.
How many young people in America, North America, or around the world are listening to outfight lies about history? And without schools teaching this history at all, young people are walking away with a minimized view of what really happened—as if perhaps only 3 million Jews, or 300,000 Jews may have been a more acceptable number?
Moreover, former US President Barak Obama has a new book out that is revealing a backdrop for what many of us thought was hostile and ill-intended policies during that administration towards Israel. Chapter 25 is coming under much criticism by historians and Jews, and those who support history and Jews and their homeland—and this telling also may be surprise of many Jews who have always supported Obama and refused to believe his innate hostility to the Jewish Homeland.
I am NOT encouraging you to go out and buy this book, but to perhaps research commentaries and excerpts of it so you can be informed and able to correct the record.
Dov Lipman, former Knesset member and contributor to JNS.org writes about the Obama Memoir in an article posted to the site on Nov. 26, 2020. The memoir is call, A Promised Land, (interesting) and Lipman notes that it is filled with historical inaccuracies in Obama’s telling of Israel’s story (beginning in Chapter 25). Not only is the memoir exhibiting a “flawed understanding of the region—which clearly impacted his policies as president—but misleads readers in a way that will forever shape their negative perspective of the Jewish state.”
Some of the slants in Obama’s book is that the British mandate was a unilateral decision with no international support and at the behest of “Zionist leaders,” and put upon an oppressed an already exhausted Arab world under colonial rule—implying illegitimacy of Jews in the region–that Jews were only just then flooding to the land as colonists. And Obama uses the term Zionist instead of Jews when addressing leadership or inhabitants–to fit right into the anti-Zionist movement of today. If one would to swap out the term to “Jewish” it is far too obvious to see antisemitism in the telling. The lack of context and historical facts in starting in Chapter 25 will leave uneducated or ill-informed readers with the uneasy feeling of colonial Jews taking over (and implied) free-Palestine’s land with no context of the Holocaust having just ended, Jews having been present in the region for centuries, and the 850k Jews expelled from Arab lands in after the mandate, or any of the constant defensive actions Israel had to take for some decades following or its willingness to seek peace. Many, many more slants, omissions, and faulty labeling and timeline issues exist in this memoir and that makes me nervous of the outcome and reach this read will have to perpetuate an anti-Israel and by definition antisemitic bend among those who read this memoir.
I am not sure how many Obama supporters, and the many Jews who support Obama, will read this memoir and take away a feeling of hostility and angst towards a people and a nation, all developed out of either severe ignorance or our former leader or out of some focused agenda. Either way, be aware of this book and keep your facts straight as you engage with readers of what will likely be a bestseller, unfortunately, during this Christmas season. I hope nobody plans to give it as a Hanukah gift!
Shavua Tov, have a great week.