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How Fateful are Israel’s Knesset Elections on March 17th?

Sunday, March 15th, the Voice of Israel (VOI) Global Radio System aired a “National Security” program with Executive Producer and host Dan Diker and guests Dr. Harold Rhode former Pentagon Islamic Affairs expert, Distinguished Gatestone Institute Senior Fellow and Bassem Eid Arab correspondent for VOI. Eid is founder of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group. The thought provoking title was “Whom Do Radical Islamists Want as Israel’s Next Prime Minister?

This is a must listen program for all those concerned about Israel’s future in the run up to Tuesday’s March 17th Israeli Knesset elections.  Those elections have more than 20 parties competing for 120 seats. It will pit the current ruling coalition Likud government led by PM Benjamin Netanyahu against the Zionist Union headed by MK Yitzhak Herzog and former Justice Minister of Hatnuah, Tzipi Livni. There is also a new emerging factor. A coalition negotiated following the Knesset elections. It could include a Joint Arab List that might secure upwards of 13 to 15 seats. The Joint Arab List electoral results might possibly bolster the Zionist Union led opposition, including the leftist Meretz party, seeking to be given the nod to form a ruling coalition if selected by Israel President Reuven Rivlin. The VOI will have extensive live and extended coverage of these important Israeli Knesset elections on March 17th.

You may register and listen live to the VOI here.

Overarching this Knesset elections were disclosures this weekend of the U.S. Senate Permanent Investigations Subcommittee addressing complaints by PM Netanyahu of “foreign country involvement.” This is a reference to reports that the U.S. Administration has funded NGOs engaged in possible anti-Netanyahu “anyone but Bibi” vote campaigns among the country’s Arab and urban Jewish voters. The effort involves former Obama Presidential campaign field operations staff headed by Jeremy Bird of 270 Strategies.   Support has come from major Obama Jewish Democratic contributors and possibly State Department funding of NGOs.  Whether the Administration would prefer a new Israeli government whose policies might materially affect the national security and sovereignty of Jewish nation is at question?

This  Ides of March VOI “National Security” program, is a fascinating and elucidating commentary about the  dynamics of the contending forces in the regional  Muslim communities,  both Shia and Sunni, and  views of the US Administration as an unreliable ally. That is reflected in the views of Saudi -backed Al Arabiya  that gave  high marks to PM Netanyahu for standing up to the threat posed by  the Islamic State,  Iran  and proxies Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad  and Hezbollah. As pointed out by Dr. Rhode, Al Arabiya, strongly endorsed Netanyahu’s address before the Joint Meeting of Congress on March 3rd seeking to obtain a better deal to deter Iran from achieving nuclear hegemony in the region. There is also discussion of Egypt’s President Al-Sisi’s emerging role of importance trying to fashion a Sunni regional coalition of forces, the equivalent of a NATO – type organization to confront IS.  Al-Sisi’s New Year’s speech in  Cairo, before Al Azhar and the Awqfar  Ministry,  espoused reform of underlying Qur’anic doctrine  that has returned to the takfir purist form of Islam emblematic of the apocalyptic IS, a self styled Caliphate. A Caliphate that as Dr. Rhode pointed out may have been fostered originally by Shia Mahdist Iran now ironically engaged in combating IS in Iraq.

Rhode and Diker suggested that if a more compliant Israel government was elected on Tuesday that IS and Hamas cells in the West Bank and Hezbollah with Iran on the Golan might foment possible trouble.  Iran, as noted by Diker and Rhode, is rapidly spreading its hegemony threatening the region from Yemen on the Red Sea, across the Arabian Peninsula to the shores of the Persian Gulf and through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon on the Mediterranean coast. An Iran whose nuclear quest may have already triggered nuclear proliferation with Saudi Arabia’s disclosure of a recent nuclear development deal with South Korea.  We found fascinating the discussion among Diker, Rhode and Bassem Eid, astute VOI Arab correspondent, on the internal Israel Arab Muslim divide over the question of whether they would support the United Arab List.

Bassem disclosed the previously not well known fact that 60 percent of Israeli Arab Muslims are more likely to vote for Jewish parties as loyal citizens rather than for the Arab list. The Party’s leaders are more concerned about Israel as an ‘apartheid state’.  They have fashioned seditious relations with Ramallah, Gaza, Damascus and even Tehran and all   enemies of Israel. Bassem also noted that the Palestinians view the Likud government and Netanyahu as more reliable with honoring commitments than prior experiences with both Labor and Kadima governments.  Rhode explained that regional Arabs view favorably the Israeli democratic traditions that Arab Muslim citizens enjoy. He told of the impact of that on the Egyptian body guards of the late President Anwar Sadat when he came to Jerusalem in 1977 to give a speech before the Knesset. They noted, he said, the sharp contrast between the quiet respect paid to President Sadat when he spoke and the vigorous debates in the Knesset chamber that followed his address.  The VOI program offers insights into what might occur Tuesday when Israel votes for the 33rd Knesset.  The comments of these American and Israeli experts raise serious questions about the objectives of the US Administration Vis a vis a P5+1 non-binding deal to facilitate Iran’s nuclear hegemony.

Monday, March 16th, this writer and Mike Bates, co-host of Northwest Florida’s Talk Radio 1330 am WEBY will be interviewed by VOI National Security host Dan Diker. That recorded program will address Obama Administration funding via State Department AID and US Jewish moguls involved with OneVoice, V-15 and the Abraham Fund to get out the anti-Bibi vote in Israel. The program will also delve into controversy surrounding Sen. Cotton’s ‘Iran letter’. That controversy has led to revelations suggesting that  the Administration is striving to establish a  rapprochement with the Islamic Republic of Iran  avoiding Congressional review instead  seeking a  nuclear agreement  by the P5+1 at the UN  via a Security Council resolution.  That could result in lifting more than an estimated $70 billion in UN financial sanctions against Iran held in US banks controlled by the US Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control.  Sunday talk show criticism of the Cotton letter to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran by Secretary of State Kerry and former Secretary Madeleine Albright on CBS’ Face the Nation were contested by Sen. Cotton who drew attention to the precedent of a non verifiable deal made during the Clinton Administration with North Korea that eventuated in the latter’s creating a nuclear stockpile of weapons 12 years later.

Tuesday, VOI host Diker will join Northwest Florida’s talk radio 1330 am WEBY periodic Middle East Round Table co-hosts Bates and Gordon to report first returns from what many consider the fateful 2015 Knesset elections during 4:00 PM CST (5:00 PM EST) segment of “Your Turn”.

Listen Live here.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Watch “Night Will Fall” about Nazi Atrocities During the Holocaust

Children who Survived  Auschwitz  Source AP

Jewish Children liberated at Auschwitz, February 1945. Source : Archives of the US National Holocaust Memorial.

On January 27, 1945 forward units of the 100th Rifle Division of the 1st Ukrainian Front entered the Auschwitz Birkenau death camp precinct liberating several thousand remaining survivors. More than 1.1 million were murdered there by the Nazi SS, 1 million of them Jews. Among the first groups they encountered in the remaining barracks were children, twins, victims of the ‘angel of death, Dr. Josef Mengele’s sadistic medical experiments. The Russian troopers in their white camouflage coats hugged and gave them chocolate. These Jewish children hadn’t felt any humane treatment during their enforced incarceration in Auschwitz.

Earlier in January 1945 the SS blew up the remaining crematoria. An earlier one was destroyed in the lone heroic resistance effort by Jews inside the camp in October 1944 with dynamite secured by Jewish women inmates.  The SS guards assembled more than 60,000 camp inmates  in January 1945 who  sent on a forced death march from which only 12,000 survived.  One of the survivors of that death march was the Nobel Laureate Eli Wiesel who as a youth of 16 was eventually liberated by the US Army at Buchenwald in April 1945. Another Nobel Prize winner and Holocaust survivor was Italian Jewish resistance fighter, chemist and author Primo Levi who received his Nobel award for Literature, posthumously in 2002. Levi fell to his death in his family home in Turin in 1987, some say depressed by the atrocities  he had witnessed. Wiesel’s biographic works about his experience at Auschwitz the forced march and liberation were memorialized in his trilogy Night, Dawn and Day. Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz: if this is a Man was testimony to the Nazi dehumanization and perseverance to survive and return home.

Israelis at Auschwitz-Birkenau Source AP

Israelis at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Source:  AP.

Another 5 million Jews didn’t survive.  They were murdered in unspeakable ways in the einstazgruppen slaughter in Russia, death camps in Germany and occupied Europe.  Their fate in the Final Solution was ratified by the SS at the Wansee Conference in Berlin on January 20, 1942. The objective of the SS Conference was to make Europe judenrein. Among the Six Million European Jews murdered were 1.5 million children. The Jewish children those Russian troops encountered at Auschwitz on January 27, 1945 were among the lucky survivors.

Palestinian leads 2015 UN International Holocaust Memorial at Auschwitz Birkenau

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 is the 10th annual UN International Holocaust Memorial Day. Ynet.com  drew attention that this year’s  annual commemoration with be headed by a Palestinian UN official.  Maher Nasser will host the event,  Palestinian to host UN International Holocaust Remembrance Day to be held at the site of the death camps at Auschwitz- Birkenau in Poland.  Nasser was  born in Albrieh, a village near Ramallah. The 25 year UN bureaucrat   held posts in Gaza and  Jerusalem. eHeh HH He  now holds a management position in the UN Department of Public Information.  Ironic  in that the Haj Amin al Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, fled to Berlin from Baghdad  following the Farhud, the Nazi-Arab massacre of Jews  in 1941.  The  was welcomed as  Hitler’s house guest during WWII. He  promoted  the genocide of Six Million European Jewish men, women and Children and sponsoring the recruitment of Muslim Waffen SS units in the Balkans.

UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon will attend.   Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin will lead an Israeli delegation.  Rivlin will speak about the rise of Global Anti-Semitism and the threat of Islamic Jihadism. More than 100 Holocaust and Russian veterans will also attend the ceremonies at Auschwitz. In the Israeli delegation will be former Israeli Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom  in 2005 proposed the UN commemoration of the Holocaust  to “honor of the six million Jews, 1 million Gypsies, 250,000 disabled people, and 9,000 homosexual men murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.”

The Auschwitz-Birkenau UN commemoration of the Holocaust may not be televised. However, on the eve of International Holocaust Memorial Day, January 26th,  at 9:00 PM EST, HBO  will show a documentary on  Nazi atrocities, Night Will Fall.   It is based  on archival footage taken by British military photographers and cinematographers following the liberation of Nazi concentration camp, Bergen –Belsen in April 1945.  Famed Hollywood film director Alfred Hitchcock was briefly involved with the original British documentary in 1945.

Marlow Stern in his Daily Beast review of Night Will FallInside Alfred Hitchcock’s Lost Holocaust Documentary,” noted how the original project and Hitchock’s involvement came about:

Back in 1945, Sidney Bernstein, the chief of the Psychological Warfare Film Section of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, was commissioned to create the definitive documentary chronicling the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. Bernstein’s aim was, in his words, to “prove one day that this had actually happened” and have it serve as “a lesson to all mankind as well as to the Germans.”

He eventually roped in his good pal, Alfred Hitchcock, to serve as the film’s supervising director. But the horrifying and heartbreaking footage of numerous concentration camps, shot by British, American, and Russian World War II soldiers as they were being liberated, became tangled up in a complicated web of politics and artistic rows. A magnificent new HBO documentary pulls back the veil on the making of German Concentration Camps: Factual Survey.

The eye-opening film-on-a-film, Night Will Fall, will premiere January 26 on HBO. It is narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, produced by Stephen Frears and Brett Ratner, and directed by Andre Singer, who serves as president of The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain.  Singer executive producer  of  the documentaries The Act of Killing and Werner Herzog’s Into the Abyss. It was done in concert with London’s Imperial War Museum, and took 18 months of poring over thousands of feet of film to trace the making of the unmade epic.

[…]

The British soldiers found tens of thousands of emaciated prisoners inside the camp, many of whom were on the brink of death by starvation. The camera lingers on piles of naked, skeletal corpses stacked several bodies high, as well as line after line of dead children. A total of 30,000 corpses were witnessed by Allied troops, according to the film. Singer managed to track down several British soldiers who were there, and some break down in tears recalling the horrors.

“It’s very difficult to describe,” recalls survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, who was 19 when Bergen-Belsen was liberated. “You’ve spent years preparing yourself to die, and you’re still here. Every British soldier looked like a God to us.”

night will fall poster 2Alissa Simon in her August 2014 Variety  review of Night Will fall, reported that,  “rather than wait, the impatient American government commissioned [Hollywood director]  Billy Wilder to use their footage [from German Concentration Camps Factual Survey] . Singer includes an excerpt of Wilder’s short film, Death Mills, intended for German and Austrian audiences, and clips from an interview with Wilder.”

Dorothy Rabinowitz in her Wall Street Journal review of Night Will Fall: Nazi Crimes on Film  explains why the original footage of the British film languished in the vaults of the Imperial War Museum (IWM) after excerpts were shown in the Nuremberg Trial of Nazi leaders:

Still, despite the stellar talents and authority of its creators, the film would be stored, rather than seen. Though its footage would provide some of the most damning testimony presented at the Nuremberg war crimes [trials].  It would be housed, from 1952 on, in the archives of the Imperial War Museum. Then four years ago the IWM undertook the enormous task of restoring and digitizing the documentary, along with the long-missing sixth reel. “Night Will Fall,” a new documentary about the historic film, leaves no question as to the reason it was withheld. Its commentators note that the British government then, whose policy was to bar any flow of European Jews to Palestine, was not eager to present a film that would create a great deal of sympathy for these survivors, as such a film surely would.

These graphic revelations of the Nazi final solution atrocities against millions of Jews and others should be a warning of the primary objective of the Global Jihad movement:  the annihilation of Jews, Christians and minority religions sought by Muslim extremists, following the way of Allah.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.