Thursday, August 27, 2020

Get your 750 shekels from the Post Office if you haven't got it yet--I did yesterday and "Joseph Bau Museum" Zoom at 7:00 PM tonight-see details in email and A Few Thoughts on Law and Justice By Alan M. Dershowitz and There are 49 Jews left on the British island of Jersey. The pandemic has pushed their one synagogue to the brink and Why they fired me. Dr. Simone Gold with Sebastian Gorka on AMERICA First and Shmuely Botech on Kaddish Chronicles and our trip to Bet Theresienstadt

View in browser

Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.

Love Yehuda Lave

Get your 750 shekels from the Post Office if you haven't got it yet--I did yesterday

The National Insurance Institute (NII) announced that 350,000 Israel citizens didn't receive their grants under the "Check for every Citizen" program (I was one of the 350,000). The grant is given to every citizen who made Aliyah before the 31st of July 2020 and was created due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus Pandemic. If you have not received yours you can now receive your money in your local post office by showing identification. Except for having to wait an hour in line (and you can make an appointment), the process was easy and I got my 750 yesterday.

Hadasa Bau: We are Hadasa and Clila Bau from "Joseph Bau Museum" in Tel Aviv, Israel.

This National Treasure is Israel's Best Kept Secret!

With Your Help, "It will be Okay!"

Since the Coronavirus started our museum is in big problems and we decided to make a zoom meeting where we will tell the story of the museum "Joseph Bau House" museum and our parents' amazing life story.

We will be very happy that you will join us and please share it with your friends.

Waiting to see you in the zoom!

Yours with a lot of love

Hadasa and Clila Bau

Instagram account:


 Hadasa Bau: Hi there,

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.

When: Aug 27, 2020, 07:00 PM Jerusalem or 12:00 p.m. EST

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Joseph Bau, now fondly referred to as "the Walt Disney of Israel," accumulated a resume' overflowing with extraordinary accomplishments as an artist, author, linguist, animator, filmmaker, poet, humorist, Imagineer, inventor and Mossad operative. Here we see the 'smallest movie theatre in the world' where animation in his tiny studio would be screened using a projector he fashioned himself out of scraps of metal and objects from the junkyard!

Beit Theresienstadt, accredited as the 54th Museum and Third Holocaust Museum of the State of Israel.

Beit Terezin or Beit Theresienstadt (German: Haus Theresienstadt) is a research and educational institution that opened in 1975 in Kibbutz Givat Haim (Ihud), a museum and a place of remembrance of the victims of Nazi Germany persecution at the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

In May 1955, a first informal meeting of survivors of the Theresienstadt concentration camp took place in Israel, the participants of which decided to found an educational institution. In 1966 the Association was formed to commemorate the martyrs of Theresienstadt, whose members were former prisoners of the Theresienstadt concentration camp now living in Israel, including former members of Zionist youth organizations. The association did not only aim at meetings of the survivors, but also at the founding of an educational institution. This institution was to keep the memory of the murdered alive, especially that of the victims of the HeHalutz and their leading member Jacob Edelstein, the first Judenrat of the Theresienstadt ghetto.

One motivation for setting up Beit Terezin was that the communist government of Czechoslovakia avoided commemorating the Holocaust. Therefore the Theresienstadt Small Fortress became a national memorial for the victims of fascism, but neither here nor on the commemorative plaque in the city were the murdered Jews explicitly mentioned. The Pinkas Synagogue in Prague, which served as the national memorial site for the murdered Jews of Czechoslovakia from 1960 to 1968, had not been open since the Prague Spring of 1968.

In the mid-1960s many survivors of the Theresienstadt concentration camp lived in Kibbutz Givat Haim (Ihud). In addition, many Jews from Germany and Austria and members of the Zionist youth organizations, who had often lost relatives in Theresienstadt, were among the founders of the Kibbutz. This group of people was benevolent towards the establishment of a memorial or educational institution on the land of the kibbutz. In addition, it was the wish of the Association that Beit Terezin is established in the midst of a living community and not far from civilization. The choice of the Kibbutz Givat Haim (Ihud) was additionally favored by its central location - at that time only a few of the members of the association scattered all over Israel had a motor vehicle, most of them relying on public transportation. After all, Jakob Edelstein, who was generally revered and murdered in the Auschwitz concentration camp, wanted to settle in the then undivided Kibbutz Givat Haim after emigrating to Palestine. Because the kibbutz was to use rooms in Beit Terezin for its own cultural events from the very beginning, the association was assigned a building site in the middle of the kibbutz.

Founding members of the association were the Israeli journalist and translator Ruth Bondy, a survivor of the Holocaust and former prisoner of the Theresienstadt concentration camp and several other concentration camps, and the diplomat Zeev Shek, also a survivor of Theresienstadt, Auschwitz and the Kaufering remote camp of the Dachau concentration camp. Shek later became an Israeli ambassador to Austria.

The foundation stone was laid in 1969 and the buildings were constructed with the support of Zionist youth organizations. Beit Terezin was opened at the beginning of May 1975 on the 30th anniversary of the liberation of the Theresienstadt concentration camp by the Red Army. At this time the facility was far from complete. Therefore the memorial hall consisted only of a floor mosaic and a Torah, the walls were bare. There were proposals for a modern audiovisual presentation of the ghetto's history, but the available financial means ruled it out. Following a suggestion by Albin Glaser, backlit transparencies with accompanying texts were attached to the walls to illustrate the development of the ghetto. It took until 1974 to bring the exhibition to its desired Display.

Beit Terezin's planning had to take into account the limited financial means of the association in memory of the martyrs of Theresienstadt. The design of the complex was developed by the architect Albin Glaser, himself a survivor of the Theresienstadt concentration camp. His design is an interior in simple architecture, the rooms of which can be used for a variety of purposes. The central element is the twelve-sided rotunda made of reddish-brown bricks, whose ground plan and material are intended to remind us of the Theresienstadt fortress, which originally served as a memorial hall and place of remembrance. Today it is the main room of the Beit Theresienstadt Museum and the core of Beit Terezin with its permanent exhibition.

For use by the Kibbutz, a library with a reading room and a small hall for lectures and cultural events were built. For Beit Terezin itself, the complex includes an archive, a reading room, and a lecture hall.

The theme of the permanent exhibition is the occupation of the Czech Republic by National Socialist Germany from 1939 to 1945, in particular, the history of the Jews in the Theresienstadt Ghetto from November 1941 to May 1945. Other exhibitions include works by artists from the ghetto.

Beit Terezin has created two exhibitions that are particularly aimed at children and young people. The first exhibition, entitled "They called him a friend", deals with the children's magazine "KamarĂ¡d" of the Theresienstadt concentration camp, in which contributions are written or drawn by children about their everyday experiences with hunger, death, illness, dirt, and overcrowding of the camp were published. In addition to the description of the magazine with exhibits, the fates of the authors up to their murder in the Auschwitz concentration camp are presented. A second exhibition is entitled "Sport and Youth in Theresienstadt". The exhibition is dedicated to the many sporting activities of children and young people in the concentration camp and refers in particular to the importance of sport for the education and value education of young prisoners.

In 2011 Beit Terezin was accredited as the 54th Museum and Third Holocaust Museum of the State of Israel.

The Beit Terezin archive is one of the four most important archives with material on the Theresienstadt concentration camp, along with the archives of Yad Vashem, the Jewish Museum in Prague, and the archive of the Theresienstadt Memorial. Numerous archival materials come from the private collections of survivors, including diaries, photographs, materials for school lessons in the concentration camp, pictures, and other works of art.

Numerous documents were donated to the Beit Terezin archive. Thanks to his good contacts, Zeev Shek was able to obtain a copy of an index containing the data of more than 162,000 Jewish prisoners of the Theresienstadt concentration camp from Czechoslovakia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, and other European countries. The index was produced in Prague immediately after the Second World War. This index was invaluable during the Cold War, especially since the Czechoslovak government had broken off diplomatic relations and severely restricted the exchange of information after Israel's victory in the Six-Day War in 1967, as had all the Eastern bloc states. This index forms the core of Beit Terezin's archive and information about the fate of missing persons is still provided to their relatives upon request.

In addition to the aforementioned index, Shek succeeded in taking the archives of Hechalutz Theresienstadt to Palestine. He initially handed the material over to the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, most of which was handed over to Yad Vashem in 1976. Extensive photographic material from this collection is in the Beit Terezin archive.

So it is in our lives; if we feel that we are sharing our burdens with someone who cares, the burden is lighter. Throughout Tehillim, David HaMelech refers to Hashem as a friend, a rock, a support and a fortress. And Hashem tells us to throw our burdens on Him, to let Him handle whatever we cannot handle ourselves. It is important to use the power of our imagination to truly feel that Hashem is with us in every step we take, helping, nurturing, and cheering us on.

Why they fired me. Dr. Simone Gold with Sebastian Gorka on AMERICA First

Sebastian is joined by Dr. Simone Gold, the founder of America's Frontline Doctors, to debunk fake news about the Coronavirus, Hydroxychloroquine, the lockdowns, and more.

Tune in to America First with Sebastian Gorka, Weekdays 3PM-6PM EST.
Subscribe to the America First podcast on iTunes:
Follow Sebastian Gorka on Twitter:
Follow the America First Facebook page:
Visit https://SebGorka.comfor more!

There are 49 Jews left on the British island of Jersey. The pandemic has pushed their one synagogue to the brink.


LONDON (JTA) — Jersey is one of Britain's most unusual places — an autonomous island closer to France than to mainland England, a tax haven for London's superrich and the last remnant of the English crown's Norman domains.

But Jersey is also home to a rare non-urban British Jewish community with a unique history forged in the face of the Nazi occupation during World War II — the only German occupation of any U.K. territory.

These days, though, the community, with a formal membership of only 49 and an average age of over 70, has had to negotiate the coronavirus crisis as its membership continues to shrink.

In May, Jersey's Jewish Congregation, which operates in a small converted Methodist schoolhouse on the southwest corner of the craggy island, for three weeks held the unlikely title of the only legally operating Shabbat service in Britain. Synagogues were shut down across Britain in mid-March, and the reopening process began only five months later. But Jersey contained the virus so well that it was allowed to open houses of worship — with limits on how many could attend at a time — earlier than the rest of the country.

The community held its first full service since March — with a minyan of twelve men — in mid May, as the congregation's more vulnerable members emerged from self-isolation. Face masks and gloves were ordered beforehand, chairs were placed yards apart and prayer books, once touched, were quarantined for a week after use.

The Jersey synagogue socially distanced its chairs for its first Shabbat service since the start of the pandemic. (Courtesy of the Jersey Jewish Congregation)

No London-accented melodies filled the hall of the building, built in the 1970s — singing was strictly prohibited.

"If this is the new normal, then it didn't feel very normal," said one attendee of the Shabbat service who did not want to be named.

An 'honest' community comes to terms with its decline

During the pandemic, the community's isolation has been brought into focus. A few more observant members live on the roads surrounding the synagogue in the town of St. Brelade, but most live a drive away on the small island.

The Channel Islands have been inaccessible from the mainland since March, when the islands went into strict lockdown. Unable to travel, the island's kosher food stocks — especially of meat — and links to the wider British Jewish community were severed.

In normal times, many community members traveled back and forth regularly, either to visit family members or attend synagogue or to pick up holiday supplies. Only a few congregation members keep fully kosher at home, and most will eat non-kosher when out, but they still import kosher food and subscribe to some of the basics of Jewish observance.

Britain's Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, center, visits the Jersey Jewish Congregation in 2017. (Courtesy of Jersey Jewish Congregation)

Malcolm Weisman, a non-ordained rabbi called a reverend by British Jews, leads High Holiday services and the occasional Shabbat service. Weisman has ventured to remote Jewish communities like the one in Jersey for decades. A Jewish Telegraphic Agency article from 1976 reported that he visited as many as 50 a year.

"There is a saying in Yiddish – 'it is hard to be a Jew' – but it isn't hard to be a Jew," said Stephen Regal, the congregation's president. "You just have to arrange your life to be one. That is how we operate here on Jersey, and that's how we've got on with it the past few weeks."

He added: "If you have no alternative, you make do with what you've got."

Jersey's problems are not unique. Since the 1970s – Jersey's heyday – dozens of small, regional Jewish communities across the U.K. have vanished as Jews concentrated in London and Manchester.

Anita Regal, who moved to Jersey at age 16 in 1960 (and is Stephen Regal's sister-in-law), has seen the Jersey community's rise and gradual decline.

"Lots and lots of people came to live here in the 1960s," she said over a crackly phone line.

Middle-class Jews came to the Channel Islands during the 1960s and 70s to service the booming trade as an offshore tax haven. They were a pragmatic, honest and street-smart bunch — several were accountants and lawyers and other types of everyday professionals. Estimates place the peak Jewish population between 80 and 120. A little less than 100,000 people live on the island overall.

Jersey, England

A view of the beach and seafront in St. Helier, the Jersey capital, in 2017. (Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

"People have died, and people have left. There isn't much replacement – my own children have left," said Anita Regal, who was Jersey's first female lawyer. "It is amazing that we are still going to be honest … we stagger on as best we can."

Stephen Regal says it's hard for him to envision the community surviving.

"I am an optimist by nature, but I am also a pragmatist," Stephen said. "And I see the community struggling going forward to maintain numbers and the skill sets that we need to remain viable as a community.

"There are very few of us over here that can read Hebrew fluently for example," he added. "When I go, and when some of the others do, who will replace us?"

A much darker time

The Channel Islands are better known among British Jews for another painful period.

Germany's occupation of the islands from 1940 to May 1945 is often referred to as a "footnote" in the British history of World War II. But the tiny Jewish population that remained on the islands when the Germans arrived, estimated at around 30, were subjected to a string of anti-Semitic laws imposed by occupying forces and administered by British civil servants.

A German Luftwaffe officer, left, speaks with a British policeman in St. Helier, the capital of Jersey, during the German occupation of the Channel Islands. (PA Images via Getty Images)

In Alderney, a smaller, even more remote islet a few miles from Jersey, a stone bearing inscriptions in English, French, Hebrew and Russian hints at this history. Labor camps were set up there, and thousands of slave laborers, including hundreds of French Jews, were forced to work — many to death — building Hitler's Atlantic Wall, which was designed to make an invasion of Europe all but impossible. Steel skeletons and concrete remains of bunkers and gun emplacements dot the islands' coasts.

On Holocaust Memorial Day, the island remembers the 22 non-Jewish resistance fighters who were deported from the island and murdered during the occupation. The group includes those arrested for covertly spreading news gathered from illegal BBC-tuned radios, and a clergyman deported after speaking out against the Germans from his pulpit.

A debate over memory

During the war, three Jewish women arrived on the neighboring island of Guernsey as refugees from Austria and Germany, but were deported to France in April 1942. From there, they were sent to Auschwitz.

Jersey has been quicker at reckoning with its wartime past than Guernsey, which celebrated its first Holocaust Memorial Day in 2015. Its small plaque to the three Jewish women murdered in the Holocaust was erected in 2001 and has been repeatedly vandalized. A small lighthouse memorial stands on Jersey for the three Guernsey deportees.

After the war, rather than seeking to punish those who facilitated the German occupation, as postwar collaboration trials did across Europe, the British government quietly let the matter slip. Honors were bestowed on the islands' rulers as a token of gratitude for their "protection" of the islands' populations.

"During the occupation, the bailiff of Guernsey was a man called Victor Carey," explained Gilly Carr, a historian at Cambridge University. "And the Carey family are recognized as an important family that have often held positions of authority on the island."

The Carey family is still influential on the island. Victor Carey's grandson, De Vic Carey, served as Guernsey's bailiff — or the chief justice of the local court and ceremonial head of the island — between 1999 and 2005.

"[Guernsians] have been much slower" in coming to terms with their past, Anita Regal said.

Martha Bernstein, the secretary of Jersey's Jewish Congregation, who also runs Jewish education programs in Jersey's schools, says that while the historical debate has been had in Jersey, there is still a way to go.

"The extent of collaboration on the Channel Islands, I feel, is still something that is not talked about," she said. "When people try and push at the Pandora's box, and lift the lid a little, people become edgy."

A Few Thoughts on Law and Justice

By Alan M. Dershowitz - 6 Av 5780 – July 26, 2020

What I want to talk about today is the age of extremism in which we are currently living. I just published a new book, The Case for Liberalism in an Age of Extremism: or, Why I Left the Left But Can't Join the Right.

It is a political memoir about the homelessness that I and many of my friends and colleagues feel. We feel that the Democratic Party has turned too far left for us in many respects. We cannot support "the squad," those who would get rid of the framework of our free market economy, those who are opposed to dissent.

Yet we would feel uncomfortable supporting a party that disapproves of a woman's right to choose, gay marriage, concerns for the environment, reasonable gun control. Many of us feel homeless. The book is a memoir that could have been written by either a centrist conservative or a centrist liberal.

I am a centrist liberal, but I spend a lot of time talking to colleagues and friends on the conservative center side. For me, the real enemies of America are the extremists on both sides: the hard left that would bring America down, the hard-right white supremacists and neo‑Nazis.

It is too bad that the right and the left do not have real conversations. The conversations tend to take the form now of bumper stickers, protests, and screaming. The recent protests are understandable. There is far too much killing of unarmed African-American men. Protests against that are entirely protected by our constitution.

When these protests are hijacked by people on the hard left who care much more about undoing America than about what happens in the African-American community, or people on the hard right who exploit racial tension and try to bring about their own revolution, we are in great danger.

The greatest danger does not even come from those on the streets who are burning buildings, or those on the streets who are running people down, or those on the streets who are yelling slogans that have nothing to do with African-Americans, but rather with Israel, Palestine, Jews, capitalism, you name it.

The real problem I see is with The New York Times, which no longer tolerates dissent. The most remarkable episode in the past couple of weeks was the firing of the op‑ed editor of The New York Times and the demotion of his deputy.

I have written dozens of op‑eds for The New York Times. Today, The New York Times is unlikely to publish an op‑ed by me. Many mainstream media will not publish any dissenting views that disagree with the mainstream left.

The idea that the editor of The New York Times would be fired for publishing a column by a distinguished United States senator, Senator Tom Cotton, a former student at Harvard Law School, is shocking.

I do not agree with a lot of what Senator Cotton said. But the idea that The Times publisher would give in to the mob in his own newsroom and eliminate the distinction between news and opinion by allowing others to tell him whose opinions are to be published on the op‑ed page of The New York Times.

I am a skeptic. I read. I want to see data analyzed. I want to see an opposing point. That is what op‑ed pages are for, to present opposing points of view. The Times has taken the "op" out of "op-ed."

I think the last thing The New York Times wants is for people to come to their own conclusion because The New York Times bars dissenting points of view. It is so anti‑newspapers, so anti‑media, so anti‑First Amendment spirit.

The cancel culture is moving from the extreme to the mainstream.

I too have been victimized by the cancel culture. The 92nd Street Y where I spoke for 25 years — I am the second-most-frequent speaker after Elie Wiesel — has canceled me even though they have acknowledged that the accusation against me was made by a woman I never met, never heard of. I have emails from her own lawyers who say this.

For the 92nd Street Y, a false accusation is enough to cancel me. I was not allowed to speak in defense of Israel from the 92nd Street Y, because they do not want their viewers and their listeners to hear from people who are victims of the cancel culture.

I see this as so dangerous whether you are a liberal or a conservative. On college campuses today, I cannot speak without having efforts made to try to silence me, sometimes by violence.

When I spoke at Berkeley, Antifa came out and tried to prevent my speech from going forward. The same has happened in other places. When I spoke at John Hopkins University, a Hitler mustache was painted on my face, and swastikas were put on the program announcing my speech.

People from the hard left do not even want to hear from people on the center-left. We are the enemies of the hard left, which is why I wrote my book, The Case for Liberalism in an Age of Extremism: or, Why I Left the Left But Can't Join the Right.

I think I speak for many people about the frustration we experience, the homelessness we experience in today's political world. America has thrived at the center — the conservative center, the liberal center, but the center.

Our competitive advantage has been historically that we have not been seduced by the extremes. Compare us to France, Germany, Spain, or many South American countries where the arguments were not between centrist liberals and centrist conservatives, but the arguments between communists and fascists.

In the 1930s, we saw the death of center parties in Europe, in France, in Italy and in Spain. It was, again, the fascists versus the communists, and the fascists won. Who knows who would win in the United States if we ever saw a situation between fascism and communism?

America would not benefit from either of those extreme "isms." I am afraid we are moving in that direction. I worry about what the platforms of both parties will say in the upcoming election ‑‑ how far left the Democrats will move, how far right the Republicans may move.

Both want to attract their base and want to broaden the base as much as possible. You do not broaden your base when you stay at the center, at least that is what is thought. I do not agree with that. I think the party that is seen as the centrist party will win future elections.

The party that seems the party of stability, the party that opposes extremism on both sides, is likely the party that will win. I think America craves today a kind of moderation, a kind of stability and centrism. We shall see in November what happens.

I also worry about the November election. What if the virus comes back and it is hard to have people come to the polls? Can we really have an election online or by mail? What if the virus becomes so serious that mail deliverers have to stay at home?

We are facing a potential crisis in democracy. Hopefully, the virus will have abated by that point and we can all go to the polls and vote for whom we choose. I am not here to place blame. There is blame on all sides.

I place the blame squarely at the foot of the extremists, the people who are taking advantage of tragedies such as the death in Minneapolis and other places to promote their own brand of extremism. I think we live in very troubled, dangerous times.

Nobody can ever anticipate unpredictable events — such as those of the past several months, a pandemic that nobody could have anticipated with economic consequences that nobody could have anticipated.

The death in Minneapolis, which provoked worldwide demonstrations, which in part have been hijacked by extremists on both sides. These are events that could provoke very serious problems in the democratic process in America.

It could also have impacts on the legal system, on our courts. Will the courts be able to function effectively in the face of crowds? Take, for example, what happened in Minneapolis.

After the man who was on the videotape putting his knee on the neck of the African-American man, George Floyd, after he was initially arrested and charged with third-degree murder, which seemed, on its face of it, to fit the videotape — reckless disregard for human life — the crowds pressured the prosecutor to up the charge to second-degree murder.

Which, as a scholar of criminal law, does not seem, at least on the face of it, to fit the facts or the law. Prosecutors and political agendas tend to follow the crowd. We are the only country, the only Western democracy, the only one that elects prosecutors. It is an outrage that we have elected prosecutors in this country.

No other democracy makes its justice system so politicized. In every other Western democracy, prosecutors are civil servants who are appointed based on experience and expertise. Their politically neutral job is to simply do justice fairly, not to respond to the passions of the voters.

It is not helpful if we have prosecutors who put their finger up to the wind and say, "What will better help me get re‑elected? Should I overcharge or undercharge an alleged offense?"

The combination of elected prosecutors and elected judges has made our legal system far too political. Too many decisions are made by people, crowds, and pressure groups. When you combine four aspects of our system — prosecutors are elected, judges are elected, and juries are ordinary, lay people, and the judges who control the juries are often subject to re‑election — the risks of our justice system being turned over to the masses, to the mobs, to the crowds, to the chanters becomes all too real, and our system of checks and balances becomes weaker.

Remember that when America was founded at the end of the 18th century, the greatest fear was of the mob. We were experiencing a little later on in France with the revolution, and with the killing of so many innocent people in the name of the revolution.

The framers created a system of checks and balances that were supposed to check, not only each branch of the government, but also the public, the voters. There were no direct elections of senators. There was no direct election of the President.

The Senate was to be appointed by state legislatures and senators would be of equal number in the largest state and the smallest state as a way of checking the power of the larger states. Many of those checks and balances have over time been eliminated, mostly for the good. We now have a much broader electoral base, many more people vote.

At the time of the framing, women did not vote, blacks did not vote. In some states Jews did not vote. You had to be a white, Christian landowner. Now we have broadened the basis for election, but we have failed to check, in our justice system, the role of the mob.

In China, some years ago, I was invited to go to the trial of a man who was accused of stealing some items. After the evidence came in — you had evidence from the prosecution, the defendant testified — and then the judge ordered the doors opened. Hundreds of people poured in from the streets.

The judge said, "Now we'll hear from the masses." The masses started yelling, "Convict! Convict! Convict!" Of course, the judge convicted, because the masses were the ones in a communist country who had control over the justice system. I never want to see that happen in the United States of America.

We are living in difficult times. We are living under difficult pressures. It is very hard to be a dissenter today. If you are a dissenter today, you risk being canceled. If you are an editor who is willing to publish dissenting material, you risk being fired.

If you are a dissenter today in a crowd, you risk being beaten up. Look at the mayor of Minneapolis who said he was willing to defund the police. A stupid idea that would harm mostly disadvantaged, poor people.

If there were no police, if the police were defunded, wealthy people would hire private security guards, but the people who cannot afford private guards need to have a well‑funded police force. I am in favor of extra funding for the police. Give them better training. Teach them how to subdue people without using lethal force.

All of those are good things, but the idea of defunding the police, of abolishing the police force in cities in America, is an invitation to violence and is the first step toward some kind of anarchy, which none of us wants to see happen.

Question and Answer

Q: George Floyd's family appealed to the UN to intervene. What are the chances of UN troops invading US soil? And can the USA defund the UN? They seem to hate the US and Israel.

Professor Dershowitz: It is a good question. I was a big supporter of the United Nations when it was first established. I had worked for Arthur Goldberg when he was a justice to the Supreme Court. I was his law clerk.

When he became the United States Ambassador to the UN, he asked for my help in helping to draft Resolution 242, which was basically the peace treaty that ended the 1967 Six‑Day War. I was a big supporter of the UN, I belong to the United Nations Association.

Obviously, since the 1970s, it has turned viciously against Israel and against the United States. The UN, of course, would have absolutely no jurisdiction over a domestic matter in the United States. It could not send troops, it could not even legitimately pass a resolution.

The problem with the UN is not that it passes too many resolutions, but too few. It never attacks its favorite countries. It applies a double standard of injustice. It has devoted more time to condemning Israel than all the other countries of the world combined.

Let us see what it says about recent reports concerning murders in Iran of gay people, for instance the recent murder of a 14‑year‑old by her father as an honor killing. Let us see what it says about so many of the violations of human rights around the world. Well, do not hold your breath. It will say nothing. It will focus only on Israel and the United States.

There is a case to be made for the United States withdrawing and defunding. I think the current Secretary‑General of the United Nations is trying very hard. He has done a much better job of trying to create some kind of equity and equality in resolutions, but he has not yet succeeded.

We have withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council, which is really a Council on Human Wrongs, dominated by some of the worst abusers of human rights. In fact, a few years ago I attended a UN meeting in Switzerland when the guest of honor at the United Nations Human Rights Council was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a Holocaust denier and a vicious opponent of human rights. By the way, he is running for president of Iran again.

Do not expect condemnation from the United Nations.

I think the United States should carefully review its commitment to the UN. We have a very good ambassador to the UN. We had a previously very good ambassador to the UN who speaks the truth to power. Let us keep a careful eye on what is going on at the United Nations and not allow it to exceed its jurisdiction.

Q: 1968 was a period thought of as revolutionary. The 1930s had a substantial communist and fascist movement in the US. The country survived those periods as a strong, prosperous democracy. Do you see the current movement as revolutionary? Will it dissipate or deepen into broader civil strife? Is it the moment that America's luck and special features run out and it devolves into a weak and hopelessly divided country?

Professor Dershowitz: What a great question. We did have fascist parties in the United States. I live on the east side of New York, and my neighborhood was right close to what was called Germantown, which had a very large Bund contingency, and they filled Madison Square Garden with Nazis doing "Heil Hitler" salutes and wearing Nazi regalia as late as the late 1930s. Even up until Pearl Harbor.

Of course, we had a significant but never large communist presence in the United States in those days, too. I think we were always blessed because the Depression could have easily led to the same kind of fight between fascism and communism as we saw in France and Spain, and even in England to a lesser degree.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the deeply flawed president, made lots of mistakes. But his New Deal pushed America to the center. It pulled the rug out from under a nascent communist movement because it gave Americans social security and protections of other kinds.

We survived the small amount of fascism and communism. I think Pearl Harbor obviously ended the fascist movement in America and those Germans who supported it.

By the way, not only some German Americans, some, supported fascism, but some Italian Americans, some, again, a small number, supported Mussolini. We are a free country and people are free to support whomever they choose to support.

I was never in favor of making it illegal to be a member of the Communist Party or to be a member of the Fascist party. I lived through McCarthyism. I remember what happened in the '50s as a result of that.

I do not think we are at that moment. I think we are closer than we were, in many respects, to the 1930s.

I have to tell you if we were to sink into a deep, enduring depression, and if we were not able to lick the coronavirus and develop a vaccine, and if the virus were to spread even more lethally around the country and require the continuous closing down of our economy, there is no predicting what could happen. I hope we are not there, but if we were to experience a worse pandemic, worse economic situation, worse racial tensions, all of those could lead to a crisis for democracy, which is always very fragile.

Indeed, I think the extremists on the hard left are hoping that happens so that they can try to attract other people to their extremist anti‑American agenda.

The people on the extreme hard right ‑‑ I'm not talking about conservatives, not at all — I am talking about the survivalists, the militia people, the virulent white supremacists, anti‑Semites. They would love to see a revolution and they, of course, have the guns. The people on the hard left have the Molotov cocktails. Both are wrong, both are bad.

The idea that two young lawyers, it was shocking to me, one of them at a big firm, would throw a Molotov cocktail into a police car, even if it was an uninhabited police car.

We know that in other instances, there were policemen in the car and in the vicinity when people threw potentially explosive devices. Look, I'm a liberal criminal defense attorney. I cross‑examine policemen on the stand all the time.

I am an admirer of the police and the FBI. I have had my differences with individual FBI agents, certainly, and with individual policemen, and with individual prosecutors, but it is folks at the front line of law enforcement that keep us civil and keep us peaceful. If you defund the police, you increase the power of the lawless. You increase the power of the extremes on the hard right and the hard left. We have to support the police.

Our system of checks and balances is very fragile and was endangered this year, I believe, by the Democratic effort to impeach a president against whom I voted in the 2016 election.

I think that endangered our system of checks and balances by trivializing the impeachment power of the Constitution, which the framers wanted to limit to cases of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors — not allegations of political abuse of power or political obstruction of Congress. That was never the intent. That effort weakened our checks and balances. The New York Times' failure as an institution weakens our external checks and balances.

We used to have the media serving as checks and balances on the excesses of government. Today, The New York Times follows the crowd rather than allows dissenting views to be express.

My disappointment with The New York Times, with National Public Radio, with CNN, which censors the news horribly, and with many other mainstream media, is that they are failing to serve as checks and balances.

I also think the church is failing. There was an op‑ed in The New York Times yesterday by a woman placing all the blame for our problems on white Christians, and she quotes one of the great paragons of Christianity, The Reverend Daniel J. Berrigan.

Do you remember The Reverend Berrigan? A virulent anti‑Semite, who called Israel a criminal Jewish community? Blamed the Vietnam War on the Jews, fomented anti‑Semitism, and The New York Times publishes a piece praising The Reverend Berrigan.

Now I want them to publish that piece because I do not believe in censorship, but that piece was 10 times more provocative, 10 times worse, 10 times more inaccurate than anything published by Senator Cotton.

Q: You have been a principled contrarian. Is there any hope for our country to find its middle ground again when ordinary people are terrified now even to approach the topic of race for fear of being labeled, sidelined as you yourself have been in many fora?

Professor Dershowitz: Good question. Unfortunately, today it takes courage to speak out on divisive issues in America. To speak out on issues of race. To speak out on issues of sex and due process and free speech — you endanger your career if you do it. You endanger your standing and your status.

Being principled today is very difficult to do. Throughout my life, people praised me for being principled. I did not deserve the praise because earlier in my life, it took no courage to stand up for Israel, to stand up for democracy, to stand up against suppression of free speech, to stand up against excesses of race‑specific affirmative action programs. It did not take any courage to do that.

Unfortunately, today, it not only takes courage, I think you have to be somewhat foolhardy. I have to tell you, there are members of my family and my friends who urge me to be quiet. Who say, "Look, you are too provocative. Look what has happened to you. The 92nd Street Y will not allow you to speak. The New York Times will not publish your op‑ed. CNN has banned you. All because you maintain a principled willingness to speak on behalf of the Constitution without necessarily taking partisan political sides."

I worry for our country. In a way, I am a perfect example of the cancel culture, of how my reputation has been tarnished by people on the hard left, and by some on the hard right. People on the hard right always hated me, but because of my stands on principle the hard left has also turned against me.

I have been accused of all kinds of terrible things and as a result of speaking on forums that others disagree with.

My point is, you have to get your views out there for all to hear. Because the basic saving grace of democracy is the people.

As long as we can get our message out to the people, hopefully, the people will come down in the center and understand that their interests are best served by going back to the days when the debates were between liberals and conservatives at the center, rather than extremists.

I worry that our voices are being cut off and that we cannot get access to the media anymore.

Q: Do you think there will be a shift from the center‑left's being appalled at the current situation, such as defunding the police, so that they would considering leaving the party and voting for Trump?

Professor Dershowitz: It's a complicated question. I think there are many Democrats who are very upset. If the platform of the Democratic Party were ever to include defunding the police, which I believe it will not, but Bernie Sanders might push in that direction. It also depends on who Biden nominates to be the vice president.

If he nominates Elizabeth Warren and she tries to move the party further to the left, I think we will see significant defections. President Trump is a very divisive president. For better or worse, I am not commenting at this point on the politics of it, but he is divisive.

There are people, you saw it in the papers the other day, many Republicans said they would not vote for President Trump, but they could not vote for Biden either. I think we are going to see people voting for the Libertarian candidate, people staying at home.

I do not think you can stay at home in an election. You have to come and vote. A lot of people will feel the same way I feel: homeless, not comfortable in the current Democratic Party, not comfortable in the Republican Party. In the last election, 2016, a great many Americans did not vote for a president; they voted against a president. They voted against Hillary Clinton, thereby casting a vote for President Trump, or they voted against President Trump, thereby casting a vote for Hillary Clinton. The number of people who enthusiastically cast the vote for Trump or for Clinton was less than in previous elections.

I think we are going to see something similar to that in the 2020 election, but look, first, we have to have a 2020 election. It has to be fair. It has to be open to everybody. We have to have massive voting, and let the people decide.

Q: Professor Dershowitz, as a lifelong liberal in the truest sense of the word, do you not feel that the Democratic Party has left you and all others similarly situated; would you consider moving over to the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln?

Professor Dershowitz: Look, if the Republican Party were like the Conservative Party in Great Britain, I would join it in a minute. The Conservative Party in Great Britain supports a woman's right to choose, supports gay marriage, supports environmental controls, supports reasonable gun control, opposes the death penalty, and supports many aspects of what are the traditional, non‑political, liberal agenda.

They are obviously to the right on economic issues and foreign policy issues, but were I living in Great Britain, I would vote Conservative. Obviously, I would not have voted for a Jeremy Corbyn. I would have voted for Boris Johnson.

Today's Republicans are hard for liberals to join, because of their views on abortion and gay rights. I write about this in my book, The Case for Liberalism. My brother‑in‑law is a brilliant person who votes Republican, even though he supports all the liberal elements.

What he says is: "Look, we have won gay rights. We have won equal rights for blacks. We have won many of the other issues. The issues that are now more important are the fight against terrorism, the fight against extremism."

He believes the Republicans do a better job on that. I understand that argument, and that is why I never criticize friends of mine who vote Republican or who vote Democrat. I am on Martha's Vineyard now where it is easy for me to socially distance because nobody wants to see me or talk to me — for the fact that I defended President Trump in front of the United States Senate. By the way, I was told I was the oldest person ever to argue an impeachment case of a president. It is nice to have been the youngest professor in Harvard's history and the oldest person ever to argue against the impeachment of a president.

As the result of taking that on — I thought it was patriotic and based on the Constitution — old friends of mine, people whose kids I recommended to college, people whose kids I helped bail out of jail at 3:00 in the morning, people whose fathers and mothers I helped represent pro bono [free of cost] when they were in trouble, will not talk to me, will not have anything to do with me. They are socially distancing from me without regard to the coronavirus, but that is the price you pay for principle today.

I am very happy living in my house with my family on Martha's Vineyard, taking my walks every day, writing three or four op‑eds a week, and I will continue to do that without regard to how I'm treated on Martha's Vineyard. The idea of making a transition from the Democrats to the Republicans, I am not there yet. When Keith Ellison, who is now the Attorney General of Minnesota, was running to become chairman of the Democratic Party, I issued a public statement saying I would leave the Democratic Party if he had been elected — because he is a Farrakhan supporter, has a history of association with anti‑Semitic causes. He lost the election, but he is now an Attorney General. It is an open question. Right now, as I sit here today, I am a liberal Democrat who is trying very hard to keep the Democratic Party bipartisan on the issue of Israel, and bipartisan on so many other issues of importance to all of Americans.

If I fail, if the Democratic Party moves even further away from where I stand, obviously I have an open mind on these issues.

Q: You mentioned the impeachment and not following the Constitution, etc., but we now know that Adam Schiff, his cohorts, and others actually lied, and slandered and libeled the President of the United States in the allegations they made regarding the testimony they gave in committee.

Is there really no recourse under the law, other than the ballot box?

Professor Dershowitz: Great question. There is no recourse for senators and congressmen who lie in the course of their work. The Constitution provides for immunity, but there is recourse against the media for lying. Take, for example, CNN. I answered a question put to me by Senator Cruz, whether or not a quid pro quo [a deal, "this for that"] is enough to impeach a president. I said, "It depends on the quid pro quo."

If there was anything illegal about the quid pro quo, of course a president can be impeached. But just because a president does something legal to get himself re‑elected in what he believes is the national interest, however, that is not impeachable. I clearly made the distinction between legal and illegal. CNN doctored the tape.

They edited the tape to take out "illegal" and had me saying that a president, even if he does anything illegal, cannot be impeached, that a president is free to do anything he wants, legal or illegal.

That was clearly defamatory and I am trying to put together a legal team to consider suing CNN for defaming me and trying deliberately and willfully to destroy my reputation by doctoring a tape, by changing a tape and making me say exactly the opposite of what I said.

CNN — unlike Adam Schiff and others who do have immunity for lies they told on the floor of the Senate — does not have immunity. I am seriously considering, if I can put together a legal team and fund a legal team, to sue CNN to try to hold them accountable for doctoring tapes.

Can you imagine? What could be worse for a journalist or a station than to doctor a tape to make you say the opposite of what you said? Then you had many of the commentators saying explicitly, "Alan Dershowitz has said that even if a president does something illegal, he can't be impeached."

I said exactly the opposite. If a president does something illegal, he can be impeached. But that is CNN. How do we hold the media accountable? I never expected I would be spending the last years of my life and career bringing lawsuits, but I am now contemplating a lawsuit against Netflix for falsely accusing me of having sex with a woman I never met, never heard of — we have audio tapes and emails and manuscripts in which she admits, her lawyers admit, that she never met me and could never have met me; and yet Netflix runs this and does not publish what I gave them, all the material showing that I could never have met this person. I am going to be spending quite a bit of time in court these days, defending my reputation.

Hopefully courts remain an institution open to people who have been victimized by false accusation. The framers of our Constitution intended that, the First Amendment permits it. When the false accusation is done with malice, and of course, both CNN and Netflix did it with malice.

I think it is important for the First Amendment to hold irresponsible media — powerful, irresponsible media — accountable. Checks and balances also include using the courts to check the power of the media.

(*From a briefing to Gatestone Institute on June 9, 2020)

Coronavirus lockdown is denying people the chance to mourn properly

The Jewish mechanisms which allow people to emerge whole from soul-destroying grief are absent to nearly all who have lost a loved one during the pandemic.


AUGUST 10, 2020 22:33

IF YOU'RE stuck for a Slihot minyan, you're sure to find one at the Katamon Shtiblach on Hakhish St. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

IF YOU'RE stuck for a Slihot minyan, you're sure to find one at the Katamon Shtiblach on Hakhish St.

(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Three months ago my new life as a 53-year-old man orphaned of

his father began. I am one of many who have joined the terrible and

unfortunate club of having lost a parent during the coronavirus.Judaism

is often and rightly lauded for its genius at bereavement. Perhaps a

nation that has had to contend with tragedy for so many millennia has

developed a highly evolved practice at processing grief. Even Seth Rogen,

who recently said such stupid comments about how Israel is not needed

to protect the Jewish people, said in the same interview, that although

he considers religion silly, he regards the Jewish laws of mourning as


But those same mechanisms which allow people to

emerge whole from soul-destroying grief are absent to nearly all who

have lost a loved one during the pandemic. What has most haunted me in

the three months since my father's passing is my inability to properly

mourn. This is especially true of finding solace in saying kaddish, the

mourner's prayer. I have, miraculously, not yet missed a single kaddish

for my father. But the challenges of saying this most fundamental of

Jewish mourner's prayers during the coronavirus comes at a terrible cost

to those who attempt it.When

we buried my father in Israel I was distraught that could not pay my

father the respect of saying kaddish, since we were in quarantine. I was

staying at a family apartment only a 10-minute walk from the Western

Wall, but I could not go there. I could not pray with a quorum of 10. My

inability to honor my father with kaddish, especially while I was in

the heart of Jerusalem was driving me insane.I

alighted on a plan. It was Shavuot, and thousands of Jews were walking

past our apartment on the way to the Wall. So I stood at the doorway of

the apartment and yelled out to passersby: "I am an American who buried

his father yesterday. I am in quarantine so I cannot leave my apartment.

Can you all just stop where you are?" I counted. Ten men stopped. I

began, "Yisgadalv'yiskadash shmei Rabba... "Several

times a day, I stopped the wayfarers so I got in my three kaddish

times. My brother Chaim stood alongside me, reciting it as well.Shavuot

ended and I told my wife that for the first time in my life I could not

wait to leave Israel. It killed me that I couldn't say kaddish properly

with a prayer group. The law in Israel is that you either quarantine

for 14 days or you can leave whenever you want. Israel doesn't want you

there, so you're free to go.

Top articles1/5READ MOREI thought to myself of the irony that a Jew must leave Israel in order to pray.We

passed a temperature check at the airport, I found a minyan of

travelers at a hauntingly empty Ben-Gurion Airport, and I said kaddish

for my father.I

arrived in New York and the hard work began. Because most synagogues are

shuttered or operating at tiny capacity – with all kinds of

restrictions for entry in place – I had to organize my own minyanim.I

started a WhatsApp group. Poor, unsuspecting friends, whose only crime

is to have made my acquaintance, became my targets. The text and phone

calls began. "Can you come to a minyan tomorrow morning? This evening?" At

the beginning, many obliged. The guy lost his father. We should help

out. As time went on, I became a pain in the behind. The minyan became

more challenging. Sympathy and goodwill began to erode. People saw me

calling and hit "Ignore."I

started staggering my minyanim between Englewood, New Jersey, and our

organization's townhouse in Manhattan, so I was only calling on the

people half the time. Maybe that would work, I thought. IF

ON A given morning only eight or nine turned up, the feverish calls

began. I was begging people to take taxis, ride their bikes, drive over,

walk − whatever it took to be the 10th man. And every day, there was

some miracle. But

how long would this last, especially as people became more reluctant to

attend even the outdoor, masked minyanim that we stage as the spread of

the coronavirus intensifies and the news in Florida, Texas and

California becomes grimmer?Oh,

the stories I can tell. One morning we only had six men. I wasn't going

to miss a kaddish. So we put everyone in the car and drove to a kosher

supermarket in Teaneck, New Jersey. I stood outside and begged four guys

to stop so I could say kaddish. The manager came out to complain.

Perfect. Now only three more. I said the complement of morning kaddish,

went home, and immediately began working on the afternoon Mincha minyan.On

a Friday night in Manhattan – and it's really said to see what how

empty and derelict New York City is becoming – we had only seven men.

With the sun setting and mincha about to be lost, I rushed out, our

faithful congregants in tow, to the 72nd Street Subway station and

starting asking men if they were Jewish. It

took 20 minutes, but we got four men who respected my desire to honor

my father's memory. I prayed the Shabbat prayers like a bullet.

Suddenly, as we completed the last kaddish, a woman came over to us

outside the train station and stripped off completely, asking if we want

some. We

politely declined and I told the fine men who joined us, "See, prayer

and synagogue is not as boring as you all thought." And yes, Manhattan

is becoming that bizarre during the coronavirus, as more and more

families give up on the city and move to the suburbs.And

yet another occasion, with only eight men turning up to weekday morning

prayers in New York City, I took my posse of eight down the road

outside a kosher butcher shop. The owner was very nice about it and

joined the minyan. We still needed one. I asked a man if he's Jewish, he

said yes, he indicated he was happy to join our minyan and allow me to

say kaddish – until he saw that we're an Orthodox minyan and we don't

count women. He

told me he would not join. I asked him not to boycott a minyan because

it's Orthodox, and we all had to respect each other's beliefs. He told

me my beliefs were sexist. I told him that I had spent my life

explaining the position of Orthodoxy vis-a-vis women, especially in

public debates, but that I simply didn't have time to discuss it now

since I had to say kaddish this moment or the other nine men would

disperse. He left. We found a replacement. I said kaddish.Later,

when I recounted my conversation with him (I did not name him) to my

one million followers on Facebook, he wrote to contest my rendering of

our discussion. I told him it wasn't cool to boycott a kaddish minyan.

He maintained his position. But

we're all Jews, and I do not begrudge his stance, and the

responsibility to say kaddish is not his but mine. Still, it just shows

that kaddish, sad as it is, can be the great unifier of the Jewish

people, if only we can create viable, safe and regular minyanim during

the challenging times of the coronavirus pandemic.The

writer's Holocaust memoir, Holocaust Holiday: One Family's Descent into

Genocide Memory Hell, written with historical contributions by Mitchell

Bard, will be published later this year. Follow him on Twitter and

Instagram @RabbiShmuley.

See you tomorrow

We need Moshiach now!

Love Yehuda Lave

Yehuda Lave, Spirtiual Advisor and Counselor

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

facebook twitter instagram

You received this email because you signed up on our website or made a purchase from us.