Trump Pittsburgh visit: 11 Jewish leaders push back against president after synagogue shooting

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A group of Jewish leaders in Pittsburgh demanded Trump denounce white nationalism and stop targeting minorities before he visits.

More than 35,000 people have signed an open letter to President Trump from the leaders of a Pittsburgh-based Jewish group who say the president will not be welcome in the city unless he denounces white nationalism and stops “targeting” minorities after a mass shooting Saturday at a local synagogue left 11 dead.

Nevertheless, the White House announced Trump would travel to Pittsburgh on Tuesday, ignoring the letter as well as a plea from Pittsburgh’s mayor that the president at least refrain from visiting “while we are burying the dead.” The first of the funerals for the 11 shooting victims is expected to take place Tuesday.

The open letter, which was published and shared on Sunday, was written by 11 members of the Pittsburgh affiliate of Bend the Arc, a national organization for progressive Jews focused on social justice, following what is being called the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history. The shooting at Tree of Life synagogue also left several people injured, including law enforcement.

More from the Washington Post

Posted by The NON-Conformist


The KKK: White America’s Primal Scream Rooted in anti-immigrant sentiment, the Ku Klux Klan and its bigotry changed policy and introduced refugee quotas.

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Photo Credit: Heather Shimmin/Shutterstock

The Ku Klux Klan‘s power over American policy cannot be overstated. The truth is, “it had an enormous influence,” historian Linda Gordon told Salon’s Amanda Marcotte on “Salon Talks.”

Gordon is the author of the new book “The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition,” which documents the resurgence of the American terrorist group in the 1920s. Fairly unknown, Gordon explains that this “second Klan” operated above the Mason-Dixon line and had a forceful hand in mainstream American politics.

One example, she says, is the United States’ first federal immigration restriction law authorized in 1924. “That law wasn’t just a general restriction of immigration,” Gordon said. “It set quotas for people of different groups, and what those quotas did was they enacted into law exactly this hierarchy of the races that the Klan promoted.”

She described how Catholics and Jews were particularly targeted by these quotas. “We also have to remember that this law stayed into effect until 1965,” Gordon said. “So this is 40 years in which the ’20s Klan influenced American policy towards immigration.”

According to Gordon, something similar is taking place today.

“Just as that law is probably one of the contributing factors to the fact that the United States had such a bad record at refusing to accept Jewish refugees from Nazism — because of these quotas. Well the same thing is happening now,” she said. “The quotas make it very difficult for Americans to help these refugees from violence or from climate change, or all the things they’re running from.”

Watch the full “Salon Talks” conversation on Facebook.

Tune into Salon’s live shows, “Salon Talks” and “Salon Stage,” daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon and on Facebook.

By Rachel Leah / Salon

Posted by The NON-Conformist

President Hollande asked Netanyahu NOT to attend Paris memorial march

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Image: AP Photo / Philippe Wojazer

Why would Hollande want Netanyahu not to attend? It’s a request that’s easy to demagogue. But it is neither surprising nor unreasonable. The French government is trying to keep the Middle East conflict off the streets of France. And Netanyahu’s presence visibly reinjects it into the mix. Netanyahu is also in the midst of an election battle for his political life. So whether he wants to or not, everything he does tied to the kosher grocery massacre is inherently political, inherently part of his campaign. It’s unavoidable.

Read the rest of Josh Marshall’s great commentary @ TPM

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Supremacist Identified As Suspect In Kansas City Jewish Center Shootings

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Posted by Libergirl

CBS New York

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The man accused of killing three people in attacks at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City is a well-known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader who was once the subject of a nationwide manhunt.

Frazier Glenn Cross, of Aurora, Mo., was booked into Johnson County jail on a preliminary charge of first-degree murder after the attacks Sunday in Overland Park.

At a news conference, Overland Park police Chief John Douglass declined to publicly identify the man suspected in the attacks. But CBS News confirmed Sunday that the suspect in custody is Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, of Aurora, Mo., also known as Frazier Glenn Miller.

Douglass said the suspect made several statements to police, “but it’s too early to tell you what he may or may not have said.”

He also said it was too early in the investigation…

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The Chilling History of How Hollywood Helped Hitler

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In devastating detail, an excerpt from a controversial new book reveals how the big studios, desperate to protect German business, let Nazis censor scripts, remove credits from Jews, get movies stopped and even force one MGM executive to divorce his Jewish wife.

This story first appeared in the Aug. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. The 1930s are celebrated as one of Hollywood’s golden ages, but in an exclusive excerpt from his controversial new book, The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler (Harvard University Press, on sale Sept. 9), Harvard post-doctoral fellow Ben Urwand uncovers a darker side to Hollywood’s past.

Drawing on a wealth of archival documents in the U.S. and Germany, he reveals the shocking extent to which Hollywood cooperated and collaborated with the Nazis during the decade leading up to World War II to protect its business.
Indeed, “collaboration” (and its German translation, Zusammenarbeit) is a word that appears regularly in the correspondence between studio officials and the Nazis. Although the word is fraught with meaning to modern ears, its everyday use at the time underscored the eagerness of both sides to smooth away their differences to preserve commerce.
PHOTOS: Hitler’s Hollywood: The Films Nazis Loved and Hated
The Nazis threatened to exclude American movies — more than 250 played in Germany after Hitler took power in 1933 — unless the studios cooperated. Before World War I, the German market had been the world’s second largest, and even though it had shrunk during the Great Depression, the studios believed it would bounce back and worried that if they left, they would never be able to return.
Beginning with wholesale changes made to Universal’s 1930 release All Quiet on the Western Front, Hollywood regularly ran scripts and finished movies by German officials for approval. When they objected to scenes or dialogue they thought made Germany look bad, criticized the Nazis or dwelled on the mistreatment of Jews, the studios would accommodate them — and make cuts in the American versions as well as those shown elsewhere in the world.
It was not only scenes: Nazi pressure managed to kill whole projects critical of the rise of Adolf Hitler. Indeed, Hollywood would not make an important anti-Nazi film until 1940. Hitler was obsessed with the propaganda power of film, and the Nazis actively promoted American movies like 1937’s Captains Courageous that they thought showcased Aryan values.
Historians have long known about American companies such as IBM and General Motors that did business in Germany into the late 1930s, but the cultural power of movies — their ability to shape what people think — makes Hollywood’s cooperation with the Nazis a particularly important and chilling moment in history. — Andy Lewis
VIDEO: Author Ben Urwand Talks ‘Hollywood and Hitler’
‘Victory Is Ours’
On Friday, Dec. 5, 1930, a crowd of Nazis in Berlin seized on an unusual target: the Hollywood movie All Quiet on the Western Front. Recognized in most countries as a document of the horrors of the First World War, in Germany it was seen as a painful and offensive reenactment of the German defeat.
The Nazis, who had recently increased their representation in the Reichstag from 12 to 107 seats, took advantage of the national indignation toward All Quiet on the Western Front. They purchased about 300 tickets for the first public screening, and as they watched the German troops retreat from the French, they shouted: “German soldiers had courage. It’s a disgrace that such an insulting film was made in America!” Because of the disruptions, the projectionist was forced to switch off the film. Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels gave a speech from the front row of the balcony in which he claimed that the film was an attempt to destroy Germany’s image. His comrades threw stink bombs and released mice into the crowd. Everyone rushed for the exits, and the theater was placed under guard.
The Nazis’ actions met with significant popular approval. The situation came to a climax Dec. 11, when the highest censorship board in Germany convened to determine the fate of the film. After a long discussion, the chairman of the board issued a ban: Whereas the French soldiers went to their deaths quietly and bravely, the German soldiers howled and shrieked with fear. The film was not an honest representation of German defeat — of course the public had reacted disapprovingly. Regardless of one’s political affiliation, the picture offended a whole generation of Germans who had suffered through the War.
And so, six days after the protests in Berlin, All Quiet on the Western Front was removed from screens in Germany. “Victory is ours!” Goebbels’ newspaper proclaimed. “We have forced them to their knees!”
‘STORY: How Jack Warner Tried to Crush the Postwar German Film Industry (Book Excerpt)
In Hollywood, the president of Universal Pictures, Carl Laemmle, was troubled by the controversy surrounding his picture. He was born in Germany, and he wanted All Quiet on the Western Front to be shown there. According to one representative, his company had “lost a fine potential business, for the film would have been a tremendous financial success in Germany if it could have run undisturbed.”
In August 1931, Laemmle came up with a heavily edited version of the movie that he was convinced would not offend the German Foreign Office. He made a trip to Europe to promote the new version. The Foreign Office soon agreed to support All Quiet on the Western Front for general screening in Germany, under one condition: Laemmle would have to tell Universal’s branches in the rest of the world to make the same cuts to all copies of the film. Late in the summer, Laemmle agreed to cooperate with the request.
As months passed, however, Laemmle, who was Jewish, grew worried about something much more important than the fate of his film. “I am almost certain,” he wrote in early 1932, “that [Adolf] Hitler’s rise to power … would be the signal for a general physical onslaught on many thousands of defenseless Jewish men, women and children.” He convinced American officials that he could provide for individual Jews, and by the time of his death in 1939, he had helped get at least 300 people out of Germany.
And yet at precisely the moment he was embarking on this crusade, his employees at Universal were following the orders of the German government. In the first few months of 1932, the Foreign Office discovered unedited versions of All Quiet on the Western Front playing in El Salvador and Spain. The company apologized. Afterward, there were no more complaints; Universal had made the requested cuts all around the world.
The following year, Laemmle made another concession to the Foreign Office: He postponed The Road Back, the sequel to All Quiet on the Western Front. His son, Carl Laemmle Jr., also agreed to change many pictures in Germany’s favor. “Naturally,” the Foreign Office noted, “Universal’s interest in collaboration [Zusammenarbeit] is not platonic but is motivated by the company’s concern for the well-being of its Berlin branch and for the German market.”
PHOTOS: Hitler’s Hollywood: The Films Nazis Loved and Hated
Throughout the 1930s, the term “collaboration” was used repeatedly to describe dealings that took place in Hollywood. Even studio heads adopted the term. An executive at RKO promised that whenever he made a film involving Germany, he would work “in close collaboration” with the local consul general. A Fox executive said the same. Even United Artists offered “the closest collaboration” if the German government did not punish the studio for the controversial 1930 air combat movie Hell’s Angels. According to the Foreign Office, “Every time that this collaboration was achieved, the parties involved found it to be both helpful and pleasant.”
All this was a result of the Nazis’ actions against All Quiet on the Western Front. Soon every studio started making deep concessions to the German government, and when Hitler came to power in January 1933, they dealt with his representatives directly.
The most important German representative in the whole arrangement was a diplomat named Georg Gyssling, who had been a Nazi since 1931. He became the German consul in Los Angeles in 1933, and he consciously set out to police the American film industry. His main strategy was to threaten the American studios with a section of the German film regulations known as “Article 15.” According to this law, if a company distributed an anti-German picture anywhere in the world, then all its movies could be banned in Germany. Article 15 proved to be a very effective way of regulating the American film industry as the Foreign Office, with its vast network of consulates and embassies, could easily detect whether an offensive picture was in circulation anywhere around the world.

More from Ben Urwand/hollywoodreporter

Posted by The NON-Conformist



Four men sue New Jersey organization over ’gay conversion therapy’

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Images: AP

Four young men who say they underwent therapy that sought to “convert” them from gay to straight are suing a New Jersey provider known as JONAH, alleging fraud and accusing it of using dangerous sham tactics to try to “fix something that isn’t broken.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center on Tuesday filed the lawsuit in Superior Court of New Jersey on behalf of the men and two of their parents against Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), its founder, Arthur Goldberg, and counselor Alan Downing.

The lawsuit alleges the defendants violated New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act by providing “conversion therapy” that falsely claims to “cure” gay clients.

More from James Eng, NBC News

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What Would You Do?

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Image Source: blaze.comThe Jewish history is tumultuous one at best; it is hodge-podge of confusion. With all the mystery and hatred surrounding this tiny nation; a Jewish writer for the Atlanta Jewish Times had the nerve to mention the assassination of President Obama. This talk isn’t new nor will it end until he’s finished serving his second term in office, should he be reelected. Andrew Adler had a lot to say before the backlash landed him in hot water; his verbiage bordered on cocky that is until his bluff was met. It’s easy for journalists and bloggers to sit idly by and act irresponsibly.

We are hopefully serving with a purpose and we can say anything we want, but we shouldn’t become reactionary when we are met with opposition. Adler boldly said, “For Israel to attack Hezbollah and Hamas, for Israel to strike Iran directly, or — and most controversially — for Israel to “order a hit” by US-based Mossad agents on Obama in order to allow the “current vice president to take his place and forcefully dictate that the United States’ police includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies” and “Three, give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place, and forcefully dictate that the United States’ policy including its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies. Yes, you read “three” correctly. Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence.

Think about it. If I have thought of this Tom Clancy-type scenario, don’t you think that this almost unfathomable idea has been discussed in Israel’s most inner circles? Another way of putting “three” in perspective goes something like this: How far would you go to save a nation comprised of seven million lives…Jews, Christians and Arabs alike? You have got to believe, like I do, that all options are on the table. This is irresponsible journalism in any form. Israel isn’t beyond reproach, some of the negativity leveled at it is warranted, some not.

My problem is how people make Israel out to be the beacon of hope. Genesis 12:1-3, provides us with some insight; out of the three promises we learn to accept the third: we are (individually) and as a whole are blessed. The problem arises with all the gushing over Israel; aside from the Bible, what have they done for us a nation? Have people read why the U.S. gives so much aid to this small nation. Start asking the uncomfortable question like, when did Israel serve as a mercenary state for the U.S. around the world? All one has to do is pick up a history book. Israel is complicit in a lot of evil throughout the world.  All is well though because God sees all evil and will punish it. Another issue in the Israel debate is, are we talking about the Orthodox or Messianic Jews?

People always make these wonderful acclamations pertaining to the Jews but the fundamental question has yet to be asked, what does it mean to live as a Jew? Jewish roots have been flawed throughout the ages, why strain the relationship further by acting irresponsibly as Adler did. At least he had sense enough to resign.

The NON-Conformist

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