Sunday, January 28, 2007

Lipstadt at Oxford Chabad on January 30th

I will be speaking at Oxford Chabad on Tuesday, January 30th. For information and details see:

The 62nd Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz

Yesterday was the 62nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. If you want to get some sense of what those days were like look at Primo Levi's If This is Man [aka Survival in Auschwitz], especially the last chapters.

That section of this book, which stands head and shoulders above virtually all other memoirs, was very much -- and not enough -- with me when I was in Auschwitz two years ago. See my essay Cold published in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Regarding Carter's intervention on behalf of a Nazi murderer

There has been some confusion about the incident reported by Neal Sher [see previous post] regarding how President Carter intervened to try to win a stay of deportation of a Nazi murderer.

I don't think this kind of action indicates he is an antisemite. It does seem to indicate two things, both of which are relevant here:

a) his inclination to forgive often seems to overwhelm the need to do justice. Forgiveness is good and is a fundamental of Jewish life. So, however, is justice.

b) he is automatically on the side of those who appear to be weak. While it's good to favor the weak and the oppressed [Jewish tradition stresses that repeatedly], sometimes those who appear weak or oppressed have put themselves in that position. [You can draw whatever analogies you wish.]

Friday, January 26, 2007

United Nations Resolution on Holocaust Denial

The United Nations passed a resolution condemning Holocaust denial. Only Iran rejected it. The resolution, introduced by the United States and approved by consensus, "condemns without any reservation any denial of the Holocaust."

While Iran was not mentioned it was clearly directed at it.

The Iranian delegate claimed that it wanted to "study" what happened, as if that is not already going on in spades.

While I am certainly satisfied that the resolution passed, there is something in me that remembers what Anthony Julius, my lawyer in London, once said to me when I was ranting about how preparing for the trial was completely messing up my life [this was before the trial].

He said: "Think of fighting David Irving as you would the shit you step in on the street. It has not intrinsic importance unless you fail to clean it off your feet and you track it into the house. Once you have cleaned it off your feet it's gone."

So too with this resolution. There is in me something that says Holocaust deniers are not worthy of a resolution passed by the UN [whatever you think of the UN]. They are like.... you can finish the sentence on your own.

Just a thought.

More on Carter's strange history

Here is another piece in the Carter puzzle. It does not say all but it does say something about the man's inclinations.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Clarification on what I said about Jimmy Carter

I did not call Jimmy Carter an antisemite.

I said that he had engaged in and fallen back on [possibly reflexively so] on the kind of rhetoric which is antisemitic in nature. It uses stereotypes of Jews and relies on canards often used against Jews. That's different from the David Irving or David Duke types whose whole lives seem to me to be motivated by Jew hatred.

It is a distinction with a difference.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dershowitz II

Dershowitz makes an excellent point, one that has bothered me since I first read Jimmy Carter's interview on Al Jazeera TV.

Compare that interview with what Carter said at Brandeis, where he sounded so reasonable.

Two different Carters.

Dershowitz challenges Carter at Brandeis

I am sitting here listening to Alan Dershowitz respond to Jimmy Carter's presentation at Brandeis. Of course, Carter is not there having refused to appear with Dershowitz.

Dershowitz has a unique ability for going to the heart of an issue. He is demolishing Carter's presentation and book bit by bit...

It's quite staggering that in Carter's entire presentation he did not mention the word Iran. Once again, Carter ignores a major factor in Israeli reasoning. Iran is a genuine threat in Israeli eyes. For Carter to simply ignore that fact is proof that he is anything but an even handed observer or negotiator. It's akin to my criticism of him for ignoring the Holocaust.

More later.... on my comments on Carter

Ami Eden, editor of and executive editor of the Forward, comments on my oped. He focuses in on my comments about Carter's post-publication behavior which, he correctly notes, is the "sharpest" part of my critique.

United Nations' Resolution on Holocaust Denial: The Holocaust as a tool in International Diplomacy

In intriguing piece in today's International Herald Tribune John Vinocur analyzes how an American sponsored resolution condemning Holocaust denial is really a move to demonstrate that, in the words of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, "the Iranians are overplaying their hand."

The resolution, if it passes, will serve "in theory, as an incremental warning signal to Iranians on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's leadership." It would serve to signal to Iran that the nations of the world do not consider him a partner for dialogue and, in fact seem him as a dangerous person who is leading his country down a dnagerous path.

Last month in the NY Jewish Week I made a similar point about how Ahmadinejad's behavior -- particularly his convening of a Holocaust denial conference -- is a means of shooting himself in the foot. It is also a gift -- of sorts -- for those who are concerned about Jewish issues. It put him solidly in the camp of the crazies, wackos, and dangerous folks. He lost whatever credibility he might still have had.

In truth, it shows the dangerous -- if not tragic -- state of world affairs that a resolution against Holocaust denial is the way in which the countries of the world might be prepared to respond to Ahmadinejad's threat of nuclear-armed hatred.

The resolution, according to experts cited in the article, won't accomplish much beyond the "shame of international reproach."

There is no question but that Iranian anti- Semitism is directly linked to an anti-Israel campaign on the part of Arab nations. The particularly shameful thing is the was many secular Arab intellectuals share the kind of antisemitism propounded by Ahmadinejad.

Vinocur writes that Benjamin Stora and Pierre Vermeren, in an article in Le Monde, deplored that "the scientific reality of the Holocaust" was so threatening to "Arab regimes, that Arab historians were denied the means to explore its reality."

I wonder if they are denied or have no desire to explore its reality.

Stora, observed that "Rather than opening to a greater universality," he said, the Arab intellectual world was "increasingly confining itself in its own identity" and "not going to the sources or contemporary history."

What then is this resolution going to accomplish? Vinocur describes is as part of a "a haphazard series of steps and pronouncements getting called a strategy without having its substance," and it will do little to "shak[e] Ahmadinejad from his course.

It's all pretty sobering.

My Washington Post Oped

My article has been picked up by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, San Jose Mercury News, the Sacramento Bee among other papers.

Twelve blogs have links to it, not all of them friendly....

Monday, January 22, 2007

Jimmy Carter: Situation is "worse than apartheid"

Jimmy Carter on Al Jazeera: Situation in West Bank is worse than apartheid. The guy has lost it.

Strange story about Jimmy Carter intervening on behalf of a SS man

Neal Sher, a veteran of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigation, described a letter he received from Carter in 1987 in an interview with Israel National Radio’s Tovia Singer. The letter, written and signed by Carter, asked that Sher show “special consideration” for a man proven to have murdered Jews in the Mauthausen death camp in Austria:
“In 1987, Carter had been out of office for seven years or so,” Sher recalled. “It was a very active period for my office. We had just barred Kurt Waldheim – he was then president of Austria and former head of the United Nations – from entering the U.S. because of his Nazi past and his involvement in the persecution of civilians during the war. We had just deported an Estonian Nazi Commandant back to the Soviet Union after a bruising battle after which we were attacked by Reagan White House Communications Director Patrick Buchanan.

“Also around that time, in the spring of 1987, we deported a series of SS guards from concentration camps, whose names nobody would know. One such character we sent back to Austria was a man named Martin Bartesch.”

Bartesch, who had immigrated to the U.S. and lived in Chicago, admitted to Sher’s office and the court that he had voluntarily joined the Waffen SS and had served in the notorious SS Death’s Head Division at the Mauthausen concentration camp where, at the hands of Bartesch and his cohorts, many thousands of prisoners were gassed, shot, starved and worked to death. He also confessed to having concealed his service at the infamous camp from U.S. immigration officials.

“We had an extraordinary piece of evidence against him – a book that was kept by the SS and captured by the American armed forces when they liberated Mauthausen,” Sher said. “We called it the death book. It was a roster that the Germans required them to keep that identified SS guards as they extended weapons to murder the inmates and prisoners.”

An entry in the book for October 10, 1943 registered the shooting death of Max Oschorn, a French Jewish prisoner. His murderer was also recorded: SS guard Martin Bartesch. “It was a most chilling document,” Sher recalled.


“We kicked him out and he went back to Austria. In the meantime, his family – he had adult kids – went on a campaign, also supported by his church, to try to get special treatment. In so doing they attacked the activities of our office and me personally. They claimed we used phony evidence from the Soviet Union – which was nonsense. They claimed he was a young man of only 17 or 18 when he joined the Nazi forces, asking for some sympathetic treatment and defense from our office, which they claimed was just after vengeance.”

The family approached several members of Congress. “The congressmen would, very understandably, forward their claims over to our office and when they learned the facts they would invariably drop the case,” Sher recalled.

But there was one politician who accepted the claims without asking for any further information.

“One day, in the fall of ’87, my secretary walks in and gives me a letter with a Georgia return address reading ‘Jimmy Carter.’ I assumed it was a prank from some old college buddies, but it wasn’t. It was the original copy of the letter Bartesch’s daughter sent to Carter, after Bartesch had already been deported.

“In the letter, she claimed we were un-American, only after vengeance, and persecuting a man for what he did when he was only 17 and 18 years old.

“I couldn’t help thinking of my own father who returned home with shrapnel wounds after he joined the U.S. Army as a teenager to fight the Nazis and hit the beaches at Normandy at that same age on D-day.

“On the upper corner of the letter was a note signed by Jimmy Carter saying that in cases such as this, he wanted ‘special consideration for the family for humanitarian reasons.’

“I didn’t respond to the letter – the case was already over and he was out of the country – but it always stuck in my craw. A former president who didn’t do what I would expect him to do - with a full staff at his disposal – to find out the facts before he took up the side of this person. But I wasn’t going to pick a fight with a former president. We had enough on our plate.”

History on Trial Blog has moved!

The problems we've been experiencing since the migration of this blog to Google's new, improved blogger have not all been resolved. Sorry for the inconvenience but please change your bookmark and set it to

Update: [Feb. 3, 2007] Seems that Google has now fixed all the problems (not that they let anyone know, of course!) so we're now "home again"!

Reaction to my Washington Post article on Jimmy Carter

Well, not surprisingly, the responses began rolling in on Saturday as soon as the Washington Post posted my article. Many of them were steaming angry, accusing me of justifying Israel's every wrong, advocating genocide of the Palestinians, and all sorts of other wrongs. [None of which I say of course]

One claimed that the very fact that I could get my article published proved Carter was right, i.e. that Jews control the media.

And than there was the person who told me, in no uncertain terms, that if I believed in Jesus and accepted him in my heart I would not have these troubles... now there's a thought. On some level he's right. If I were a Christian I would not have to worry about being the object of antisemitism.

The response from many Jews was also quite revealing. Many thanked me profusely for saying this and giving voice to their fears and their concerns. Their words were touching.

However, I was struck by how frightened -- on a deep visceral level -- many of these people are. I would be the last person to say that antisemitism is not real and that even people of a stature of a former president are liable to fall back on it to use in their defense. But the deep seated fear so many Jews experience leaves me wondering.

Am I missing something not to be even more worried? Or are they losing sight of the many good things that are happen in Jewish life? More on this later.....

Brandeis "Committee" Blows It

Just read in the Boston Globe that when Jimmy Carter speaks at Brandeis a "committee" [composed of those who invited him] will "pre-select" the questions and will allow no follow ups.

The paper identifies these people as "sympathizing" with Carter's views.

A critic compared it to a Soviet style press conference.

To me they sound like they have constructed a Bush-like press conference in which all the questions are pre-screened and those who will be called on are determined in advance. Actually, Bush is not this bad. He just knows who will be asking. He does not know their questions.

I was amazed to see a respected professor such as Gordon Fellman participated in this kind of sham. Among the questions I would ask Fellman and his compatriots is:
*is the only way you can invite someone who once was the most powerful man in the world by completing controlling the environment?

*was this one of Carter's demands?

*why didn't you set this up as the debate Carter himself professes to want?

* Why don't you trust your colleagues and students to ask questions?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Tragedy in Turkey

Today's New York Times reports that a prominent newspaper editor, columnist and voice for Turkey’s ethnic Armenians who was prosecuted for challenging the official Turkish version of the 1915 Armenian genocide, was shot dead as he left his office on a busy street in central Istanbul on Friday.

Mr. Dink, a Turk of Armenian descent, had provoked anger in Turkey for his regarding the Armenian genocide, which, of course, Turkey denies.

It is interesting to note that he opposed the condition many people, wanted to impose on Turkey for entry into the EU. The condition was that Turkey recognize the genocide. Mr. Dink argued that entry into the EU would strengthen Turkish democracy and this, in itself, would lead to a more open acknowledgment of the genocide.

I was one of those who thought this pre-condition on entry into the EU was correct. I had spoken about it when I was last in Berlin. Mr. Dink's position gave me reason to reconsider my views. It is akin to those of us who believe that the best way to end communist tyranny in Cuba would be to let Americans travel their en mass.

Mr. Dink was convicted under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, for his comments about the Armenian genocide. This article has been used to silence those who wish to discuss the Armenian tragedy.

[I oppose this law in the same fashion that I oppose laws outlawing Holocaust denial. Ironically, of course, the Turkish law makes it impossible to speak about truth and the proposed EU law makes it impossible to speak about fiction. In both cases, law is not the way to proceed.]

In any case, Dink's assassination is a tragedy on so many accounts.

Lipstadt in Washington Post on Jimmy Carter

I have an oped in today's Washington Post
Jimmy Carter's Jewish Problem

By Deborah Lipstadt
Washington Post
, Saturday, January 20, 2007; A23

It is hard to criticize an icon. Jimmy Carter's humanitarian work has saved countless lives. Yet his life has also been shaped by the Bible, where the Hebrew prophets taught us to speak truth to power. So I write.

Carter's book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," while exceptionally sensitive to Palestinian suffering, ignores a legacy of mistreatment, expulsion and murder committed against Jews. It trivializes the murder of Israelis. Now, facing a storm of criticism, he has relied on anti-Semitic stereotypes in defense.

One cannot ignore the Holocaust's impact on Jewish identity and the history of the Middle East conflict. When an Ahmadinejad or Hamas threatens to destroy Israel, Jews have historical precedent to believe them. Jimmy Carter either does not understand this or considers it irrelevant.

His book, which dwells on the Palestinian refugee experience, makes two fleeting references to the Holocaust. The book contains a detailed chronology of major developments necessary for the reader to understand the current situation in the Middle East. Remarkably, there is nothing listed between 1939 and 1947. Nitpickers might say that the Holocaust did not happen in the region. However, this event sealed in the minds of almost all the world's people then the need for the Jewish people to have a Jewish state in their ancestral homeland. Carter never discusses the Jewish refugees who were prevented from entering Palestine before and after the war. One of Israel's first acts upon declaring statehood was to send ships to take those people "home."

A guiding principle of Israel is that never again will persecuted Jews be left with no place to go. Israel's ideal of Jewish refuge is enshrined in laws that grant immediate citizenship to any Jew who requests it. A Jew, for purposes of this law, is anyone who, had that person lived in Nazi Germany, would have been stripped of citizenship by the Nuremberg Laws.

Compare Carter's approach with that of Rashid Khalidi, head of Columbia University's Middle East Institute and a professor of Arab studies there. His recent book "The Iron Cage" contains more than a dozen references to the seminal place the Holocaust and anti-Semitism hold in the Israeli worldview. This from a Palestinian who does not cast himself as an evenhanded negotiator.

In contrast, by almost ignoring the Holocaust, Carter gives inadvertent comfort to those who deny its importance or even its historical reality, in part because it helps them deny Israel's right to exist. This from the president who signed the legislation creating the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Carter's minimization of the Holocaust is compounded by his recent behavior. On MSNBC in December, he described conditions for Palestinians as "one of the worst examples of human rights deprivation" in the world. When the interviewer asked "Worse than Rwanda?" Carter said that he did not want to discuss the "ancient history" of Rwanda.

To give Carter the benefit of the doubt, let's say that he meant an ongoing crisis. Is the Palestinians' situation equivalent to Darfur, which our own government has branded genocide?

Carter has repeatedly fallen back -- possibly unconsciously -- on traditional anti-Semitic canards. In the Los Angeles Times last month, he declared it"politically suicide" for a politician to advocate a "balanced position" on the crisis. On Al-Jazeera TV, he dismissed the critique of his book by declaring that "most of the condemnations of my book came from Jewish-American organizations." Jeffrey Goldberg, who lambasted the book in The Post last month, writes for the New Yorker. Ethan Bronner, who in the New York Times called the book "a distortion," is the Times' deputy foreign editor. Slate's Michael Kinsley declared it "moronic." Dennis Ross, who was chief negotiator on the conflict in the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, described the book as a rewriting and misrepresentation of history. Alan Dershowitz teaches at Harvard and Ken Stein at Emory. Both have criticized the book. Because of the book's inaccuracies and imbalance and Carter's subsequent behavior, 14 members of the Carter Center's Board of Councilors have resigned -- many in anguish because they so respect Carter's other work. All are Jews. Does that invalidate their criticism -- and mine -- or render us representatives of Jewish organizations?

On CNN, Carter bemoaned the "tremendous intimidation in our country that has silenced" the media. Carter has appeared on C-SPAN, "Larry King Live" and "Meet the Press," among many shows. When a caller to C-SPAN accused Carter of anti-Semitism, the host cut him off. Who's being silenced?

Perhaps unused to being criticized, Carter reflexively fell back on this kind of innuendo about Jewish control of the media and government. Even if unconscious, such stereotyping from a man of his stature is noteworthy. When David Duke spouts it, I yawn. When Jimmy Carter does, I shudder.

Others can enumerate the many factual errors in this book. A man who has done much good and who wants to bring peace has not only failed to move the process forward but has given refuge to scoundrels.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Dai: Great play not to be missed

For those of you in NYC do not miss Dai, a one woman show about Israel.
Exceptionally provocative. Irrespective of your politics, you will be intrigued by this play. Well done.

Germany to push for EU laws vs. Holocaust denial

According to Germany's justice minister, Brigitte Zypries, Germany is going to propose that the EU to adopt laws criminalizing Holocaust denial and making such actions punishable by stiff prison sentences.

The minister very eloquently said "We have always said that it can't be the case that it should still be acceptable in Europe to say the Holocaust never existed and that six million Jews were never killed."

The proposal will also seek to criminalize racist declarations that are an incitement to violence against a person or group.

While I fully agree with the latter part of the proposal, i.e. that declarations that are an incitement to violence should be criminalized, I disagree with trying to criminalize Holocaust denial.

As readers of this blog in its previous incarnation [until Google screwed things up], know well, I am opposed to such laws because they violate free speech and, equally as important, are counter productive in that they make a martyr of the person who is charged.

Such was the case last month in England when David Irving returned from prison in Austria after having been held for 13 months for having denied the Holocaust. Since I was at Limmud in Nottingham, I was able to closely monitor the British media.

He was all over being interviewed and making pronouncements about the Holocaust. [Granted it was a slow news week.... but mefears that he would have gotten attention even if it had not been.]

Of course, these are the same pronouncements about which the UK High Court and four judges from the Court of Appeal said Irving "perverts,” and “distorts,” and his conclusions are “misleading,” “unjustified,” “travesty,” and “unreal.” [To see the way in which the court decimated Irving's claims go to and click on Judgment on the left side of the page.

Instead of his temporary status as a media darling, Irving and other deniers should be free to say what they want [as long as they are not inciting others to commit violence] and equally free to sink in total and glorious oblivion. Let them talk to one another. They all deserve that.

It seems strange to be criticizing the Germans for taking this strong stand against Holocaust denial, I just think it is not a strategic way to respond.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Jimmy Carter's Book (cont'd)

As the drumbeat of criticism about the book mounts, it becomes increasingly frustrating that Carter has not seriously answered any of these criticisms beyond just saying that his critics are wrong.

The resignation today of 14 people from his Board of Councillors is not a small thing. Many of these people have been in the Carter camp since he was governor of Georgia.

What troubles me more than the book itself is his behavior since the book came out. It really has been well nigh incendiary. And this from the man everyone points to as the model former president.....

Friday, January 12, 2007

Antisemites and Antisemitism

What's the difference -- if any -- between someone who occasionally engages in antisemitism and an antisemites? I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I have not fully sorted it out but will be posting more about it in the near future.

Lipstadt on Arab/Muslim Holocaust Denial in NY Jewish Week

Education Is Key To Counter Holocaust Deniers
Deborah Lipstadt

New York Jewish Week, December 29, 2006

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the Mel Gibson of the Middle East. Just when the Sturm und Drang about “The Passion of the Christ” was beginning to fade and the buzz about Gibson’s new film was growing, the filmmaker launched into an anti-Semitic tirade on the Pacific Coast Highway.

And so it is with Ahmadinejad. Just when the discussion in so much of the world was about “flipping” Iran and drawing it into constructive discussion, Ahmadinejad launched a Holocaust denial conference. Suddenly, those who had argued that Ahmadinejad was a potential dialogue partner looked naive.

Of course, the movie-going public seems to have either forgiven Gibson his anti-Semitism or decided that it really doesn’t matter and made Apocolypto a box office hit. Similarly, the “dialogue at any price” folks may soon put Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial aside by claiming “it’s just for domestic consumption,” and insisting that we should talk to him anyway.

This “yes-but” approach – that is, yes he said it, but he didn’t mean it – reminds me of how many Americans, including much of the American press, reacted to Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitism in the 1930s. Yes, he said he was going to destroy Jewry, but he doesn’t really mean it. He is just saying these awful things about Jews to whip up support from the German people.

If the Holocaust taught us anything it is that when someone says he is going to destroy you, you must take his threats seriously. He may not mean it, but you don’t have the luxury of waiting to find out.

I am not suggesting Ahmadinejad is the equivalent of Hitler. I am suggesting that he is a man with the potential to do great damage.

The Holocaust has the dubious distinction of being the best-documented genocide in the world. Given this fact, there is no logical reason to engage in Holocaust denial except to spread anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is a form of prejudice. The etymology of the word prejudice – pre-judge—explains its basic illogical nature: don’t confuse me with the facts, I have already made up my mind. So let’s be clear: Holocaust deniers are not people who are simply misguided about history. They are anti-Semites.

Ahmadinejad’s consummate anti-Semitism—which includes his hatred of the Jewish State of Israel—explains his seemingly strategic stupidity of holding this conference when the world was on the cusp of considering him as a dialogue partner.

In most of the world overt, gutter-level denial as expressed in Iran is on the decline. However, in the Arab/Muslim world it is a growth industry. Ahmadinejad is not alone. In virtually every Arab country one can find overt denial and gutter level anti-Semitic statements published in government-controlled papers.

What, then, can we do? We do not have means to stop the dissemination of the most virulent forms of denial in the Arab/Muslim world. Our bellicose protests and condemnations do nothing but make Ahmadinejad seem more powerful in Iranians’ eyes.

We can, however, be proactive and provide people in that part of the world with information demonstrating that all Holocaust deniers’ claims are based on distortions, lies, and fabrications. We should counter deniers’ charges not with emotions and condemnations but with documented evidence.

Farsi and Arabic speakers have no information to counter statements that “gas chambers were an engineering impossibility” or “Hitler never signed an order to kill the Jews, therefore the Holocaust is a myth.”

When Holocaust denier David Irving sued me for libel for calling him a denier, my stellar defense team of lawyers and historians did not build their case on emotions. We built it on fact and assembled over 100 linear feet of documentation to expose deniers’ claims. The judge agreed and declared that deniers’ claims are a “travesty,” “unjustified” and a “perversion” of history.

It is to this end that I have assembled a team at Emory University to use the historical documentation gathered for my case, which is now available at, in order to prepare factual responses to deniers’ claims. We shall design the answers to be accessible, not to the historian, but to the “person in the street.” For those who wish to delve into this material further, we shall provide links to the original documentation. Then we shall translate the responses into Farsi and Arabic and place them on the Internet. It is a massive undertaking but it is the most potent response to these lies and distortions.

The Iranian Holocaust denial conference is a mark of the deep-seated and enduring nature of anti-Semitism that drives Ahmadinejad and his cohorts. We cannot change them but we can try to keep those who might be beguiled by their claims from falling into their irrational, anti-historical, and prejudicial trap.

We can, in short, try to do what we do best. We can educate.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Breaking News: Anne Frank forgives Hitler

According to a psychic in Southern Florida Anne Frank has forgiven Hitler. What a relief. This made my day.

[For those of you who think I may be a bit irreverent, you are right. Moreover, in my line of research every once in a while you need something that will make you smile... especially when it is this idiotic.]

Sunday, January 7, 2007


Since I could not get on my blog [thank you Google] while I was at Limmud last week, I thought I would say something now. I am not sure if we should categorize LIMMUD as a nes, [a once in a lifetime miracle], or a pelah, an [everyday kind of miracle], sort of like breathing. In either case, it is something for which those who care about Jewish learning and living and rejoicing should be very thankful.

The true miracle is that it is virtually all run by volunteers. Kudos to them and my wish that they go, in the words of the Psalms, "from stength to strength."

If you are not familiar with Limmud, go to their website and take a look. It's worth it. Very much so.

But bring your own coffee.

Jimmy Carter's Book

I have just finished reading Carter's book which is exceptionally disturbing, as his behavior in the controversy following the book. I will post my thoughts about this in the next day or so.