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Behind the Aegis

Behind the Aegis's Journal
Behind the Aegis's Journal
June 19, 2024

NSHE Regent's Comments Against Jewish People Fuel Outrage And Safety Concerns

The Globe has received numerous emails from concerned jewish UNLV students and from concerned members of the jewish community in response to the remarks made by Regent Donald Sylvantee McMichael Sr. during a NSHE (Nevada System of Higher Education) board meeting on June 7. McMichael also serves as the Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. At that meeting, the Board of Regents narrowly passed (7-6) a policy amendment to define antisemitism in NSHE’s handbook. McMichael’s dissented.

“We have a small group of people — because they were set upon in World War II — have the notion that they can set themselves up in a higher position than anyone else in the United States…Some Jewish students are frightful to come to campus. Get in line,” McMichael’s said in the recorded audio. “There’s others who have been here a lot longer and who have been treated more poorly, and for you to come and say that, ‘Oh my gosh, just remember, it had been World War II, we had the Holocaust and they were in concentration camps. We still have concentration camps here in the United States,” he said, and then remarkably equated Native American Indian reservations to Hitler’s concentration camps.

To date, McMichael has not publicly apologized for his public statements and did not respond to The Globe’s request for comment.

Despite his loss for reelection on June 11, his comments continue to spark outrage and his video recording posted on X has gained national attention.



June 6, 2024

Pride Month: A Story of Love and Acceptance

Pierre Seel was a teenager discovering young love when the Gestapo imprisoned him for being on a list of known gay men. He was subjected to violence and medical experimentation during six months at a Nazi camp. There he witnessed the brutal murder of his first love, a scene seared in his mind for the rest of his life.

When Pierre returned home, he was told not to speak of these experiences. Years later, his gravely ill mother finally said to him, "Tell me what they did to you." Watch our short Pride Month program to learn how Pierre shared his story in honor of the men who could not.

Dr. Edna Friedberg, Historian, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
May 23, 2024

Germany: Antisemitic incidents in Berlin hit record levels

A total of 1,270 antisemitic incidents were documented in Berlin in 2023, according to Germany's Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism (RIAS).

The figure represents an almost 50% increase on the previous year and a record number of incidents in the capital in a single calendar year since RIAS began its work in 2015.

According to RIAS, over 60% of incidents were recorded between October 7, when the Palestinian militant Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel, killing around 1,200 Israelis and taking about 250 more hostages, and the end of 2023, by which time a humanitarian crisis had unfolded in Gaza following Israel's retaliatory operation.

What the RIAS report said about antisemitic incidents in Berlin
A total of 783 antisemitic incidents were recorded in Berlin after October 7, the annual report revealed.


May 5, 2024

(JEWISH GROUP) A Proclamation on Jewish American Heritage Month, 2024

For centuries, the perseverance, hope, and unshakeable faith of the Jewish people have inspired people around the world. During Jewish American Heritage Month, we celebrate the immeasurable impact of Jewish values, contributions, and culture on our Nation’s character and recommit to realizing the promise of America for all Jewish Americans.

In 1654, a small band of 23 Jewish refugees fled persecution abroad and sailed into the port of modern-day New York City. They fought for religious freedom, helping define one of the bedrock principles upon which our Nation was built. Jewish American culture has been inextricably woven into the fabric of our country. Jewish American suffragists, activists, and leaders marched for civil rights, women’s rights, and voting rights. Jewish American scientists, doctors, and engineers have made scientific breakthroughs that define America as a land of possibilities. They have served our Nation in uniform, on the Nation’s highest courts, and at the highest levels of my Administration. As public servants, artists, entertainers, journalists, and poets, they have helped write the story of America, making it — as Emma Lazarus’ poem on the Statue of Liberty states — a home for the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

As we celebrate the Jewish American community’s contributions this month, we also honor their resilience in the face of a long and painful history of persecution. Hamas’ brutal terrorist attack on October 7th against Israel marked the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust, resurfacing, including here in the United States, painful scars from millennia of antisemitism and genocide of Jewish people. Jews across the country and around the world are still coping with the trauma and horror of that day and the months since. Our hearts are with all the victims, survivors, families, and friends whose loved ones were killed, wounded, displaced, or taken hostage — including women and girls whom Hamas has subjected to appalling acts of rape and sexual violence.

As I said after Hamas’ terror attack, my commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, the security of Israel, and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad. The recent attack by Iran, firing a barrage of hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel, reminds us of the existential threats that Israel faces by adversaries that want nothing less than to wipe it off the map. Together with our allies and partners, the United States defended Israel, and we helped defeat this attack.

At the same time, my Administration is working around the clock to free the hostages who have been held by Hamas for over half a year; as I have said to their families, we will not rest until we bring them home. We are also leading international efforts to deliver urgently needed humanitarian aid to Gaza and an immediate ceasefire as part of a deal that releases hostages and lays the groundwork for an enduring two-state solution.

Here at home, too many Jews live with deep pain and fear from the ferocious surge of antisemitism — in our communities; at schools, places of worship, and colleges; and across social media. These acts are despicable and echo the worst chapters of human history. They remind us that hate never goes away — it only hides until it is given oxygen. It is our shared moral responsibility to forcefully stand up to antisemitism and to make clear that hate can have no safe harbor in America.

That is why I released the first-ever United States National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism and clarified the civil rights protections for Jews under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In addition, the Department of Education has launched investigations into antisemitism on college campuses, the Department of Justice is investigating and prosecuting hate crimes, and the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are focused on enhancing security in Jewish communities. We also secured the largest increase in funding ever for the physical security of nonprofits like synagogues, Jewish Community Centers, and Jewish schools. I appointed Deborah Lipstadt, a Holocaust expert, as the first-ever Ambassador-level Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism. Together, we are sending the message that, in America, evil will not win. Hate will not prevail. The venom and violence of antisemitism will not be the story of our time.

This Jewish American Heritage Month, we honor Jewish Americans, who have never given up on the promise of our Nation. We celebrate the contributions, culture, and values that they have passed down from generation to generation and that have shaped who we are as Americans. We remember that the power lies within each of us to rise together against hate, to see each other as fellow human beings, and to ensure that the Jewish community is afforded the safety, security, and dignity they deserve as they continue to shine their light in America and around the world.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2024 as Jewish American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to learn more about the heritage and contributions of Jewish Americans and to observe this month with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.


White House Press Release

Thankfully, we have a president who is an actual friend to the Jews of the United States!

January 23, 2024

Almost 80 years after the Holocaust, 245,000 Jewish survivors are still alive

Almost 80 years after the Holocaust, about 245,000 Jewish survivors are still living across more than 90 countries, a new report revealed Tuesday.

Nearly half of them, or 49%, are living in Israel; 18% are in Western Europe, 16% in the United States, and 12% in countries of the former Soviet Union, according to a study by the New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, also referred to as the Claims Conference.

Before the publication of the demographic report, there were only vague estimates about how many Holocaust survivors are still alive.

Their numbers are quickly dwindling, as most are very old and often of frail health, with a median age of 86. Twenty percent of survivors are older than 90, and more women (61%) than men (39%) are still alive.


January 7, 2024

(JEWISH GROUP) What have you read?

Out of curiosity, what books have y'all read regarding Jews? It can include books about Israel, Zionism, anti-Semitism, culture, language, history, or anything related to the Jewish experience. Here's what I have read in the past year (a few may have been 2022).

The Bloody Story of Anti-Semitism Down the Ages by Joseph McCabe
Anti-Semitism: A Disease of the Mind by Theodore Isaac Rubin
Christian Supremacy: Reckoning with the Roots of Antisemitism and Racism by Magda Teter
Protocols: Exposing Modern Anti-semitism by Elder of Ziyon
The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism: Historical Facts on Anti-Semitism as a Reflection of Jewish Social Discord by Michael Laitman
Contemporary Left Antisemitism by David Hirsh
Anti-Judaism : The Western Tradition by David Nirenberg
It Could Happen Here: Why America Is Tipping from Hate to the Unthinkable - and How We Can Stop It by Jonathan Greenblatt
Antisemitism: What It Is. What It Isn't. Why It Matters by Julia Neuberger
The Chosen Wars by Steven R. Weisman
The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
Antisemitism: The Oldest Hatred by John Mann
How to Fight Anti-Semitism by Bari Weiss
Antisemitism: Here and Now by Deborah E. Lipstadt
Jewish Space Lasers: The Rothschilds and 200 Years of Conspiracy Theories by Mike Rothschild

Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth by Noa Tishby
Reclaiming Israel’s History: Roots, Rights, and the Struggle for Peace by David Brog
Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn by Daniel Gordis

3,000 Years of Judaism in 30 Days: Understanding Jewish History, Beliefs, and Practices by Howard N. Lupovitch
Mystical Tradition: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam by Luke Timothy Johnson
Maimonides and Medieval Jewish Philosophy by Idit Dobbs-Weinstein
Judaism by Dr. Geoffrey Wigoder
Great World Religions: Judaism by Isaiah M. Gafni

Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods by Michael Wex
Yiddish: A Nation of Words by Miriam Weinstein

The Shoah (Holocaust)
The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World by Jonathan Freedland
Killing Queers: The Nazi Extermination of Gay Men by Helmut Rohn (touches on the Jewish experience)
Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust by Doreen Rappaport
The Last Million: Europe's Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War by David Nasaw (READ THIS!)
Our Crime Was Being Jewish: Hundreds of Holocaust Survivors Tell Their Stories by Anthony S. Pitch
The Last Jew of Treblinka: A Survivor’s Memory, 1942-1943 by Chil Rajchman
The Holocaust: A New History by Laurence Rees
The History of the Holocaust by Howard N. Lupovitch
Defiance: The Bielski Partisans by Nechama Tec
An Underground Life: Memoirs of a Gay Jew in Nazi Berlin by Frank Heibert

Unfinished People: Eastern European Jews Encounter America by Ruth Gay
Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero by Danny Fingeroth
Jewish Comedy: A Serious History by Jeremy Dauber
All About Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business by Mel Brooks
Superman Is Jewish?: How Comic Book Superheroes Came to Serve Truth, Justice, and the Jewish-American Way by Harry Brod

Denying History: Holocaust Denial, Pseudohistory, and How We Know What Happened in the Past by Michael Brant Shermer
Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism by Rachel Maddow (Read this, then...)
The Minuteman by Greg Donahue
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth (fiction)

People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present by Dara Horn
Jews Don’t Count by David Baddiel

What have you read? What do you recommend?
January 5, 2024

I didn't understand Holocaust denial until Oct. 7

“They ask me to speak in the schools,” my grandmother Manya told me over meringues as we sat in her mirrored dining room. “But who will believe me?”

Her question was figurative. Who would believe that this matronly, big-haired woman with a red lipsticked smile had endured forced labor in a work camp in Poland, dug mass graves and buried still-moving bodies with bloody earth, escaped the burning camp through a crevice in her barrack’s roof, and spent a year hiding underground in a hole so small that if one of the four there wanted to turn, they all had to turn?

My grandmother’s question was also literal. Who would believe that she had survived the Holocaust when it was just denied by an antisemitic head of state and by a tenured university professor down the street?

When I had this conversation with my grandmother in 2009, her fears of denial seemed unfounded. Yes, there were Holocaust deniers, but they were outliers. Besides, a logical solution to denial seemed to be more education. With enough proof, I thought, the skeptics my grandmother feared so deeply would have to acknowledge the truth. Amid so much evidence, how could anyone have the gall to deny?

Now, in the aftermath of Oct. 7, I finally get it. My grandmother was not paranoid; her cynicism was exactly right. No proof of Jewish suffering will ever be enough to quash denial — so perhaps, it’s time we stop trying to explain ourselves.


November 6, 2023

Special report: What's it really like to be Jewish on campus right now?

Four weeks into the Israel-Hamas war, a separate pernicious conflict is roiling American college campuses. Photos, clockwise from upper left, at U.C. Berkeley (by Kimberly Winston); U. Chicago (Debra Nussbaum Cohen); U. Michigan (Debrah Miszak); Harvard (Mira Fox); Columbia (Camillo Barone); Tulane (Leah Jablo); and USC (Louis Keene). Graphic by Matthew Litman

At the University of Chicago, a Jewish senior has stopped crossing the quad to get to her classes, going the long way around to avoid seeing slogans like “Zionist Freakshow Off Our Campus” and “Gaza is a Concentration Camp.”

The student head of Hillel at the University of Michigan, meanwhile, has been so consumed with the fallout from the Israel-Hamas war that she has had to ask for extensions on assignments — in some cases from faculty members who signed a letter condemning the school’s president for ignoring the plight of Palestinians after the Oct. 7 terror attack.

And at Rutgers University in New Jersey, the Israeli-American leader of a group called Peace is Possible is newly alienated from his Palestinian co-president.

The war “has made us argue in a way we hadn’t before,” said Or Doni, 20, a biology and neuroscience major. “He sent me a very long message a few days ago, talking about how he’s upset about things I’ve said, and how I’ve said them.”

October 27, 2023

Five Years ago: The Tree of Life Synagogue became a crime scene with the bodies of 11 Jews.

Today, we honor the memory of the people who lost their lives — Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil Rosenthal, David Rosenthal, Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, Irving Younger.

Say their names!

October 26, 2023

Signs showing a Star of David in a trash can are suddenly everywhere. Hamas used the image 10 years ago

Signs showing a Star of David in the trash are commonplace at pro-Palestinian protests. They’re a new iteration of a similar anti-Nazi sign. Courtesy of Getty (swastika); ADL (Star of David)

Photos of pro-Palestinian protesters holding signs with a Star of David in a trash can and the words, “Keep the world clean,” are becoming commonplace at rallies and on social media.

The images, often crudely drawn on handmade posters, seem organic. But “it appears that Hamas has been using some type of this image for at least 10 years,” according to Mark Pitcavage, senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. The image has taken on a new life since Hamas carried out the Oct. 7 terror attacks in Israel, followed by Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza.

Online searches easily turn up many instances of the anti-Israel signs and slogans at pro-Palestinian protests in places ranging from Sarajevo and Madrid to Missouri and Idaho.

The most widely shared instance was a photo of a young Norwegian woman, Marie Andersen, who made headlines holding the trash can sign with the Star of David, smiling and exultant, during a pro-Palestinian protest in Warsaw, where she is a medical student. Poland’s president, deputy foreign minister and Warsaw’s mayor all condemned the display as a violation of anti-hate laws. Andersen defended the sign in an interview on Norwegian TV, saying that it showed “how dirty I think the Israeli government is, both in this warfare, but also by running an apartheid state for decades.” She added that the poster was “not aimed at Jews” and that she was sorry the sign had “undermined the pro-Palestinian movement.”



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