Tom Gross Mideast Media Analysis

Conversations with friends: The last Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff

June 16, 2020

The last Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff (Jerusalem)


https://youtu.be/KEaUhSYX3hI


Efraim Zuroff speaks about why he became a Nazi hunter, his pursuit of war criminals all over the world over many decades, and his efforts to make countries such as Lithuania, Latvia and Croatia admit to their own nation’s very substantial collaboration with the Nazi genocide. As the last survivors die out where does Holocaust education and memory go from here?

Why did it take Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film Schindler’s List to make Holocaust education finally become incorporated into the British education system some years later? Why did western countries and the Vatican and Red Cross help Nazi criminals escape at the end of the war? Why were so many doctors Nazis?

We also discuss the trial of Bruno Dey (charged for his part in the murder of 5,230 people at Stutthof death camp) which is continuing now in Hamburg – it is 75 years late but the German judge insisted it continue despite the coronavirus restrictions.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Jerusalem, on June 8, 2020.)


 

Other conversations in this series:


In recent coronavirus lockdown days I have been conducting some informal zoom conversations with friends of mine from around the world about their lives. -- Tom Gross


Tom Gross

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Pg-IDYJYE


As part of a series of informal conservations with friends, Paul Lewis asks Tom Gross about his own life experiences and views: growing up surrounded by cultural and literary luminaries in London and New York; Sunday brunches with Elvis Presley’s songwriter; crossing Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin with his grandmother during communism; helping the Roma when almost no one else would; Tom’s close relationship with his godmother Sonia Orwell (the model for the heroine Julia of her husband’s masterpiece ‘1984’); being in Manhattan on 9/11; the Mideast; the importance and legacy of the Holocaust; and other matters.

(Discussion by zoom on June 28, 2020.)


 

Jonathan Freedland

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_3phYh8WMU


Award-winning Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland in conversation with Tom Gross about the state of the world; the Trump presidency (and whether some of his policies might be good); Britain’s coronavirus failures; early Zionism; whether Britain can still learn from the American constitution and system of government; and as a teenager how Jonathan was a mentor to Sasha Baron Cohen before he became Ali G and Borat.


 


* There is also a separate shorter conversation: Should statues of antisemites come down?

Jonathan Freedland & Tom Gross discuss left-wing antisemitism, and English antisemitism


https://youtu.be/D8Zcppjh6Tw


Jonathan Freedland: Most British people aren’t aware that “one of Britain’s gifts to the world, which originated in England, is the blood libel” -- which led to countless Jewish deaths over many centuries of European history.

Tom Gross: Should the large statue outside the British Parliament of Richard the Lionheart (who was responsible for murder of tens of thousands of Jews) and the bust of Karl Marx (who wrote about Jewish vermin) come down?

(Answer: no they should remain. But schoolchildren should be taught at least a bit about historic English antisemitism, in addition to the wrongs, as well as rights, of the British Empire.)

(Conversation by zoom while under coronavirus lockdown on June 18, 2020)


 

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Hossein Amini (London)


https://youtu.be/_llnKPTT0FE


Born in Tehran to a distinguished Iranian family (his grandfather was prime minister under the shah) Oscar-nominated screenwriter and film director Hossein Amini speaks with his friend Tom Gross about Iran before and after the Islamic revolution, his career as a filmmaker, his work with Martin Scorsese and Harvey Weinstein, his favorite films, and says that ‘it’s no accident that the MeToo movement started in tolerant Hollywood’. We also discuss racism in Britain.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in London, on May 30, 2020.)


 

David Pryce-Jones (London, Wales, Florence)


https://youtu.be/hK8kppwX7UI


Writer David Pryce-Jones discusses his childhood escape from the Nazis, his friendships with Isaac Bashevis Singer, Arthur Koestler, Stalin’s daughter Svetlana, John Gross and others; and Israel, Italy, and the New York Times.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Wales, on May 21, 2020.)

 

John O’Sullivan (Budapest)


https://youtu.be/TKspJwfsibg


Born to modest parents near Liverpool (his father was a ship steward, his mother a shop girl) John O’Sullivan rose to become one of Margaret Thatcher’s most trusted aides and advisors in 10 Downing Street. In this zoom conversation, he discusses Thatcher’s personality and how she developed her views, and other leading figures he met. (On one occasion John had breakfast with Thatcher in London, then flew to Washington and had dinner with President Reagan that same evening.) He and Tom Gross also discuss Donald Trump’s presidency; the future of journalism; and his lifelong love for musical theatre.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Budapest, on May 29, 2020.)


 

World aclaimed pianist Evgeny Kissin (Prague)


https://youtu.be/6zKvyjlvleg


Described by The Economist magazine as “the world’s most acclaimed classical pianist” Evgeny Kissin talks about being a child prodigy; his favorite concert halls and musicians; learning new repertoires and visiting Kafka’s grave during coronavirus lockdown; about Stalin’s murder of Yiddish writers, his own love for Yiddish, his support for Israel, and his political views about Russia and the West.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Prague, on May 24, 2020.)


* You can see shorter extracts from the conversation with Evgeny Kissin here: Conversations with friends: Evgeny Kissin on music, the Yiddish language, Israel and the Soviet Union


 

Rt Hon Lord (David) Young of Graffham


https://youtu.be/AzmrBuZ0OoM


Lord David Young talks about his life, his ten years in Downing Street working closely with Margaret Thatcher, his five years in Downing Street with David Cameron, and about Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, and modern multicultural Britain.

(Discussion by zoom in Graffham, Sussex, in England, while under coronavirus lockdown, on May 20, 2020.)

 

Bahra Saleh (Kirkuk, Iraq)


https://youtu.be/tQM0a9qJ1Jk


Tom Gross talks with Bahra Saleh about her life and about Kurdistan.

(Discussion by zoom in Kirkuk, Iraq, while under coronavirus lockdown, on May 20, 2020.)

 

Shmuel Bar (Herzliya)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_ekSPVLMAg

Shmuel Bar, who worked for Israel’s government for 30 years in various analytical and operational capacities, and who is a world-class expert in a variety of fields, discusses the state of America, Europe, the Mideast and the world, and what dangers may lay ahead.

(Discussion by zoom, on July 2, 2020.)


 

Orit Yasu (Shoham, near Tel Aviv)


https://youtu.be/xKihFpFrOUg


Born to recently arrived Ethiopian-Israeli parents, Orit Yasu talks with Tom Gross about growing up in Kiryat Malachi, the rescue of Ethiopian Jews by the Mossad, her participation in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting memorial while on a school trip to Colorado, on how NYC is too crowded, her trip to see her parents village Ethiopia, and why many Ethiopian-Israelis vote Likud.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown, on May 31, 2020.)

 

Charlotte Cunningham (Yorkshire / London / Luxembourg)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kva8JQ1Jgsw


Charlotte, who has established a successful arts organization in England that helps people with mental and physical disabilities, has managed to forge her own path distinct from her illustrious family background -- her grandmother was the ruling monarch of Luxembourg after whom Charlotte is named; and on the other side of her family, her grandfather was US secretary of state under a Republican, Eisenhower, and then US treasury secretary under two Democrats, Kennedy and Johnson.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in London, on June 19, 2020.)


 

Nidra Poller (Paris)


https://youtu.be/wHky3gPi0oA


Writer Nidra Poller discusses hanging out with James Baldwin and other African-American writers and musicians in 1970s Paris, the origins of the name Nidra, how her Japanese partner introduced her to Israel, and the position of women in the modern world.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Paris, on May 19, 2020.)

 

Susan Loewenthal Lourenco (Berlin)


https://youtu.be/wjS4DSh4DBw

Educator Susan Lourenco talks about being the child of refugees from Berlin, her life in four different countries and how she reconciled herself with modern Germany.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Berlin, on May 12, 2020.)

 

* You can also find other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia

Conversations with friends: Ethiopian-Israeli Orit Yasu

In recent coronavirus lockdown days I have been conducting some informal zoom conversations with friends of mine from around the world about their lives. -- Tom Gross


Orit Yasu (Shoham, near Tel Aviv)


https://youtu.be/xKihFpFrOUg


Born to recently arrived Ethiopian-Israeli parents, Orit Yasu talks with Tom Gross about growing up in Kiryat Malachi, the rescue of Ethiopian Jews by the Mossad, her participation in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting memorial while on a school trip to Colorado, on how NYC is too crowded, her trip to see her parents village Ethiopia, and why many Ethiopian-Israelis vote Likud.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown, on May 31, 2020.)

 

Other conversations in this series:


Tom Gross

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Pg-IDYJYE


As part of a series of informal conservations with friends, Paul Lewis asks Tom Gross about his own life experiences and views: growing up surrounded by cultural and literary luminaries in London and New York; Sunday brunches with Elvis Presley’s songwriter; crossing Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin with his grandmother during communism; helping the Roma when almost no one else would; Tom’s close relationship with his godmother Sonia Orwell (the model for the heroine Julia of her husband’s masterpiece ‘1984’); being in Manhattan on 9/11; the Mideast; the importance and legacy of the Holocaust; and other matters.

(Discussion by zoom on June 28, 2020.)


 

Jonathan Freedland

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_3phYh8WMU


Award-winning Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland in conversation with Tom Gross about the state of the world; the Trump presidency (and whether some of his policies might be good); Britain’s coronavirus failures; early Zionism; whether Britain can still learn from the American constitution and system of government; and as a teenager how Jonathan was a mentor to Sasha Baron Cohen before he became Ali G and Borat.


 


* There is also a separate shorter conversation: Should statues of antisemites come down?

Jonathan Freedland & Tom Gross discuss left-wing antisemitism, and English antisemitism


https://youtu.be/D8Zcppjh6Tw


Jonathan Freedland: Most British people aren’t aware that “one of Britain’s gifts to the world, which originated in England, is the blood libel” -- which led to countless Jewish deaths over many centuries of European history.

Tom Gross: Should the large statue outside the British Parliament of Richard the Lionheart (who was responsible for murder of tens of thousands of Jews) and the bust of Karl Marx (who wrote about Jewish vermin) come down?

(Answer: no they should remain. But schoolchildren should be taught at least a bit about historic English antisemitism, in addition to the wrongs, as well as rights, of the British Empire.)

(Conversation by zoom while under coronavirus lockdown on June 18, 2020)


 

The last Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff (Jerusalem)


https://youtu.be/KEaUhSYX3hI


Efraim Zuroff speaks about why he became a Nazi hunter, his pursuit of war criminals all over the world over many decades, and his efforts to make countries such as Lithuania, Latvia and Croatia admit to their own nation’s very substantial collaboration with the Nazi genocide. As the last survivors die out where does Holocaust education and memory go from here?

Why did it take Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film Schindler’s List to make Holocaust education finally become incorporated into the British education system some years later? Why did western countries and the Vatican and Red Cross help Nazi criminals escape at the end of the war? Why were so many doctors Nazis?

We also discuss the trial of Bruno Dey (charged for his part in the murder of 5,230 people at Stutthof death camp) which is continuing now in Hamburg – it is 75 years late but the German judge insisted it continue despite the coronavirus restrictions.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Jerusalem, on June 8, 2020.)


 

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Hossein Amini (London)


https://youtu.be/_llnKPTT0FE


Born in Tehran to a distinguished Iranian family (his grandfather was prime minister under the shah) Oscar-nominated screenwriter and film director Hossein Amini speaks with his friend Tom Gross about Iran before and after the Islamic revolution, his career as a filmmaker, his work with Martin Scorsese and Harvey Weinstein, his favorite films, and says that ‘it’s no accident that the MeToo movement started in tolerant Hollywood’. We also discuss racism in Britain.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in London, on May 30, 2020.)


 

David Pryce-Jones (London, Wales, Florence)


https://youtu.be/hK8kppwX7UI


Writer David Pryce-Jones discusses his childhood escape from the Nazis, his friendships with Isaac Bashevis Singer, Arthur Koestler, Stalin’s daughter Svetlana, John Gross and others; and Israel, Italy, and the New York Times.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Wales, on May 21, 2020.)

 

John O’Sullivan (Budapest)


https://youtu.be/TKspJwfsibg


Born to modest parents near Liverpool (his father was a ship steward, his mother a shop girl) John O’Sullivan rose to become one of Margaret Thatcher’s most trusted aides and advisors in 10 Downing Street. In this zoom conversation, he discusses Thatcher’s personality and how she developed her views, and other leading figures he met. (On one occasion John had breakfast with Thatcher in London, then flew to Washington and had dinner with President Reagan that same evening.) He and Tom Gross also discuss Donald Trump’s presidency; the future of journalism; and his lifelong love for musical theatre.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Budapest, on May 29, 2020.)


 

World aclaimed pianist Evgeny Kissin (Prague)


https://youtu.be/6zKvyjlvleg


Described by The Economist magazine as “the world’s most acclaimed classical pianist” Evgeny Kissin talks about being a child prodigy; his favorite concert halls and musicians; learning new repertoires and visiting Kafka’s grave during coronavirus lockdown; about Stalin’s murder of Yiddish writers, his own love for Yiddish, his support for Israel, and his political views about Russia and the West.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Prague, on May 24, 2020.)


* You can see shorter extracts from the conversation with Evgeny Kissin here: Conversations with friends: Evgeny Kissin on music, the Yiddish language, Israel and the Soviet Union


 

Rt Hon Lord (David) Young of Graffham


https://youtu.be/AzmrBuZ0OoM


Lord David Young talks about his life, his ten years in Downing Street working closely with Margaret Thatcher, his five years in Downing Street with David Cameron, and about Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, and modern multicultural Britain.

(Discussion by zoom in Graffham, Sussex, in England, while under coronavirus lockdown, on May 20, 2020.)

 

Bahra Saleh (Kirkuk, Iraq)


https://youtu.be/tQM0a9qJ1Jk


Tom Gross talks with Bahra Saleh about her life and about Kurdistan.

(Discussion by zoom in Kirkuk, Iraq, while under coronavirus lockdown, on May 20, 2020.)

 

Shmuel Bar (Herzliya)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_ekSPVLMAg

Shmuel Bar, who worked for Israel’s government for 30 years in various analytical and operational capacities, and who is a world-class expert in a variety of fields, discusses the state of America, Europe, the Mideast and the world, and what dangers may lay ahead.

(Discussion by zoom, on July 2, 2020.)


 

Orit Yasu (Shoham, near Tel Aviv)


https://youtu.be/xKihFpFrOUg


Born to recently arrived Ethiopian-Israeli parents, Orit Yasu talks with Tom Gross about growing up in Kiryat Malachi, the rescue of Ethiopian Jews by the Mossad, her participation in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting memorial while on a school trip to Colorado, on how NYC is too crowded, her trip to see her parents village Ethiopia, and why many Ethiopian-Israelis vote Likud.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown, on May 31, 2020.)

 

Charlotte Cunningham (Yorkshire / London / Luxembourg)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kva8JQ1Jgsw


Charlotte, who has established a successful arts organization in England that helps people with mental and physical disabilities, has managed to forge her own path distinct from her illustrious family background -- her grandmother was the ruling monarch of Luxembourg after whom Charlotte is named; and on the other side of her family, her grandfather was US secretary of state under a Republican, Eisenhower, and then US treasury secretary under two Democrats, Kennedy and Johnson.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in London, on June 19, 2020.)


 

Nidra Poller (Paris)


https://youtu.be/wHky3gPi0oA


Writer Nidra Poller discusses hanging out with James Baldwin and other African-American writers and musicians in 1970s Paris, the origins of the name Nidra, how her Japanese partner introduced her to Israel, and the position of women in the modern world.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Paris, on May 19, 2020.)

 

Susan Loewenthal Lourenco (Berlin)


https://youtu.be/wjS4DSh4DBw

Educator Susan Lourenco talks about being the child of refugees from Berlin, her life in four different countries and how she reconciled herself with modern Germany.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Berlin, on May 12, 2020.)

 

* You can also find other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia

Conversations with friends: Filmmaker Hossein Amini (grandson of ex-PM of Iran)

In recent coronavirus lockdown days I have been conducting some informal zoom conversations with friends of mine from around the world about their lives. -- Tom Gross


Oscar-nominated filmmaker Hossein Amini (London)


https://youtu.be/_llnKPTT0FE


Born in Tehran to a distinguished Iranian family (his grandfather was prime minister under the shah) Oscar-nominated screenwriter and film director Hossein Amini speaks with his friend Tom Gross about Iran before and after the Islamic revolution, his career as a filmmaker, his work with Martin Scorsese and Harvey Weinstein, his favorite films, and says that ‘it’s no accident that the MeToo movement started in tolerant Hollywood’. We also discuss racism in Britain.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in London, on May 30, 2020.)

 

Other conversations in this series:


Tom Gross

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Pg-IDYJYE


As part of a series of informal conservations with friends, Paul Lewis asks Tom Gross about his own life experiences and views: growing up surrounded by cultural and literary luminaries in London and New York; Sunday brunches with Elvis Presley’s songwriter; crossing Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin with his grandmother during communism; helping the Roma when almost no one else would; Tom’s close relationship with his godmother Sonia Orwell (the model for the heroine Julia of her husband’s masterpiece ‘1984’); being in Manhattan on 9/11; the Mideast; the importance and legacy of the Holocaust; and other matters.

(Discussion by zoom on June 28, 2020.)


 

Jonathan Freedland

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_3phYh8WMU


Award-winning Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland in conversation with Tom Gross about the state of the world; the Trump presidency (and whether some of his policies might be good); Britain’s coronavirus failures; early Zionism; whether Britain can still learn from the American constitution and system of government; and as a teenager how Jonathan was a mentor to Sasha Baron Cohen before he became Ali G and Borat.


 


* There is also a separate shorter conversation: Should statues of antisemites come down?

Jonathan Freedland & Tom Gross discuss left-wing antisemitism, and English antisemitism


https://youtu.be/D8Zcppjh6Tw


Jonathan Freedland: Most British people aren’t aware that “one of Britain’s gifts to the world, which originated in England, is the blood libel” -- which led to countless Jewish deaths over many centuries of European history.

Tom Gross: Should the large statue outside the British Parliament of Richard the Lionheart (who was responsible for murder of tens of thousands of Jews) and the bust of Karl Marx (who wrote about Jewish vermin) come down?

(Answer: no they should remain. But schoolchildren should be taught at least a bit about historic English antisemitism, in addition to the wrongs, as well as rights, of the British Empire.)

(Conversation by zoom while under coronavirus lockdown on June 18, 2020)


 

The last Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff (Jerusalem)


https://youtu.be/KEaUhSYX3hI


Efraim Zuroff speaks about why he became a Nazi hunter, his pursuit of war criminals all over the world over many decades, and his efforts to make countries such as Lithuania, Latvia and Croatia admit to their own nation’s very substantial collaboration with the Nazi genocide. As the last survivors die out where does Holocaust education and memory go from here?

Why did it take Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film Schindler’s List to make Holocaust education finally become incorporated into the British education system some years later? Why did western countries and the Vatican and Red Cross help Nazi criminals escape at the end of the war? Why were so many doctors Nazis?

We also discuss the trial of Bruno Dey (charged for his part in the murder of 5,230 people at Stutthof death camp) which is continuing now in Hamburg – it is 75 years late but the German judge insisted it continue despite the coronavirus restrictions.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Jerusalem, on June 8, 2020.)


 

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Hossein Amini (London)


https://youtu.be/_llnKPTT0FE


Born in Tehran to a distinguished Iranian family (his grandfather was prime minister under the shah) Oscar-nominated screenwriter and film director Hossein Amini speaks with his friend Tom Gross about Iran before and after the Islamic revolution, his career as a filmmaker, his work with Martin Scorsese and Harvey Weinstein, his favorite films, and says that ‘it’s no accident that the MeToo movement started in tolerant Hollywood’. We also discuss racism in Britain.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in London, on May 30, 2020.)


 

David Pryce-Jones (London, Wales, Florence)


https://youtu.be/hK8kppwX7UI


Writer David Pryce-Jones discusses his childhood escape from the Nazis, his friendships with Isaac Bashevis Singer, Arthur Koestler, Stalin’s daughter Svetlana, John Gross and others; and Israel, Italy, and the New York Times.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Wales, on May 21, 2020.)

 

John O’Sullivan (Budapest)


https://youtu.be/TKspJwfsibg


Born to modest parents near Liverpool (his father was a ship steward, his mother a shop girl) John O’Sullivan rose to become one of Margaret Thatcher’s most trusted aides and advisors in 10 Downing Street. In this zoom conversation, he discusses Thatcher’s personality and how she developed her views, and other leading figures he met. (On one occasion John had breakfast with Thatcher in London, then flew to Washington and had dinner with President Reagan that same evening.) He and Tom Gross also discuss Donald Trump’s presidency; the future of journalism; and his lifelong love for musical theatre.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Budapest, on May 29, 2020.)


 

World aclaimed pianist Evgeny Kissin (Prague)


https://youtu.be/6zKvyjlvleg


Described by The Economist magazine as “the world’s most acclaimed classical pianist” Evgeny Kissin talks about being a child prodigy; his favorite concert halls and musicians; learning new repertoires and visiting Kafka’s grave during coronavirus lockdown; about Stalin’s murder of Yiddish writers, his own love for Yiddish, his support for Israel, and his political views about Russia and the West.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Prague, on May 24, 2020.)


* You can see shorter extracts from the conversation with Evgeny Kissin here: Conversations with friends: Evgeny Kissin on music, the Yiddish language, Israel and the Soviet Union


 

Rt Hon Lord (David) Young of Graffham


https://youtu.be/AzmrBuZ0OoM


Lord David Young talks about his life, his ten years in Downing Street working closely with Margaret Thatcher, his five years in Downing Street with David Cameron, and about Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, and modern multicultural Britain.

(Discussion by zoom in Graffham, Sussex, in England, while under coronavirus lockdown, on May 20, 2020.)

 

Bahra Saleh (Kirkuk, Iraq)


https://youtu.be/tQM0a9qJ1Jk


Tom Gross talks with Bahra Saleh about her life and about Kurdistan.

(Discussion by zoom in Kirkuk, Iraq, while under coronavirus lockdown, on May 20, 2020.)

 

Shmuel Bar (Herzliya)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_ekSPVLMAg

Shmuel Bar, who worked for Israel’s government for 30 years in various analytical and operational capacities, and who is a world-class expert in a variety of fields, discusses the state of America, Europe, the Mideast and the world, and what dangers may lay ahead.

(Discussion by zoom, on July 2, 2020.)


 

Orit Yasu (Shoham, near Tel Aviv)


https://youtu.be/xKihFpFrOUg


Born to recently arrived Ethiopian-Israeli parents, Orit Yasu talks with Tom Gross about growing up in Kiryat Malachi, the rescue of Ethiopian Jews by the Mossad, her participation in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting memorial while on a school trip to Colorado, on how NYC is too crowded, her trip to see her parents village Ethiopia, and why many Ethiopian-Israelis vote Likud.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown, on May 31, 2020.)

 

Charlotte Cunningham (Yorkshire / London / Luxembourg)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kva8JQ1Jgsw


Charlotte, who has established a successful arts organization in England that helps people with mental and physical disabilities, has managed to forge her own path distinct from her illustrious family background -- her grandmother was the ruling monarch of Luxembourg after whom Charlotte is named; and on the other side of her family, her grandfather was US secretary of state under a Republican, Eisenhower, and then US treasury secretary under two Democrats, Kennedy and Johnson.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in London, on June 19, 2020.)


 

Nidra Poller (Paris)


https://youtu.be/wHky3gPi0oA


Writer Nidra Poller discusses hanging out with James Baldwin and other African-American writers and musicians in 1970s Paris, the origins of the name Nidra, how her Japanese partner introduced her to Israel, and the position of women in the modern world.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Paris, on May 19, 2020.)

 

Susan Loewenthal Lourenco (Berlin)


https://youtu.be/wjS4DSh4DBw

Educator Susan Lourenco talks about being the child of refugees from Berlin, her life in four different countries and how she reconciled herself with modern Germany.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Berlin, on May 12, 2020.)

 

* You can also find other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia

Jews assaulted after lies about Covid & George Floyd (& Einstein, Jabotinsky spoke up for African-Americans) (& Israel saves Syrian baby)

June 15, 2020

 

I posted the above image on Facebook on June 8.

Just a reminder: I have less time to write long dispatches than in the past, but you can read or look at items and links to articles not in these dispatches, here. (They have a public setting, so should be viewable even to those not using Facebook.)

 

Quentin Tarantino emerges from Tel Aviv coronavirus lockdown

(I posted the above image on Facebook on June 9, the day it was taken, here.)

 

CONTENTS

1. Extremists in US and Europe continue to spread conspiracy theories about Jews over both coronavirus, and Blacks Lives Matter
2. Leading Zionists have long opposed American anti-Black racism
3. Rapper Ice Cube criticized for sharing anti-Semitic image in relation to George Floyd
4. Outrage over chants of ‘dirty Jews’ at Saturday’s mass anti-racist protest in Paris
5. Rabbi repeatedly stabbed by stranger in broad daylight in London

6. Outstanding contribution to improving and saving life
7. Ten-day-old Syrian baby flown to Israel for lifesaving heart surgery
8. Israeli government provides drive-through coronavirus testing to Congo
9. New German intelligence report says Iran continuing to execute homosexuals
10. Ontario police detain publisher of antisemitic Polish-language newspaper

11. Right-wing Polish journalist calls Holocaust ‘a myth’ in new book
12. New York’s prominent 92nd Street Y to host anti-Israel imam
13. Mira Awad becomes latest Israeli-Arab to criticize Rogers Waters and BDS
14. Associated Press slammed for firing Palestinian cameraman after he criticized Abbas
15. Israel named world’s third best start-up ecosystem in new global report
16. Israeli-led team unveils mystery of ‘Genghis Khan’ Wall
17. Israeli government agrees to legalize Cannabis

 

[Notes below by Tom Gross]

EXTREMISTS IN US AND EUROPE CONTINUE TO SPREAD CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUT JEWS OVER BOTH CORONAVIRUS, AND BLACKS LIVES MATTER

As Facebook and twitter finally start to clamp down on some of the far right incitement against Jews, antisemites are increasingly using alternative social media such as Gab, BitChute, Dlive, vk and Telegram, to spread coronavirus conspiracy theories about Jews and Israel, according to a new report.

“It’s not a Chinese virus like the Jew-lover Trump says,” announced one popular far right site. “It is a ‘Jew Virus’ and we have to eradicate it at source just like we put down rats.”

According to anti-racist watchdogs monitoring hate sites, 73 percent of far-right postings blame Jews for creating coronavirus “to serve Jewish interests”.

For example, in one popular posting a far-right activist calling himself Adam Green, writes “Rothschild stepped down last year from his Rothschild investment company. Insider trading? They didn’t wanna be responsible for this big collapse they knew, that was planned. I’ve heard the term ‘Plan-demic.’”

The police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has also prompted a wave of antisemitic conspiracy theories in France, the US and elsewhere, both on the far right and far left.

 

LEADING ZIONISTS HAVE LONG OPPOSED AMERICAN ANTI-BLACK RACISM

One of the earliest outspoken foreign opponents of American racism was the leading pioneer of right-wing Zionism (and father figure of what became Israel’s leading Likud party) Ze’ev Jabotinsky.

For example, in 1910, Jabotinsky wrote an article following a boxing match for the heavyweight champion of the world. After Jack Johnson, who was black, won against James Jeffries, who was white, racist mobs attacked blacks throughout America and at least 20 people were killed in riots. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Johnson%E2%80%93Jeffries_Fight

Jabotinsky wrote: “Since it was the black man that won and there was a suspicion that other blacks in the land would feel proud, the white citizens of the great republic could not tolerate this. They sought to quash black pride and fell upon blacks in a proportion of 50-to-1, smashed heads, trampled people and acted cruelly even to women and children.

“In the United States, the most free republic on earth, there are ten million citizens suffering a shocking lack of rights simply because of the color of their skin.”

Even though slavery had been abolished the previous century, the continuing inequality in the US was worse than “anywhere else in the cultured world,” wrote Jabotinsky. “Theaters are closed to the black man, as are hotels, railway cars, and schools. He is assigned special railway cars and narrow, separate compartments on trains. Schools for black children are cheaply constructed, inadequate, and dirty. The political rights of the ‘free and equal’ black citizen are non-existent.”

Jabotinsky added: “This system is fixed, permanently, and is practiced before the entire world. The president and congress know about this and no one would even think to shrug his shoulders, for such is the system, accepted as it is as part of matters of state.”

 

RAPPER ICE CUBE CRITICIZED FOR SHARING ANTI-SEMITIC IMAGE IN RELATION TO GEORGE FLOYD

Popular American rap singer and actor Ice Cube has been criticized for sharing an anti-Semitic image on twitter when posting about the death of 46-year-old African-American George Floyd.

He posted a caricature of Jewish figures with the caption “All we have to do is stand up [against them] and their little game is over.” The caricature is almost identical to one used by the Nazis in the 1930s to incite hatred that led to the massacre of millions of Jews.

Last week, Ice Cube also praised the notorious antisemite and Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan.

 

OUTRAGE OVER CHANTS OF ‘DIRTY JEWS’ AT SATURDAY’S MASS BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTEST IN PARIS

Last Saturday, French “anti-racism’ protesters at a Black Lives Matter rallies chanted “dirty Jews” at counter-protesters in Paris’s Place de la République.

The French police has sent video of the antisemitic chanting by French-Africans to magistrates, with a recommendation they press charges for incitement to racial hatred. There was also anti-Israel slogans chanted at the Black Lives Matter rally.

There was widespread criticism of the leader of the French far left, member of parliament Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who denied that the mass chanting of “dirty Jews” was antisemitic.

“Perhaps Jean-Luc Mélenchon is deaf and blind once again when faced with antisemitism which comes from his ranks?” the official body representing French Jews, CRIF, asked.

The European Jewish Congress said in statement:

“The people who claim to march against hate and racism while shouting violent antisemitic statements are hypocrites and acting against the worthy cause of the majority. They are trying to hijack and piggyback on the justifiable anger and hurt of anti-racist demonstrators. They have shown that they would rather sabotage an important rally with their own hate.”

French-Jewish intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy commented, “Why the deafening silence of the organizers, the participants, the political forces [of the left who were] present?”

Levy added “Why are there anti-Israeli banners at this demonstration? What does this have to do with the fight against racism whose victims are black people?”

French-Jewish artist Ron Agam called on France’s president to be more forceful against the growing left-wing antisemitism.

“Enough is enough is enough,” he said. “President Macron, we have had enough of empty promises, we need action now against these barbaric antisemitic screams that often lead to the death of Jews. It’s about the honor and dignity of the Republic.”

(Many Jews have been murdered in antisemitic attacks in France in recent years.)

Last December, the British Labour Party led by the far left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn, lost a general election in part because he had encourage or allowed extreme anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial to flourish among some of his party’s members. Since then, Corbyn has been ousted as leader. In his opening remarks as new British Labour party leader, Keir Starmer apologized on behalf of the Labour Party for the lies and hate directed against Jews by too many in the party, which drove many Jews to resign from the Labour Party.

Last week an American organization, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, spread a conspiracy theory that blamed the deaths of African-Americans on Israel, falsely claiming that the IDF trains American police offers on choke holds. The group tweeted: “The Israeli military trains US police to systematically target Black and Brown bodies,” with a link to a 2016 Amnesty International report making the same fake claim.

Facebook has removed fake images showing Israelis choking George Floyd, but only after they were viewed tens of thousands of times on Facebook.

 

RABBI REPEATEDLY STABBED BY STRANGER IN BROAD DAYLIGHT IN LONDON

I wrote on Facebook on Friday a few hours after it happened:

First a constant stream of utterly baseless conspiracy theories about Jews and coronavirus are spread online and in person, and next thing a rabbi is savagely stabbed in broad daylight on a London street today. Given how much the media is full of stories about racism at present, it is regrettable, though not surprising, that the BBC and most of the supposedly anti-racist liberal British media have so far barely mentioned today’s antisemitic attack. Why is it left to the conservative Daily Mail to cover it?

Photos and video here:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8414225/Hasidic-Jewish-man-stabbed-hate-crime-North-London.htm

A man in his 40s and was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Rabbi Alter Yaakov Schlesinger sustained severe wounds and may have died had the assailant not been tackled by several brave local construction workers who pinned down the culprit until police arrived.

According to official figures there were a record 1,805 anti-Semitic incidents in Britain in 2019, the highest annual total since the 1940s. In relation to its size, no other religious group is the subject of more attacks than Jews are in the UK.

 

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO IMPROVING AND SAVING LIFE

I should hardly need to point this out, but given the amount of antisemitism there is on the internet about how Jews “create viruses to murder people” (conspiracy theories that date back to long before the Black Death, almost to the advent of Christianity), people may not be aware of the very long list of Jewish Nobel Prize winners for medicine. Here is a list of some of the Jews who have helped improve the health of billions of people.

Of course, there would have been many more, had not over half the world’s Jews been murdered.

(This list does not include other outstanding Jewish scientists, such as Jonas Salk who discovered the Polio vaccine but was never awarded a Nobel Prize.)

1908 Mechnikov, Elie, for their work on immunity
1908 Ehrlich, Paul, for their work on immunity
1914 Barany, Robert, for work on the physiology and pathology of the vestibular apparatus
1922 Meyerhof, Otto Fritz, for his discovery of the fixed relationship between the consumption of oxygen and the metabolism of lactic acid in the muscle
1930 Landsteiner, Karl, for his discovery of human blood groups
1936 Loewi, Otto, for discoveries relating to chemical transmission of nerve impulses
1944 Erlanger, Joseph, for discoveries relating to the highly differentiated functions of single nerve fibres
1945 Chain, Ernst Boris, for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases
1946 Muller, Hermann J., for the discovery of the production of mutations by means of x-ray irradiation
1947 Cori, Gerty Theresa, Radnitz, for discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen
1950 Reichstein, Tadeus, for discoveries relating to the hormones of the adrenal cortex, their structure and biological effects
1952 Waksman, Selman A., for his discovery of streptomycin, the first antibiotic effective against tuberculosis
1953 Lipmann, Fritz Albert, for his discovery of co-enzyme a and its importance for intermediary metabolism
1953 Krebs, Hans Adolf, for his discovery of the citric acid cycle
1958 Lederberg, Joshua, for his discoveries concerning genetic recombination and the organisation of the genetic material of bacteria
1959 Kornberg, Arthur, for discovery of the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid
1964 Bloch, Konrad, for discoveries concerning the mechanism and regulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism
1965 Jacob, Francois, for discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis
1965 Lwoff, Andre, for discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis
1967 Wald, George, for discoveries concerning the primary physiological and chemical visual processes in the eye
1968 Nirenberg, Marshall W., for interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis
1969 Luria, Salvador E., for discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses
1970 Katz, Bernard, for discoveries concerning the humoral transmitters in the nerve terminals and the mechanism, for their storage, release and inactivation
1970 Axelrod, Julius, for their discoveries concerning the humoral transmitters in the nerve terminals and the mechanism, for their storage, release and inactivation
1972 Edelman, Gerald M., for discoveries concerning the chemical structure of antibodies
1975 Temin, Howard M., for discoveries concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell
1975 Baltimore, David, for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell
1976 Blumberg, Baruch S., for their discoveries concerning new mechanisms for the origin and dissemination of infectious diseases
1977 Yalow, Rosalyn, for the development of radioimmunoassays of peptide hormones
1977 Schally, Andrew V., for their discoveries concerning the peptide hormone production of the brain
1978 Nathans, Daniel, for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to problems of molecular genetics
1980 Benacerraf, Baruj, for their discoveries concerning genetically determined structures on the cell surface that regulate immunological reactions
1984 Milstein, Cesar, for theories concerning the specificity in development and control of the immune system and the discovery of the principle for production of monoclonal antibodies
1985 Brown, Michael S., for discoveries concerning the regulation of cholesterol metabolism
1985 Goldstein, Joseph L., for discoveries concerning the regulation of cholesterol metabolism
1986 Cohen, Stanley, for discoveries of growth factors
1986 Levi-Montalcini, Rita, for discoveries of growth factors
1988 Elion, Gertrude B., for discoveries of important principles for drug treatment
1989 Varmus, Harold E., for discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes
1994 Rodbell, Martin, for Discovery of G-proteins and the role of these proteins in signal transduction in cells
1994 Gilman, Alfred G., for discovery of G-proteins and the role of these proteins in signal transduction in cells
1997 Prusiner, Stanley B., for discovery of prions - a new biological principle of infection
1998 Furchgott, Robert F., for discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system
2000 Greengard, Paul, for discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system
2000 Kandel, Eric R., for discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system
2002 Brenner, Sydney, for discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death
2002 Horvitz, H. Robert, for discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death
2004 Axel, Richard, for Discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system
2006 Fire, Andrew Z. for their discovery of Rna Interference - Gene Silencing by double-stranded Rna
2011 Steinman, Ralph M. for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity
2011 Beutler, Bruce A. for discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity
2013 Schekman, Randy W. for discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells
2013 Rothman, James E., for discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells
2017 Rosbash, Michael, for discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm

The Israeli Nobel prize winners for chemistry Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko discovered a protein that has helped lead to drugs for various diseases....so it’s not just the medicine prize that counts.

And Ada Yonath also won for chemistry Nobel Prize for ‘ribosomes’ which led to some medical wonders. Yonath is the first woman from the Middle East to win a Nobel prize in the sciences and the first woman in 45 years to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

 

10-DAY-OLD SYRIAN BABY FLOWN TO ISRAEL FOR LIFESAVING HEART SURGERY

A 10-day-old Syrian baby was flown from Cyprus to Israel to receive life-saving medical treatment last Thursday. The baby was taken by emergency air ambulance for a heart operation at the Sheba Medical Center.

Israel waived coronavirus restrictions to allow the baby’s father, a Syrian refugee, into Israel with the child. Israel has quietly assisted thousands of Syrian refugees throughout the nine-year bloody Syrian civil war.

 

ISRAELI GOVERNMENT PROVIDES DRIVE-THROUGH CORONAVIRUS TESTING TO CONGO

Following a request by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Israel has helped established an Israeli-style coronavirus drive-through testing system in Congo.

Israel has also adapted Israel’s coronavirus software testing system specifically for Congo, and prepared a training program for Congolese medical professionals.

Since the 1950s, Israel has helped build hospitals, airports, universities and roads in almost every African country.

 

NEW GERMAN INTELLIGENCE REPORT SAYS IRAN CONTINUING TO EXECUTE HOMOSEXUALS

A new German intelligence report says that the Islamic Republic of Iran is continuing to execute people for being gay. This is believed to be the first time a western intelligence agency has specifically dealt with the Iranian regime’s attacks on gay people.

Wikileaks previously made public a secret 2008 British document that said the Iranian regime has executed between 4,000-6,000 gays and lesbians since the country’s 1979 Islamic revolution. To put that into context, Holocaust historians say the Nazis killed about 4500 gays for being gay during their rule from 1933-1945, so already by 2008 it appears that the Iranian regime had surpassed the Nazi total.

Last year, Donald Trump’s then ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, wrote on Twitter after another Iranian gay was hanged: “Many of our European allies have embassies in Tehran. This barbaric act must not go unanswered. Speak up.”

Grenell, who is the highest ranking openly gay appointee in US history, has since been appointed by Trump to be his director of National Intelligence, the first openly gay person to serve in an American cabinet. The Trump administration has launched an international campaign to decriminalize homosexuality across the globe.

 

ONTARIO POLICE DETAIN PUBLISHER OF ANTISEMITIC POLISH-LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

Polish-Canadian Andrzej Kumor has been arrested by police in Ontario for publishing antisemitic articles in his Polish-language newspaper. Among other things, Kumor used the paper to accuse “Jews and Zionists” of undermining Canada, the United States and Poland.

Last year, Kumor ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Polish parliament with the far-right antisemitic Konfederacja (“Confederation”) party.

It is not clear whether Ontario Police will press criminal charges against Kumor or merely wished to warn him to stop his racial hatred.

 

RIGHT-WING POLISH JOURNALIST CALLS HOLOCAUST ‘A MYTH’ IN NEW BOOK

In Warsaw, a small Polish anti-racism group last week criticized Polish right-wing journalist Rafal Ziemkiewicz for his new book, in which calls Jews “ruthless” and says the Holocaust “a myth.”

In 2018, Ziemkiewicz, who is also a popular science fiction author, canceled speaking events in Bristol, Cambridge and London after several British members of parliament urged his arrest under race-hate laws, after he made an anti-Muslim remark.

 

NEW YORK’S PROMINENT 92ND STREET Y TO HOST ANTI-ISRAEL IMAM

There is disappointment among many Jews and others that yet another left-wing New York Jewish institution is giving a platform to those who wish Israelis harm.

The 92nd Street Y, also known as 92Y, is scheduled to host a virtual event on June 18 featuring Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid, who has defended the former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s call for Israel’s destruction.

Even after expressing support for Ahmadinejad, Abdur-Rashid was then twice invited to visit the White House during Barack Obama’s presidency.

 

MIRA AWAD BECOMES LATEST ISRAELI-ARAB TO CRITICIZE ROGERS WATERS AND BDS

During a podcast with a pro-peace group, Israeli Arab singer and actress Mira Awad criticized former Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters for his continuing slurs against Israel.

Awad urged Waters to have the “courage” and “the balls” to visit Israel, perform in the country and share his thoughts while in Israel rather than tell untruths about Israel from aboard. She also criticized Waters’ opposition to dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis.

“I would love to have a conversation with Roger Waters about what he’s done… if he would only speak to me. Roger Waters, call me!” Awad said, adding, “Don’t sit there in London or wherever it is. I love you Roger Waters. I admire your work. But don’t sit your ass there and tell me what to do with my Palestinianism and my Israeli-ism, OK?”

Awad, who is a popular performer in Israel, first came to prominence internationally after she represented Israel at the Eurovision Contest in 2009.

Waters, who is so viciously anti-Israel that on several occasions this has crossed over into outright anti-Semitism, has edited books with such anti-Zionists as Noam Chomsky, Ilan Pappé, Ken Loach and Angela Davis.

For his campaigns against Jews Waters has been praised by the neo-Nazi newspaper “The Daily Stormer,” as Haaretz noted last year.

American Express withdrew a $4-million sponsorship of Waters’ 2017 tour in North America following Water’s renewed antisemitism.

Previously, at a concert in Belgium in 2013 (a country where many thousands of Jews were murdered), under pig-shaped balloons emblazoned with Jewish Stars of David, Waters wore a long black leather jacket with a red-and-white arm band, which concert goers said was reminiscent of a Nazi uniform.

Item 9 here.

He supports left-wing causes, and reportedly has an estimated wealth of $270 million, and homes in both the Hamptons and New York City.

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS SLAMMED FOR FIRING PALESTINIAN CAMERAMAN AFTER HE CRITICIZED ABBAS

(I posted this on Facebook two weeks ago.)

In the latest in a long line of anti-Israel incidents by the major western news agencies, the Associated Press news agency fired one of its leading Palestinian cameraman, apparently at the request of the Palestinian Authority after he expressed support for a fellow journalist the PA had jailed. Palestinian cameraman Eyad Hamad, 63, was fired by AP after working for them for the last 20 years.

Both Fatah and Hamas have a long record of harassing journalists, although western Middle East correspondents for networks such as CNN and the BBC hardly every mention this.

 

ISRAEL NAMED WORLD’S THIRD BEST START-UP ECOSYSTEM IN NEW GLOBAL REPORT

Israel climbed from fourth to third place in the 2020 rankings for the best country in the world for start-ups. The United States and the United Kingdom lead the rankings, but of course they are much bigger countries. The world’s three leading cities are San Francisco, New York and London.

 

ISRAELI-LED TEAM UNVEILS MYSTERY OF ‘GENGHIS KHAN’ WALL

A team of researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been praised for new discoveries they made this month about the mysterious ‘Genghis Khan’ Wall, part of the Great Wall of China.

Its findings mapping the structure were published last week in the academic journal “Antiquity.” The team who have repeatedly made research trips to China but are now back in Israel because of coronavirus restrictions, revealed that the dating and purpose of the barrier were different from previously thought.

Located in the flat Mongolian steppe, the 737-kilometre-long section surveyed by the archaeologists was previously believed to have been built to defend the local population from Genghis Khan, who at the beginning of the 13th century established the Mongol Empire.

However, the Hebrew University team discovered that the construction of the wall pre-dated the period and might have not been a military installation at all. In the past, scholars thought that the wall was built to keep invading armies out.

 

ISRAELI GOVERNMENT AGREES TO LEGALIZE CANNABIS

Israel’s governing Likud and Blue and White parties have issued a joint statement declaring their intention fully to decriminalize and eventually legalize marijuana.

The process of decriminalization began in March 2017, but at the time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it must be enacted “carefully” and in stages.

“We are open to the future, but we understand the danger, and we will try to balance the two,” he said.

 

* You can also find other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia

Conversations with friends: John O’Sullivan, Margaret Thatcher’s trusted advisor

In recent coronavirus lockdown days I have been conducting some informal zoom conversations with friends of mine from around the world about their lives. -- Tom Gross


John O’Sullivan (Budapest)


https://youtu.be/TKspJwfsibg


Born to modest parents near Liverpool (his father was a ship steward, his mother a shop girl) John O’Sullivan rose to become one of Margaret Thatcher’s most trusted aides and advisors in 10 Downing Street. In this zoom conversation, he discusses Thatcher’s personality and how she developed her views, and other leading figures he met. (On one occasion John had breakfast with Thatcher in London, then flew to Washington and had dinner with President Reagan that same evening.) He and Tom Gross also discuss Donald Trump’s presidency; the future of journalism; and his lifelong love for musical theatre.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Budapest, on May 29, 2020.)


 

Other conversations in this series:


Tom Gross

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Pg-IDYJYE


As part of a series of informal conservations with friends, Paul Lewis asks Tom Gross about his own life experiences and views: growing up surrounded by cultural and literary luminaries in London and New York; Sunday brunches with Elvis Presley’s songwriter; crossing Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin with his grandmother during communism; helping the Roma when almost no one else would; Tom’s close relationship with his godmother Sonia Orwell (the model for the heroine Julia of her husband’s masterpiece ‘1984’); being in Manhattan on 9/11; the Mideast; the importance and legacy of the Holocaust; and other matters.

(Discussion by zoom on June 28, 2020.)


 

Jonathan Freedland

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_3phYh8WMU


Award-winning Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland in conversation with Tom Gross about the state of the world; the Trump presidency (and whether some of his policies might be good); Britain’s coronavirus failures; early Zionism; whether Britain can still learn from the American constitution and system of government; and as a teenager how Jonathan was a mentor to Sasha Baron Cohen before he became Ali G and Borat.


 


* There is also a separate shorter conversation: Should statues of antisemites come down?

Jonathan Freedland & Tom Gross discuss left-wing antisemitism, and English antisemitism


https://youtu.be/D8Zcppjh6Tw


Jonathan Freedland: Most British people aren’t aware that “one of Britain’s gifts to the world, which originated in England, is the blood libel” -- which led to countless Jewish deaths over many centuries of European history.

Tom Gross: Should the large statue outside the British Parliament of Richard the Lionheart (who was responsible for murder of tens of thousands of Jews) and the bust of Karl Marx (who wrote about Jewish vermin) come down?

(Answer: no they should remain. But schoolchildren should be taught at least a bit about historic English antisemitism, in addition to the wrongs, as well as rights, of the British Empire.)

(Conversation by zoom while under coronavirus lockdown on June 18, 2020)


 

The last Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff (Jerusalem)


https://youtu.be/KEaUhSYX3hI


Efraim Zuroff speaks about why he became a Nazi hunter, his pursuit of war criminals all over the world over many decades, and his efforts to make countries such as Lithuania, Latvia and Croatia admit to their own nation’s very substantial collaboration with the Nazi genocide. As the last survivors die out where does Holocaust education and memory go from here?

Why did it take Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film Schindler’s List to make Holocaust education finally become incorporated into the British education system some years later? Why did western countries and the Vatican and Red Cross help Nazi criminals escape at the end of the war? Why were so many doctors Nazis?

We also discuss the trial of Bruno Dey (charged for his part in the murder of 5,230 people at Stutthof death camp) which is continuing now in Hamburg – it is 75 years late but the German judge insisted it continue despite the coronavirus restrictions.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Jerusalem, on June 8, 2020.)


 

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Hossein Amini (London)


https://youtu.be/_llnKPTT0FE


Born in Tehran to a distinguished Iranian family (his grandfather was prime minister under the shah) Oscar-nominated screenwriter and film director Hossein Amini speaks with his friend Tom Gross about Iran before and after the Islamic revolution, his career as a filmmaker, his work with Martin Scorsese and Harvey Weinstein, his favorite films, and says that ‘it’s no accident that the MeToo movement started in tolerant Hollywood’. We also discuss racism in Britain.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in London, on May 30, 2020.)


 

David Pryce-Jones (London, Wales, Florence)


https://youtu.be/hK8kppwX7UI


Writer David Pryce-Jones discusses his childhood escape from the Nazis, his friendships with Isaac Bashevis Singer, Arthur Koestler, Stalin’s daughter Svetlana, John Gross and others; and Israel, Italy, and the New York Times.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Wales, on May 21, 2020.)

 

John O’Sullivan (Budapest)


https://youtu.be/TKspJwfsibg


Born to modest parents near Liverpool (his father was a ship steward, his mother a shop girl) John O’Sullivan rose to become one of Margaret Thatcher’s most trusted aides and advisors in 10 Downing Street. In this zoom conversation, he discusses Thatcher’s personality and how she developed her views, and other leading figures he met. (On one occasion John had breakfast with Thatcher in London, then flew to Washington and had dinner with President Reagan that same evening.) He and Tom Gross also discuss Donald Trump’s presidency; the future of journalism; and his lifelong love for musical theatre.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Budapest, on May 29, 2020.)


 

World aclaimed pianist Evgeny Kissin (Prague)


https://youtu.be/6zKvyjlvleg


Described by The Economist magazine as “the world’s most acclaimed classical pianist” Evgeny Kissin talks about being a child prodigy; his favorite concert halls and musicians; learning new repertoires and visiting Kafka’s grave during coronavirus lockdown; about Stalin’s murder of Yiddish writers, his own love for Yiddish, his support for Israel, and his political views about Russia and the West.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Prague, on May 24, 2020.)


* You can see shorter extracts from the conversation with Evgeny Kissin here: Conversations with friends: Evgeny Kissin on music, the Yiddish language, Israel and the Soviet Union


 

Rt Hon Lord (David) Young of Graffham


https://youtu.be/AzmrBuZ0OoM


Lord David Young talks about his life, his ten years in Downing Street working closely with Margaret Thatcher, his five years in Downing Street with David Cameron, and about Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, and modern multicultural Britain.

(Discussion by zoom in Graffham, Sussex, in England, while under coronavirus lockdown, on May 20, 2020.)

 

Bahra Saleh (Kirkuk, Iraq)


https://youtu.be/tQM0a9qJ1Jk


Tom Gross talks with Bahra Saleh about her life and about Kurdistan.

(Discussion by zoom in Kirkuk, Iraq, while under coronavirus lockdown, on May 20, 2020.)

 

Shmuel Bar (Herzliya)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_ekSPVLMAg

Shmuel Bar, who worked for Israel’s government for 30 years in various analytical and operational capacities, and who is a world-class expert in a variety of fields, discusses the state of America, Europe, the Mideast and the world, and what dangers may lay ahead.

(Discussion by zoom, on July 2, 2020.)


 

Orit Yasu (Shoham, near Tel Aviv)


https://youtu.be/xKihFpFrOUg


Born to recently arrived Ethiopian-Israeli parents, Orit Yasu talks with Tom Gross about growing up in Kiryat Malachi, the rescue of Ethiopian Jews by the Mossad, her participation in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting memorial while on a school trip to Colorado, on how NYC is too crowded, her trip to see her parents village Ethiopia, and why many Ethiopian-Israelis vote Likud.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown, on May 31, 2020.)

 

Charlotte Cunningham (Yorkshire / London / Luxembourg)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kva8JQ1Jgsw


Charlotte, who has established a successful arts organization in England that helps people with mental and physical disabilities, has managed to forge her own path distinct from her illustrious family background -- her grandmother was the ruling monarch of Luxembourg after whom Charlotte is named; and on the other side of her family, her grandfather was US secretary of state under a Republican, Eisenhower, and then US treasury secretary under two Democrats, Kennedy and Johnson.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in London, on June 19, 2020.)


 

Nidra Poller (Paris)


https://youtu.be/wHky3gPi0oA


Writer Nidra Poller discusses hanging out with James Baldwin and other African-American writers and musicians in 1970s Paris, the origins of the name Nidra, how her Japanese partner introduced her to Israel, and the position of women in the modern world.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Paris, on May 19, 2020.)

 

Susan Loewenthal Lourenco (Berlin)


https://youtu.be/wjS4DSh4DBw

Educator Susan Lourenco talks about being the child of refugees from Berlin, her life in four different countries and how she reconciled herself with modern Germany.

(Discussion by zoom, while under coronavirus lockdown in Berlin, on May 12, 2020.)

 

* You can also find other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia

George Floyd’s murder was appalling but the media still need to get their facts right

June 04, 2020

Poor George Floyd should be remembered respectfully. His death should not be hijacked by the extreme anti-Israel and other far leftist movements.

 

GEORGE FLOYD’S MURDER WAS APPALLING BUT THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA STILL NEED TO GET THEIR FACTS RIGHT

[Note by Tom Gross]

For those interested in this issue, below are some items and images I have posted on my public Facebook page over the past week.

The murder of George Floyd was obviously appalling, as is lingering racism in the US and elsewhere.

But I feel it is important to give some of the context of the situation, which many media are not doing.

As a Washington Post database for 2019 makes clear:

10 million police arrests in US

1004 fatal police shootings

41 were of unarmed persons

19 of these unarmed were white

9 were African American

13 other – Asian / Hispanic

(As the Wall Street Journal points out in the piece below, The Post defines ‘unarmed’ broadly to include such cases as a suspect in Newark, N.J., who had a loaded handgun in his car during a police chase.)

***

The Wall Street Journal: “A police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.

In 2018, for every black person killed by a white in America, there were 11 blacks killed by a black person.

This past weekend, 80 Chicagoans were shot in drive-by shootings, 21 fatally, the victims overwhelmingly black.”

International media have said “the four white officers arrested for Floyd’s murder”. Two of them are not white.

 



Two well-known mass killers chip in with their views on the situation…


 

IRAN’S EX-PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD TWEETS N-WORD OVER GEORGE FLOYD DEATH

Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been criticized by Twitter users after a tweet he posted on his account used the N-word in connection with the death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police. The tweet was supposedly in sympathy with Floyd but the use of the derogatory N-word was not welcome.

(When Ahmadinejad was president of Iran from 2005-2013, he regularly made hateful comments against Jews and also claimed that the Holocaust never happened, called on the world to destroy Israel and Israelis, and claimed that the 9/11 terror attacks were carried out by the US government.)

 



Apparently this is now the most pressing problem in Syria too...
(First the Assad regime bombed Idlib to bits and now it arranged this art mural)


 

THE VIDEOS NOT BEING SHOWN

Some international media outside the US are continuing to cover this story selectively in order to give the impression that the protests in the US are almost all peaceful and that all the problems are being caused by the governing authorities or the White House.

They are not reporting incidents like the one covered by the local affiliate of NBC TV in Richmond, Virginia about mobs setting a house alight when a child was sleeping inside.

Nor are they properly explaining how the voices of people genuinely and peacefully protesting against police violence or racism have often been drowned out by criminals and political agitators.

For example, video here.

Or the extraordinary video here.

Or here.

And after the looting. Manhattan today.

 

SOME OF THE RIOTERS ARE IVY LEAGUE LAWYERS WITH MOLOTOV COCKTAILS

Some of those arrested for acts of violence have been rich Ivy League lawyers hurling Molotov cocktails.

For example:

Pair of Brooklyn lawyers including Ivy League corporate attorney charged in Molotov cocktail attack on NYPD cruiser

https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-molotov-nypd-brooklyn-lawyers-charged-20200531-nxamwxnjmzgvzmczi6z2ypcbzi-story.html

 

LOOTERS DRIVING A ROLLS ROYCE

Some drove expensive cars (one of them was reportedly a Rolls-Royce) while looting, as this video shows:

https://nypost.com/2020/06/03/looters-flee-in-luxury-suvs-after-ransacking-nyc-stores-video/

 

 

AFRICAN-AMERICANS TARGETED BY THE MOBS

Middle class African-American shop-owners, and Korean and Jewish small businesses have been at the forefront of many of the attacks in recent days.

This brave African-American man who was trying to protect an African-American business in St Louis, was shot to death by looters who then filmed him live on Facebook as he lay dying ‘just for fun’

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/retired-police-captain-shot-to-death-at-st-louis-pawn-shop-in-slaying-caught-on/article_d482138c-0224-5393-bd87-9898bebb3fd1.html

Jewish-owned shops such as this Steinway piano shop above, kosher diners, and synagogues have also been targeted in Washington, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and elsewhere.

https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/kosher-stores-synagogues-vandalized-and-looted-in-ongoing-la-protests-629895

https://forward.com/news/national/447696/violent-protests-in-los-angeles-tear-through-jewish-neighborhood/

 

WHERE ARE THE MEDIA?

Many international media are critiquing President Trump’s threat to bring in the army (which I am against) but they are not informing their viewers of the extreme violence Trump was referring to when he made his comments.

Fox News’s Tucker Carlson’s tone can sometimes be grating, but those of you who only watch TV networks that claim that there has been almost no extreme violence, should watch the video footage contained a couple of minutes into this report.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=3n5_D59lSjc

(The real question is why one needs to go to Fox News to watch this stuff? Why isn’t more of it being reported on other major networks?)

(Of course, Fox cannot include the worst acts of violence against innocent people, which are too graphic to show.)

 

AFRICAN-AMERICAN ROLE MODELS

If you only watch one video in this dispatch, I suggest it is this one.

I disagree with Candace Owens on some issues (for example, on coronavirus vaccines) but on this issue, Candace Owens reflects the views of many African-Americans. Yet many media are reluctant to have her on as a guest about African-American concerns, apparently because it might spoil their narrative.

(Some of the data she gives are also in the Wall Street Journal article below, citing a Washington Post study.)

This video was watched on Facebook about 15 million times in the first 12 hours after it was posted last night:

https://www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia/posts/2979197342117765

I hope Mark Zuckerberg will not be intimidated by the campaign that The Guardian and other newspapers are currently running against Facebook and against Zuckerberg personally, to force Facebook to remove views and facts that The Guardian and NY Times do not like.

(One of my Facebook posts was censored by Facebook last month and Facebook threatened to take down my entire page. There was nothing inaccurate in my censored post whatsoever, which included a balanced note by me and a perfectly fair article from the Jerusalem Post.)

 

Even in London, journalists have been attacked. Video here:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-04/australian-journalists-assaulted-covering-london-protest-floyd/12319604

 

“A HANDY NARRATIVE TO DEFLECT RESPONSIBILITY”

I attach two articles below.

In the first, Gerard Baker writing in today’s Times (of London) says:

“For all the simplistic narrative that portrays every encounter between a black man and a white police officer as a clash between good and evil, the reality of urban policing is much more complex. The principal function in practice of police forces in these cities is, sadly, to try to stop black people from killing each other. In 2018, for every black person killed by a white in America, there were 11 blacks killed by a black person.

“It is not racist to point this out. It may well indeed primarily reflect the vast inequalities that entrap African-Americans: of income and wealth, education and opportunity, and of the prejudice that supports it. It may also owe in part to social pathologies that afflict black communities in particular, the sort that Barack Obama identified when running for president in 2008: ‘Too many fathers are MIA, too many fathers are Awol, missing from too many lives and too many homes . . . they have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men.’

“Of course, larger American society has a role in preserving the inequalities that persist and it has an obligation to help fix them. But for the realities of their daily economic life and security, African-Americans have lived largely under Democratic politicians who have happily taken their votes come election time, and then blame police officers, Republicans, the White House and history for their own tragic failures.”

 

“A POLICE OFFICER IS 18½ TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE KILLED BY A BLACK MALE THAN AN UNARMED BLACK MALE IS TO BE KILLED BY A POLICE OFFICER”

In the second piece below, Heather MacDonald in The Wall Street Journal, points out that:

“The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database, down from 38 and 32, respectively, in 2015. The Post defines ‘unarmed’ broadly to include such cases as a suspect in Newark, N.J., who had a loaded handgun in his car during a police chase. In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.

“On Memorial Day weekend in Chicago alone, 10 African-Americans were killed in drive-by shootings. Such routine violence has continued—a 72-year-old Chicago man shot in the face on May 29 by a gunman who fired about a dozen shots into a residence; two 19-year-old women on the South Side shot to death as they sat in a parked car a few hours earlier; a 16-year-old boy fatally stabbed with his own knife that same day. This past weekend, 80 Chicagoans were shot in drive-by shootings, 21 fatally, the victims overwhelmingly black. Police shootings are not the reason that blacks die of homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined; criminal violence is.

“The latest in a series of studies undercutting the claim of systemic police bias was published in August 2019 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers found that the more frequently officers encounter violent suspects from any given racial group, the greater the chance that a member of that group will be fatally shot by a police officer. There is ‘no significant evidence of antiblack disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by police,’ they concluded.

“A 2015 Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found that white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects. Research by Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. also found no evidence of racial discrimination in shootings. Any evidence to the contrary fails to take into account crime rates and civilian behavior before and during interactions with police.”


ARTICLES

DEMOCRATS FAIL BLACK VOTERS AND BLAME OTHERS

Democrats fail black voters and blame others
The mayors of cities such as Minneapolis have had the time to correct the vast inequalities faced by African-Americans
By Gerard Baker
The Times (of London)
Wednesday June 4, 2020

George Floyd. Eric Garner. Freddie Gray. Rodney King. The baleful list of the names of black men killed or brutalised by police in America is long and too familiar. So too the list of cities where these and other acts occurred, cities now engulfed in protest and mayhem: Minneapolis. New York. Baltimore. Los Angeles.

These places have something else in common. Every one of them is controlled by the Democratic Party. Not just recently, or narrowly, or tenuously. Like almost all big cities in America where most instances of racial tension have occurred of late, they are citadels of one-party rule.

Minneapolis, where Mr Floyd was killed, has had a Democratic mayor for the past 42 years. There hasn’t been a single Republican elected to the city council there in the 21st century. The last time a Republican was mayor of Baltimore, Lyndon Johnson was president. Fourteen of the fifteen members of the Los Angeles city council are Democrats. The other is an independent. In New York City at the last council elections in 2017, Republicans celebrated inroads into the Democratic majority — they won four seats against the Democrats’ 47.

In America, states and cities have a large measure of autonomy. These are not the local councils of England and Wales. They have extensive revenue-raising powers through a range of taxes: property, business, sales and, in some cities, personal income tax. Directly elected mayors, in concert with councils, control vast budgets with authority in most municipalities over housing, education, urban development, fire and, of course, the police.

Police chiefs are in most cases appointed directly by the mayor and are supervised by and accountable to him or her. For decades these Democratic cities have had, in other words, near complete responsibility for the staffing, policies and performance of their police forces. If the mayor of Minneapolis and the city council that aligns with him had chosen, they could have transformed the police department. If they were alarmed about systemic abuse by police, about racist attitudes and behaviour, they’ve had more than 40 years to put them right. They could have replaced the entire force with black officers if they’d wanted to.

And yet, in the safe hands of a party that protests its absolute support for eradicating inequality and protecting minorities, we still get cases like that of Mr Floyd and the others. How can this be?

In part, it’s because Democratic politicians know that, whatever the shortcomings of their policies, they have a handy narrative to deflect responsibility. It’s always easy to blame racist white cops, ‘systemic racism’ in the nation, the legacy of slavery and generations of inequality. They know that a complaisant media will, as it has done with particular alacrity in the past week, buy into and promote the idea that when a black man is killed by a police officer it’s nothing to do with the authorities who appointed, trained and now regulate that police officer, but somehow the fault of Republicans in Washington, or some nebulous threat of white supremacy.

Perhaps, in fairness to these municipal kingpins, it’s also that the situation with urban police forces in the US is not quite as unremittingly racist as protesters, the media and Democratic politicians would have us believe. The picture painted in the past week of a daily reality for black men in which they cannot walk out their front door without fear of being murdered by a white police officer is grotesque.

According to the latest data from the justice department, blacks accounted for about a quarter of all those killed by police in the past three years; whites were slightly more than half. Blacks of course represent a smaller proportion of the US population — about 13 per cent, so those black fatalities do indeed represent a significantly disproportionate number of deaths by law enforcement.

But this is misleading. The relevant statistic when considering what happens to people at the hands of the police is not total population but the numbers of people who come into contact with police. In short, a better measure is the relationship between those who commit recorded violent crimes and those who are killed by police. According to the FBI, almost 39 per cent of murders and 54 per cent of robberies in the US are committed by African-Americans.

For all the simplistic narrative that portrays every encounter between a black man and a white police officer as a clash between good and evil, the reality of urban policing is much more complex. The principal function in practice of police forces in these cities is, sadly, to try to stop black people from killing each other. In 2018, for every black person killed by a white in America, there were 11 blacks killed by a black person.

It is not racist to point this out. It may well indeed primarily reflect the vast inequalities that entrap African-Americans: of income and wealth, education and opportunity, and of the prejudice that supports it. It may also owe in part to social pathologies that afflict black communities in particular, the sort that Barack Obama identified when running for president in 2008: ‘Too many fathers are MIA, too many fathers are Awol, missing from too many lives and too many homes . . . they have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men.’

Of course, larger American society has a role in preserving the inequalities that persist and it has an obligation to help fix them. But for the realities of their daily economic life and security, African-Americans have lived largely under Democratic politicians who have happily taken their votes come election time, and then blame police officers, Republicans, the White House and history for their own tragic failures.

 

THE MYTH OF SYSTEMIC POLICE RACISM

The Myth of Systemic Police Racism
Hold officers accountable who use excessive force. But there’s no evidence of widespread racial bias.
By Heather Mac Donald
Wall Street Journal
June 3, 2020

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-myth-of-systemic-police-racism-11591119883

George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis has revived the Obama-era narrative that law enforcement is endemically racist. On Friday, Barack Obama tweeted that for millions of black Americans, being treated differently by the criminal justice system on account of race is ‘tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal.’ ‘ Mr. Obama called on the police and the public to create a ‘new normal,’ in which bigotry no longer ‘infects our institutions and our hearts.’

Joe Biden released a video the same day in which he asserted that all African-Americans fear for their safety from ‘bad police’ and black children must be instructed to tolerate police abuse just so they can ‘make it home.’ That echoed a claim Mr. Obama made after the ambush murder of five Dallas officers in July 2016. During their memorial service, the president said African-American parents were right to fear that their children may be killed by police officers whenever they go outside.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz denounced the ‘stain . . . of fundamental, institutional racism’ on law enforcement during a Friday press conference. He claimed blacks were right to dismiss promises of police reform as empty verbiage.

This charge of systemic police bias was wrong during the Obama years and remains so today. However sickening the video of Floyd’s arrest, it isn’t representative of the 375 million annual contacts that police officers have with civilians. A solid body of evidence finds no structural bias in the criminal-justice system with regard to arrests, prosecution or sentencing. Crime and suspect behavior, not race, determine most police actions.

In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous. African-Americans were about a quarter of those killed by cops last year (235), a ratio that has remained stable since 2015. That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter armed and violent suspects. In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population.

The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database, down from 38 and 32, respectively, in 2015. The Post defines ‘unarmed’ broadly to include such cases as a suspect in Newark, N.J., who had a loaded handgun in his car during a police chase. In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.

On Memorial Day weekend in Chicago alone, 10 African-Americans were killed in drive-by shootings. Such routine violence has continued—a 72-year-old Chicago man shot in the face on May 29 by a gunman who fired about a dozen shots into a residence; two 19-year-old women on the South Side shot to death as they sat in a parked car a few hours earlier; a 16-year-old boy fatally stabbed with his own knife that same day. This past weekend, 80 Chicagoans were shot in drive-by shootings, 21 fatally, the victims overwhelmingly black. Police shootings are not the reason that blacks die of homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined; criminal violence is.

The latest in a series of studies undercutting the claim of systemic police bias was published in August 2019 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers found that the more frequently officers encounter violent suspects from any given racial group, the greater the chance that a member of that group will be fatally shot by a police officer. There is ‘no significant evidence of antiblack disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by police,’ they concluded.

A 2015 Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found that white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects. Research by Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. also found no evidence of racial discrimination in shootings. Any evidence to the contrary fails to take into account crime rates and civilian behavior before and during interactions with police.

The false narrative of systemic police bias resulted in targeted killings of officers during the Obama presidency. The pattern may be repeating itself. Officers are being assaulted and shot at while they try to arrest gun suspects or respond to the growing riots. Police precincts and courthouses have been destroyed with impunity, which will encourage more civilization-destroying violence. If the Ferguson effect of officers backing off law enforcement in minority neighborhoods is reborn as the Minneapolis effect, the thousands of law-abiding African-Americans who depend on the police for basic safety will once again be the victims.

The Minneapolis officers who arrested George Floyd must be held accountable for their excessive use of force and callous indifference to his distress. Police training needs to double down on de-escalation tactics. But Floyd’s death should not undermine the legitimacy of American law enforcement, without which we will continue on a path toward chaos.

 

* You can also find other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia