Archive for November 11, 2017

Roy Moore: Allegations about 14-year-old girl ‘completely false and misleading’

November 11, 2017

Roy Moore: Allegations about 14-year-old girl ‘completely false and misleading’, Washington ExaminerAl Weaver, November 10, 2017

He also said he suspected that the story was written to take down his campaign.

“Why would women say these things if they are not true?” he said. “I can’t fully answer that because as much as I have disagreed vehemently on political issues with many people over the years, I cannot understand the mentality of using such a dangerous lie to try to personally destroy someone.”

“This woman has waited over 40 years to bring the complaint four weeks out of an election. It’s obvious to the casual observer that something’s up,” he told Hannity.

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Judge Roy Moore defended himself Friday by saying accusations that he sexually assaulted a teenager more than 30 years ago are “politically motivated,” and that he never had any interaction with the woman who accused him of sexual misconduct when she was 14.

“These are allegations are completely false and misleading,” Moore told Sean Hannity on his radio show.

He went further by saying he agrees that anyone who abuses a 14-year-old girl should not run for the Senate, and said he is not guilty of any such activities.

“Nobody that abuses a 14-year-old at age 32 or age 17, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “If you abuse a 14-year-old, you shouldn’t be a Senate candidate, I agree with that. But I did not do that.”

Leigh Corfman is the 14-year-old who accused Moore of wrongdoing, but Moore said he didn’t know her at all.

“I don’t know Ms. Corfman from anybody,” he said. “I’ve never talked to her. Never had any contact with her. Allegations of sexual misconduct are completely false. I believe they are politically motivated. I believe they are brought only to stop a very successful campaign and that’s what they’re doing. I have never known this woman or anything.”

Moore did say he recognized two of the other women who have come forward: Debbie Wesson and Gloria Thacker. He said he dated “a lot of young ladies” after ending his stint in the military, and couldn’t rule out that he may have dated some women in their teens, even though he said he didn’t “generally” date women that young.

He also said he would not have given wine or alcohol to underage women because he lived in a “dry county,” and said he doesn’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother.

Moore repeated his denials in a written statement released Friday.

“I have never provided alcohol to minors, and I have never engaged in sexual misconduct,” he said. “As a father of a daughter and a grandfather of five granddaughters, I condemn the actions of any man who engages in sexual misconduct not just against minors but against any woman.”

He also said he suspected that the story was written to take down his campaign.

“Why would women say these things if they are not true?” he said. “I can’t fully answer that because as much as I have disagreed vehemently on political issues with many people over the years, I cannot understand the mentality of using such a dangerous lie to try to personally destroy someone.”

“This woman has waited over 40 years to bring the complaint four weeks out of an election. It’s obvious to the casual observer that something’s up,” he told Hannity.

Moore also asserted that his campaign has gathered some “evidence of some collusion,” but is not ready to releases it to the public yet. He didn’t say what that evidence might show. “This is a completely manufactured story meant to distract this campaign,” he continued.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that he initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old when he was 32. Since then, several Republican senators have said Moore should drop out from the race if the report is true, such as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and some have said he should drop out regardless of what happened.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, one of the five GOP senators to endorse him, asked for Moore to remove his image from a fundraising ad he was running. Along with him, other key supporters have also called for him to exit the race if the report is true, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R- Texas, and Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.

Moore is running against Democrat Doug Jones to fill the remainder of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ seat. Moore defeated Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., in the primary runoff to take on Jones back in September.

Kristallnacht, and Our Modern-Day Approach to Antisemitism

November 11, 2017

Kristallnacht, and Our Modern-Day Approach to Antisemitism, AlgemeinerVladimir Sloutsker, November 10, 2017

(Please see also, Family History by our own Anne in PT. She focuses on the Kristallnacht and later experiences of members of her family who were living in Germany. Here is a short video documentary on Kristallnacht:

— DM)

A store damaged during Kristallnacht. Photo: German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons.

Kristallnacht is another important reminder that the Holocaust did not begin with the death camps; that’s where it ended. Rather, it began with words, the singling out of one group of people and far too many in society looking the other way in the face of such hatred. Nobody is born to hate; they learn to hate.

Third, we must recognise that oppression is not a uniquely Jewish problem, and that what starts with the Jews, seldom ever ends with the Jews. When we consider the predicament of other minorities, racial or religious, hatred and bigotry is rarely far behind. The Jewish community should consider itself a partner in a wider struggle, and cooperate with other faith groups in the battle for their right to exist peacefully.

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Seventy-nine years ago, Nazis across Germany and Austria razed synagogues, smashed windows and murdered almost 100 innocent Jews in a violent pogrom. Kristallnacht — or the “Night of Broken Glass” — is so named to describe the shattered glass that littered the streets the next morning. In the weeks that followed, approximately 30,000 Jews were transported to concentration camps — a sorrow foreshadowing of what would soon ensue.

On Kristallnacht’s 79th anniversary, I am compelled to address the rising tide of antisemitism sweeping Europe, reaching levels not seen since the end of the darkest chapter in Europe’s history.

In the first half of 2017, some 767 antisemitic attacks were recorded in the UK alone. This represents the highest figure since monitoring began in 1984 — and, staggeringly, was a 30 percent increase from 2016. In the meantime, violent assaults on Jews this year have risen 78 percent compared with the same period in 2016.

The above figures are broadly replicated in other major Jewish communities throughout Europe, including France and Germany. Even in the U.S., according to a recent survey by the ADL, there has been a significant spike in antisemitism across the country.

Kristallnacht is considered by many to represent the transition from the harassment of Jewish communities to outright violence against them.

Seventy-nine years later, many Jews across Europe are once again singled out because of their race — with Jewish property, institutions and even cemeteries, coming under assault.

Clearly, a new way to combat this tide of hatred is required.

Until now, the international community has focused attentions on ‘minimizing’ the problem. This is inherently problematic; it enables us to label a reduction in antisemitism as a ‘success.’ What is needed is the eradication of antisemitism completely. To achieve this, we must be more proactive, smarter and more creative.

As I have said before, I believe that there are five key areas of focus for which all global citizens, not just the Jewish community, should pursue.

First, we must adopt a universal definition of antisemitism in Europe. The Israeli Jewish Congress (IJC) — an organization I co-founded to support Jewish communities —  has advocated for this for some time. Defining the problem is the first step to eradicating it.

In this regard, I commend European countries, including the UK, Germany, Austria, Romania and Bulgaria, for adopting the all-encompassing International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. This definition accepts that the delegitimization of Israel and attacks on Zionism can also manifest as antisemitism. If we cannot define what we are trying to defeat, how can we defeat it? Therefore, I would call on all IHRA Member States to adopt this definition of antisemitism.

The second necessity is that we promote the value of education in understanding the scale of the problem. This program should not solely focus on the history of antisemitism, bigotry and the Holocaust; we should also touch on the vital contribution of Jewish people and texts to the wider cultural and economic prosperity of Europe.

Kristallnacht is another important reminder that the Holocaust did not begin with the death camps; that’s where it ended. Rather, it began with words, the singling out of one group of people and far too many in society looking the other way in the face of such hatred. Nobody is born to hate; they learn to hate.

Third, we must recognise that oppression is not a uniquely Jewish problem, and that what starts with the Jews, seldom ever ends with the Jews. When we consider the predicament of other minorities, racial or religious, hatred and bigotry is rarely far behind. The Jewish community should consider itself a partner in a wider struggle, and cooperate with other faith groups in the battle for their right to exist peacefully.

Fourth, recognizing that antisemitism and online hatred represents a major challenge today, we need to develop communications strategies that are fit for the digital age. Whilst social media channels are used as platforms for inciting racial hatred against the Jewish community, these platforms can also be used to reach new audiences — and encourage them to be advocates. We must develop engaging and comprehensive strategies to use these tools effectively.

Fifth, we need to energize the global debate on the roles and responsibilities of large technology firms to prevent the sharing of hateful commentary. We can utilize the pre-existing legal frameworks across Europe, as well as supporting modernization efforts to ensure that legislation is fit for the digital age. But the internet knows no state borders, and so our work with technology firms must be conducted at the international level.

In a landmark address before the European Parliament last year, former UK chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, described antisemitism as a “mutating virus.” Containment is not enough. It is high time we find an antidote.

Kristallnacht was a murderous example of the capacity of humans to escalate from harassment to violence. Yet the EU was built on a foundation of tolerance and openness. For this reason, it is the responsibility of European governments — and European people — to reconcile this foundation of tolerance with an unequivocal commitment to eradicating harassment and violent antisemitic racism at its source.

Vladimir Sloutsker is the president and co-founder of the Israeli Jewish Congress (IJC).