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Behind the Aegis

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Virtual memorial plaques projected on gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Virtual memorial plaques are projected on the gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau for Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 20, 2020. (Marcin Kozlowski/March of the Living)

Virtual memorial plaques were projected on to the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gates at Auschwitz-Birkenau in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

More than 10,000 of the plaques were uploaded to the March of the Living online platform, NeverMeansNever, replacing the march’s tradition of placing messages on plaques on the former concentration camp’s train tracks. The plaques illuminated the gates on Monday night, the start of Yom Hashoah.

Among the international Jewish figures who contributed plaques were Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Mayim Bialik, Natan Sharansky, ambassadors Ron Dermer and David Friedman, Isaac Herzog and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom.

Some 10,000 people from 60 countries had been scheduled to participate in March of the Living at Auschwitz-Birkenau on Yom Hashoah before it was canceled due to the coronavirus crisis.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Apr 21, 2020, 04:03 PM (2 replies)

Minnesota high school students mock Jews being sent to Auschwitz in TikTok video

Two Minnesota high school students were criticized for sharing a video titled “Me and the boys on the way to camp,” which photoshops them dancing in a Nazi boxcar and happily skipping into Auschwitz, on the video social media platform TikTok.

The video contains humorous music whose lyrics include “Tell everybody I’m on my way.”

In response, the two boys shown in the video — posted by a high school student from Nicollet High School in Nicollet, Minnesota — were assigned a research paper titled “Hitler’s Final Solution at Auschwitz.”

Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, said in a statement that he is “ increasingly concerned about a grave empathy deficit, which enables students and others to weaponize their knowledge about the Holocaust to insult the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, and further traumatize Jews at a time when we are experiencing a demonstrative increase in anti-Semitism.”


They will write a research paper on Auschwitz as punishment. Yeah, that'll do it. For fuck's sake, just register them as republicans and give them a tiki torch and MAGA hat!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Apr 20, 2020, 05:13 AM (19 replies)

COVID-19: Rights experts highlight LGBTI discrimination, antisemitism

“LGBTI people are among the most vulnerable and marginalised in many societies, and among those most at risk from COVID-19”, said Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

For LGBTI people, home may not be a safe place to be. Given #StayAtHome restrictions and lockdown measures, we need to make sure they have access to shelter and support during this #COVID19 crisis.#StandUp4HumanRights🙌 @free_equal
— Michelle Bachelet (@mbachelet) April 17, 2020
“In countries where same-sex relations are criminalised or trans people targeted, they might not even seek treatment for fear of arrest or being subjected to violence.”


Blaming and targeting LGBTI people

The two-page guidance lists other ways LGBTI people may be particularly vulnerable during the pandemic.

Examples of health care discrimination based on sexual orientation, or on gender identity or expression, have been extensively documented in many countries, which can increase COVID-19 risk for LGBTI people.

There have also been “scattered reports” about LGBTI people being blamed for the disease, while police in some countries have used COVID-19 directives to attack and target LGBTI organizations.

With lockdowns and other stay-at-home restrictions in place, many LGBTI youth are now confined in hostile environments with unsupportive family members, putting them at risk of violence or increasing their anxiety or depression.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Apr 18, 2020, 04:37 PM (3 replies)

COVID-19's Bigotry Epicenters: Asian And Jewish Americans

With COVID-19 likely originating in Wuhan China, the virus’ first epicenter, a considerable amount of global animus has been directed toward China. The Chinese regime has been blamed for providing a fertile breeding ground for this pandemic through its failure to regulate wet markets and its support of rampant wild animal farming and trade primarily for Chinese traditional medicines.

As the coronavirus spread outside of China and became a pandemic, the Chinese regime has been accused of hiding the true extent of the threat with the rest of the world, lying about essential health data, and blaming the United States for the outbreak. As Julia DeCook recently noted in her informative CARR post exploring coronavirus and the radical right, others have gone as far as claiming that the COVID-19 was a biological weapon created by the Chinese government. As a consequence, animus toward China has inevitably spread to Chinese-Americans, and more broadly, to Asian Americans as a whole.

Conspiracy theories regarding COVID-19 have been increasing exponentially along with the disease’s infection and fatality rates, and many are no longer aimed at China’s alleged role in the pandemic. A growing number of conspiracies have targeted Jews and Israel, not only underscoring the broader empirical link connecting general conspiracy and anti-Semitism but highlighting that the coronavirus offers a unique opportunity for the radical right to spread anti-Semitic hate.

While the media has documented spikes in reported discrimination and hate crime targeting Asian Americans across the United States, reports of increased anti-Semitism have come almost exclusively from organizations with missions to document anti-Jewish prejudice (e.g., the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)). Furthermore, contemporary accounts of coronavirus-related anti-Semitism have been primarily limited to the online spread of bigotry and misinformation. Thankfully, there has not been reporting of coronavirus-motivated anti-Semitic physical assaults and vandalism.

Assessing contemporary COVID-19 related bigotry leads to several significant questions for scholars and practitioners alike. I will attempt to answer two in this post. First, what is the immediate effect that the coronavirus is having on anti-Asian and anti-Semitic behavior in the United States, and why will it be different for each group? Second, after the pandemic has ended, what will be the long-term impacts of hate targeting these minorities?

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Apr 16, 2020, 04:13 PM (0 replies)
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