Hijacking Anne Frank’s Name for Publicity

In the past few weeks, Steven Goldstein, the executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, has been appearing on television news shows to accuse the Trump administration of willfully ignoring anti-Semitism and, most recently, of Holocaust denial. Goldstein’s title creates the impression that he is an authority on anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, but nothing in his background implies any such thing. Even the claim on the center’s website that Otto Frank (Anne’s father) participated in its founding is doubtful. Emma Green writes:

The Jewish world is full of organizations that advocate against anti-Semitism and discrimination, including groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee. Unlike the Anne Frank Center, these organizations have years of experience, dozens of offices, and sizeable grassroots support. They also have clear frameworks for defining and combating anti-Semitism. . . . The Anne Frank Center has reliably been willing to criticize the Trump administration in more aggressive and hyperbolic terms than any of these well-established groups, and media outlets have credulously rewarded it with extensive coverage.

The center . . . recently got a new board chair, a private-wealth manager named Peter Rapaport, and he brought on Goldstein, who has a background in political organizing. It shuttered its small museum and disbanded its board of advisers composed of Holocaust experts. All of the staffers who were working there when Goldstein arrived have left. . . .

Rapaport said [in an interview that] teaching about the Holocaust is “a valuable thing, but that’s not what we do. . . . We teach about the thing that we think will prevent future Holocausts. . . . It isn’t our focus to be pro-Jewish or to be just a Holocaust-education [organization]. We want to use the knowledge of the Holocaust and go further.” . . .

In other words, this is a tiny organization in the process of reinventing itself. The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect and Understanding may not be a Holocaust organization, a Jewish organization, or one founded by Anne Frank’s father. It may not have leaders with a scholarly background, a mass membership, or institutional standing among Jewish groups and Holocaust museums. But because it talks a big game and wields the name of Anne Frank, the media have awarded it authority it never earned.

Read more at Atlantic

More about: Anne Frank, Anti-Semitism, Donald Trump, Holocaust, Media, Politics & Current Affairs

As Hamas’s Power Collapses, Old Feuds Are Resurfacing

In May, Mahmoud Nashabat, a high-ranking military figure in the Fatah party (which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority), was gunned down in central Gaza. Nashabat was an officer in the Gaza wing of the Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a terrorist outfit that served as Fatah’s vanguard during the second intifada, and now sometimes collaborates with Hamas. But his killers were Hamas members, and he was one of at least 35 Palestinians murdered in Gaza in the past two months as various terrorist and criminal groups go about settling old scores, some of which date back to the 1980s. Einav Halabi writes:

Security sources familiar with the situation told the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Gaza is now also beleaguered by the resurgence of old conflicts. “Many people have been killed in incidents related to the first intifada in 1987, while others have died in family disputes,” they said.

The “first-intifada portfolio” in Gaza is considered complex and convoluted, as it is filled with hatred among residents who accuse others of killing relatives for various reasons, including collaboration with Israel. . . . According to reports from Gaza, there are vigorous efforts on the ground to contain these developments, but the chances of success remain unclear. Hamas, for its part, is trying to project governance and control, recently releasing several videos showcasing how its operatives brutally beat residents accused of looting.

These incidents, gruesome as they are, suggest that Hamas’s control over the territory is slipping, and it no longer holds a monopoly on violence or commands the fear necessary to keep the population in line. The murders and beatings also dimension the grim reality that would ensue if the war ends precipitously: a re-empowered Hamas setting about getting vengeance on its enemies and reimposing its reign of terror.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Fatah, Gaza War 2023, Hamas