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Thousands of Iranians Seek Asylum – in Israel!

By United With Israel
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem said Wednesday it has seen a huge increase in the number of Iranians asking Israel for help as that country suffers from the brutal regime and the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. "Thousands of people are asking to come to Israel for medical assistance or to emigrate," Yiftah Curiel, head of Digital Diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry, told the Jerusalem Post. "There are lots of Iranians in Iran and in the diaspora who support Israel, reject the regime and want to see a different future between the two countries," Curiel said. Iranians have been contacting Israel by email and private messages sent to the ministry's Persian-language social media accounts, or by posting open messages on social media, but using false names to avoid being arrested by the authorities who ban any contact with Israel. Many of the messages are serious requests from Iranians seeing asylum in Israel. "Sometimes they are from people who have been forced to flee and are refugees in other countries, or people who had to flee after expressing solidarity with Israel," Curiel said. One message from a 31-year-old Iranian told the ministry, "I escaped Iran because of the corrupt regime. I asked for asylum in Turkey, and my wife and 4-year-old daughter and I are in unlivable conditions; there is no one who can help. We have been abandoned and our lives are in danger." A message from a man claiming to be a Jewish soldier in the Iranian army said being Jewish was a "political and religious crime, I have to flee Iran. Please direct me how to receive asylum in Israel? Please answer me. My life is in danger and I cannot stay in Iran." The ministry's Persian social media program is run by Sharona Avginsaz, who made aliyah from Iran in 1988. Its Twitter account has 220,000 followers and there are almost half a million on Instagram. Most Iranians "see Israel as a modern, progressive, democratic country, and that is one of the reasons for this wave of messages to our pages," Avginsaz said, adding that Iranians these days are more aware because of the internet and those who contact her know that Iran's anti-Israel propaganda is a lie. The number of requests has overwhelmed her department's ability to answer each message.

Netanyahu to Iran: Those who Threaten Israel will be Destroyed

By the Jerusalem Post

Anyone who threatens Israel will himself be threatened, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khaminei via Twitter on Wednesday. "Khamenei's threats to carry out `The Final Solution' against Israel bring to mind the Nazi `Final Solution' plan to annihilate the Jewish People," Netanyahu said. "He should know that any regime that threatens the destruction of the State of Israel faces a similar danger." Netanyahu's tweet came in response to one from Khamenei, featuring a poster that reads: "Palestine will be free. The final solution. Resistance is referendum." Khamenei displayed the anti-Semitic poster in English, Farsi and Arabic on his official homepage. The picture shows a conquered Jerusalem with photos of the late Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani. Intelligence Services Minister Eli Cohen slammed Khamenei saying that his "boasting" is meant to "distract the Iranian people from the troubles they are in." According to Cohen, the Iranian leader "knows full well that an attempt to carry out a 'Final Solution' will mean a deadly blow for Iran." The poster was released from Khamenei's office to celebrate Quds Day, the annual Iranian regime rally calling for Israel's destruction. Khamenei also tweeted a screed against Israel, writing that "the Zionist regime was built based on oppression, lies, deception, bloodshed, massacre and trampling human rights" and compared "the Zionists" to "a cancerous tumor...massacring children, women and men." The Iranian leader called for Muslims around the world to unite against Israel and President Donald Trump's peace plan, which he called "satanic." He called for Palestinians to be armed. "The only thing that can reduce the Palestinians' hardships is the hand of power. Otherwise, compromise won't reduce a bit the cruelty of this usurping, evil, wolf-like entity," he wrote. Khamenei also accused Gulf States, and Saudi Arabia specifically, of committing "the biggest treachery" by reaching out to Israel. "The Zionist regime has proven it won't abide by any treaty & understands no logic except force," Khamenei said on Twitter late Wednesday. "The nature of the Zionist regime is incompatible with peace, because the Zionists seek to expand their territories & will certainly not be limited to what they have already occupied," he added. "Eliminating the Zionist regime doesn't mean eliminating Jews," Khamenei continued. We aren't against Jews. It means abolishing the imposed regime and Muslim, Christian and Jewish Palestinians choose their own govt & expel thugs like Netanyahu," he said. "This is 'Eliminating Israel' & it will happen." US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to Khamenei on Twitter, saying that "the United States condemns Supreme Leader Khamenei's disgusting and hateful anti-Semitic remarks. They have no place on Twitter or on any other social media platform. We know Khamenei's vile rhetoric does not represent the Iranian people's tradition of tolerance."

When Hitler Stayed at my Place

By Israel Hayom
Elisabeth Popps (later on Grünbauer) was eight years old when two young men from Vienna rented a room in their parents' flat in Munich in May 1913. Almost a year before the first World War, the two hoped to begin a new life in the German Reich, which they had great expectations for - as opposed to the Austro-Hungarian empire where they came from. Elisabeth remembered that one of them was very clean, neat, and pleasant and liked to read books well into the night, and even though he hardly had any money he always turned down an invitation to a meal. When his roommate decided to leave because he couldn't sleep while his friend kept reading books that he borrowed from the city library, Elisabeth's father decided to let the orderly and curious Austrian stay with the family without raising the rent. The young tenant - who stayed with the Popps family until he was allowed to join the German army after the war broke out - did not forget this gesture. The name of that young man was Adolf Hitler, and when he later became the leader of Nazi Germany and Elisabeth's father passed away, he gave a generous monthly allowance to the Popps family from the publishing house that published his best-selling book Mein Kampf. Elisabeth passed away in 1999 at the age of 94. Five years before that, she managed to document her memories from those days in a conversation with Karl Hoeffkes, a writer and publisher. Hoeffkes had close ties to nationalist Germans then, and conducted hundreds of interviews with people who were in personal contact with Hitler. Last, the collection of interviews made its way to the German historian Thomas Weber, an expert in the early days of Hitler. Elisabeth's story immediately intrigued him. "You don't know what you have in your hands here," he said excitedly, "this is a historic treasure." Weber, who teaches at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, found in Elisabeth's story content of political discussions that Hitler held with her father, a successful tailor with a shop of his own. In these conversations, Hitler displayed his absolute hostility towards Austria and his desire to serve in the German army. "He constantly complained that Austria is ruled by the side that doesn't suit him," Elisabeth told Hoeffkes, "and that he did not want to serve in the military in Austria because Austria was too swamped with Jews [verjudet]. That was one of his recurring themes that Vienna and Austria were so 'verjudet' that he had left the country and was unwilling to fight in the war for Austria. He repeated that. He used to come often to my father's shop, the arguments would last for hours and it wasn't always pleasant for father, he had to work. Hitler's anti-Semitism wasn't obvious. But in conversations with my father you could feel it when he said that the Jews exploit people." "That interview is very important, since it gives information on the source of Hitler's anti-Semitism and its roots," Weber tells Israel Hayom. "In recent years, the belief was that his anti-Semitism only appeared after the First World War, and here we have evidence that he had such ideas before the war. That doesn't mean the war didn't fuel the anti-Semitism that we know of and led to the murder of the Jewish people, but it seems that after the war it mutated into genocidal anti-Semitism. "Still, a mutation can only take place in something that already exists. This revelation is important for understanding how Hitler in 1919 became the anti-Semite we know. In his politicization and radicalization after the war he searches for reasons for the German defeat and offers insights into what can turn Germany into a strong empire that will last forever. The antisemitism in its radical form convinced him and gave him an explanation for Germany's weaknesses. It's important to understand why he decided to choose that explanation and not another." Hitler moved to Vienna in 1907 after his mother died of cancer. He was 18 and hoped to develop a career as a painter but found himself living in a shelter for homeless men. In early 20th century Vienna there was a vibrant and influential Jewish community living alongside a society that combined ideas of religious Catholic anti-Semitism with "new" racist anti-Semitism. Someone who was believed to be one of Hitler's ideological fathers was the mayor of Vienna, Karl Lueger, who used these public moods for political needs. "For the past 20 years most researchers believed that Hitler was aware of the anti-Semitic claims popular then in Vienna," Weber says "without adopting them and agreeing with them. There is research showing Hitler had Jewish friends in those years, Jews who helped him. They estimated that he was exposed in Vienna to Lueger's anti-Semitic ideas and to politicians who supported the ideas of a greater Germany - Georg von Schönerer and Karl Hermann Wolf - but did not identify with them. Elisabeth's story shows for the first time that Hitler politically identified with anti-Semitic ideas when he came from Austria to Germany. It wasn't the 'social' anti-Semitism that was acceptable then in Germany and the U.S., it had a political element." In that case, what made Hitler become anti-Semitic? His adoption of anti-Semitism happened, apparently, the year before he came to Munich, in 1912. This year in the biography of the man who would later become the Fuhrer of the Nazi Reich is shrouded in mystery. In fact, it doesn't even exist. Hitler says he moved to Munich in 1912. Popps-Grünbauer's story refutes this lie. During the years when he was building a political career in Germany, he avoided, even with the people closest to him, to talk about his final years in Vienna, especially about the "missing year" in his life story. "I don't know what happened then, I can only theorize," Weber says. "We know only that the year is missing, that Hitler lied about it systematically. Another thing we know for sure is that all the claims about connections Hitler had with Jews were from his first years in Vienna and not the end of that period. The only sources that give information about this period are questionable. It is a Nazi source and an anonymous article in a Czech newspaper. "In the early 1920s there was speculation about what happened in that time, both in Hitler's circles and also amongst his rivals, and that he experienced some sort of traumatic event. Some claimed this experience led him to anti-Semitism and that Jews had something to do with it. The problem is that we don't know for sure what happened. Some spoke of an affair with a Jewish woman, or about a business exploitation of some sort. "We only know that he didn't want to speak of that year and lied about it. Helene Hanfstaengl - the wife of a businessman who was one of Hitler's chief financial supporters - claimed that Hitler had lunch with her almost daily and opened up to her about everything. She says that the moment the Viennese time in his life came up, Hitler did not want to speak of it and gave the feeling that something personal happened there that influenced his anti-Semitic development. It's important to note this experience was not necessarily an objective trauma, but Hitler certainly felt it was." According to Popps-Grünbauer's story, Hitler's anti-Semitism before the First World War was leftist, anti-capitalist. "He said that in Austria, the stock exchange - it was all controlled by Jews," repeating what she heard from her parents, "they're exploiters. I wasn't present during these conversations, but my parents were. He said that they (the Austrians) were being exploited, and that in Germany it wasn't any different." "In 1919 as well, at the beginning of his political career in Germany, Hitler expressed anti-Semitic, anti-capitalist views," says Weber, "also at the beginning of 1920. It was anti-Semitism aimed at the Jewish financial capitalism, against Jewish capital. He saw it as the main weakness of Germany and believed Germany would be stronger after getting rid of it. Later on, the anti-Semitism was aimed more and more against Bolshevism. That's an interesting fact, since in 1919, after deposing the German royal families and establishing the Bavarian Soviet Republic, the more popular anti-Semitism then was anti-Bolshevik, anti-left. But Hitler did not yet use these anti-Semitic ideas, instead, he attacked Jewish capitalism." Q: He went from leftist anti-Semitism to right-wing anti-Semitism for opportunistic reasons?" That's a good question that can't be answered with certainty. I believe that with Hitler, the main anti-Semitic mutation happened immediately after the First World War, when it became extreme politically. The second change happened in the early 1920s, where it expanded. Hitler then believes in a global Jewish conspiracy and that the Bolsheviks are being used as tools by Jewish capitalists sitting in New York, Paris and London. The Nazi anti-Semitism was aimed at both capitalism and Bolshevism. "The internal logic for this apparent contradiction is the conspirative anti-Semitic perception, which claimed that the Bolsheviks were serving the capitalist Jews, leaders of the world conspiracy, and were being sent to Germany and Russia to weaken the workers. It sounds ridiculous, but that's what Nazis believed, they claimed that Bolsheviks were preventing workers from protecting their interests, which were expressed truly by National-Socialism. That belief played a role throughout the 1920s, 1930s and the first half of the 1940s." Q: So, one can say Hitler's anti-Semitism was leftist anti-capitalist anti-Semitism? "Generally, yes. I'm a bit hesitant, because of the never-ending discussion over whether Nazism is Left or Right if it was a type of socialism or not. I don't think that's a productive argument. But the roots of Hitler's anti-Semitism were anti-finance, anti-capital. The question if it's right or left depends on the question of whether Nazism was against the free market completely or against economic capitalism. The Nazis didn't want Marxist socialism, they wanted socialism of labor. One that has a place for private property and markets. So, one can say the roots were left, but it was more of an anti-finance attitude, not necessarily tied to left or right." Q: The world is currently commemorating 75 years since the end of World War Two. How has the reference to Adolf Hitler changed over the years? "It changes from country to country. In Germany, public opinion has difficulty dealing with it. For the past few years, there is always a concern that dealing with Hitler can appear apologetic, a certain desire to return to the 1950s when all the guilt for Nazi crimes was heaped on it, which is of course very convenient. In 2015, a new edition of Mein Kampf was published, for the first time since the end of the war. "The whole world at that time was talking about fascism resurging during the presidential elections in the U.S. In Germany, they were arguing whether it was dangerous to read Mein Kampf. I don't mean to say by this that the comparisons between Trump and Hitler are intelligent. In Germany, there was no argument about what's in the book or what can be learned from it, only whether it was dangerous. For years they've been trying to produce in Germany a TV show about Hitler, that doesn't deal with the war but with his rise to power, yet no one is willing to fund a drama series where Hitler is the main protagonist." "These are two examples, in my opinion, that show Germany is still finding it difficult to deal with Hitler and treats him like a horrible caricature, not as a person. He's become an image of propaganda. Even the photos they show us of Hitler come mostly from Nazi propaganda. So, there's this one-dimensional image of him, shouting and spitting. It prevents us from searching for the correct warning signs for new dangers, new Hitlers. We're looking for the Nazi-type only in certain figures and can't think that Hitler was once a multi-dimensional person, who didn't only yell but was also a very talented politician. That's why we're not looking for truly dangerous people. In Israel the discussion about Hitler is more open than in Germany because we always ask what we are allowed to say and if he can be humanized."

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