June 16

Published June 16, 2006, issue of June 16, 2006.
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Hundreds of Jews were murdered in a vicious pogrom in Bialystok this week. The pogrom started after a bomb was thrown from a Jewish house at a Catholic procession. The government quickly spread the word that it was the work of Jewish anarchists and arranged for the hasty organization of Christian mobs to attack the Jews. It is evident that the current anti-Jewish agitation is an attempt on the part of the pro-tsarist forces to save the tsar’s throne by bathing Russia in Jewish blood. Despite the casualties, young Jews have been heroically defending their brethren.


A new wave of antisemitism is coursing through the world. There was an actual pogrom in Poland just last week. During the most recent elections in Romania, vicious attacks on Jews occurred. Antisemitism in the Soviet Union is a punishable crime, but it still simmers under the surface of daily life. In Mexico, a country thought to be free of antisemitism, there have been large, anti-Jewish demonstrations in the capital. And there are the followers of Hitler in Germany. For many years, people thought that antisemitism was a reaction of political and social circumstances. It seems though, that economics plays an important role. When the current depression ends, antisemitism will be reduced.

The mystery and confusion surrounding the bankruptcy proceedings of the Libby Hotel, the first Jewish hotel on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, are currently being waded through in New York Appellate Court. The Libby Hotel was meant to be the crown of New York’s Jewish quarter, but in just a few years it collapsed into bankruptcy, leaving 4,000 Jewish stockholders and dozens of creditors little recourse. Two years ago, the state made a deal to buy Libby’s and tear it down to create new housing. This was carried out, but apparently the owners were never paid.


The Moroccan government’s forced closure of the “Kadima” organization, which was created by the Jewish Agency for Israel to help Jews immigrate to Israel, has left 45,000 Moroccan Jews virtually stranded. The organization had been set up to help Jews who had quit their jobs and liquidated their assets prepare to immigrate to Israel. As a result of the closure, these Jews are now in a financial no man’s land, without homes and jobs. The organization was forced to transfer the immigrants’ holdings to local charities, which were informed that the assets and funds were not to leave the country.

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