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We recognize Haman. But where are Mordechai and Esther?

We recognize Haman. But where are Mordechai and Esther? by Melanie Philips 2/25/21 in JNS.org

Author, Melanie Philips
 Today’s Persians running Iran’s Islamic revolutionary regime consistently declare their intention to annihilate Israel and are building the capacity for nuclear weapons to achieve that infernal aim. And then, there’s the Western media and academia …

 This week’s festival of Purim provided Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with an irresistible analogy.

Purim celebrates the deliverance of the Jews of ancient Persia by Mordechai and Esther—two Jews who thwarted the genocidal intentions of the Persian prime minister Haman through their courage, daring and strategic genius.

"Esther and Mordecai" by Arent de Gelder, 1675

Today’s Persians running Iran’s Islamic revolutionary regime consistently declare their intention to annihilate Israel and are steadily building the capacity for nuclear weapons to achieve that infernal aim.

Netanyahu warned this week that, just as “another Persian villain” tried and failed to destroy the Jewish people, so too would Iran’s “delusional regime” be prevented from attaining nuclear weapons.

But there’s another unsettling analogy to be made here. For the story of Purim tells us about the extreme perilousness of the Jews of the Diaspora who are inescapably vulnerable to never-ending attack.

Currently, the Western world is convulsing in a pandemic of brazen anti-Semitism, which draws upon imagery and tropes from early Christian theology, Nazi and Communist ideology and the modern variant of Jew-hatred, liberal universalist dogma that portrays Israel as a devil state.

Dov Hikind leads protest against NBC antisem
at 30 Rock NY during NBC's "SNL" broadcast

Participants: Yad Yamin NY, End Jew Hatred,
Americans against Antisemitism, Liberate Art

In America, comedian Michael Che promoted the Israel vaccine libel by quipping on the NBC show “Saturday Night Live”: “Israel is reporting that they vaccinated half of their population. I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half.”

In Britain, a Bristol university lecturer and pro-Palestinian Jewish-conspiracy theorist, David Miller, issued a diatribe last weekend in which he called for the “end” of Zionism as a “functioning ideology of the world.”

He launched a direct attack on Jewish students, claiming that they were “being used as political pawns by a violent, racist foreign regime engaged in ethnic cleansing,” and that Arab students on campus were unsafe as a result.

Outraged calls to sack both Miller and Che have predictably prompted their supporters to criticize as hypocrites those who condemn “cancel culture” while calling for these individuals to be canceled.

Anti-Semitism, though, is unique. It doesn’t just provoke contempt, fear or hatred. It presents Jews as uniquely evil and powerful, a global conspiracy to promote their own interests at the expense of everyone else. And the correct response to evil is to eradicate it.

Anti-Semitism is therefore innately deranged, dangerous and even murderous, unlike prejudice against any other group, people or cause.

After the Holocaust, it went underground in horror and shame, but in recent decades that social control has disappeared. This is largely because of the Marxist takeover of the left and its agenda of cultural revolution.

Anti-Semitism has thus been seeded throughout the West by Palestinianism, Islamism, black power and the left-wing “intersectionality” agenda, all making common cause with far-right anti-Semites who in numeric terms have been overwhelmingly eclipsed.

Moreover, it infuses Western culture itself. Among countless numbers of people, their only knowledge of Jews is drawn from such hateful and stereotypical figures as Fagin or Shylock. Many of the West’s greatest literary, philosophical and artistic figures were profound anti-Semites.

Clearly, though, these cannot and should not be banned. A difficult and careful line must be drawn.

"Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews foiled Nazi Plots against Hollywood & America"- U.S.C. Prof. Steven Ross

(photo: The Daily Beast)
The chilling, little-known story of the rise of Nazism in Los Angeles, and the Jewish leaders and spies they recruited who stopped it.   

No American city was more important to the Nazis than Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine in the world. The Nazis plotted to kill the city's Jews and to sabotage the nation's military installations: plans
existed for murdering twenty prominent Hollywood figures such as James Cagney, Charlie Chaplin, Al Jolson, and Samuel Goldwyn;  for driving through Boyle Heights and machine-gunning as many Jews as possible;  and for blowing up defense installations and seizing munitions from National Guard armories along the Pacific Coast.

anti-Nazis Leon Lewis (middle) and Charlie Chaplin (right)
were targeted by Hitler and the Nazis. (photo: NY Post)
U.S. law enforcement agencies were not paying close attention—preferring to monitor Reds rather than Nazis —and only attorney Leon Lewis and his daring ring of spies stood in the way. From 1933 until the end of World War II, Lewis, the man Nazis would come to call “the most dangerous Jew in Los Angeles,” ran a spy operation comprised of military veterans and their wives who infiltrated every Nazi and fascist group in Los Angeles. Often rising to leadership positions, they uncovered and foiled the Nazi's disturbing plans for death and destruction. 

Featuring a large cast of Nazis, undercover agents, and colorful supporting players, the Los Angeles Times bestselling Hitler in Los Angeles, by acclaimed historian Steven J. Ross, tells the story of Lewis's daring spy network in a time when hate groups had moved from the margins to the mainstream.

Prof. Steven J. Ross, author and U.S.C. professor
Steven J. Ross is Dean's Professor of History and the Marion and Mayron Casden Director of the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life. Steve's most recent book, "Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America" (Bloomsbury Press), was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History for 2018, and received the Richard Wall Memorial Award, Theater Library Association for 2018. It was on the Los Angeles Times Best Seller list for 23 weeks. Ross is currently working on a follow up volume signed by Bloomsburg Press, The War Against Hate: American Resistance to Anti-Semitism and White Supremacy After 1945.

At Temple of the Arts' Kristallnacht Memorial Service, in November 2019, Prof. Steven Ross introduces the presentation he's about to deliver on L.A.'s civilian spies against Hitler.


Introduced by Rabbi David Baron, Univ. of Southern California Prof. Steven Ross delivers
at (Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts) his "Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews foiled Nazi Plots against Hollywood & America" presentation 


Why did German-Americans embrace and assist Adolph Hitler in his quest? How did German Nazi-collaborators attempt to intimidate Americans into subjugation to Nazism and Axis-powers' fascism? What, if anything, was particular about Nazi-activists in Hollywood / Los Angeles, California? How did Jewish movie studio managers oppose Nazism before Washington entered the war? How did Washington's Movie Code restrict them from producing movies to raise public awareness about the Imperial conquest of Europe and Asia? What were the Nazi-American's plots to conquer America? How did the FBI treat these threats? How did Jews and Gentile American patriots get involved to thwart these plans? To what effect? 

1933 US Nazis plot against Hollywood & America: How civilian Jews & Gentiles foiled them- Steve Ross Interview with author, Prof. Steven Ross. 


Film editor, Edward Orshan, 87 (z'l) laid to rest by family and members of The Happy (Carlebach) Minyan of Los Angeles

      Edward Orshan, 87, of Los Angeles

Deaths in the JooTube family (not pictured) have curtailed our publishing on this website over the past 12 months. We have concentrated on Facebook and YouTube, where we have been subjected to censorship,so we will be resuming publishing on the website and other social-media networks (which we will indicate here).  Thank you for your patience in the delay of publishing some 2019 and 2020 anticipated stories this year.

"Grateful" Edward Orshan, 87, who earned degrees from Princeton and Harvard, edited film and television in New York, Israel ("Michael SheLi"/ "My Michael"), and Hollywood, was a beloved member of The Happy (Carlebach) Minyan of Los Angeles.
Happy Minyanaires, Stuart Wax with Ed Orshan

Friends and family gathered on Tuesday, January 26th to celebrate his life with eulogies and prayer. Ed's son Gabriel attended, others participated via Zoom - which will be linked here soon. Ed passed away peacefully in his sleep on the same Shabbos (10th Shevat) as Larry King. That calendar day is also the yahrzeit of the
Friediker Rebbe (Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson), and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

The funeral was facilitated by Mordechai Freeman, who led the team assisting Ed's healthcare over the past few years.
Mordechai (Marc) Freeman

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein officiated. Chazan Yehuda ("Moshav Band") Solomon led El Male Rachamim and other prayers and chantings.

Eulogists included Geborah Goldberger, Jonathan Boyer, David Sacks, Jeff Rohatiner, Zalman Solomon, and bereaved son Gabriel. Ed is also survived by his former-wife, Nan, and sons Nathaniel and Itai (in Israel) who watched the funeral via Zoom.

Ed Orshan
(photo: Geborah Goldberger)

Ed Orshan worked with John Avildsen (1977 Oscar for Best Director "Rocky") and also appeared as an actor (with Norman Wexler) in Jack O'Connell's 1961 independent feature,"THE GREENWICH VILLAGE STORY." 

This brief scene was filmed in the Figaro Cafe on the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal Streets.

Israel Film Festival online expands 4 films to nation-wide access, 5 more within all California

Regarding the Israel Film Festival in Southern California, the absence of in-person exposure to filmmakers and actors is made-up for by the convenience of watching the films with Zoom discussions of filmmakers at your leisure.

Viewer access that was originally limited to Los Angeles County has been expanded for some movies (as indicated below) to all of California, and nation-wide for others. Additionally, access has been extended through Sunday 27 Dec for 9 movies, with 4 of them reachable throughout the U.S.

I did enjoy the "Ophir Award"-winning, "Here we Are" which is followed by a discussion with Nir Bergman, director; Shai Avivi, lead actor, moderated by L.A. Times film critic, Kenneth Turan. (It's the non-Ophir winners, though, that are being extended access to).

Viewer access that was originally limited to Los Angeles County has been expanded for some movies (as indicated below) to all of California, and nation-wide for others.