N.Y. man accused of hiding mother’s death to collect Holocaust benefits

A New York man was charged with hiding his Holocaust survivor mother’s death in order to collect her reparations benefits.

Gary Jacoby, 61, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday on grand larceny and forgery charges, the Daily News reported. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Jacoby’s mother, Laura, died in 2008 at age 93. Over the next four years, he allegedly collected $56,000 in her benefits from the German government.

Jacoby allegedly colluded with a notary public to forge annual paperwork indicating that his mother was still alive.

He also appeared at the German Embassy in 2012 to testify that his mother was still alive, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Jacoby was released without bail and is due back in court on Oct. 14. He told the Daily News that he expects the charges against him to be dropped.

Iranian ‘evidence’ of Israeli spy likely a forgery

A claim by Iranian television that an alleged spy had an Israeli passport appears to be based on a forgery.

Majid Jamali Fashi was hanged on May 15 by Iranian authorities. He had been accused of killing an Iranian nuclear scientist with a remote-controlled bomb attached to a motorcycle outside the scientist’s home.

Following the hanging, Iranian TV released an image of an Israeli passport with Fashi’s photo, saying it proved that Fashi was an agent for Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency.

A number of bloggers questioned the authenticity of the passport.

Emanuele Ottolenghi of Commentary magazine noted this week that Fashi is looking away from the camera in the alleged passport and that he appears to be an adult.

The passport has a 2003 issue date when Fashi would have been 15.

In a follow-up, the Harry’s place blog says that the facsimile displayed by Iranian TV shares exact details with a facsimile of an Israeli passport available through Wikipedia: Both were issued on Nov. 17, 2003 in Netanya.

FBI report calls Demjanjuk evidence a forgery

A secret FBI report from 1985 suggests a key piece of evidence in the trial of accused Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk in Munich may have been a KGB forgery.

The German court announced Thursday that it would not suspend the trial over the document, and critics say the old report reflects outdated information.

“The facts show that the report of the Cleveland office are an irrelevant—and dangerous—basis for any consideration in the Demjanjuk case,” Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, said in a statement April 13.

Steinberg said those who wrote the report in 1985 had not even examined the ID card. But in subsequent years, “the original ID has been subjected to the most intense scrutiny by courts and investigators on three continents”—including in the current case.

The Associated Press obtained the formerly classified Cleveland FBI report from the National Archives in Maryland suggesting that ID card 1393, which allegedly indicates Demjanjuk was transferred from the SS Trawniki training camp to the Nazi death camp Sobibor, might be a forgery by the KGB, the Soviet-era secret service.

Last year, a technical expert from the Bavarian Criminal Police Office testified that he had compared the ID with four other original cards and determined it was authentic. The same card reportedly also was analyzed by U.S. and Israeli authorities in earlier trials of Demjanjuk.

The FBI statement had not been seen by the defense or prosecutors in the Munich case, or in the trials in Israel and the U.S., according to the AP. Demjanjuk’s attorney, Ulrich Busch, requested a pause in the trial, which is supposed to conclude with a verdict in mid-May.

Demjanjuk, 91, is charged as an accomplice to the murder of 27,900 Jews in Sobibor in Poland in 1943.

Busch maintains that his client, a Ukraine native, was taken prisoner by the Nazis and was forced by them to become an SS guard.

Demjanjuk immigrated to the United States after the World War II and lived in suburban Cleveland. He was later stripped of his citizenship for lying about his Nazi past. A death sentence against him was overturned in Israel after its Supreme Court found reasonable doubt that he was the notorious guard “Ivan the Terrible” at the Treblinka death camp.

In May 2009, Demjanjuk was deported from the United States to Germany. His trial on the Sobibor charges began late that year.

World Briefs

Bush Suspends Embassy Move

President Bush again suspended moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Invoking a waiver that cites national security reasons, Bush again resisted complying with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which mandated that the U.S. Embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city. Presidents have invoked waivers every six months since the law was passed. In a memorandum Tuesday to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Bush said his administration “remains committed to beginning the process of moving our embassy to Jerusalem,” something he pledged to Jews during his presidential campaign in 2000.

Moscow Bomb Kills Jewish Student

A Jewish student was among the five people killed in Tuesday’s suicide bombing in Moscow. Igor Akimov, 18, was a freshman at Moscow State University’s Center for Jewish Studies and Jewish Civilization. The campus is located near the site of Tuesday’s attack, which injured 14. Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Akimov graduated from a Jewish day school in his native city and moved to Moscow this fall. He was majoring in Jewish history and wanted to become a professor in the subject, friends said.


Israel slammed a U.N. decision to have the International Court of Justice rule on the West Bank security barrier.

“What kind of morality is it that the U.N. does not lift a finger against a wave of offensive operations against Israel but condemns defensive measures? That is moral bankruptcy,” Dore Gold, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and former ambassador to the United Nations, said Tuesday.

Monday’s resolution brought new pressure to bear on Israel, though the sort of advisory opinion sought from the International Court of Justice is not binding. One of Sharon’s Cabinet members, Justice Minister Yosef “Tommy” Lapid, already has requested that the fence be rerouted to minimize seizure of Palestinian lands.

Gere’d Up for Peace

Actor Richard Gere visited the West Bank on the second day of a private peacemaking visit. A longtime campaigner against the Chinese occupation of Tibet, Gere met with Palestinian intellectuals in Ramallah on Tuesday before touring Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity. The actor, on his second round of grass-roots meetings in the Middle East during the Palestinian intifada, also is believed to have held private talks in Israel on Monday.

Report: Israel hyped Iraq threat

Israeli intelligence exaggerated the threat to Israel posed by Iraq, according to a new report written by reserve Brig. Gen. Shlomo Brum for Israel’s Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies. Reacting to the report Dec. 4, Israeli Knesset member Yossi Sarid called for an inquiry into Israeli intelligence leading up to the Iraq war.

Dating Sites Get Hitched

Two of the top Jewish dating Web sites are tying the knot. MatchNet of Los Angeles, which owns JDate.com and other specialized dating sites, is buying JCupid.com, owned by PointMatch of Tel Aviv, in a deal that unites two of the top competing Jewish singles sites, the Jerusalem Post reported. PointMatch’s vice president, Eldad Ben Tora, said the deal was aimed at connecting Israeli and Diaspora Jews. Computer dating is among the few growth areas online and is expected to generate $400 million in revenue overall this year.

UNESCO Condemns ‘Protocols’

A U.N. body condemned the display of a notorious anti-Semitic forgery at an Egyptian library. UNESCO said Dec. 4 that the presence of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” at a display at the Alexandria library would leave the institution “open to accusations of racism in general and anti-Semitism in particular.” The book, described by library director Yousef Ziedan as “as one of the sacred tenets of the Jews” and “more important than the Torah,” had been placed next to an exhibit of Torah scrolls. The UNESCO condemnation comes as the organization is preparing an event called “The Centennial of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion: a Paradigm for Contemporary Hate Literature,” to be held in Venice this weekend.

Report: Fewer French Muslims

The number of Muslims in France has been widely exaggerated, according to a new report. According to figures extrapolated from government statistics on the numbers of French citizens with at least one parent born outside France, there probably are less than 3.7 million Muslims in France, the L’Express weekly reported Friday. The figures are considerably lower than various estimates by politicians that have placed the Muslim population as high as 6 million. Slightly more than 1 million Muslims in France are of voting age, the report adds. It is illegal in France to compile government statistics based on religion and ethnic group, but the question asking about parents’ birthplace was added to a recent government-sponsored questionnaire.

Concert to Feature Camp Poems

A concert in Prague will feature music based on poems written by Jewish children held at Terezin. The concert is to be held at the State Opera in Prague on Jan. 27. The event, which will coincide with the 58th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, has been organized by the Prague Jewish community in cooperation with the Mauthausen Committee, based in Austria.

Now, Don’t Get Frothy …

A Canadian researcher is investigating how stressed Montreal Jews get when discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kimberly Matheson, a psychology professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, is checking how much of the hormone cortizol is secreted when Jews read articles about the Middle East, Canada’s National Post newspaper reported. The idea came to her when she saw how red Jewish colleagues’ faces became when they read articles they considered anti-Israel. Matheson conducted a similar study among those born in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s Balkans War.

Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The Protocols Come to L.A. — in Russian

The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" have come to Los Angeles. On its 100th anniversary, the vicious, primitive forgery has struck again, this time in a Russian-language tabloid circulated in the heavily Russian Jewish neighborhoods around West Hollywood.

First published on August 28, 1903, the "Protocols" have been translated and published all over the world — including the United States — in dozens of languages. They have been exposed again and again as forgeries by courts, by investigative reporters of respectable publications and by scholarly analyses conducted by reputable scholars. The original sources from which this abomination was copied are known. They have nothing to do with Jews but still they keep rising from the dead like vampires in Hollywood movies.

This time the "Protocols" were presented as historical fact in the most unlikely venue: Kontakt, a Russian-language Los Angeles weekly serving a predominantly Jewish readership. Kontakt is owned by Vladimir Parenago, who bought the publication a few years ago. Generally clad in black and sporting a large crucifix on a necklace, he bills himself as a "healer" and "mystic."

His wife, Lyubov Parenago, is the editor of Kontakt. It was her signed editorial that discussed the "Protocols" and listed the important lessons Kontakt’s readers could learn from studying them.

She presented the "Protocols" as historical fact and as a true exposé of "the special secret [Jewish] plan to control all the world’s finances." She explained that the plan was adopted at a meeting that took place at the home of Meier Rothschild in 1773, to where he had invited 12 of the world’s most influential bankers — including six members of the Rothschild family — to take part in the conspiracy. The result was "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

Reaction to the publication among Russian Jews has been angry and intense, but has largely been kept within the community. For many immigrants, dissent and criticism are still frightening and uncomfortable, so the reaction of most of the Russian Jews has consisted of complaining to one another, contacting people who are seen as a bridge between "Americans" and "Russians," and writing letters, mostly unsigned, to Washington, Sacramento, the LAPD, City Hall and Russian-language radio, TV and newspapers.

In addition, the two largest immigrant groups — World War II Veterans and Holocaust Survivors — sent letters to Kontakt.

The letters were never published. But in the most recent issue of Kontakt, Lyubov Parenago admitted that she has received many letters, some of them complimentary, others viciously hostile.

"Obviously those who were offended suffer from a lack of a sense of humor," she wrote.

Reader e-mails obtained by The Journal ranged from "What on earth were they thinking of?" to "These anti-Semites should go back to Russia where they will feel right at home." The most extensive and literate e-mail was from a local immigrant, Viktor K., who sent a copy of a letter he wrote to Kontakt. Here are some excerpts translated from the Russian:

"You must be aware that this year is the 100th anniversary of the publication of the ‘Protocols’ — the major historical forgery of the 20th century that was the ideological justification for pre-revolutionary pogroms, as well as the anti-Jewish atrocities of the White forces and the suffering of thousands. This forgery was exposed more than 80 years ago but it is still being used today by Hitlerite nazis, Islamic fundamentalists and assorted anti-Semites. This is why your publication of an additional ‘Protocol’ that is connected with the Rothschild family and predates the other by 130 years is a very personal contribution on your part… Later you informed your readers that it was all a joke and bemoaned the absence of a sense of humor among your readers. Well, your sense of humor is impressive."

Reached by phone, Lyubov Parenago said she was genuinely puzzled at what she saw as a lack of appreciation by the Jewish community. "I print stories about Israel," she said. "I support Jewish causes, I publicize Russian Jewish artists touring the United States. This was a fantasy that shouldn’t have been taken seriously, it was just advice on how to become rich, the Rothschild plan was never seen or read by anyone, it was a service to the community."

Lyubov Parenago then went on to deny that the "Protocols" she published were the actual ones. "This story wasn’t about the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’" she said, "it was about a different ‘Protocol,’ a different plot, a different idea, a Rothschild idea. How could anyone think that I would publish those ‘Protocols?’

"I can express my opinion," she went on. "I can say what I think in this free country. Why this hostile reaction? I don’t understand."

Si Frumkin is chairman of the Southern California Council for Soviet Jews.

Sticks, Stones and Incendiary Words

Hanan Ashrawi, the Palestinian legislator and spokeswoman, a few weeks ago publicized an open letter from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon informing all Palestinians, “You are my target; you will be made to suffer, and you shall pay for the original crime of being a Palestinian.”

The letter was a forgery, of course, as Ashrawi certainly knew. While it is not news that Ashrawi is a liar, this particular lie served no purpose except to provoke and increase hatred of Israel among her people.

Palestinian incitement against Israel and Jews is not a new phenomenon, and the Oslo accord, which banned it, did not interrupt it. Here are some highlights from the past few years.

Nabil Ramlawi, the Palestinian representative to the UN Human Rights Commission, accused Israel of injecting HIV into Palestinian babies.

The official Palestinian Authority daily paper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, ran a long article purporting to detail Israeli plans to demolish the al-Aksa Mosque.

Palestinian officials accused Israel of distributing in Palestinian territory food containing carcinogens and hormones that harm male virility.

Official Palestinian TV broadcast a speech by a Muslim cleric calling outright for the murder of Jews.

But the most despicable — and dangerous — incitement is found in the textbooks used in Palestinian schools, which are training the next generation of our “peace partners” to hate Israel, despise Jews and consider all of Israel their stolen property.

The textbooks routinely deny Jewish peoplehood and any historical or religious basis for Jewish claims to a connection with the Land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. They ignore or deny the Holocaust. They characterize the Jews as treacherous, disloyal, cunning, corrupt, deceitful, greedy, fanatic, evil, racist, Nazi-like and enemies of Islam. They assert that Palestinians have the obligation to “fight the Jews and drive them out of our land.” These messages, along with encouragement of jihad and martyrdom, are promulgated relentlessly in history, religion, language, even mathematics texts. Peace with Israel is not discussed as an option in the textbooks, and the peace process is not referred to.

These ideas, partly because they are the ones that Palestinian children grow up with, have become “a routine part of Palestinian culture,” according to Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch. In Marcus’ view, these pernicious ideas reflect “normative Palestinian thinking and expectations.”

The truth is, as we have seen in the past six months, not only sticks and stones but words, too, can hurt us — and I don’t mean hurt our feelings. Here in Israel, we are living next to, living interspersed with, a national group that has been taught that we are irredeemably their enemy, the enemy of Islam, the enemy of all Arabs, and whose leaders have spared no lie to encourage and justify murderous rage toward us.

Most Palestinians were horrified by the lynching of the Israeli soldiers in Ramallah a few months back — but the lynching itself remains fully intelligible only in the context of the hatred to which the Palestinian masses have been trained.

The Palestinian media, popular culture and educational system, taken together, are a further indication that, for whatever reason, the Palestinian leadership has not just given up on reaching a negotiated peace settlement but aims to inflame forever its citizens’ minds, already set on warfare against Israel.

Because of false hope, perhaps, Israeli governments, just like the American news media, have for years ignored or obscured the reality of Palestinian incitement. It was a mistake. “In many respects,” Itamar Marcus told the Jerusalem Post a few weeks ago, “we are much further from peace between our peoples than we were before the signing of the Oslo accords.”

Which is why we’re back to sticks and stones, guns and bombs, and no longer just waging a war of words.

Palestinian Media Watch can be found online at www.edume.org .