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“Judenrein” posits what might happen if a right-wing conspiracy in the United States – and a cooperative president, came together

“Judenrein”/author “Harold Benjamin”

“Judenrein”
By “Harold Benjamin”
Self-published in 2020, but available on Amazon in either e-book or hard copy format.
Reviewed by BERNIE BELLAN
A while back I received an email from someone named “Harold Benjamin” (which, it turned out, was a pseudonym).
In that email Mr. Benjamin told me that he had written a book titled “Judenrein”.

The title immediately grabbed my attention as I knew it referred to the German term coined by the Nazis meaning “Jew free”. Here’s a brief description of the book’s plot, as given on Amazon:
“Zack Gurevitz has had a checkered past. A Yeshiva boy, turned Green Beret, turned junkie, excommunicated by his one-time faith and now the potential savior of people he doesn’t even like.

“As a white supremacist movement stealthily takes the reins of power in America, it is again the Jews who are made out as scapegoats. Stripped of wealth and citizenship, they are made to live in 21st century ghettos that hark back to a sinister and murky past that many had thought would never return.

“But things are about to get much worse. With the revealing of a planned terror attack that will place the blame firmly at Jewish feet and condemn millions to death, Zack is contacted by Jewish leaders in Detroit, begging for his help. 

“Reluctantly he agrees and before long he is mired in a conspiracy that will have far reaching consequences for his country, the Jewish population and even his own sanity.

“As the clock ticks down, can Zack find a way to avert a looming disaster? Who is behind the conspiracy? And can he really trust anyone?”

Earlier this year a four-part television series based on a Phillip Roth novel titled “The Plot Against America” was aired on HBO (and can still be seen either on Shaw or MTS TV. That show speculates about what might have happened had the anti-Semite Charles Lindbergh become president of the United State in 1940.
We are living in turbulent times and, although it is hard to say definitively whether anti-Semitism is now as great a concern for Jews more than any other time since the Holocaust, there have been many indicators of late that it should be, although I’m going to add the proviso that I refuse to accept that’s the case in Winnipeg.
I have deliberately avoided stoking the fears of readers of this paper unnecessarily by printing a large number of the stories that we receive via email almost daily which, if we printed them all, would no doubt lead anyone to conclude that Jews are under fierce attack almost everywhere. Yes, in certain areas of North America, especially where Orthodox Jews live in large numbers in specific neighbourhoods, it is becoming increasingly dangerous for Jews, but I would argue that simply isn’t the case here in Winnipeg – much as certain individuals would love to scare us into thinking anti-Semitism is rampant in this city.

Notwithstanding my reluctance to succumb to the notion that Jews everywhere are under attack, when the author of “Judenrein” asked me whether I might like him to send me a copy of his self-published book, I thought to myself: “Why not? It might be worth taking a look.”
I admit I was somewhat hesitant, however, to plunge into the book – not because I was shying away from the subject matter, but simply because we’ve had quite a few self-published books sent our way and, quite frankly, almost all of them should have been edited by a professional editor.
Now, “Judenrein” certainly falls into the category of books that should have been more carefully edited, but when it comes to a riveting plot – well, I just couldn’t stop reading this book. I don’t know anything about Harold Benjamin beyond what he sent me when I asked him to write a brief autobiographical blurb. Here’s what he wrote:

“Here’s a little bio: Harold Benjamin is the pen name of a 50-something Jewish writer who lives in the American midwest (sic. “midwest” should be capitalized). Most of his professional work involves corporate copywriting. He grew up in the suburbs of New York city (sic. “city” should be capitalized.) and was educated on the east coast (sic. “east coast” should be capitalized.) He’s of Latvian, Polish and Lithuanian descent. All four of his grandparents were born outside of the US, three of them in the 19th century.”
As you can see by my use of the term “sic.”, just within the short blurb that Benjamin sent me, his writing could use some careful editing. If you’re a stickler for grammar, capitalization, also, to a certain extent -syntax as well, “Judenrein” can be a little annoying. (Why don’t self-publishing authors send their books to someone to correct those sorts of mistakes I always wonder after I’ve read a book that should have been thoroughly edited.)
Yet, don’t let my somewhat petty criticism on this point deter you in the least from considering buying this book. It’s a spellbinder of the first order.
I should also mention that last year I was introduced to the writing of Daniel Silva at one of the sessions of the book club this paper sponsors jointly with the Rady JCC. I should be somewhat embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t heard of Daniel Silva prior to that particular meeting of the book club but, wow – I’m hooked on his books now. By the way, in case you’re also wondering who Silva is, he’s probably the world’s foremost spy thriller writer right now – having written 19 novels, with an Israeli spy named Gabriel Allon as his recurrent hero.

To return to “Judenrein” – as explained in the blurb I quoted, the story revolves around a plot to put the Jewish population in America into ghettos – and eventually expel them.
It’s not too hard to imagine a right-wing conspiracy of that sort actually being planned these days, given the level of anti-Semitic discourse so prevalent on the internet. What “Judenrein” successfully posits moreover, is how a conspiracy of that insidious sort could be successfully translated into reality.
And that’s where Harold Benjamin has done some masterful research. Within the framework of his plot, there are several ingredients that come together that lead to the gradual erosion of the civil rights of Jews, and the one that is key is the election of a right-wing president who is all too willing to abandon any notion of civil liberties.
Does that sound familiar? Now, I’m not going to turn this into yet another denunciation of Donald Trump, but “Judenrein” comes along at a time when divisions in America have never been starker and where the president is actively promoting those divisions.
Have Jews been targeted by Trump in the same way that he has targeted Mexicans, for instance, and arguably, anyone else who isn’t white? The president in “Judenrein”, who only goes by the initials “P.K.”, has a more clearly delineated contempt for Jews, but it is in his willingness to serve as the dupe of more intelligent right-wingers – all of whom are in the military, by the way, that his interests and the interests of a small group of very determined military men are aligned.
In point of fact, however, of late, it’s been senior members of the military who have admonished Trump for his expressed desire to use the military to quell civilian disturbances. Yet, one wonders the extent to which lower ranking members of the military would actually be in agreement with what Trump wanted to do – a point which becomes important in “Judenrein” in explaining how, under the right circumstances, right wing members of the military might readily join forces with right wing militias in persecuting Jews and other minority groups.

What happens in “Judenrein” – as the blurb from Amazon notes, is that the hero of this book who, though seriously flawed, rises to superspy status in short order – something, I suppose is a prerequisite for most spy novels these days.
Zack Gurevitz starts off as a drug addicted mess trying to get himself off heroin at a methadone clinic. How someone in that particular state can eventually rise to the level of extraordinary superhero really requires a total suspension of belief but, just as Gabriel Allon in Daniel Silva’s spy novels can overcome any obstacle, Zack Gurevitz manages to escape every nasty predicament in which he finds himself – and, believe me, there are enough close encounters that this book could be turned into an ongoing serial the way the Batman TV show of the 60s would leave you hanging on at the end of every episode.
Is it plausible that a recovering drug addict can be beaten viciously in one chapter, then miraculously recover within a few hours only to escape his captors and turn the tables on them – over and over again?
Of course not – but Benjamin knows how to build suspense and adds enough plot twists to keep the reader’s attention riveted.
Along the way he slips in a female FBI agent by the name of Matthews who, although she doesn’t become Zack’s love interest (disappointingly, for me at least. Come on – what’s a good spy thriller worth if it doesn’t have some gratuitous sex in it?), is eventually persuaded that there is a massive conspiracy afoot and that the FBI has become complicit in enabling it to move forward.
Since the author of this book didn’t actually reveal to me what his true background is, you either have to credit him with having done stellar research about various locations in the U.S. northeast, including certain buildings that do actually exist, along with a detailed knowledge of weaponry or, he himself was involved in employment that would have let him be privy to those details, all of which lend an air of authenticity to the storyline.
One final word about “Judenrein”: Although it’s a self-published book and available only on Amazon, there are already a fair number of reviews about this book on Amazon. To be honest, the reviews might be from friends or family of the author because they’re unanimous in heaping praise on this book – yet some of them offer thoughtful observations about how timely this book is at this point in American history.
When I asked Harold Benjamin how one might be able to buy his book he sent me this link: https://www.amazon.com/Judenrein-Dystopian-Thriller-Harold-Benjamin-ebook/dp/B086BRZDPF/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=judenrein&qid=1588353541&sr=8-4

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Connecting the Dots: Ari Posner- Meet Ari Posner

Ari Z. Posner, son of Barry and Bebe on the left and Ari P. Posner, son of Gerry and Sherna with the cap on the right

By GERRY POSNER I suppose we are not the only family to have inter-related connections. At least, not in the old days of the shtetl. What I do know is that finding my way through these family relationships took me years to figure out and understand. Recently, the dots got connected once again.

It all started (at least as far back as I can go) when around 1905, one Isaac Posner married one Kayla Shulman. They were living at that time in the same shtetl or at least close to the same shtetl of what was then known as Propoisk (now Slavgorod) in present day Belarus. From this marriage emerged three children: a daughter, Lillian Posner – later Romalis;l a son, Samuel L. Posner; and another son, Solomon Posner. That was simple enough. As it turned out, Issac Posner was an older brother of my grandfather, Herman Posner. Isaac’s wife, Kayla, was the sister of my other grandfather, Harry Shulman. Even that was not terribly complicated. In short, my father’s uncle Issac, married my mother’s aunt Kayla. That marriage linked the Posners to the Shulmans in Round 1.

When Isaac and Kayla’s kids married, a son, Sol, married a woman from Iowa City Iowa, named Rhea Markovitz. Not long after, in December, 1937 a son of Herman Posner (my grandfather) – Samuel R. Posner, (my father), married a woman named Rhea Shulman ( my mother) also from Iowa City, Iowa. She was a daughter to Harry and Anna Shulman of Iowa City. Thus, in Iowa City there were two first cousins – Rhea Shulman and Rhea Markovitz, born less than a year apart and both of whom later married men from Winnipeg, both with the initials SP – one Sol Posner and one Sam Posner. Of course, the marriage of my mother, a Shulman, to my father, a Posner, created Round 2 of the Posners and the Shulmans joining together. Are you still with me?

When, in the course of time, Sol and Rhea and Sam and Rhea began to have children, they created a relationship for their children in what might be considered by some to be almost incestuous. Rhea and Sol had two sons, Barry and Craig (of blessed memory), both of whom were and are likely still known to many readers to this day. My parents had Linda, my brother Michael, and me. We were, and still remain, cousins to Barry to this day. I was, and still am related to Barry and Craig in no less than three ways. Why? First of all, Barry’s father Sol was a first cousin to my father Sam. Secondly, Barry’s father was a first cousin to my mother Rhea. Thirdly, Barry’s mother Rhea was a first cousin to my mother Rhea. So the ties are deep. Confusing as well.

Of course, what solidified these roots even further was the fact that Sam and Rhea, my parents, and Sol and Rhea, Barry and Craig’s parents, all lived for the rest of their lives in Winnipeg. So, there were two S. Posners – three in fact, as Sol had a brother, Samuel L., a pharmacist. But, let’s not get sidetracked. The two Rheas were very close and I suspect there had to be much confusion about these two women with the same name and almost the same age. Moreover, the two families shared similar experiences each summer. That was because Rhea Posner – Barry and Craig’s mother, took her kids to Iowa City to spend part of the holidays with her parents, while my mother – Rhea, would also take my siblings and me to visit her parents in Iowa City, Iowa. My cousin Craig and I were the same age (born one month apart ) and hence spent much time together, both in Winnipeg and Iowa City. I never could quite get the picture as to why I saw him in both locations. All I knew was that he was my cousin.

Well, we all grew up with this similar history and genetic connections. When Barry married the former Bebe Melmed, three kids followed. The eldest son was Ari Z. Posner, who grew up in Montreal – where Barry and Bebe lived. When I married Sherna Bernbaum, we also had three kids, the eldest of whom was Ari P. Posner. The fact that these boys had the same name – Ari, was more of a fluke as they were not named for the same person. Oddly, (or maybe not given the past history) Ari Z’s middle name is Zvi, the same name as my son, only in the case of my son, Zvi is his Hebrew middle name. Ari Z. is about 5 years older than Ari P. That difference is about the age difference between Barry and me.

Recently, and to my delight, my son Ari had a good reason to go to L.A. to receive a music award and, to my greater delight, he expressed an interest in seeing the other Ari, whom he had never met. L.A. is where the other Ari Posner resides. As it turns out, their names were not the only dot that connected them. Both have made a career in the arts, Ari Z has done it in writing, creating and producing for TV primarily – and has been very successful in his field. Ari P. is a composer. He is not that far removed from the other Ari since he often writes music for TV in the US and Canada.

I think of grandfather Herman Posner and his brother Isaac. Would they not be amazed at this connection? Or better yet, what would my great-grandfather Shmerya and wife Yudasha have to say about two of their descendants now – approximately 170 years after their births, meeting and reinforcing the family ties. As much as so much has changed, this little bit of Posner history is the same.

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New website for Israelis interested in moving to Canada

By BERNIE BELLAN A new website, titled “Orvrim to Canada” (https://www.ovrimtocanada.com/ovrim-en) has been receiving hundreds of thousands of visits, according to Michal Harel, operator of the website.
In an email sent to jewishpostandnews.ca Michal explained the reasons for her having started the website:
“In response to the October 7th events, a group of friends and I, all Israeli-Canadian immigrants, came together to launch a new website supporting Israelis relocating to Canada. “Our website, https://www.ovrimtocanada.com/, offers a comprehensive platform featuring:

  • Step-by-step guides for starting the immigration process
  • Settlement support and guidance
  • Community connections and networking opportunities
  • Business relocation assistance and expert advice
  • Personal blog sharing immigrants’ experiences and insights

“With over 200,000 visitors and media coverage from prominent Israeli TV channels and newspapers, our website has already made a significant impact in many lives.”
A quick look at the website shows that it contains a wealth of information, almost all in Hebrew, but with an English version that gives an overview of what the website is all about.
The English version also contains a link to a Jerusalem Post story, published this past February, titled “Tired of war? Canada grants multi-year visas to Israelis” (https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-787914#google_vignette) That story not only explains the requirements involved for anyone interested in moving to Canada from Israel, it gives a detailed breakdown of the costs one should expect to encounter.

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Top-rated games you’ll find at online casinos

Online casinos serve as platforms where you can engage in games with monetary stakes for a chance to win real cash prizes. With many of these platforms accepting cryptocurrencies, this exciting activity has become popular amongst traders looking to earn more Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) to trade.
The array of games available at online casinos is extensive, offering a wide variety to choose from. Each game offers a unique experience that makes it stand out among thousands of titles. To give you an idea of what kinds of games await you, check out these three examples:
Video slots with multiplier features
The slot game category has the most variety out of all types of games offered at Bitcoin casino Canada. There are easily more than 1000 of them in a given platform and each one offers a list of features like multipliers, sticky wilds, and expanding bonuses. There are other features you can enjoy but some of them are unique to games from a specific software provider.
What you should look for is any slot game with multipliers. This feature boosts how much you win per hit in a slot game and the amount can reach up to the game’s max payout. It is also the most versatile feature because it can work in tandem with almost any other slot game mechanic. Thus, your experience playing slot games with multipliers will always feel rewarding.
Variations of poker table games
Poker stands out for its strategic depth. With simple rules, this game offers single-player variations available at all Bitcoin casinos. If you can’t remember the winning hand combinations, then you may use references provided by the game in the description. Most of these poker games tell you what kind of hand you have so there’s no need to memorise any winning combinations.
In single-player poker games, players compete against the house, with different versions featuring varying winning conditions. Some require players to bet on their hand to win by having the best combination on the table. Others are played like slot games where you win by forming any winning hand but the payout is determined by the combination you make.
Playing any kind of poker game is fun to play to win Bitcoin prizes. Multiplayer poker is difficult to win unless you’re skilled at bluffing so stick to single-player ones to have more chances to win.
European roulette with a twist
European roulette has been a beloved classic among gamblers throughout history. It can be more fun now with new technology that is possible at online casinos. Some software providers have introduced innovative features, such as multipliers, to make payouts more exciting. Others revolutionise the classic format by adding another ball or a new game mode as a bonus feature.
The most creative iteration of the classic European roulette can be found at the top Bitcoin casino operating in Canada. Explore this unique iteration and dive into the action using crypto for added convenience and security.
Discover more games at your favourite online casino
All of these games can be found in almost every online casino. Just choose whichever has the best offering or feel the most convenient to use then explore their other options. From classic card games to cutting-edge slot games, they each offer unique experiences from one another. Take your time to find the perfect platform that offers a whole package of excitement and convenience, giving you a worthwhile journey to win crypto in the most entertaining way possible.

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