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Conservative donor’s Nazi memorabilia collection in spotlight amid revelations about his Clarence Thomas ties



(JTA) – A collection of Nazi memorabilia on display at the home of Republican megadonor Harlan Crow has come under renewed scrutiny following revelations that Crow lavished Clarence Thomas with expensive, unreported gifts.

Crow has for more than two decades treated Thomas, the conservative Supreme Court justice, to complimentary vacations and private jet and yacht rides, according to a recent investigation by the news organization ProPublica. Thomas subsequently acknowledged that he failed to disclose those excursions, which analysts say is a likely violation of federal laws. Democratic senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee announced plans to hold hearings on the issue, while Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has even suggested Thomas should be impeached.

Crow is a Dallas-based real estate mogul who founded the conservative activist group Club For Growth. The news about his deep ties to Thomas has drawn renewed attention to his home’s extensive collection of Nazi artifacts, including a signed edition of Hitler’s antisemitic manifesto “Mein Kampf,” two of Hitler’s own paintings and a set of linens emblazoned with the Nazi insignia. Crow also maintains a garden full of statues of Communist leaders he calls the “Garden of Evil.” His other historical artifacts reportedly include documents signed by George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower’s military helmet.

Crow’s collection of Nazi memorabilia has generated controversy in the past, including in 2015 when then-presidential candidate Marco Rubio held a fundraiser at his house on the eve of Yom Kippur. At the time, the National Jewish Democratic Council and the Democratic National Committee heavily criticized Rubio’s decision to hold the fundraiser at Crow’s house. This go-around, the Jewish Democratic Council of America said it was “deeply disturbing” that Thomas’ “donor friend proudly collects Nazi memorabilia.”

The Nazi artifact market is contentious, with laws prohibiting it in some European countries and criticism of auction houses that sell the items fierce in places where it is permitted. Much of the criticism centers on the idea that the people purchasing the artifacts are sympathetic to the Nazis, although one frequent purveyor of Nazi artifacts in the United States told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last year that his typical buyers “are NOT neo-Nazis, who are too poor and too stupid to appreciate any kind of historic material.” In 2019, a Lebanese-French buyer of Nazi paraphernalia revealed that he was gathering the items to keep them out of the hands of neo-Nazis and turned them over to Jewish groups instead; others have indicated interest in purchasing the items to destroy them.

Crow keeps them on display. In the past, he has maintained that his interest in Nazi artifacts is purely historical. His mother, Margaret Crow, told local news outlets she was a survivor of the S.S. Athenia, the first British ship to be sunk by Nazi Germany during World War II.

In the wake of the recent reporting on Crow, some conservatives have defended his collection. Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, who is Jewish, suggested on his podcast that the collection may be a way “to remember the things that you hate.”

Current and former staffers at the conservative publication The Dispatch, which Crow funds, also defended his collection. “I know Harlan Crow and I’m proud to call him a friend,” tweeted the columnist Jonah Goldberg, who is Jewish. Crow’s “Garden of Evil,” Goldberg said, is “an attempt [to] commemorate the horrors of the 20th century in the spirit of ‘never again.’” 

And New York Times columnist David French, a former senior editor of the Dispatch, tweeted, “The idea that he’s a Nazi sympathizer is utterly ludicrous. He abhors tyranny, from fascism to communism to everywhere in between.”

Others criticized the public display of the artifacts. NBC News reporter Ben Collins, who reports on the far right and said his grandfather fought for the United States in World War II, said his family had recently found war artifacts “including some Nazi stuff” in a basement. “He didn’t put it in a special little room to show guests because he didn’t find horrible things cute and fun,” Collins tweeted.

The post Conservative donor’s Nazi memorabilia collection in spotlight amid revelations about his Clarence Thomas ties appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.

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Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary



By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”

Raquel Dancho (left), Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St.Paul, and Nikki Spigelman, President, Gwen Secter Centre

Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)

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Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station



This is a developing story.

(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.

An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.

Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.

The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.

The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to  transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.

Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.

The post Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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