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White House reporter slams Lithuanian government's antisemitism

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

As reported by Israelnews

In an interview with Sivan Abelson from Newsrael, White House journalist Dr Anthony Harper spoke about the draconian antisemitism that is being perpetrated by the Lithuanian government, against the Jewish community.

The White House reporter placed his cards on the table. "I want to speak about the Jewish cemetery in Lithuania. The cemetery has been desecrated 'cause the Lithuanian government has decided to build a conference center on the cemetery."

"So what is happening there?" Asked Abelson.

Dr Harper was frank. "Yes, well this is a long history. The Russians initially moved the gravestones of the Jews buried there. The Jews paid to be buried there, but the Russians built a sports pavilion on the graves of the Jews. And now the Lithuanian government wants to remodel that to continue this desecration."

The White House journalist confirmed that the Chief Rabbi of Israel had stated that the cemetery cannot be used for any purpose other than as a resting place for the deceased.

The Israenews anchor wanted to know more. "What do you think is the motive behind this decision, and is it pointing at the direction of a growing antisemitism?"

Dr. Harper was very candid. "Yeah, it's part of the growing antisemitism worldwide. This is proof that the Lithuanian government is still antisemitic. These actions show antisemitism anytime where antisemitism is allowed to reign, the religious freedoms of others are affected. And we do have a clear acceleration, I would say of a rise of antisemitism and anti Christianism as well."

Sivan Abelson shared the fact that the story had a personal touch for her.

"I have to say," she said. "I just found out that my father's family is coming from there, from Vilnius, from Lithuania and actually my father's grandfather is buried in that cemetery. So this is also a kind of a personal thing for me, because it's heart-wrenching for my family."

Abelson was interested to know whether sanctions were being considered against the Lithuanian government?"

Dr. Harper laid out his perspective of whether the United Nations would be sensitive to the desecration of the Jewish cemetery. "Oh, well right now the UN has still continued to show it's antisemitic behavior. And, so I have no of any way that they would vote. They would try to discourage Lithuanian government to building on the cemetery."

The investigative reporter confirmed that some aggressive lobbying is being conducted to draw international attention to the travesty. (See video on current moves afoot to invoke sanctions against Lithuanian government.)

"I spoke with the press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany this week about this, the urgency of this matter," said Harper. "For her to talk with President Trump about this. He has been very supportive of Israel and opposes antisemitism. And it's important for him to hear about what Lithuanian government is planning to do. That desecration could take place as early as this month, as very soon in a very urgent matter to address for the U.S. to respond.

Dr Harper also was candid about how facts are being twisted. "There was a Lithuanian official that flew over here to Washington D.C. to meet with my Senator from the state of Idaho, who was the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, that's Senator James Risch. So that Lithuanian foreign minister was over here to talk with them. And the Jews that I'm aware of, are concerned about his conversations with Senator Risch and others, to try to convince them that it's okay to build on that cemetery. When we have the chief rabbi of Israel is saying any building on that cemetery site or anywhere near that, is a desecration and many others as well. So, this is an urgent matter for the White House to address.

"I know President Trump is, at a little bit of a disadvantage right now with diagnosed with Coronavirus, would encourage people to pray for him. First Lady Melania and others affected by the Coronavirus. But hopefully, President Trump will make the statement about this and, and many Orthodox Jews that I know of, would want the U.S. to make the statement on this and do something to send a strong message to Lithuania that antisemitism in any form is unacceptable."

In a separate interview with deputy press secretary of the White House, Brian Morgenstern, the press were updated that President Trump is making an exceptional recovery after his COVID-19 diagnosis. See video.

News anchor, Sivan Abelson brought up the criminal violations which are being perpetrated by UNRWA.

"So if you're speaking about antisemitism," said Abelson, "We can talk about UNRWA, which is an organization by the UN, and it was established in the 1950s. It was supposed to be until 1952. That was the plan for this organization to help Palestinians and they continue to receive funds. But what they actually do with these funds is teach in Palestinian schools and teach about the narrative of Israel is taking their land. Israel is taking your homes and about the right of return. So this organization, UNRWA the organization is still receiving money from the UN. The UN is receiving money from countries around the world. So how do we deal with the situation?"

Harper confirmed that she is not a lone voice in expressing her apprehension. "Many are concerned about this. What I hear is those that are concerned about this, the only way is for the U.S. to not only defund UNRWA, which it has, President Trump defunded it not too long ago.

"There was a lot of talk about that. I asked the initial question at the White House when President Trump came into his position about the misuse of U.S. tax dollars, going for funding UNRWA. But of course, the European nations, many nations that are continuing to fund UNRWA, the hateful agenda that they have, and the textbooks that are inciting 'cause the violence against the Jews and and fueling this, you know, this ongoing fight with Israel. And as long as that funding of UNRWA continues this, this will be a problem."

Abelson expressed concern about the troubling upward trend of antisemitism. "Yeah , I think there's a general growing of antisemitism in the past year. Because I know there were two incidents in December of last year, terrorists in New Jersey and New York. So is there a growing antisemitism in the past year? And is it spread throughout America?"

Dr Harper is the lead news correspondent who reports on antisemitism and freedom of religion at the White House.

"To me there's no doubts about the growing impact of antisemitism," Dr. Harper said. "And it also includes BDS, divestment and sanctions as well. And we've got to deal with this because I mentioned earlier how, that if antisemitism is allowed to reign, that affects other religious freedoms."

"Yeah, this is, this is very upsetting and very worrying," said Abelson. "And I hope the Jewish cemetery in Lithuania will not be desecrated and we will have the right to practice our religion freely."

"Yes, to honor the Jewish, the Jewish people buried there," confirmed Dr. Harper.

"Yes, okay, thank you very much, Dr. Anthony Harper."

Dr. Harper is an investigative journalist who reports for the InterMountain Christian News, at the White House

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