Thursday, October 19, 2017

Ukraine: Disgraceful celebration of anti-Semitic nationalist leader

Via European Jewish Press:
Symon Petliura
The city of  Vinnitsa, in west central Ukraine, once a historic center of Jewish life in the country, has decided to celebrate an anti-Semitic nationalist leader and to unveil a monument in his honor this weekend.

Symon Petliura and his Ukrainian People’s Republic are blamed for the murder of tens of thousands of Jews in programs under his watch in 1918-1921.

The memorial for Symon Petliura was unveiled Saturday in Vinnitsa, on Defender of Ukraine Day, a national holiday. It is located in an area once known as Yerusalimka, or Jerusalem, and located next to a small synagogue that is still in operation.

In a statement, the World Jewish Congress denounced the move to celebrate Petliura.

WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer said in a statement: "The World Jewish Congress is distressed by the Vinnitsa municipality’s disgraceful and regrettable decision to celebrate the anti-Semitic nationalist leader Symon Petliura as a 'Defender of Ukraine' and by Vinnitsa Regional Chairman Valery Korovy’s description of him as an 'honest man'."

"Petilura was anything but an honest man. He was a cruel barbarian, indisputably responsible for pogroms in which 35,000-40,000 Jews were murdered."

"He and his Ukrainian People’s Republic were more than just Ukrainian nationalists - they were also avowed and brutal anti-Semites, intoxicated by the thrill of carrying out unimaginably vicious and inhumane crimes against innocent people."

"It is inconceivable that a man, who today we would not hesitate to call a terrorist, should be honored in the very same city in which he and his regime tried to wipe out a rooted and strong Jewish population."
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France: Mohamed Merah's family: a burning hatred against France and Jews

Via The Jewish Chronicle (Michel Gurfinkiel):
Murdered by Mohamed Mehra because they were Jewish
Harrowing details emerge from the French trial of Souad and Abdelkader Merah, whose brother shot dead seven people, including three Jewish children, in 2012  
“Burning hatred against France and against Jews, and an orgy of domestic violence.” That was how Anne Chenevat, a major witness, described the Merah family – a divorced mother, three sons and two daughters – to the Special Criminal Court of Paris last Tuesday. 
Mohamed Merah, the youngest of the family’s sons, killed seven people – including three Jewish children shot at point-blank range – and maimed six others in the southern French towns of Montauban and Toulouse between March 11 and March 19, 2012. He was himself killed by security forces three days later. 
The main defendants in the present trial, which started three weeks ago, are his older brother Abdelkader Merah and his older sister Souad. The siblings are accused of inspiring the killing spree. Abdelkader was arrested in 2012; Souad fled to Algeria. 
Anne Chenevat’s importance as a witness stems from the fact that she was for six years the partner of Abdelghani Merah, the eldest Merah brother. According to her, Zuleikha Aziri, the Algerian-born mother, would use electric wire to beat her children. Violence between the brothers was rampant: on one occasion, Abdelkader inflicted seven stab wounds on Abdelghani. 
Hatred for the non-Muslim French and antisemitism were held as self-evident in the family. 
“As a result, I was routinely abused and spat upon by Zuleikha for being ‘a dirty French woman’ and a ‘dirty Jewess’”, Chenevat said. 
A Catholic by birth, she once admitted to the Merahs that she had a Jewish grandfather.
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Related:
France: Islamist violence is compelling large numbers of Jews to flee

France: Death of Holocaust denier Serge Thion at 75

Serge Thion

French sociologist and Holocaust denier Serge Thion died at Créteil on October 15, at the age of 75.
"A French sociologist and associate of Robert Faurisson, Serge Thion has described the Holocaust as a "religion" that was "pushed by Zionists to attract capital, as well as political and military protection."


Wikipedia:
In 1993 Thion privately published Une Allumette sur la banquise (A Matchstick on an Ice Flow). The book criticized what he perceived as sensationalization of the Holocaust compared to other mass deaths since World War II. He also criticized the prosecution of Robert Faurisson for Holocaust denial, and cast doubt on the accuracy of Filip Müller's book Eyewitness Auschwitz. He met Noam Chomsky during the 1970s and presented his editor Pierre Guillaume for publication.
Thion has been described as a Holocaust denier, and in November 2000 was dismissed from CNRS for Holocaust denial activities. He was condemned and fined for defamation by the French Correctional Tribunal Court of Appeal in December 2002 for attacks on writer Didier Daeninckx.  
Thion attended the 2006 International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust in Iran, often described as a Holocaust denial conference.  
Israeli philosopher Elhanan Yakira has cited Thion and his friend Alain Guionnet, as one of a number of deniers on the radical left (and right) in France whose extreme views on the Holocaust have made Holocaust denial "a central issue in France and elsewhere".
Translated from Wikipedia's article on Serge Thion in French:

- After the attacks of 11 September 2001, Serge Thion doubted Osama bin Laden's role in their organization.
- In 2003, he participated in public meetings organized by members of the Muslim Party of France.
- During the elections of 2007, chronicles were published under the pseudonym "Serge Noith" on the campaign site of Dieudonné M'bala M'bala; the magazine L'Arche made a comparison between this pseudonym and the name of Serge Thion.
- In June 2009, Serge Thion joined the Kemi Séba's Movement of Those Damned By Imperialism.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Spain: Newspaper regrets discussion of British soccer club’s ‘Jewish origin’

Via JTA:
A Spanish newspaper wrote that soccer fans hate the British team Tottenham Hotspurs because of their “Jewish origin,” spurring condemnation from British soccer clubs.
Marca, a Madrid-based daily sports paper, published the article on Monday ahead of a Champions League match between the Spurs and Real Madrid.

“Their Jewish origin has made them into a club hated by rival fans,” the article said, in part. “But in their 135 years of existence they have always had style and great players.”

The Spurs were indeed popular among Jewish immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Fans often call themselves the “Yid Army,” though the league has since banned the term as offensive. According to a history of the club, opposing fans aimed anti-Semitic abuse at the team from the late 1960s onwards, and such chants were heard earlier this year.

In a clarification issued after publication, senior reporter Enrique Ortega wrote: “That ‘hatred’ that Tottenham suffers is very focused on the radical and racist groups that are hiding in the social mass, especially Chelsea and West Ham,” referring to two rival teams.

“I regret the confusion that has been created in this respect,” he added. “The intention was not to damage the image of Tottenham, a club we respect, value … and we do not want to serve as a spokesman for these racist minorities who use any pretext to expand their hate messages, which we reject head-on.”
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Germany: Left party leader call Jewish MP a "sneaky Jew"

Raheem Kassam quite rightly pointed out on Twitter:
If the head of the AFD said this it’d have flashed up on my phone as a Reuters/AFP alert by now...
Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):  
The head of the German Left Party in the city of Saarlouis, situated in the state of Saarland, used an antisemitic phrase on his Facebook page to denigrate an MP in his party, according to a Monday report in the regional paper Saarbrücker Zeitung.

Mekan Kolasinac, the chairman of the Left Party in Saarlouis, called the party's federal head, Bernd Riexinger, a "sneaky Jew."

Kolasinac told the paper he wrote the anti-Jewish entry but regrets it. He said it was a mistake and he intended to write "Judas" instead of "Jew." Kolasinac said he apologized on his Facebook page and apologized to "my Jewish friends."

Birgit Huonker, a spokeswoman for the Left Party in Saarland, said: "Antisemitism in one's party. Bad."

The Saarbrücker Zeitung said the background to Kolasinac's verbal attack on Riexinger is a BILD paper article, in which Riexinger allegedly sought to oust the party's parliamentary head Sahra Wagenknecht. Riexinger is co-chair of the federal Left Party.
The Left Party has been plagued over the years by allegations of antisemitism and anti-Israel scandals, according to critics
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UK: Organization of British Jews gives cover to left-wing anti-Semites

Via Mosaic Magazine:
The fall conference of the UK’s Labor party saw more than its share of vitriol directed at Israel, not to mention naked anti-Semitism. In response, the Jewish Labor Movement—an established group for the party’s Jewish members—successfully pushed for new rules that would allow the party more effectively to combat anti-Semitism in its ranks. Opposing the change was the newly-formed Jewish Voice for Labor (JVL), which, according to Stephen Daisley, exists primarily to apologize for anti-Semites:
Although it failed to halt the new disciplinary regime, JVL’s intervention marks a turning point in Labor’s engagement with Jews and its attitude to anti-Semitism. Jewish groups within the party have hitherto been united in criticism of the leadership and the toleration of prejudice against Jews and conspiracy theories about Zionism. Now another group will purport to speak for Labor Jews, one ideologically wedded to the leader [Jeremy Corbyn] and the radical anti-Israel politics he practices. ... 
The [true] purpose of JVL is not to explore and debate complex questions or to represent the feelings of most Jews within the party; it is to muddy the waters. ... [Its] most noxious aspect ... is [its supporters’] eagerness . . . to leap to the defense of the most outrageous statements by the most extreme figures in the Labor party. Time after time, JVL has acted [by] providing kosher [certification, as it were] for the nastiest elements on the far left. When [London’s former mayor] Ken Livingstone pronounced Hitler a supporter of Zionism, Jenny Manson, now chair of JVL, issued a statement insisting his comments were “not offensive, nor anti-Semitic in any way.” ... 
So what do the anti-Zionist activists in groups like JVL get out of being used as a kosher stamp for anti-Semites—aside from proving their loyalty to the Labor party leadership? [The scholar David] Hirsh suggests a deeper motivation: “They would rather live in a world where anti-Semitism is provoked by Jews—and so, therefore, could notionally be stopped by Jews—than in a world where anti-Semitism is irrational. They prefer to imagine that Jews are in control of their own destiny than that they are simply victims of anti-Semitism.”
 Read more at Tablet

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Austria's election winner Sebastian Kurz has a warm place in his heart for Israel

 Via Israel Hayom:
Sebastian Kurz
(...) Less than 24 hours after Kurz's sweeping win, as he began preparing for his new job as the youngest world leader, he granted Israel Hayom an exclusive interview, making a point of showing he has a warm place in his heart for the Jewish state
Kurz made it clear that denouncing anti-Semitism would be a "clear precondition" for his future coalition partners, including his most likely partner, the far-right Freedom Party of Austria. (...)
Kurz also said he supports the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which was negotiated in his country's capital, Vienna. He stressed that "we cannot be naive" about the Islamic republic's conduct. 
Q. Congratulations on your victory and thank you for finding the time to answer our questions on such a busy day. How does it feel to become the youngest chancellor in Austria's history?
"I'm glad and overwhelmed by the good electoral results for our political movement, the new People's Party. We have achieved historic success. The voters have conferred a very large responsibility on us and I would be honored to serve the Austrian citizens as the head of the next government." 
Q. Does being so young make it easier for you to take responsibility for Austria's history during World War II?
"My visits to Yad Vashem [Israel's Holocaust memorial], as well as my many meetings with Holocaust survivors, were deeply moving for me. I have always been very clear that we – and that very much includes the new Austrian generation – shall never forget the Holocaust and the atrocities committed during World War II. Austria has to face up to its own history, and that includes the dark sides of it. Let me be very clear: A Europe without Jews is not Europe anymore. I am therefore very glad that we have a vibrant – small, but very vibrant - Jewish community in Austria. Also, Austria enjoys excellent relations with the State of Israel – this is a fact that is very important for me." 
Q. During the campaign, your close contacts with the Austrian Jewish community and Israel were used by certain sides to try to harm your chances of winning. Was that anti-Semitic?
"I cannot speak for other parties. But the election results clearly show that Austrians do not reward any kind of smear campaigns or dirty campaigning tricks. Let me also be clear that we must continue to pursue a policy of zero tolerance for any form of anti-Semitism in Austria as well as in Europe." 
Q. The campaign was shadowed by the "Silberstein scandal," in which Israeli adviser Tal Silberstein was accused of misconduct by promoting allegedly racist propaganda. Will this affair influence future contacts between Austria and Israel?
"No, it will not. It is of the utmost importance for me that Austria and Israel continue to intensify our already close bilateral relations. I am glad that during my time as foreign minister our bilateral relations have further improved and grown ever stronger. Let me just give you one figure here: Our bilateral trade grew by 32.5% during the first half of 2017 – that tells you something about the growing strength of our relationship. Also, we have put a focus and an intensified exchange between our young generations. (A new Working Holiday Program that I have signed with PM Netanyahu allows for young Israelis and Austrians for the first time to work in each other's country – and this opportunity is taken up with great enthusiasm.) If I become the next chancellor of Austria, I will strive to further intensify our close bilateral relations."
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Europe: Czech MEP Tomas Zdechovsky: MEPs who invited Leila Khaled must be sanctioned

Related:
Europe: Huge success for terrorist Leila Khaled at the European Parliament

Via European Jewish Press:
Tomas Zedchovsky, a Czech Member of the European Parliament from the European People’s Party (EPP), was the first to be alerted by the presence of a terrorist in the building of the parliament in Brussels. He called on European Parliament President  Antonio Tajani  to investigate whether the EU’s anti-terror rules had been breached by the two Spanish MEPs from the European United Left group who invited Leila Khaled.

"Not only did she (Khaled) hijack airplanes from European cities, but she never faced justice. This terrorist only walks free here because other terrorists hijacked even more Europeans in exchange for her release,"  he noted.

"President Tajani, who was very surprised when he learned of the presence of Leila Khaled (it was not announced until the last minute), promised us that this will quickly be investigated," Zdechovsky told European Jewish Press in an interview.

According to the Czech MEP, President Tajani can impose various sanctions on the two Spanish MEPs, even a suspension. ''We must avoid this will happen again,'' he said.

"I am a peaceful person and I support every time a peaceful solution between Israel and Palestinians. But we cannot give a democratic word in the European parliament to such people who have been fighting with guns against democracy. I will never bring here to the European Parliament radical people, like the PKK or any Palestinian terror group," he said.

read more

Germany: BDS protest against Israeli band

Via Watch Antisemitism in Europe:

On Saturday evening, supporters of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (#BDS) protested in front of the venue Kulturbahnhof Jena. Reason for the anti-Israel protest was a concert by the Israeli band Kutiman Orchestra. BDS recalls the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.

Twitter photo

Monday, October 16, 2017

France: Former PM Valls accused of proximity with Israeli far right

Via The Irish Times:
Mélenchon [a former Socialist minister and now leader of the far-left France Unbowed, France Insoumise] clashed with the former prime minister Manuel Valls, after the weekly Canard enchaîné reported that Mélenchon called Valls a Nazi. “I did not say and I do not think that Valls is a Nazi,” Mélenchon tweeted. “He’s a political loser.”

Mélenchon accused Valls of supporting the Israeli extreme right, while Valls accused Mélenchon of using “Islamo-leftist rhetoric” and complacency towards anti-Semitism. 
Valls, now deputy for the Essonne department south of Paris, chairs a commission on independence for the overseas territory of New Caledonia. Mélenchon withdrew from the commission, citing Valls’s “proximity to the ethnic theses of the Israeli extreme right”. He referred to a photograph of Valls with Ayelet Shaked, the Israeli minister of justice and a member of the pro-settlement Jewish Home party. 
Valls called Mélenchon’s statement “ignoble and outrageous”. Mélenchon replied that “Valls’s gang are completely integrated in the fachosphère and its propaganda.” Valls thanked politicians who supported him under the hashtag  #I’mFromValls’sGang#. 
The name-calling culminated with Vall’s interview on Europe 1 radio station. “When I go to Israel, I meet everyone,” he said, referring to the photograph with Shaked. “But when they publish this photo and say I’m the friend of the Israeli extreme right, they want to send one message: that Manuel Valls is the friend of the Jews. They’re forgetting the new anti-Semitism. That’s where there is complacency... or they realise it, which is even more serious.”
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UK: Swastika and ‘Kikes’ spray painted at synagogue

Via Times of Israel:
An anti-Semitic slur and a swastika were spray painted overnight Tuesday-Wednesday on a sign outside the Etz Chaim synagogue in the city of Leeds, England, according to local police.

Authorities were treating the act of vandalism as a hate crime and police increased the number of patrols in the area in response, Israel’s Channel 10 reported.

Witnesses said racist slogans were found scribbled on a sidewalk near the Jewish house of worship as well, according to the BBC.

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UK: Bus passenger swore at Rabbi and accused him of “murdering Muslims”


Via CAA:
A rabbi from north London’s orthodox charedi Jewish community has been subjected to a barrage of antisemitic abuse while travelling through Stamford Hill on the 253 bus service. At 20:40 on Wednesday evening, a middle-aged man of Middle Eastern appearance boarded the bus, sat immediately behind him and began to swear at him under his breath. When, on arrival at the stop outside the Shell petrol station in Upper Clapton Road, the rabbi stood up to leave the bus, his abuser shouted at him, “Why are you killing all the Muslims? You are a murderer!” The rabbi declined the bus driver’s offer to call the police, as he was on his way to officiate at a ceremony. However, the next day, he made contact with the police himself. Clearly still angry and upset, he told us: “He was clearly antisemitic. He has no right to say these things to a person in a public place.”

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

UK: UK: Pensioner fined £250 for antisemitic mail campaign against 'Zionist Jews'

Via CAA:
James Evans, a 70-year-old pensioner from Worcester, has been fined for harassing Worcester MP Robin Walker after writing him over 150 letters which included references to “Zionist Jews” being a “death cult” and claims that they will “get us all killed in the Third World War.” He also said the Jews were “not a race.” Mr Evans was fined £250, despite him refusing to express remorse and the fact that this is his third conviction for a similar offence.

Mr Evans wrote over 150 letters to Mr Walker between 1st August and 25th November last year. Mr Evans, who represented himself, had previously admitted racially aggravated harassment against Mr Walker when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court to be sentenced.

It is Mr Evans’ third conviction for similar offences, one of which led to a restraining order preventing him from contacting staff at BBC Hereford and Worcester after he sent them 70 offensive letters. It was a restraining order he later breached.

Mr Walter even contacted Mr Evans in an attempt to stop the letters being sent, but he continued to send and hand deliver letters, sometimes several times a day.

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Op-Ed: Why my antisemitism antenna keeps twitching


Ivor Gaber @ TheJC:
Let me begin with a declaration of interest so that readers know, as they say, where I am coming from.

I am Jewish by birth and an atheist by belief. I was one of the original signatories to the declaration of Jews for Justice for the Palestinians and Independent Jewish Voices, so I can hardly be described as a friend of the current Israeli Government or any of its immediate predecessors.

But why, at every Labour conference I have attended as a journalist and observer, does my trusty antisemitism antenna almost always start twitching?

I am no Jewish snowflake. I have sat in meeting after meeting where platform speakers have made legitimate criticisms of the Israeli government - both this one and Labour's before, and have offered, in the main, thoughtful insights into the origins of the state of Israel and of the whole Zionist mission.

But then, as soon as the discussion is opened to the audience, my discomfort begins.

Take Jeremy Corbyn's closing conference speech at this year’s conference for example. In the section on foreign affairs he spoke about the Saudi onslaught on Yemen, the oppression of the Rohingyas and the death toll in the Congo. Each reference received polite applause. Then he mentioned Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and the polite applause exploded into yelps of agreement and a standing ovation.

Why?

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Austria: Students reject 'antisemitic' boycott Israel campaign

Via Jerusalem Post:

The Austrian National Union of Students passed on Friday a motion against BDS, saying that the boycott movement targeting Israel is antisemitic, and that its demands recall the Nazis’ economic war against Jewish businesses.

It is believed to be the first time an Austrian national student union has passed such a resolution.

The Austrian Jewish students group announced on its Facebook page: “We are very happy to announce that the Austrian Students Union is the first national student union to officially pass a resolution denouncing BDS and also passing a version of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – IHRA definition of antisemitism. The resolution states BDS to be an antisemitic campaign and calls not to give it any space or supporting funds.

“This has been a big step in the fight against antisemitism, and we are very happy that after our lobbying effort almost all factions have supported the motion.

“A special thanks to the GRAS Greens and Alternative Students and their continuing support in the fight against all antisemitism.”
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