Thursday, December 8, 2016

Spain chooses city boycotting Israel to play Israel/Spain WC qualifier

A very cynical choice...

Via YNet News:
The Israel national team's World Cup qualifying game against Spain in Gijon has angered state officials because the city hosting the game has declared a boycott against Israel. Officials are also concerned that protests will accompany the game, which will be held on the 24th of March.
The Spanish national team holds games in many cities, so residents across the country have the opportunity to see the games.
In January 2016, the city council approved a boycott on Israel, which was initiated by extreme left-wing and socialist parties. Gijon Mayor Carmen Moriyón was opposed to the boycott, but her party and other centrist parties abstained and failed to overturn the decision. 

Pro-Israel activists appealed the decision to the Administrative Court, but the judge rejected the appeal on the grounds that the action had no real practical significance, but was only a political statement. (...)
In light of the city's attitude towards Israel, the Israel national team is not expecting a warm reception. "It makes us sick that the team has to come and play in a place that is boycotting the State of Israel, even if it is just a declaration," said state officials. "It is unclear to us why out of all places, Spain chose the hold the game in this city." 
The Israel Football Association said, "We have no information or explanation as to why Spain chose to hold the match in Gijon. They do not need our approval, of course. The relations between the associations are excellent. We play wherever is permitted, we don't mix sports with anything else."
read more 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Switzerland: "Deeply antisemitic" sexual poster attacks Netanyahu in train stations, says Alex Feuerherdt

This was reported on Dec. 4.  Now Benjamin Weinthal helps us understand why the poster’s “symbolism is deeply antisemitic.”

Via The Jerusalem Post:

The largest city in Switzerland—Zurich—started last week to run in its main train station antisemitic posters, according to critics that sexually depict the European Union bowing to the dictates of Prime Minister Benjamin  Netanyahu.

The eleven posters show a woman with an EU logo on her white dress bowed on her knees before Netanyahu and apparently about to kiss his left foot. The words next to Netanyahu’s head read: “We violate international law by stealing land, expulsion and apartheid…Our Joker: Europe’s guilty conscience.”
The Swiss paper Tages-Anzeiger wrote on Tuesday that the Swiss People's Party politician Claudio Schmid views the poster as anti-Semitic.

Writing on the Swiss website Audiatur Online, the German journalist and expert in modern antisemitism Alex Feuerherdt said the poster’s “symbolism is deeply antisemitic.”
He wrote that the poster continues the “age-old antisemitic stereotypes“ that depict Jews as “powerful and lustful.”

The Nazis frequently showed Jewish men as sexually powerful who sought to exploit and contaminate innocent German women.

Feuerherdt noted that the section on Israel allegedly exploiting Europe’s guilt due to the Holocaust is an expression of antisemitism because the poster relies on typical stereotypes that Jews are only interested in "walking over corpses to gain personal advantage.” 

Feuerherdt argues that the posters also aim to dismantle the Jewish state because its message is to show Israel as an illegal enterprise.
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UK: Charity Commission criticised over inquiry into charity accused of antisemitism

Via The Jewish Chronicle:
Questions have been raised regarding the lack of proper action by the Charity Commission for England and Wales in regard to an organisation which has been accused of promoting antisemitism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry, with a call for it to be stripped of its charitable status.
The “Islamic Education and Research Academy” group, which is a registered charity, was founded in 2009 with the aim of encouraging conversion to Islam. 
The inquiry by the charity commission was initiated in the wake of a report by the Council of Ex-Muslims in Britain, which alleged that a dozen individuals associated with IERA, whether as founding members, direct employees or associated speakers, were guilty of a wide range of antisemitic homophobic, and generally racist comments.
IERA’s founder and chairman, Abdurraheem Green, as reported by the Telegraph in 2014, was caught on camera at Hyde Park Corner asking for a Jewish man to be removed from his sight. “Why don’t you take the Yahoudi [Jew] over there, far away so his stench doesn’t disturb us,” he is heard to say on the video.
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Belarus: Monument to Nazi victims desecrated in Pinsk

Pinsk - A swastika was painted on the monument to the victims of the German occupation.

The police are currently looking for the perpetrators of the crime.

The vandalized memorial is on Pushkin Street in Pinsk, on the site of the former ghetto, where in 1941-1944 the Nazis carried out mass extermination of Jews, Gypsies, partisans and underground fighters.
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Russia: "If we talk about domestic anti-Semitism and attitudes in society in general, there is no decline there"

However, the conference's participants agreed that anti-Semitism still exists in Russia. "Open forms of anti-Semitism have weakened, but anti-Semitism has not disappeared," Gudkov said. "The entire structure of anti-Semitist sentiments has persisted. Anti-Semitism has simply entered a ‘dormant phase.'"
Monika-Yevgeniya Kuznetsova, 26, an ethnic Russian Jew, told RBTH that she often has to deal with anti-Semitism, which, for example, is expressed in people's reactions to Hebrew textbooks.

"Once I was in the metro, studying Hebrew," Monika-Yevgeniya recalled. "A guy spoke to me, seeking to get acquainted. After learning that I study Hebrew, he changed his expression and said angrily: 'Our grandfathers died because of those nasty Jews, how can you learn their language?'"

"If we talk about domestic anti-Semitism and attitudes in society in general, there is no decline there, the situation has not changed," Alexander Kargin, director of the office of the Likud World Organisation (Likud Olami) in Russia, told RBTH. "It's just a matter of degrees. Against the background of Europe, where anti-Semitic moods are growing, the situation in Russia is undoubtedly better."
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In post-coup Turkey, Jews plan their future abroad

Via JTA:
At a chic café overlooking the Bosphorus, two Turkish Jewish women are discussing their plans to emigrate when the call to Friday prayers blasts from the loudspeakers of a nearby mosque.

Unable to talk over the deafening singing that fills the café in the Bebek neighborhood of western Istanbul, the women turn to their smartphones to read the news. At least they try to.

Turkey’s government has jammed access to the internet on this November day, reportedly to prevent terrorists from communicating with each other. It spurs major traffic disruptions and overloads several cellular towers.

“This is Turkey,” said one of the women, a 42-year-old businesswoman and mother named Betty, who asks that her last name not be used for security reasons.

“If they don’t want you to communicate, you won’t,” adds her friend Suzette, who makes the same request about her surname.

Betty and Suzette are among the thousands of Turkish Jews seeking foreign passports this year amid growing religiosity in a society where civil rights activists and some ethnic minorities are feeling the weight of the increasingly authoritarian policies of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s Islamist president who has used anti-Israel rhetoric.

“Of course we’re thinking about emigrating,” said Betty while scanning the top floor of the café — a quiet place that she proposes for an interview because she does not want to be overheard speaking about Jews to a journalist. “Everyone in the Jewish community is because it is hard to imagine a future for ourselves here. Many Muslims are, too.”

read more

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Netherlands: Jewish-owned car vandalized

Hilversum – in the night between Thursday and Friday a swastika was drawn on the car of a Jewish family.

The owner, a businesswoman who asked to remain anonymous lives on the outskirts of the city. She told us that she found the swastika on the hood in the morning when she wanted to get into her car. In addition to the swastika the car was scratched down the entire length on one side and tires were punctured.
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France: Jewish man attacked, called 'Dirty Jew', police unsure it's an antisemitic attack

Via Haaretz:
A Jewish man was beat up in a suburb south of Paris on Thursday by a group of men, at least one of whom shouted “Dirty Jew!”

“These local thugs hit the 30-year-old father from behind while he was returning home from work. They threw him on the ground and beat him. I don’t know how they identified him as Jewish since he wasn’t wearing any distinctive sign,” said Creteil’s Jewish community leader Albert Elharrar who has met with the victim and talked to police.

“The victim was brave enough to hit one of his aggressors back which allowed him to try to escape but they caught him,” said Elharrar.

Creteil is the home of one of France’s largest Jewish communities with about 22,000 people. They represent about 20 percent of the town’s workforce.

“The courthouse neighbourhood has been developed by Jewish businesses, including a big kosher supermarket in recent years, but it’s filled with petty criminals,” said Elharrar. “Police believe the same local thugs attacked a non-Jewish man the same day.”

Police are still investigating the assault, searching for suspects and trying to determine if the attack was anti-Semitic.
The case was handed to the local judiciary police.

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Poland: Culture minister denies involvement in antisemitic event

Via Jerusalem Post:
The Polish culture minister denied any involvement in an antisemitic event though its organizers said he helped put it together.

Piotr Glinski’s statement Friday was over a discussion in Lodz last week about a 2014 book titled “The Jewish Political Lobby in Poland.” Far-right activists advertised the discussion about the book, which features many antisemitic conspiracy theories, as having been co-organized by Glinski.

“We would like to clarify that Professor Piotr Glinski was not informed about the event with Marian Miszalski, author of the book,” his office wrote in a statement Friday night. The minister “does not identify with the theses of this author, which he demonstrated on numerous occasions by persistently denouncing all forms of antisemitism as a manifestation of evil in the social and political space.”

However, a spokesperson for Glinski, who is also the First Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, is quoted as telling the Gazeta Wyborcza daily that Glinski’s office had been in contact with the event’s organizers during the planning stages. He said this did not mean that Glinski endorses their worldview.

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Poland: Director of Polish Culture Institute in Berlin fired for ‘too much Jewish content’

The cultural manager and director of the polish culture institute in Berlin, Katarzyna Wielga-Skolimowska, was fired this past Tuesday from her position. According to the German left-leaning daily TAZ that broke the story, Poland’s right-wing PiS-led government called for her immediate departure due to her programming, which included “too much Jewish-themed content,” as Poland’s ambassador in Germany Andrzej Przyłębski had complained. 
The institute’s spokesperson, Marcin Zastrożny, confirmed to TAZ this past Friday that Wielga-Skolimowska, whose contract should have continued until summer 2017, has been dismissed “effective immediately.” 
Poland’s foreign ministry operates some 24 culture institutes around the world, tasked with promoting Polish art and culture abroad. Wielga-Skolimowska has helmed the Berlin branch since 2013, and her programming was considered thoughtful and serious by critics. 
But her ideas didn’t sit well with the cultural politics of the ruling national-conservative, right-wing party, who’s been in power since the October 2015 elections. In a recent internal assessment of the institute carried out by the foreign ministry, her work received a negative evaluation due to the focus on Jewish themes, and insufficient engagement with social media, the Berliner Zeitungreports. 
Earlier this year, Poland’s minister of culture, Piotr Gliński (PiS) called for an end to the “culture of shame” regarding WWII and the Holocaust, and Wielga-Skolimowska’s work has irked the government ever since.
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UK: Vegan protesters accuse Jews of committing a “Kosher Holocaust”

Via CAA:
Animal rights activists calling themselves the “East London Chicken Save” have accused non-vegan Jews of perpetrating a “Kosher Holocaust”, storming a kosher slaughterhouse and daubing it and the road outside with graffiti including “Stop the Holocaust” and “Kosher Holocaust” along with a Star of David.

Following an initial peaceful protest at the Kedassia abattoir in Hackney Wick, the activists returned, forcing their way through the gate and shouting “F***ing bastards” at the staff, who they accused of “helping to kill babies”.
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Hungary: Jobbik leader says if he lived in Greece, he would vote for antisemitic far-left party

Nick Thorpe at the BBC asks whether Hungary's Jobbik is "really ditching far-right past?" (h/t glykosymoritis).

Gabor Vona, head of Jobbik, claims it is.  After all, if he would live in Greece, he would vote for the far-left Syriza party.  Thorpe forgets to mention, however, that Jobbik and Syriza both share a hatred of Jews and Israel.  You don't need to be a Nazi to hate Jews.

Jobbik is changing fast, its leader Gabor Vona, 38, claims.

From a radical nationalist party which until recently insulted Hungary's Roma (Gypsy) and Jewish communities, to a moderate "conservative people's party", which offers the only realistic chance of ousting Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party.

But is the makeover genuine and could Jobbik really move to the centre?


Nowadays, Gabor Vona prefers to avoid political labels. "If I lived in Greece I would probably vote for Syriza, though they are supposed to be on the left," he suggests.
 And unlike other party leaders associated with the far right, he admires the Sufi tradition of Islam: something he has struggled to explain to his vehemently anti-migrant party.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Italy: Openly hostile to Israel and antisemitic Five Star Movement energized by referendum

Via The Telegraph (today):

 "The outcome of the referendum energised eurosceptic party Five Star Movement"

The Washington Post, via CFCA (2014):
Photo from Grillo's blog
An anti-Semitic post by a comedian who founded the Italian parliament’s third-largest party (Five Star Movement) has sparked outrage in Italy’s tiny Jewish community. 
Comedian Beppe Grillo’s blog on Monday featured a photo of Auschwitz’s gate with the words changed to sarcastically refer to a shadowy organization of Italian business and political figures. It also played with the title of a work by Primo Levi, a now deceased Italian writer who survived deportation to a Nazi death camp.

Via Haaretz (July 19, 2016)
They’re Openly Hostile to Israel. So Why Did These Italian Politicians Just Pay a Visit?
Part of the European and American populist, demagogic political tide, with a conspiracy theory twist, Italy's Five Star Movement has accused Israel of genocide. And Israeli politicians, from Ayman Oudeh to Avi Dichter, lined up to meet them. 
Peace must be on the verge of breaking out in the Middle East. Hamas is apparently just a political party that has resorted to terrorism solely because of "the isolation of Gaza."

Meanwhile, "Christians, Muslims and Jews are living peacefully together" in Bethlehem (a Palestinian town where there are no Jews and the Christian population has been declining for decades).
These are some of the geopolitical fantasies that emerged during last week's visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories by leaders of Italy's Five Star Movement, the anti-establishment party that has shaken Italian politics since it was founded in 2009 by Beppe Grillo, a popular comedian turned firebrand demagogue. 
And these gems of misinformation would be very comic indeed, had they not been pronounced by those who have a very good shot at leading the next government in what is one of Israel's closest European allies. (...)
Sensing that power is now within its grasp, the party is trying to rebrand itself by toning down its more radical messages. The wild rants of its comedian founder, Grillo, may have become too much even for the most enthusiastic “grillini” – as his supporters are nicknamed. Grillo has repeatedly claimed that the CIA may have been involved in the September 11 attacks, railed against “Jewish Hollywood producers” and stated that a group led by a former Mossad agent controls all information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that reaches Europe. 
While he remains the party's ideologue and conspiracy-theorist-in-chief, Grillo has faded slightly into the background, leaving the limelight to younger leaders like Di Maio, who serves as the vice president of the lower chamber of parliament and led the movement's delegation on its five-day Mideast visit. 
The tour was part of the party's strategy to present itself as a potential government force and was mainly geared for local consumption back home. After all, nothing projects statesmanship and foreign policy credibility as engagement in the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The trip was also supposed to at least partially redress and temper what so far has been the party's rather open hostility toward the Jewish state, which has gone beyond Grillo's conspiratorial remarks.

During the 2014 Gaza war, for example, Manlio Di Stefano, a former computer engineer who acts as the movement's point person for foreign policy, accused Israel of committing genocide against the Palestinians and of launching the conflict to block the development of Gaza's marine gas fields. Speaking in parliament, he said Zionism was by definition discriminatory against minorities and called on the government to withdraw its ambassador and suspend all economic agreements with Israel. 
On a superficial level, the visit appeared successful in mending some fences. Di Maio, impeccably dressed in a suit and tie despite the July heat, ostensibly did and said all the right things. He and his followers, which included Di Stefano, met with Knesset members, visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and a memorial to Israeli victims of terror, condemned "any terrorist actions by Hamas" and declared their support for a two-state solution, while calling for renewed dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

On the other side, while touring Palestinian towns and refugee camps, they pledged that a Five-Star government would officially recognize the State of Palestine, condemned the separation wall and settlements in the West Bank and denounced Israel's refusal to grant the delegation a permit to visit Gaza.  [...]  
When asked by Haaretz about his 2014 "genocide" remarks, Di Stefano said he stood by them, but added that they had been made "in a particular moment, in which we were witnessing the death of 2200 people in the bombing of Gaza." (Apparently it's OK to talk to genocidal regimes, as long as they are not committing genocide right now.) Speaking to the Italian daily La Stampa, he went on to qualify the condemnation of Hamas by saying that only its actions were terroristic, while the group itself "was born as a party that won free elections. Then, the isolation of Gaza changed things." (Hamas was founded in 1987, long before Israel blockaded the Gaza Strip, and its charter called for the destruction of Israel from the get go.) 
Di Maio, when repeatedly asked whether Israel had a right to defend itself if attacked by terrorist groups (such as rocket launches by Hamas), refused to be pinned down, saying such that such questions were "hypothetical." And finally, the potential future prime minister of Italy waxed lyrical on his Facebook profile about the above-mentioned nonexistent Jewish community of Bethlehem.

Beneath their skin-deep neutrality, the visiting "grillini" (barely) concealed a deep-seated mistrust of Israel, while displaying a willingness to listen to and believe anything they heard from the Palestinian side, to the point of propagating grotesque distortions.

While they may not necessarily implement all of Di Stefano's recommendations from 2014, this bias makes it unlikely that a future government led by the Five Star Movement will have anything close to the friendly relationship that Israel enjoys today with Rome. 
read more 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Switzerland: Antisemitic banner displayed at train station

Via Everyday Antisemitism:
The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs has intervened after an antisemitic placard was displayed at a Swiss train station.

The advert at the main train station in Zurich shows a girl, who symbolises Europe, kneeling to kiss the feet of Benjamin Netanyahu. The Ministry have requested that the poster is removed.

The image is accompanied with text which translates to “We are breaking the international law by stealing land, expulsion and apartheid but our joker is the conscience of Europe”.

read more

UK: More British Muslims blame Jews for 9/11 terror attacks than Al-Qaeda

Via The Algemeiner:
Only 4% of British Muslims believe Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist group was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, a new poll published on Friday found.
According to the poll results — which were based on a survey of 3,000 British Muslims conducted by ICM for the Policy Exchange think tank — 31% of respondents said the US government was behind the devastating September 2001 terrorist attacks — in which nearly 3,000 people were killed in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia — while 7% pointed a finger of blame at Jews.
A majority — 52% — said they did not know who carried out the attacks, while 6% chose “other.”
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