Friday, May 25, 2018

Belgium: Brussels chief rabbi declines to wear kippa publicly, citing security concerns

Via The Times of Israel:
Amid reports of widespread fear among Belgian Jews of being attacked by anti-Semites, the chief rabbi of Brussels and other Jews declined over security concerns a public broadcaster’s request to film them walking on the street while wearing a kippa. The RTBF broadcaster reported Thursday it wanted to film Chief Rabbi Albert Guigui, among other rabbis, wearing a kippa for a program about anti-Semitism.

But Guigui declined, telling the channel he has stopped visibly wearing a kippa in 2001 following an anti-Semitic assault on his person. In December of that year, Guigui was attacked by a group of Arabic speaking youths.
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Read also:
Brussels and Barcelona chief rabbis say there is no future for Jews in Europe

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Germany: Distorted antisemitism statistics

Via The Algemeiner (Manfred Gerstenfeld):
The German Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer recently presented the country’s criminal statistics for 2017. These included 1,500 criminal antisemitic acts — about four per day. The minister claimed that 95% of these were motivated by right-wing attitudes. Another source reported that there were 947 antisemitic incidents in Berlin in 2017, an increase of 60% from the year before.

But if right-wing perpetrators of antisemitic acts were so dominant, why did several leading politicians come out in the last few months against Muslim antisemitism? The major public exposure of Muslim hate crimes against Jews in Germany started after the burning of a homemade Israeli flag in Berlin in December 2017. The video of this event went viral around the world.

For many years, Muslim antisemitism has been intentionally ignored and sometimes whitewashed in Germany. Severe criminal cases coming out of parts of this community were treated as “incidents” instead of as a structural problem.

Since last December this has suddenly changed. The Christian Democrat Jens Spahn — the current Minister of Health and former Deputy Minister of Finance — put it clearly. He said that antisemitism in some Muslim countries was omnipresent. He mentioned ongoing incitement in families and mosques. He furthermore stressed that Muslim immigration had brought additional antisemitism to Germany. Spahn called on German Muslim organizations to do their duty and condemn the antisemitic crimes committed by Muslims.

By April, even Chancellor Angela Merkel felt she could no longer remain silent. After yet another antisemitic attack in Berlin, she said that the authorities should act with extreme force against antisemitism — both by Germans and Arabs.
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France: 53% believe Zionism = Jewish Conspiracy

Via Europe 1/JDD (in French):

A poll commissioned by the UEJF (Union of French Jewish Students) on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the creation of Israel has revealed that 53% of the French believe that Zionism is the product of a Jewish conspiracy.

For them "Zionism is an international organization that aims to influence the world and society in favour of the Jews". 50% believe that Zionism is a racist ideology. And an amazing 69% that Zionism is an ideology used to justify Israel’s policy of occupation and colonization of Palestinian territories


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Holland: Antisemitic cabaret program on Dutch socialist television channel

Via Bad News from the Netherlands blog:
A cabaret program on the Dutch Socialist VARA television by Sanne Wallis de Vries has used Israel's Eurovision winning song as a parody.  
Her text contains antisemitic motifs such as jokes about Jews and money.  
It also accuses Israel of using Buk rockets which Israel does not have. These rockets were used to bring down a plane of mainly Dutch passengers in the Ukraine. They all died.
read more in Dutch here

Monday, May 21, 2018

Europe: Treatment of Jews is a “seismograph” for society says EU coordinator on combatting anti-Semitism

Via Politico:
Katharina von Schnurbein is firmly in the political spotlight. As the European Commission’s coordinator on combatting anti-Semitism, von Schnurbein finds herself in the middle of questionable, difficult and downright nasty behavior.

Multiple reports show that anti-Semitism is rising across Europe, and at times the rhetoric comes from leading politicians.

For every show of inclusion from Europeans — such as last week’s victory by Netta, Israel’s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest — discussion about anti-Semitism becomes complicated by political controversy, such as Israeli Defense Forces killing more than 50 people in Gaza during protests against the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Von Schnurbein feels the debate should look at not just extreme behavior but all of society. “To some extent the floodgates are open and anti-Semitism is expressed more openly [today]. Conspiracy theories are found in the middle of society. Teachers who have lost a compass as to what is anti-Semitism and therefore do not react properly in school when Jewish students are being harassed. Judges who think that throwing Molotov cocktails into a synagogue is a legitimate expression of a political opinion.”

Citing growing harassment of staff at the Auschwitz concentration camp museum, von Schnurbein said “it is not for nothing that in most EU countries it is necessary to have security in front of Jewish institutions”

What can people do in their everyday lives to combat anti-Semitism? “Fighting anti-Semitism in the end is a question of civic courage. It’s not easy to fight it in your own environment but this is where it starts. In your own party, with your own parents, your own sports club, to react when you hear something at a dinner party. It’s that kind of civic courage that we need and that will in the end change the situation.”

Von Schnurbein said treatment of Jews is a “seismograph” for society, citing the number of terror attacks against Jewish targets in Europe that included attacks in Paris, Brussels and Nice. Rising anti-Semitism “is a sign that something’s going wrong in society and therefore it needs to be tackled also by society at large.”

There is also “imported anti-Semitism,” often from migrants from Muslim-majority countries. Von Schnurbein said it’s important not to stigmatize a whole community but to recognize there is a problem. Criticism of Israeli policies is not anti-Semitic, she said, but questioning the right of Israel to exist and the right of Jewish people to self-determination is.
The ultimate aim of her work: “Normality for Jews in Europe” so they do not have to second-guess their movements and life choices in order to enjoy their basic freedoms and rights.

UK: Muslim group denounces anti-Semitism in full page newspaper ad

Via JTA:
Muslim leaders took out a full-page ad in a major British newspaper condemning anti-Semitism.

“We understand that many in our country empathize with the Palestinians and their right to a sovereign state,” said the ad Thursday in the Telegraph, a national broadsheet, and signed by a group called Muslims Against Anti-Semitism. “However, we must be ever vigilant against those who cynically use international issues to vilify Jews or promote anti-Semitic tropes.”

The ad was signed by the leaders of groups including Faith Matters, a Muslim anti-extremism group; the Association of British Muslims, and Tell MAMA, a clearinghouse for complaints about anti-Muslim attacks.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews praised the ad on Twitter. “Incredible solidarity – a full-page ad by Muslim sisters & brothers in today’s @Telegraph,” it said. “Thank you. Together we will defeat the twin evils of antisemitism & anti-Muslim hate.”

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Belgium: Academic equates Israel with a parasite infestation of Palestine

Via Philosémitisme blog:

Eric David is a professor at the Free University of Brussels (Université Libre de Bruxelles, ULB) - and needless to say a much respected academic, so much so that he received the Peace Prize awarded by the Belgian Auschwitz Foundation... You just couldn't make this up, could you? His long-standing hostility towards Israel is unfailing, a sentiment shared by others at the university. He wrote a long piece about Israel on a blog run by Pierre Piccinin da Prata, a Belgian teacher, who once complained about the Zionist mafia ("Once again I was cowardly attacked by the Zionist mafia, but I'm not afraid. One day fear will change sides and they will be brought to account").

This is what Eric David wrote (Google translation):
"The history of Palestine resembles the parasitic phenomenon in which an individual colonizes an animal or a plant and feeds on it at its expense. In the case of Palestine, the phenomenon begins with World War I and what is named the Sykes-Picot Accords, two diplomats who, on behalf of the UK and France respectively, divided their areas of influence in the Middle East on the remains of the Ottoman Empire which was then the ally of Germany and Austria-Hungary. The agreement was signed, in reality, on May 16th, 1916, by Paul Cambon, French Ambassador in London, and Sir Edward Gray, Secretary of State.  In this context, the first stage of parasitism in Palestine is the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, in which Lord Balfour wrote to Lord Rothschild, acting on behalf of the Political Committee of the Zionist Organization: (...)  
The fifth stage of the parasitic enterprise is the construction by Israel from 2002 of a wall that separates the West Bank from Israel but which, by its route, includes parts of Palestinian territory, prevents Palestinians from circulating in their own country. territory, deprives them of land and impedes their access to fields, health services, schools, water, a situation condemned almost unanimously by the ICJ in its advisory opinion of 9 July 2004 (ICJ, loc cit., § 163).  
The 6th stage of the parasitic enterprise - which is less of a "phase" than a consequence of the pathology of the Israeli parasitosis - lies in the armed operations carried out by Israel against the Gaza Strip, particularly the operations "Cast Lead" in 2008-2009 and "Protective Edge" in 2014, operations in response to rocket fire from Gaza and totally disproportionate as they killed and injured hundreds of Palestinian civilians. (...)  
The Israeli parasite has thus settled in the Palestinian body and it is part of it just as the millions of yeasts, parasites and bacteria that occupy the human body! "
Read the full article (in French) by Eric David @ The Courrier du Maghreb et l'Orient

Belgium: Israel's ambassador turns table on Brussels' Gaza reprimand

Via Ynet News:
After being lashed by Belgium and Luxembourg over Israeli policies and its 'disproportionate' use of force during latest wave of unrest, Ambassador Simona Frenkel refuses ‘to listen with a bowed head', tells top diplomats, 'your one-sided positions don’t contribute to peace.'

Israel's Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg Simona Frenkel chastised representatives of the two countries’ foreign ministries Wednesday after being summoned to be reprimanded herself following Monday's deadly clashes between the IDF and some 40,000 Gazan protestors. “It seems that the Belgian Foreign Ministry belongs to a school of thought according to which when an ambassador is summoned for a conversation or a reprimand, he is supposed to behave like a child who has misbehaved, to listen with a bowed head and not to respond,” Frenkel wrote in a report sent to the Foreign Ministry.

“I responded and fired back against Belgium: Your one-sided positions do not contribute to peace.” Frenkel was first invited to a meeting with Deputy Director-General of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Anick Van Calster, who recently visited Israel.

Van Calster opened by saying that she had been instructed by Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders to invite Frenkel in order to clarify the Belgian position, to voice objections to events that occurred on Monday on the Gaza border and to protest against what was described as a “disproportionate” use of force.

Calster also expressed anger over statements made by Frenkel during an interview with the country’s RTBF radio station, in which she described those killed in Gaza during the wave of unrest as terrorists. “Regarding the independent investigation committee: There has never been an investigation committee that was independent when it comes to our affairs. All of them were political, where there is an automatic majority of people against Israel,” she replied. (...)

“Moreover, Belgium is the last to claim an independent investigation committee since its Prime Minister Charles Michel has determined even before the committee has been established that Israel had to be punished, You have already predetermined the outcome,” Frenkel argued.

She also defended her comments on the radio, drawing Van Calster’s attention to the fact that doubts had already been cast on whether a Gazan baby had in fact been killed by Israeli forces during the protests.

“You raised an outcry because I described them all as terrorists, but this morning we now know that regarding the 8 month old baby who was killed and allegedly hit by the IDF, even the journalists in Gaza are moderating their positions and are saying that she may have already been dying beforehand and was deliberately brought to the fence,” Frenkel noted, before offering what she described as “proof” that the Hamas terror group was responsible for the violent protests. 
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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Germany: Jewish family refused service at Berlin restaurant

Via Tagesspiegel:

Last Friday a Jewish couple and their handicapped son came to a restaurant in Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt square.  The family wore a kippah, and the son wore a button saying "I love Israel".

Despite being the only guests, the waiters ignored them.  After ten minutes, when more guests came and were served, the family asked and were told they were at the 'wrong table'.  They weren't directed to a 'right' table, but rather told to leave.

When the father responded by saying that the restaurant doesn't cater to Jews, the waiter simply smiled.

German paper under fire for ‘anti-Semitic’ Netanyahu Eurovision cartoon

Via i24 News:
A German newspaper apologized on Wednesday for publishing a caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dressed as Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai and holding a rock with a Star of David on it.

“It can be seen as anti-Semitic,” the editor of Süddeutsche Zeitung acknowledged Wednesday after evoking outrage.

The Munich-based newspaper, one of Germany’s top dailies with a circulation of 1.1 million readers, printed the cartoon Tuesday, as Israel was being scorned worldwide for its handling of the protests on the Gaza border.

The cartoon that appeared in the opinion section, by veteran caricaturist Dieter Hanitzsch, portrayed Netanyahu with oversized ears, nose and lips and in the Eurovision logo the ‘v’ was replaced with a Star of David. “Next year in Jerusalem,” the figure is saying.

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Ukrainian mayor, diplomat caught engaging in antisemitic rhetoric

Via Jerusalem Post:
 Amid international pressure on Ukraine over its perceived tolerance of antisemitism, a local mayor and a diplomat were documented engaging hate speech against Jews.

Eduard Dolinsky, director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, posted a video on Facebook Monday of Mayor Vlodimyr Moskal’s address to city councilmen in which he railed against Jews. Moskal is mayor of the village of Skole, located 60 miles southwest of Lviv.

Quoting Henry Ford’s antisemitic writing about Jewish schemes for world domination, Moskal said: “A lot of that work is devoted to the death of the goyim,” Hebrew for non-Jews. “Christians, Arabs, Buddhists, they are not people to them after their reaching world domination, which they are clearly trying to do through cosmopolitanism and liberalism in order to destroy all nations, to leave the political nation, to mix everyone into one lump, migrants, blacks,” the mayor said. He also called the government, whose prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman, is Jewish, “Muscovite Jews”– an insult in a country where anti-Russian sentiment is rife.

Separately, screenshots shared online show that Vasyl Marushchynets, who works at Ukraine’s consulate in Hamburg, Germany, blamed Jews for World War II and said “death to the anti-fascists” on his private Facebook page, Reuters reported Monday. Marushchynets and the Hamburg consulate did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but Ukraine’s foreign ministry confirmed his suspension.

“Antisemitism and those who stir up inter-ethnic discord can have no place either in civilized society or in the foreign ministry,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said on Twitter.

Ukraine in recent weeks has seen a spate of antisemitic incidents, including vandalism at two monuments for Holocaust victims. One of the monuments was firebombed, and on another unidentified parties wrote neo-Nazi slogans.

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UK: Former soldier jailed for antisemitic speech where he incited supporters to 'free England from Jewish control'

Via Independent:
A former soldier has been jailed for a speech where he incited people to “free England from Jewish control”.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) initially decided against bringing charges against Jeremy Bedford-Turner, but reversed the decision after a judicial review was launched by the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA).

The 48-year-old, who is well-known for his involvement in extreme right-wing groups, gave the speech in central London in July 2015.

At the end of a protest which claimed to be against the Shomrim Jewish civilian patrol group, his rambling 15-minute tirade included a string of conspiracy theories about Jewish people.

“This is England, this is our land… We want our country back and we are going to take it back,” Bedford-Turner said, before calling on a small group of supporters to “free England from Jewish control”.

He added: “Listen soldiers, it’s time we liberated our own country.”

Most of his supporters were outflanked by counter-protesters, but he reached a wider audience after a video of his speech was uploaded to YouTube.

Bedford-Turner, of Lincoln was jailed for a year at Southwark Crown Court after a jury convicted him of stirring up racial hatred.

He bowed and saluted about 35 supporters including musician Alison Chabloz, who is also on trial, accused of writing and performing antisemitic songs.

Bedford-Turner, who served for 12 years in the Army, was given a standing ovation as he was led to the cells.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Bulgaria: Anti-Semitic symbols at Bulgaria football match

Via European Jewish Press:

The World Jewish Congress has strongly condemned the “disturbing and provocative” photographs that emerged in Bulgaria showing two boys at the Bulgarian Cup football finals with neo-Nazi symbols scrawled across their chests.

The incident has caused an outcry after pictures circulated online of the two boys, who appeared to be under 10, making the Nazi salute, at the Bulgarian Cup final between Levski Sofia and Slavia PFC in Sofia last Wednesday night.

The Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” strongly condemned the incident. It has referred the matter to the National Co-ordinator against Anti-Semitism, Deputy Minister Georg Georgiev.

“It is unacceptable that young children should be encouraged to exhibit such behaviour,” Shalom said.
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Holland: Holocaust monument smeared with bood, mud

Via Jewish Press:
A Holocaust monument in the Netherlands was smeared with blood and mud last week, shortly after the nation honored its war victim on May 4, Netherlands’ Memorial Day.

Police said they didn’t know how the filth was applied to the monument, which was unveiled in 2015 and which is engraved with the names of 1,239 Jews who were shipped to their deaths from the city, Utrecht.

In addition to the anti-Semitic vandalism at the monument, there were a number of other incidents as well around the same time, including “Nazi-like posters” hung up at the Groen Links office.

The type of blood used was unknown, according to the report, published Wednesday by RTV Utrecht, which did not provide details on the desecration. The monument is allegedly to be cleaned by the end of this week.
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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

UK: Israel doesn't get hurt by BDS, the Jews of the Diaspora do

Via David Collier:
"Israel doesn't get hurt by BDS, the Jewish student on campus does. The Jewish man running a business in Aberdeen does. Those attending the Israeli film festival in London do. These are the people #BDS affect. BDS radicalises its followers and hurts only the Jews of the Diaspora." 

"Students are scared to wear Jewish symbols, the guy in Aberdeen is forced out of business with his workers harassed and Jewish theatre goers face hostile crowds or a denial of the right to choose what they see. Anti Jewish Fascists operate in the UK under the BDS banner." 
"A guy is hounded in Aberdeen, his workers have been harassed, anyone attending Israeli related film festivals / the shalom festival or orchestras face hostile crowds upon entry & I saw lines of fascists yell 'shame' at students at a campus event."
David Collier's blog