Sunday, September 25, 2016

Germany: Munich cancels BDS event due to antisemitism

Via Jerusalem Post:
Munich’s cultural affairs department pulled the plug on an anti- Israel lecture slated for Friday in a city-subsidized building, because the talk would have crossed the line into antisemitism.

Stefan Hauf, a spokesman for the mayor, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that the city’s cultural commissioner intervened to stop the lecture on “Antisemitism Today” organized by the Salam Shalom Working Circle Palestine-Israel association.

Munich’s cultural commissioner, Hans- Georg Küppers, said in a letter to Eine-Welt- Haus – where the lecture was to be held – that it was probable that “during the event the line between criticism of Israel and antisemitism will be crossed,” the Merkur news outlet reported.

Salam Shalom – a hardcore anti-Israel group – promotes the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign on its website targeting the Jewish state. ”Salam Shalom has no right to be in city rooms. Salam Shalom would be better located in the NPD headquarters,” Green Party city councilman Dominik Krause told the Merkur.

The NPD is the man neo-Nazi party in Germany.

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France: Antisemitic graffiti on kosher butcher shop

Via Europe-Israel, CFCA: Antisemitic graffit on kosher butcher shop in Paris: "Juden" (Jews) and swastika.

Russia: Sole liberal opposition MP accused of Jewish-Ukraininan conspiracy

Via VOA News:
Days before an election expected to extend Kremlin dominance over Russia's parliament, the sole liberal opposition member, Dmitry Gudkov, is waging what he fears is a losing battle for political survival.

His re-election campaign ran out of money this week, he cannot get TV air time, his meetings are disrupted by people shouting him down, and a fake newspaper handed out to voters has cast him as a U.S. stooge involved in a shadowy Jewish-Ukrainian conspiracy to seize power.

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UK: "People who didn't know that I could understand them sometimes said very harsh things against Jews"

An interview with a Jewish Polish-Russian family who recently made Aliyah to Israel.  The family had lived in the UK for a few years, when their son decided he's moving to Israel. 

The mother says: "This reminded us that there had also been various unpleasant incidents in London.  When we walked in the park, seven thugs threw Avraham's hat off and laughed, for example. There was antisemitism. I know Polish and Russian and people who didn't know that I could understand them sometimes said very harsh things against Jews.  And there was once a march of 70,000 people who wanted London free of Jews."

Norway: Theater boycott video like "the sick brainchild of Goebbels’ propaganda" and collaborators Quisling and Hamson

What you will probably never see is a video by a Norwegian artist condemning Palestinian violence against Israelis. 

From the Times of Israel:
Israeli diplomats on Saturday fumed over a video posing as an official statement by the Norwegian National Theater, that calls for a cultural boycott of Israel’s National Theater, Habima. 

The short clip, which was uploaded to YouTube Thursday after being aired at the biennial International Ibsen Festival in Oslo, shows an actress posing as the national theater’s spokeswoman. In it she calls for a boycott of Habima. 

The actress in the film, Pia Maria Roll, says the theater would like to “publicly apologize for our shameful collaboration with Habima, the national theater of Israel,” adding that the cooperation served in “normalizing the Israeli occupation.” She called Israel a state “based on ethnic cleansing, racism, occupation and apartheid,” and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “colonial” — “it’s not some passionate feud between the Montagues and Capulets.”

The film said the theater would join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), and concluded with “Free Palestine and long live the national theater of Norway.”

Norwegian news site Vartoland said Roll and fellow actor Marius von der Fehr were behind the film, which expressed their opinion. Roll said their intention was to trick people into thinking the statement was made by the theater.

Norway’s National Theater said in a statement on its website that the film didn’t represent the institution’s policies and that it believes in cooperation with various nations abroad. It stopped short of condemning the video, calling it an expression of free speech.

Habima’s director said the film was made “behind the back of the administration” and that the national theater “guaranteed us that they would send a letter of clarification to me that [the message] broadcast in the film is not the stance of the theater.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry, however, said the video was reminiscent of “the sick brainchild of [Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph] Goebbels’ propaganda, the Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, and the Norwegian collaborators [Vidkun] Quisling and [Knut] Hamson.”

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Germany: City of Munich cancels BDS event due to antisemitism

From the Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
Munich’s cultural affairs department pulled the plug on an ­anti-Israel lecture slated for Friday in a city-subsidized building because the talk crossed the line into antisemitism. 

Stefan Hauf, a spokesman for the Mayor of Munich, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday by email that the cultural commissioner intervened to stop the lecture titled “Antisemitism Today” organized by the association Salam Shalom Working Circle Palestine-Israel.

It is probable that ”during the event the line between criticism of Israel and antisemitism will be crossed,wrote Munich’s cultural commissioner, Hans-Georg Küppers, to the  Eine-Welt-Haus—the location of the lecture—according to the Merkur news outlet.

Salam Shalom — a hardcore anti-Israel group — promotes the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign on its website targeting the Jewish state.

”Salam Shalom has no right to be in city rooms. Salam Shalom would be better located in the NPD headquarters,“ said the Green Party city councilman Dominik Krause to the Merkur.  The NPD is the main neo-Nazi party in Germany.

A kind of whack a mole approach to shut down the anti-Israel event unfolded in Munich on Thursday and Friday. After the Eine-Welt-Haus cancellation, Salam Sh­­alom relocated the lecture to the GOROD cultural center. GOROD — an organization created for the integration of Russian migrants — then walked back its invitation.

Salam Shalom then announced that the catholic institution KKV Hansa as the lecture space.

Christoph Kappes, a spokesman for Reinhard Marx, the Archbishop of Munich and Freising, wrote The Post by email on Friday stating that the “event will not, according to information of the KKV Hansa München, take place at KKV.”

He added that Cardinal Marx, who is also the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, “rejects every forms of antisemitism, racism and defamation and does not give these positions any platform.”

In a letter obtained by The Post from Richard Quaas, a Munich city councilman from the Christian Social Union party, to the mayor, he wrote that if the talk took place "it would be grist for the mill of antisimites in our country — from the left and the right— and with support from the city."
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Friday, September 23, 2016

EU offers free trips to the West Bank for journalists

If this offer shocks Elder of Ziyon, it doesn't seem to shock anyone in Europe, not even friends of Israel at the EU or Jewish leaders.

From Elder of Ziyon:
From the EU and Palestinians Facebook page:
If you are interested in participating, please send a short CV/bio with a special focus on any work you have done in the Middle East, no later than 30 September 2016.
If a European based journalist has written critically about the Palestinian Authority - its corruption, its misuse of international aid, its support for terror by paying salaries to murderers and making them into heroes - do you think he would get this free trip? Or will it only go to "journalists" who will write only positive things about the Palestinian Authority? Do you even need to ask?

There are two ethics violations here. One is that the EU is manipulating the media for its own ends. OK, everyone tries to do that, but by creating a litmus test as to which journalists can take advantage of an all-expenses paid trip to the territories, this is a bit egregious.
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Turks Tweet Their Jew-hatred, Following an Attempted Stabbing at the Israeli Embassy

Via Algemeiner:
On September 21, an attempted stabbing took place at the Israeli Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, when a Muslim man armed with a knife tried to attack before being shot in the leg by a local police officer. According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, none of the Israelis at the embassy were involved or hurt in the incident.

Turkish police at the scene told Reuters the assailant shouted “Allahu Akbar” outside before he was shot.

The Turkish news site, Avlaremoz, which covers Jewish-related affairs, reported that many Turks rushed to Twitter to proudly and openly show off their Jew-hatred.

Here are some examples of what users wrote:

“We want to hear gunshots not outside, but inside of the Israeli Embassy.”

“Has anyone been croaked? This is what we want to learn.”

“[It will] Get even worse, the Israeli embassy.”

“A prostitute was asked: ‘Do you have children?’ The prostitute responded: ‘All of the population of Israel is my children.’”

“Suicide bombers always target innocent people. Just enter that Israeli embassy and explode it! What the hell is a knife?”

“They call the man who says ‘I did this to stop the bloodshed in the Middle East’ an ‘attacker’. He is the hero of the day. I think he is rational.”

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UK: Anti-Semitic, white supremacist slogans at Exeter University event

Via +972:
Students attending an off-campus Exeter University party on Tuesday were seen sporting t-shirts with anti-Semitic and white supremacist slogans, +972 has learned.

The Tuesday night event, hosted by the local Snow Sports society at the Timepiece nightclub, saw guests use magic markers to scribble slogans and drawings on each other’s uniform white t-shirts. Most scribbles ranged between the bantering and the generically sexist — belaboured innuendos on the word “slope” appear to have been in vogue during the evening — but two rather different slogans stood out: “Don’t speak to me if you’re not white,” and, “The Holocaust was a good time.”
Pictures of the shirts were taken by Palestinian student and posted on Facebook. “Making light of genocide and white privilege is not ‘banter’, you f*** imbeciles,” the student wrote.

She said that the slogans were drawn on the back of the t-shirts, and it’s unclear if the students wearing them were also the ones who wrote the comments.

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Belgium: Unraveling the Belgian BDS connection

It should be noted that Brigitte Herremans is not the only one - there are many like her in Belgian society who are passionately devoted to Palestinians and indifferent to the fate of Jews.  You would be hard put to find NGOs that would be willing to defend Israel - but you will find many engaged in Israel-bashing.  The media was totally behind Brigitte Herremans and so were the people they interviewed.  The fact is that Jews are being increasingly sidelined in Europe and whereas friends of Palestinians are to be found everywhere it's hard to find anyone who defends Jews or Israel.

Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor @ Times of Israel:
On September 9, Brigitte Herremans arrived at Ben Gurion airport, planning to lead an “alternative tour” of political activists, as she had done many times before. But this time, the polite-sounding Belgian activist was not given the usually automatic tourist visa. Instead, by her own account, she was unceremoniously denied entry and turned back.

Brigitte Herremans is in many ways typical of Western European leaders of BDS and demonization campaigns. Her official title is Policy Officer for the Middle East at Broederlijk Delen (BD) meaning “fraternal sharing”– an influential and semi-official Belgian Flemish Catholic aid organization. (She plays a similar role in another Catholic NGO — Pax Christi.) They claim to combat poverty and inequality by working with local organizations, but are tainted with a radical political agenda that includes intense demonization of Israel. Out of the €6 million annual budget provided by Belgian taxpayers, €264,000 goes to political projects in “Israel/Palestine” that have nothing to do with aid. This is Herremanns’ radical mini-empire.

The blatant anti-Israel agenda and Palestinian victimization narrative reflects the Western European norm, including strong Christian theological echoes and a patronizing neo-colonial relationship with Palestinians. BD’s website states: “Unlike the Palestinian people, the Israeli people has more than 60 years of statehood, established on 78% of historic Palestine” a standard slogan that erases the history of wars, terrorism and hate. Herremanns is not a terrorist — she echoes the soft form of warfare, and in this spirit, BD held a public event on “Peaceful resistance in Palestine and Israel” in May 2016. “Resistance” is the goal – not peace and security based on mutual recognition and compromise.  [...]

Upon her return to Belgium, Herremans immediately provided further evidence of her deeply ingrained hostility. In an interview on Flemish Radio 1 on 12 September, Herremans repeated her support for “sanctions against Israel” and demanded that Israeli citizens who come to Belgium (actual tourists, not activists) be subject to “interrogation.” 

 In the same interview, when asked about reports that showed a rise in antisemitism in Belgium, Herremans accused “Israel’s allies” of “inflating” the level of antisemitism in order to “distract from its treatment of Palestinians.” Following the standard script particularly in Europe, Herrremans was criticized by Michael Freilich, the editor-in-chief of the Jewish newspaper Joods Aktuel, and she was defended by Emmanuel Stein, a member of the far-left group A Different Jewish Voice in an op-ed in the De Morgen daily in which Stein said he was “deeply ashamed” over Freilich’s words.

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Europe: Likud becomes member of the 3rd largest political group in the European Parliament

From the European Jewish Press:
The Likud party, headed by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, became a member of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR), a conservative and euroskeptic European political grouping with 22 member parties and four independent members across 20 countries, including the ruling British Conservative party. [...] 

The Likud joins other regional members from outside Europe, including the American Republican Party, Australia’s Libéral Party and Canada’s Conservative Party.

The AECR was founded on October 1, 2009 and officially recognized by the European Parliament in January, 2010. It is the third-largest group in the European Parliament and the fastest growing, bringing together 75 European Parliament members.

“The agreement is historic, because it is the first time that an Israeli Center-Right party has been accepted as a regional partner of a European party,” Elie Hazan, Likud’s Foreign Affairs Director , said. “It’s even more significant because the signing happened when Israel is fighting for its international image. There’s no doubt that this is further damage to the boycott Israel movement.” 

The bond will enable the Likud to participate in AECR party meetings and actively influence decisions connected to Israel. Hazan invited all 76 AECR parliament members for a formal visit to Israel hosted by the Likud.

he AECR’s president is Czech member of the European Parliament Jan Zahradil, and its secretary-general is British Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the Likud tried unsuccessfully in the past to join the European People’s Party, the largest in the European Parliament, but was turned down because the EPP preferred to sign a deal with Kadima under Tzipi Livni. Since then, EPP members have supported requiring labels on Israeli products from over the Green Line while AECR members oppose the move.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Germany: Nationalist Leader Seeks Renewed Use of Nazi-Era Term

Via ABC News (h/t glykosymoritis):
A leading member of Alternative for Germany, the nationalist party whose recent elections successes have shaken the country's political system, faced fierce criticism Monday after calling for a racially charged term favored during the Third Reich to be rehabilitated.

Party co-chairwoman Frauke Petry said in an interview published Sunday that words such as "voelkisch" shouldn't be taboo any longer. The term refers to people who belong to a particular race and was frequently used by the Nazis — their party paper was called Voelkischer Beobachter.

"We should finally regain a relaxed, not uncritical but normal way of dealing with our nation and terms such as 'Volk' and words that are derived from it," she told weekly Welt am Sonntag. Asked whether she would include the word "voelkisch," Petry responded that she doesn't use the term herself but dislikes the fact that it is only used negatively.

"Let's work on giving the term a positive connotation," she said.

Her remarks prompted a swift backlash from politicians, commentators and historians who warned that Petry's party — known by its acronym AfD — was trying to legitimize ideas that were once at the core of Adolf Hitler's Nazi ideology.
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UK: London gang tells schoolboy to remove skullcap or face violence

Via Campaign Against Antisemitism:
An 11-year-old Jewish boy has escaped shaken but unhurt after a gang of teenagers surrounded him on a London street and forced him to remove his kippah (Jewish skullcap). According to Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, the boy was approached by at least four black teenagers who told him that unless he removed the kippah, they would beat him. The boy refused to comply and instead managed to escape and run home.
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UK: 'I've never seen anti-Semitism in Labour like this, it's normal now'

It's very hard today to tell a right-wing antisemite from a left-wing antisemite.  Both often use the same language and images.

Via Evening Standard (h/t glykosymoritis):
"I don’t want to be known as ‘the Jewish MP’,” says Ruth Smeeth, East End accent still audible from a childhood in London. “I am an MP who happens to be Jewish. One of the things that makes me most angry about this whole thing is that I’ve ended up as the Jewish MP. Worse: a victim and a target. I should be the MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, a hard-working, lifelong member of the Labour Party.” She describes herself as “a Labour, socialist, Jewish, woman” in that order. “Actually, British first: British, Labour, socialist, Jewish, woman.”

Smeeth, 37, is the MP who walked out of the launch of the Chakrabarti report, an inquiry into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, after being harassed by a member of Momentum, the activist group behind Jeremy Corbyn.

Since then she has been called a “yid c***” (among other racial slurs), a “CIA/ MI5/Mossad informant”, a “dyke”, and a “f***ing traitor”. In all she’s experienced more than 25,000 incidents of abuse, much of it racial. As a result two people are being investigated by counter-terrorism police — one of whom penned a 1,000-word essay on how he would kill her.

Given her previous work with Hope Against Hate, an anti-racism charity, “I initially assumed [the author] was from the far-Right. And then someone rang to inform me it was a Corbynista.”


She might wear a gold Star of David under the neckline of her dress, “but I don’t talk about Israel or Palestine. This [abuse] is not about anything I’ve said on Middle-East politics. I don’t participate.” She describes herself as “culturally Jewish” — her husband is Irish Catholic.

Her political concerns reflect her immediate constituency, one of the poorest in the country. If anything, the furore over her religion distracts from more pressing issues.

There were rare flashes of anti-Semitism under Ed Miliband, who is Jewish, “but not like this. I’ve never seen anti-Semitism in Labour on this scale. There were one or two incidents before and the reason why they were so shocking is that there were only one or two.  Now the sheer volume of it has made it normal.”

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Italy: Israeli fans blocked from stadium by Palestinian protesters

Via Jerusalem Post:

Israeli fans who traveled to Italy to watch soccer team Hapoel Beersheba play in the UEFA cup against Italian powerhouse Inter Milan were blocked from entering the stadium by a pro-Palestinian protest on Thursday.

One of the Israeli fans, Tal Lavi, a media manager for The Jerusalem Post, said that local police and stadium security for San Siro Stadium told Israeli soccer fans that they would not be allowed to enter the premises due to security concerns.

Video taken by Lavi shows protestors near the stadium waving Palestinian flags and shouting chants in opposition to the soccer match.

Lavi said that an estimated 1,200 fans of Hapoel Beersheba were restricted to an enclosure far from the stadium by stadium security and local authorities.

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