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.
read more

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.
read more



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.”

read more

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. 
read more

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.

read more

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.

read more

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.

read more

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.
read more

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.
read more

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."
Visit
David Collier's blog

Greece: Repeated anti-Semitic attacks

Desecration of Jewish graves in Greece stuns community
Via World Jewish Congress:
The World Jewish Congress stands with the Jewish Community of Athens in condemning repeated anti-Semitic attacks, and its initiative to organize a silent protest at the site of a recently desecrated Jewish cemetery this Sunday in the presence of government officials and public figures. The WJC will participate in the protest, which is backed by the WJC’s local affiliate the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, and has launched in parallel a social media campaign to raise awareness of the anti-Semitic manifestations ongoing in Greece, urging people worldwide to join in support.

“The World Jewish Congress abhors the despicable and cowardly act of desecrating Jewish property and stands firmly with the local Jewish community in urging individuals, organizations, and public authorities to mobilize in any way possible to make it absolutely clear that there is no room for anti-Semitism in Greek society,” said WJC CEO Robert Singer. "It is inconceivable that still today, anti-Semitic stereotypes are rife in Greece. We cannot stand by in silence as hatred continues unhindered.”
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Sunday, May 13, 2018

UK: First year Anti-Semitic physics group chat exposed

Via The Tab:
Shocking anti-Semitic messages from a University of Manchester Physics group chat have tonight been exposed, where one student twice commented that "6 million Jews ain't enough" and another called for an invasion of Poland.

The messages were sent to a "1st Year Physics" Facebook group chat, broadcasting them to over 200 fellow students, originally reported the Mancunion.

The abhorrent conversation was initiated when a student asked the group if they would rather become an engineer or a Neo-Nazi.

Another student replied "Pfft, why you asking that? Tis an easy question. Now brb while I make some lebensraum."

Lebensraum was an ideological principle of Nazism, referring to a territorial expansion into Eastern European countries and the removal or genocide of their populations.

When another student replied "I would rather die tbh," the student that instigated the conversation told him "Don't be a Jew."

read more

Belgium: Saudi-financed mosques teach hatred of Jews, gays

Via France24:
Teaching manuals in Gulf Arab-financed mosques in Belgium promote anti-semitic stereotypes of Jews and call for the persecution of homosexuals, according to a leaked Belgian intelligence report.

The texts used in mosques including the Brussels Grand Mosque call for gays to be stoned to death or thrown off buildings and describe Jews as "evil", the report by the OCAM national terrorism monitoring centre said.

The writings, which are used to train preachers and theology professors, were "inspired mainly by classical Islamic law from the Middle Ages," OCAM said in a copy of the report obtained by AFP on Friday.

They have "problematic content in terms of radicalism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism," the OCAM report said.

Belgian lawmakers say they will discuss the report next week. 

read more

Greece: Vandals desecrate Jewish tombstones in Athens

Via Jerusalem Post:
Vandals destroyed nine marble Jewish tombstones in an Athens cemetery on Friday night. The headstones appear to have been kicked over and then smashed to pieces, according to a statement issued Saturday night by the Jewish Community of Athens.

“The scene is repulsive and our disappointment is great,” read the statement, which was posted to the Facebook page of the president of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Minos Moissis, who said he was “very angry.”

“This is not the first time we see the result of a degrading act at our cemetery, but it is the first time we see such an act was organized and planned in part of the cemetery that is not visible from the neighboring houses and with incredible fury,” the statement said. “The view of the results of this abominable act causes us deep sorrow and anger.”

The community group said it would take all available legal steps and had contacted the police, who have launched an investigation.

read more

Friday, May 11, 2018

UK: Hatred of Jews is taking root in British society, Tony Blair warns


Via The Jewish Chronicle:
Former Labour leader Tony Blair has attacked the party’s failure to tackle antisemitism — days after the local elections saw voters desert the party in wards with above average Jewish populations.

Writing exclusively in the JC, Mr Blair makes a thinly-veiled reference to Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to take serious action against antisemitism in the Labour Party.

He writes that, “too often, we have seen how anti-Zionism trends easily into antisemitism. The scourge we fought to eradicate in the 20th century has been allowed to make a comeback.

“We must once again stamp it out, by progressive political forces ensuring that antisemitism is not allowed to take root in any space in our national life.”
read more

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Holland: Amsterdam kosher eatery’s owner will close shop unless police curb vandalism

Via JTA:
The owner of a frequently vandalized kosher eatery in the Dutch capital said he will close it down unless city officials install permanent security measures outside his business. 
Sami Bar-On’s lawyer, Herman Loonstein, told the Het Parool daily Wednesday that his client feels it is “irresponsible to go on like this” at HaCarmel restaurant without permanent security measures. 
In December, a 29-year-old Syrian asylum seeker smashed the restaurant’s window while holding a Palestinian flag. He then broke into the restaurant and grabbed an Israeli flag as two police officers watched before they arrested him. He has been charged with vandalism, but not a hate crime. 
Since the incident, the restaurant’s windows were smashed once more and are repeatedly spat on and smeared with garbage, Bar-On said. Police beef up security after each incident but leave shortly after, he said.
read more

Europeans said boycotting Foreign Ministry event celebrating new US embassy


Via The Times of Israel:
European diplomats will reportedly skip a Foreign Ministry event next week marking the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem in protest of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.

Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inviting the entire foreign diplomatic corps to Sunday’s event, many European envoys, including those from the United Kingdom, France and Germany, will boycott the ceremony, Hadashot TV news reported Wednesday.

“It is a little strange to invite us to celebrate an event that we opposed and condemned. The Americans were more clever and knew in advance not to invite us to save themselves from embarrassment,” the network quoted a diplomatic source as saying. 
read more

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Belgium: Antisemitic and jihad textbooks at the heart of imams training in Brussels


This has been known for many years, but somehow the numerous human rights NGOs operating in Belgium are not aware of this type of antisemitic activities going on quite openly - or maybe they are just not interested.

Via The European Jewish Press:
BRUSSELS - Antisemitic manuals advocating armed jihad are included in the curriculum of the training of future imams and teachers at the Grand Mosque in Brussels located a few hundred meters from the European Union headquarters, reveals a confidential report from OCAM, the governmental coordinating unit for threat analysis in Belgium.  
According to the report, revealed by Belgian daily La Libre and RTL TV channel, many of these manuals are freely available in Brussels and elsewhere.  
The OCAM document mentions the fact that "the teaching of the Muslim religion of the Arab section of the Islamic and Cultural Center of Belgium, the name of the Brussels Grand Mosque, "is in no way adapted to the Belgian or European reference framework. They contain Salafist ideas and doctrines that encourage the rejection of any different ideas and fundamental constitutional rights and freedoms".  
Moreover, the OCAM insists on the fact that "many mosques and Islamic centers in Belgium still have in their libraries and as part of their training activities textbooks and other documents presenting a problematic content in terms of radicalism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism."
read more

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Poland's Auschwitz Museum Staff Suffer Anti-Semitic Attacks After Holocaust Speech Law


Via Telesur:
In April, the brother of the museum’s director wrote a heartfelt message on Facebook decrying the “50 days of incessant hatred” directed at his brother, Piotr Cywiński.

"For 12 long years he’s worked in one of the most terrible places in the world, in an office with a view of gallows and a crematorium," Cywiński wrote. "Dozens of articles on dodgy websites, hundreds of Twitter accounts, thousands of similar tweets, profanities, memes, threats, slanders, denunciations. It’s enough to make you sick."

Paweł Sawicki, who runs the museum’s social media operation, told the Guardian, "The collateral damage of the dispute is that Auschwitz became a target. We’ve had people saying they were not allowed to have a Polish flag here, or saying that the memory of Poles is not represented here, that the museum is anti-Polish – all of this is untrue, and we had to respond."

The museum, however, continues with a stiff stance, as it continues to regularly interject in Twitter discussions and by publishing a long list of false claims that have been made about the museum, ranging from the issue of Polish flags to the accusation that former Polish prisoners being not invited to a ceremony in January to commemorate the camp’s liberation.

The hate campaign initiated by the Polish nationalists has raised concerns over the pressure exerted on the official guides at the site in southern Poland. 

The Guardian reported that at least two tourist guides suffered abuse,  in one episode a foreign guide was attacked while in another the supporters of a convicted antisemite filmed themselves repeatedly bullying their guide during a visit to the camp in April.

In February, the official responsible for schools in the region in which Auschwitz is located argued that only Poles should be allowed to work as guides at the site. And they should be licensed by Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance, a state body widely seen as a tool used by the government to impose its preferred historical narratives.

"Foreign, and not Polish narratives reign at Auschwitz. Time for it to stop," wrote Barbara Nowak, who until last year served as a local councilor for Law and Justice. 

read more

UK: Jewish boys assaulted in antisemitic attack in London


Via Jewish Chronicle:
An appeal has been made for witnesses to an antisemitic attack in which two young Jewish boys were “racially assaulted, verbally and physically”.

The incident took place on Sunday evening in Golders Green, North-West London, at the North Circular Road crossing between Golders Green Road and Brent Street.

Both the police and the North-West London branch of the Shomrim neighbourhood security group were called in the wake of the incident.

Shomrim said its volunteers “had detained the suspect, who was subsequently arrested by the police”.

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Italy: Roberto Saviano, author of ‘Gomorrah,’ takes on Internet Nazis


Via Tablet:
Tired of internet conspiracy theories and vile anti-Semitism, the journalist turns his attention from Italy’s mafia to its white supremacists

Later this month, Roberto Saviano, the renowned Italian journalist, will testify at the first hearing of a trial against 39 Italian neo-Nazis who were accused, among other things, of participating in an online group that incited racial discrimination and violence. For years, between 2009 and 2012, the group held discussions that included white supremacist and anti-Semitic rhetoric on the American hate site Stormfront.

In one of the threads, members of the site posted lists of alleged influential Jews: entrepreneurs, artists, and journalists. Among the people listed, were Carlo De Benedetti, former president of the publishing group L’Espresso, TV host Gad Lerner, and Saviano himself, whose maternal grandparents had Jewish origins, although he identifies as atheist.

An investigation carried out by the Italian police revealed chilling conversations among the members of Stormfront Italy. “I still believe that the great Führer had found the right solution for those damn rats,” wrote Filippo Galbesi, one of the users, in one of the threads. Another member, Alessandro Pedroni, stated: “To build—this time FOR REAL—homicidal gas chambers, applying for real what they pretend happened to them, I believe that would be the REAL FINAL SOLUTION.” All members took part in the discussions under nicknames, but the police discovered and published their names. (...)

Another reason for the online attacks was his participation in a debate on Israel in 2010, despite his openly critical stance on many of Netanyahu’s policies. “In Italy,” Saviano explained, “you cannot have a critical and interlocutory opinion on Israel; either you ask for its immediate dissolution, or you are considered to be part of the conspiracy.”
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Germany plans database to tackle rising anti-Semitism


Via Financial Times:
The German government plans to establish a new national database to register anti-Semitic crimes and incidents, amid rising concern over the safety of the Jewish community in the country.

Felix Klein, the government’s new anti-Semitism commissioner, said current criminal statistics did not capture the full extent of the problem, in part because they ignored verbal abuse and other incidents that fell short of criminal behaviour.

He also voiced doubt about whether the existing database accurately identified the background of many perpetrators.

“It shows that more than 90 per cent of all anti-Semitic crimes are committed by rightwing extremists. The victims, Jews living in Germany, tell us something completely different: they feel that Muslim-motivated anti-Semitism is much more dangerous than appears in the statistics,” Mr Klein told journalists late last week.

He also suggested a change to the German criminal code that would toughen penalties for physical assaults if the attack was motivated by racial, religious or ethnic hatred. 

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Netherlands: Cop requests removal of Holocaust memorial sign, cites Israeli actions / Jew attacked

Via Times of Israel:
A bookshop owner in the Dutch capital said that a police officer asked him to remove a sign commemorating Holocaust victims, citing Israel’s actions.

Gert-Jan Jimmink told the De Telegraaf daily in a video published online Friday that the request was over a sign that read “Open Jewish Homes, Houses of Resistance.” The sign is part of a grassroots initiative from 2011 in the Netherlands in which residents of homes that used to belong to Holocaust victims open them to the public on the week of May 4, the Netherlands’ day of Remembrance of the Dead for Dutch war casualties.

The officer asked Jimmink: “Would you mind taking that off, because Israel launched an attack,” he said. Jimmink did not say when the officer, who he did not name, requested this. He ignored the request, he said. “I will not bow to this,” he added.

Jimmink, who has commemorated Holocaust victims also by having memorial cobblestones installed outside their former homes, also said that he recently saw an anti-Semitic assault outside his shop. A man of about 40 wearing a kippah was waiting for a tram, when an older man spat on him and hit him, Jimmink said. The attacker had left by the time Jimmink rushed to intervene he said.

“But it happened right in front of my eyes,” he said.

read more

Monday, May 7, 2018

Germany: Cartoon showing Israeli PM as puppet master in classical antisemitic theme

Via Watch Antisemitism in Europe:
The local newspaper Thüringische Landeszeitung - TLZ published a cartoon showing the Israeli prime minister as the "string master" behind the anticipated termination of the Nuclear deal with Iran by Donald Trump. Benjamin Netanjahu is seen saying "The president decides" while reaching a sign from the back of Trump's  head through his open mouth saying "Iran is lying!". For those new to the topic of antisemitism: the image of Jews as puppet masters is an classical antisemitic theme. See for yourself:

read more in German @ Sergey Lagodinsky


Sunday, May 6, 2018

France: Anti-semitic placard at anti-Macron protest

Thousands of people demonstrated in central Paris on Saturday amid a heavy police presence to protest against President Emmanuel Macron's sweeping reforms, a year after he came to office. (The Local)

An old man was seen carrying a placard with the inscription "Mac Aaron, Zionist, Crook".

Photos via Laurent Bouvet

And this too.  Look at the nose, the ears, the money, the crown, the gallows.


Friday, May 4, 2018

EU doesn't condemn Abbas' antisemitic remarks - it downplays them, and praises him as a peacemaker


Via The Elder of Ziyon:

From the European Union External Action:
The speech Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered on 30 April contained unacceptable remarks concerning the origins of the Holocaust and Israel's legitimacy. Such rhetoric will only play into the hands of those who do not want a two-state solution, which President Abbas has repeatedly advocated.

This is not a condemnation. This is merely saying that Abbas' statements are "unacceptable." And why are they unacceptable?

Not because they are antisemitic. Not because they deny history. Not because they blame Jews for causing the Holocaust.

No, the main problem with Abbas' speech is that it allows the Israeli right to point out that Abbas is an antisemite who does not deserve to be rewarded with a state!

The only direct characterization of Abbas' character in this statement is that he has "repeatedly advocated" a two state solution, meaning that a man who spouts Jew-hating conspiracy theories is better than the evil people who point out his antisemitism.

The EU then tries to obfuscate the issue by saying antisemitism is bad.
The Holocaust and World War Two have defined Europe's modern history like no other event. Holocaust education remains central to building up resilience against all forms of hatred in our societies. Antisemitism is not only a threat for Jews but a fundamental menace to our open and liberal societies. The European Union remains committed to combat any form of anti-Semitism and any attempt to condone, justify or grossly trivialise the Holocaust.
There is no wording that ties the second paragraph to what Abbas said. It sort of implies that Abbas might have trivialized or condoned the Holocaust, but the statement it so general that is could refer to anyone, anytime.

This EU statement does not say a single negative thing about Abbas, and it says one "positive" thing about him - that he supports a two state solution (on the way to destroying the Jewish state via "return.")

The statement also does not call on Abbas to walk back his statements or to apologize. He did something that is vaguely unfortunate and it must be forgotten as quickly as possible before those right wing Jews make a big deal over it.
read more

Read also:
Europe: MEPs give standing ovation to blood libel
Europe: Huge success for terrorist Leila Khaled at European Parliament
European Parliament: Portuguese MEP says EJC is lying and smearing her
 and Portuguese MEP Ana Gomes made "vile antisemitic expressions"

Thursday, May 3, 2018

UK: Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary present at Abbas Jew hate speech


Question: How many other European delegates, among the 80 international observers, and journalists attended the meeting and said nothing?

Via Guido Fawkes:
Emily Thornberry attended the Mahmoud Abbas speech which made global headlines this week for its anti-Semitic content, Guido can reveal. Thornberry was representing Labour at the Palestinian National Council (PNC) meeting in Ramallah. The Shadow Foreign Secretary confirmed her attendance in a Facebook post published after Abbas’ speech. Her statement did not reference Abbas’ anti-Semitic comments…

Abbas delivered a rambling speech in which he claimed the Holocaust was not caused by anti-Semitism but by Jewish “social behaviour, [charging] interest, and financial matters.” In highly offensive comments, Abbas said:
“But why did this use to happen… They say, “It is because we are Jews”. I will bring you three Jews, with three books who say that enmity towards Jews was not because of their religious identity but because of their social function. This is a different issue. So the Jewish question that was widespread throughout Europe was not against their religion but against their social function which relates to usury [unscrupulous money-lending] and banking and such.”
Rather than reference the remarks or condemn Abbas in her initial statement, Thornberry instead said:
“While we of course want to see the resumption of meaningful peace talks, I said President Abbas had been quite right to argue that the Trump administration cannot act as a mediator for peace when they themselves are sowing the seeds of discord, and making a negotiated peace ever harder to achieve...”
Now Thornberry has put out another statement:
“It is deeply regrettable that, during a lengthy speech whose main and successful purpose was to urge the Palestinian National Council to remain committed to the Middle East peace process and the objective of a two-state solution, President Abbas made these anti-Semitic remarks about the history of the Jewish community in Europe which were not just grossly offensive, but utterly ignorant. His comments were out of keeping with the tone of the Council as a whole, and of my discussions with other delegates, and I hope President Abbas will immediately apologise for them, so that the message to come out of this important Council meeting can remain positive and progressive, and focused on re-establishing peaceful and constructive dialogue.”
Labour sources are concerned that the Shadow Foreign Secretary did not initially distance herself from the remarks or condemn them. It has been confirmed that she was in the room during the remarks, alongside 80 other international observers.
read more

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

EU spokesperson: Abbas’s speech on the origins of the Holocaust ‘unacceptable’, EU ‘committed to combat any form of anti-Semitism and any attempt to condone, justify or grossly trivialise the Holocaust’


Via European Jewish Press (Yossi Lempkowicz):
"The speech Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered on 30 April contained unacceptable remarks concerning the origins of the Holocaust and Israel’s legitimacy," said Maja Kocijancic, EU spokesperson for foreign affairs in a statement.

"Such rhetoric will only play into the hands of those who do not want a two-state solution," she said.

The EU spokesperson was reacting to Abbas’ speech at a rare meeting of the Palestinian National Council, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) parliament in Ramallah on Monday, in, which he said that the Jewish "social function" in 20th century Europe, such as money lending, caused animosity towards them which led to the Holocaust, the Nazi genocide of six million Jews.

He cited what he said were books by "Jewish Zionist authors" for the claim. Among others he quoted the controversial "The Thirteenth Tribe" by Arthur Koestler, which claims that Ashkenazi Jews, of European ancestry, are not real Jews, but descendants of the Khazars. He denied that Ashkenazi Jews count as a Semitic people.

He called Israel "a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism" and said "those who sought a Jewish state weren’t Jews."

He stated that the Holocaust was not a result of anti-Semitism, but the fault of Jewish "social behavior," and "charging interest and financial matters," and asserted that Adolf Hitler had actually facilitated the immigration of Jews to Israel.
The Holocaust has been a long time fascination for Abbas. His doctoral thesis, "The Connection Between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement 1933–1945," was completed in 1982 for the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, and published in 1984 as an Arabic book, "The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism". He asserted that Zionists had been complicit in the Holocaust, which Abbas said was far overblown in scope.
read more

France: Can a Jew love France?


Via The New York Times (Alexander Aciman):
[...] But things are not so dreamy for Jews today in France. The country is struggling to maintain and protect its large Jewish population, the third largest in the world, which has been dwindling precipitously thanks to the wave of anti-Semitism that has gripped the country over the past decade. In 2015 — the year of the Charlie Hebdo attack — 8,000 Jews left France and headed for Israel.

My grandfather made a go at living in Paris in the 1960s, but found himself an outsider in a country still reeling from a war of roundups and deportations. This broke his heart, for he too felt that Paris was his real home.

France failed to make good for my grandfather on the promissory cultural note of the Alliance Israélite Universelle. The organization’s purpose was to lift Jews out of their benighted surroundings and offer them the tools to make a go at life in Europe. It was the promise of a country that took pride in being more civilized than the ones that would eventually expel all of their Jewish populations.

Today such distinction feels more blurred and more difficult to defend than at any point since World War II.

What hurts most about this realization is that it directly contradicts what Jews like me feel must also necessarily be true: France is our home, as if somewhere in the universe there is a real France, and the one in Europe is just a facsimile that keeps falling off the anti-Semitism wagon.

French-speaking Jews may have celebrated this year when Emmanuel Macron’s party, La République En Marche!, defeated the frighteningly far-right and anti-Semitic National Front, but this supposedly new France has done nothing to curb its Jewish problem. Every year in France Jewish storefronts are vandalized, including arson in kosher supermarkets this past week.

The general feeling of unrest is not unlike the one felt over 100 years ago during the Dreyfus Affair, when it became clear to many that Jewish life in France was ultimately unsustainable. For many, the situation has started feeling untenable again today. Anti-Semitism, as it turns out, is a flat circle. And yet, despite all the betrayal and heartbreak, I cannot bring myself to renounce France, as if after more than a century of love for this country, the love itself has become part of my genome. Generations removed from the work of the Alliance, its effects continue to exist in me.

I feel as ridiculous admitting that I am not French as I do saying that I am. I know all the transfer points of the Paris Metro. Like my father, I studied French literature at university. My favorite days in New York are those when it rains, because on those days the city reminds me of Paris.

I cannot resolve the idea that the place where I feel that I belong wants nothing to do with me. I struggle to accept the terrible truth, which is that many of my fellow Jews in France are feeling today those early warning tremors of disaster felt by French Jews in the early 1900s and the 1930s. I tell myself that in 30 years I’ll be back home, and my kids will be sitting and chatting under the heat lamps at cafes and picking up terrible premature smoking habits, when really I know that in that time there will probably no longer be any Jews left in France at all. But like any good French person, I just shrug one of those inscrutable shrugs and say something like “C’est de la politique.” Politics, right? Suspended in a strange gray space of muddled allegiances, like my grandfather, I realize that though I may feel French and though I want my children to grow up speaking French, the France my family dreamed of no longer exists — and maybe never did.
read more

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

German newspaper’s Israeli flag test yields ‘frightening results’


Via The Algemeiner:
As Germans continue to probe the connection between antisemitism and hostility to Israel in the wake of recent antisemitic incidents across the country, a leading newspaper on Monday carried out a live experiment to determine how long an Israeli flag could be displayed in major urban thoroughfares before being removed. Israeli flags hung in three locations by reporters from the Bild newspaper were removed within ninety minutes by individuals who happened to be passing by, video revealed.

“The results are frightening,” the newspaper reported. “At the Hermannplatz in Berlin-Neukölln, the Israel flag flew for 42 minutes, for 61 minutes in Munich’s Bahnhofsviertel, and for 81 minutes in the center of Frankfurt.”

Video shot in Munich caught two men walking past an Israeli flag draped over a bicycle railing. Moments later, the men returned and angrily tore the flag down. Meanwhile in Berlin, two youths were filmed at the entrance to a rail station ripping the flag and throwing it to the ground, before one of them tried – and failed – to set it on fire with a cigarette lighter.

German politicians from across the spectrum interviewed by Bild were unanimous in their condemnation of the flag removals.

“The tearing down of the Israeli flag is something we will not tolerate in Germany,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told the paper. “We will clearly stand against any form of antisemitism.” His colleague Horst Seehofer, the Interior Minister, pledged to show “zero tolerance” for antisemitic displays.
read more

Monday, April 30, 2018

Is Germany capable of protecting Its Jews?


Via The Atlantic (James Kirchick):
For understandable reasons, Europeans are much more comfortable condemning the familiar anti-Semitism of the far right than the sort expressed by migrants entering Europe as the victims of war and economic deprivation. Nowhere is this issue more fraught than in Germany.

To a degree unmatched by any other nation, Germany has confronted its horrific past with commendable honesty. After World War II, Germany assumed responsibility for its crimes and obliged itself both to protect Jewish life and to offer sanctuary to those escaping violent conflict and political persecution. But the recent intake of so many migrants from places where anti-Semitism is rife has produced an uncomfortable tension between these two commitments.

That tension was laid bare recently when a video shot on a Berlin street went viral. It depicted a young man wearing a kippa, or Jewish skullcap, being assaulted by a Syrian asylum-seeker. German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the incident as a “disgrace.” This week, thousands of Germans of different faith groups donned kippa in several cities and marched in solidarity with the Jewish community. Some Muslim women wore kippot over their hijabs. It was an admirable display. But if Germany—the country leading the rest of Europe—is serious about addressing anti-Semitism, it will need to make the safety of its Jewish communities a higher priority when considering future migrant inflows.

For the plain fact is that most of the migrants who have come (and continue to come) to Europe hail from Muslim-majority countries that long ago expelled their once-vibrant Jewish populations, where anti-Semitism figures prominently in state propaganda, and where belief in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories is widespread. To take just one obvious incongruity between Germany and the migrants it is accepting: Holocaust denial, a crime punishable by prison in Germany, is pervasive across the Muslim and Arab Middle East. Of course, it would be wrong to presume that every Syrian refugee holds the anti-Semitic attitudes of the country’s former defense minister, who published a book repeating the ancient blood libel about Jews killing gentile children to bake matzos for Passover. But it is equally misguided to deny that many have been profoundly influenced by the anti-Semitic environments in which they were raised.
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France: The grand theorist of Holocaust denial, Robert Faurisson


Via Tablet (Paul Berman):
On April 12, just now, Robert Faurisson suffered one more minor legal defeat in a French court, which is good news, in a small way, for the world, and, in a bigger way, for the newspaper Le Monde. The court ruling means that, in France, you can denounce Faurisson as a “professional liar” and a “falsifier of history.” And you do not have to worry about a defamation suit—which is good news for Le Monde because, back in 1978, the editors made the insane error of judging Faurisson to be a man-with-an-idea-worth-debating, and they welcomed him into their pages. Faurisson is of course the theoretician of Holocaust denial. He contributed to Le Monde an “ideas” piece titled “The Debate Over the ‘Gas Chambers,’ ” with the extra quotation marks signifying his belief that Nazi gas chambers are a Zionist lie. And Le Monde has needed, ever since, to make the point over and again that publishing his article was a big mistake, and Faurisson is, in fact, a professional liar and a falsifier of history. The judicial ruling reinforces the point yet again. It is good. We should applaud. But it is sobering to reflect that, 40 years later, the point does need reinforcement, and Faurisson, who is a minor screwball, has had major successes in different corners of the world. And falsification of history turns out to be a factor in history.

The provenance of Faurisson’s ideas is altogether curious. He derived them principally from a sad-sack leftwing pacifist in France named Paul Rassinier, whose misfortune during World War II was to be arrested and tortured by the Germans, which permanently ruined his health. He was jailed in two camps, Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora, where conditions were bad. He was beaten by the SS. When he emerged, though, he explained and re-explained at book length that, even if conditions in the camps were less than good, neither were they especially terrible, and Germany’s conduct during the war was no worse than any other country’s. Germany ought not to be demonized. And the truly evil people in the camps were the Communist prisoners. And the Jews were responsible for the war.

I have sometimes wondered if Rassinier’s impulse to deny or downplay his own experience wasn’t, in some respect, normal—a pitiable but human impulse to cope with an experience of extreme suffering by denying that anything extreme has happened. But then, if Rassinier’s impulse was normal, wouldn’t there be other examples of people responding to catastrophic suffering in the same way? It is hard to find other examples, though. The literature of the German camps, the literature of the Soviet gulag, and the 19th century American literature of “slave narratives” (by slaves who escaped to the free states and recounted their experiences)—the several literatures of horrendous suffering under extreme social conditions—do not seem to contain a place for fantasists like Rassinier.
read more

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Germany: Merkel’s antisemitism envoy ‘not surprised’ Jews want to leave

   
Via Guardian:   
A newly appointed special envoy tasked by the German government with tackling the country’s rising wave of antisemitism has said he is not surprised that, following a series of high-profile race hate attacks, Jews are considering leaving Germany.

Felix Klein, who is due to take up his post this week, said he plans to launch a nationwide register to chart all crimes against the country’s estimated 100,000-strong Jewish community, saying antisemitic attitudes were mainstream in German society.

“It is quite understandable that those who are scared for the safety of their children would consider leaving Germany,” he said at his first discussion with journalists in Berlin. “I hear this from my own Jewish friends. But we must do everything to avoid that.”

Klein said that he hoped to gain a better overview of what was fuelling such antisemitism and to “tackle it like a surgeon”.
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UK: Prospective Labour councillor bows out of local elections over anti-Semitic tweet

Via Sun:  
A PROSPECTIVE Labour councillor who caused outrage with an anti-Semitic tweet has resigned from the party days before local elections.

Claire Udy has apologised for the 2013 post: “Got a barely used travel system for baby that’s worth over £500 for £100 today also. Not even a Jew. Amazing.”

She cited lack of support from her local party as her reason for leaving.

Ms Udy will now stand as an independent in Portsmouth, Hants.    


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Polish prime minister under fire for Holocaust remarks


Via New Europe:
During a recent conference in Germany, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has come under fire for controversial comments that he made while speaking at a conference in Germany where he accused the Jews of being one the perpetrators of the Holocaust.

The Polish government later attempted to clarify Morawiecki‘s remarks, saying Warsaw was in no way denying the Holocaust or hinting at the possibility that Jewish victims were responsible for atrocities committed that resulted in the death of 6 million Jews during World War II.

The Israeli response to Morawiecki’s comments was swift, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phoning his Polish counterpart to express his disgust.

Poland has come under fire for the introduction of a law that makes it illegal to accuse the country of being complicit in the Holocaust or referring to Nazi concentration camps as “Polish death camps”.

Morawiecki was asked at Munich Security Conference on April 21 whether he expected a backlash for telling a story about his mother who survived the Holocaust and told him that some Poles had collaborated with the Gestapo, Nazi Germany’s secret police.

 “Of course it’s not going to be punishable, not going to be seen as criminal, to say that there were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators, as there were Ukrainian, not only German perpetrators,” Morawiecki replied.

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Germany: Gov't company fires employee for 'antisemitic' social media posts

Via Jerusalem Post:
The German Corporation for International Cooperation said on Friday that it had fired one employee and disciplined two additional workers in response to scores of allegations of antisemitic Facebook posts by the company's staff, including at their location in Jordan, which were first revealed by The Jerusalem Post.

"Meetings were held with the eight employees whose posts had been criticized to clarify each specific case, and the outcome was carefully considered on an individual basis. As a result, there has been a dismissal, a written warning and a reprimand," said the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) in a statement.

(...)

The GIZ headquarters is located in the West German city of Bonn and it describes itself as a "federal enterprise with worldwide operations. We support the German Government in the fields of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education. Through our work, we assist people and societies in shaping their own future and improving living conditions."

Mohammed al-Mutawakel, who is currently a project manager at GIZ's headquarters in Bonn and was previously a project manager in Jordan, compared Israel to the Nazi movement. He posted an Israeli flag on Facebook and replaced the Star of David with a swastika. “I hate Israel,” he wrote. GIZ declined to disclose to the Post if al-Mutawakel had been fired and would not provide the name of the other disciplined employees.

Ulrich Nitschke, a senior GIZ employee in the Middle East, praised, according to the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, the nomination of the BDS movement for the Nobel Peace Prize. The BDS movement advocates boycotting, divesting from, and sanctioning Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians.

Tobias Thiel, who heads GIZ's Strengthening Reform Initiatives project, said Israel does not have the right to defend itself and shared articles that Israel committed a “deliberate massacre” in the Gaza Strip.

Prior to the GIZ decision to discipline employees, the whistle-blower, who wished to remain anonymous, said GIZ's workplace culture is saturated with antisemitism. The source told the Post that Rudolf Rogg, who oversees the corporation's Middle East department, has “three Facebook accounts with anti-Israeli agitation.”

read more

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Germany: Only three showed up for antisemitism demonstration in Berlin’s hip Neukölln neighborhood


Via Matthew Karnitschnig (POLITICO Chief Europe Correspondent):
Only three people showed up for this #antisemitism demonstration in Berlin’s hip Neukölln neighborhood. It ended after 15 minutes when someone snatched the protestors’ Israeli flag and threw it in the gutter.
read more @ BZ-Berlin (in German)

Germany: A mere 2,000 people in Berlin protested against anti-Semitism


Benjamin Weinthal: "Internalize this: a mere 2,000 people in Berlin protested below against anti-Semitism. Many of the protestors were Jews. There are 3.7 million people in Berlin. Lessons of the Holocaust?"

Matthew Karnitschnig (POLITICO Chief Europe Correspondent): "By comparison, somewhere between 150,000 and 250,000 people turned out to protest the TTIP trade deal in 2015."

Via The Jerusalem Post (Jeremy Sharon):
Jews and non-Jews staged kippa-wearing solidarity marches in German cities on Wednesday evening in response to an assault last week by a Syrian refugee of Palestinian descent against a man wearing a kippa.

The man assaulted was actually an Arab Israeli who was testing whether wearing a kippa in Berlin would lead to an antisemitic attack.

In Berlin, more than 2,000 people participated in the kippa march, a police spokesman said, while rallies were also held in Cologne, Erfurt, Magdeburg and Potsdam.

Kippot were handed out at the Berlin rally, and numerous German politicians attended to show their support for the Jewish community, including Mayor Michael Müller and senior Christian Democratic Union politician Volker Kauder, who both wore kippot for the event.
read more

The attack:


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Europe: To be Jewish -at least visibly Jewish- in Europe is to live on borrowed time


Via The New York Times (Bret Stephens):
Adam Armoush is a 21-year-old Israeli Arab who, on a recent outing in Berlin, donned a yarmulke to test a friend’s contention that it was unsafe to do so in Germany. On Tuesday he was assaulted in broad daylight by a Syrian asylum-seeker who whipped him with a belt for being “yahudi” — Arabic for Jew.  
The episode was caught on video and has caused a national uproar. Heiko Maas, the foreign minister, tweeted, “Jews shall never again feel threatened here.”

It’s a vow not likely to be fulfilled. There were nearly 1,000 reported anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin alone last year. A neo-fascist party, Alternative for Germany, has 94 seats in the Bundestag. Last Thursday, a pair of German rappers won a prestigious music award, given largely on the basis of sales, for an album in which they boast of having bodies “more defined than Auschwitz prisoners.” The award ceremony coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day.

To be Jewish — at least visibly Jewish — in Europe is to live on borrowed time. That’s not to doubt the sincerity and good will of Maas or other European leaders who recommit to combating anti-Semitism every time a European Jew is murdered or a Jewish institution attacked. It’s only to doubt their capacity.

There’s a limit to how many armed guards can be deployed indefinitely to protect synagogues or stop Holocaust memorials from being vandalized. There’s a limit, also, to trying to cure bigotry with earnest appeals to tolerance. The German government is mulling a proposal to require recent arrivals in the country to tour Nazi concentration camps as a way of engendering a feeling of empathy for Jews. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that, to the virulent anti-Semite, Buchenwald is a source of inspiration, not shame.

All this comes to mind as Israel this week marks (in the Hebrew calendar) the 70th anniversary of its independence. There are many reasons to celebrate the date, many of them lofty: a renaissance for Jewish civilization; the creation of a feisty liberal democracy in a despotic neighborhood; the ecological rescue of a once-barren land; the end of 1,878 years of exile.

But there’s a more basic reason. Jews cannot rely for their safety on the kindness of strangers, least of all French or German politicians. Theodor Herzl saw this with the Dreyfus Affair and founded modern Zionism. Post-Hitler Europe still has far to fall when it comes to its attitudes toward Jews, but the trend is clear. The question is the pace.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Germany: Berlin Jews Organize ‘Wear a Kippah’ Demonstration in Response to anti-Semitic Assault

Via Haaretz:
The Berlin Jewish community is organizing a demonstration against anti-Semitism in response to an attack on an Israeli man wearing a yarmulke, and is urging participants to wear a kippah.

A broad coalition from interfaith, political, academic and pro-Israel circles is backing the “Berlin wears a kippah” protest set for Wednesday evening in front of the Jewish community center in the former West Berlin.

(...)

Last week, a young Syrian man assaulted his kippah-wearing victim with his belt and repeated the Arabic word for Jew, “Yahudi”, in public in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood.
The victim, Adam Armoush, 21, filmed part of the incident and posted it online. He later told the German news media that he is a non-Jewish Israeli from Haifa and that he had donned the kippah to prove to another friend that Berlin is not as anti-Semitic as rumor would have it

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Netherlands: newspaper slammed for ‘anti-Semitic’ cartoon on Gaza protests



Via Times of Israel:
A newspaper in the Netherlands has come under fire for publishing a cartoon depicting an Israeli soldier shooting masses of Palestinians on the Gaza border in celebration of the Jewish state’s 70th Independence Day, which was marked on Thursday.

The cartoon, published in Volkskrant, a major Dutch paper, depicts an IDF soldier wearing sunglasses and adorned with a Star of David on his back. Having put a frightened-looking unarmed Palestinian against a wall, he fires a barrage of bullets to spell out “Happy birthday to me” — passing across the Palestinian’s chest along the way.

Bodies of what seems to be other protesters lie nearby, next to what could be seen as a pile of bodies of slaughtered demonstrators who participated in the weekly “March of Return” mass rallies organized by Hamas, the terror group which runs the Gaza Strip.

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France: Muslim community blasts anti-Semitism letter as attack on Islam


Via The Local:
A French manifesto calling for certain passages of the Koran to be removed on the grounds of rising anti-Semitism sparked anger Monday from Muslims who said their religion was being unfairly "put on trial".
The open letter published Sunday in the Parisien newspaper blamed "Islamist radicalisation" for what it said was "quiet ethnic purging" in the Paris region, with abuse forcing Jewish families to move out.
  
After a series of high-profile attacks on Jews, Muslim leaders contacted by AFP acknowledged that anti-Semitism was a problem in France.
  
But they charged that the nearly 300 signatories, who included ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and former prime minister Manuel Valls, were blaming a whole religion for the actions of an extremist minority.
  
"The only thing we can agree on is that we must all unite against anti-Semitism," said Ahmet Ogras, head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith umbrella group.

read more

Monday, April 23, 2018

Germany: Merkel denounces the emergence of 'another form of anti-Semitism' from refugees of Arab origin


Via The Daily Mail: 
Angela Merkel has denounced the emergence of 'another form of anti-Semitism' from refugees of Arab origin in Germany.  
The German Chancellor made the remarks in an interview with Israeli television on Sunday after an alleged anti-Semitic attack in Berlin on Tuesday provoked uproar. 
According the German tabloid Bild, the main alleged perpetrator, who surrendered to police, is a Syrian refugee who lived in a centre for migrants near Berlin.  
'We have a new phenomenon, as we have many refugees among whom there are, for example, people of Arab origin who bring another form of anti-Semitism into the country,' Merkel told the private Channel 10 network.  
In the interview, Merkel said the German government had appointed a commissioner to fight against anti-Semitism. 'The fact that no nursery, no school, no synagogue can be left without police protection dismays us,' she said.
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