Monday, June 18, 2018

Holland: Rabbi complains to police about insults by North Africans


Via Bad News from The Netherlands blog:
Amsterdam rabbi Yanki Jacobs has complained to the police about insults by two youngsters with a North-African appearance. They shouted against him and his family from their car “cancer Jews” and “fuck all Jews”.  
The rabbi was recognizable as being a Jew by his kippa. He said that they passed a number of times in their car in an intimidating way. The rabbi said that such insults occur so frequently that he has begun to consider it normal.
read more in Dutch at ad.nl

UK: Police probe three vandalism incidents at Manchester Jewish cemetery


Via Jewish News:
Vandalism at Urmston Jewish Cemetery Credit: @Joanne13Harding on Twitter
Police are investigating three separate incidents of vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in Manchester, with the most recent causing “thousands of pounds worth of damage”.

More than 30 headstones were pushed over at Urmston Jewish Cemetery in Manchester on Sunday, following two other reports of criminal damage at the site on 7 and 14 May.

Greater Manchester Police said they are investigating the separate incidents and “the spates of vandalism are being treated as hate incidents”, but no arrests have been made.

The police are investigating CCTV footage to identify offenders and patrols in the area have been increased.
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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Germany/UK: Munich mayor accuses Rogers Waters of antisemitism


Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
Mayor Dieter Reiter

Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter slammed Roger Waters, co-founder of the British band Pink Floyd, for his stoking of antisemitism against Israel, triggering an angry reaction from the singer on Friday.

Waters’s attorney demanded that Reiter delete his press statement accusing Waters of antisemitism. Reiter said Waters is responsible for “growing, intolerable antisemitic statements.”  
Reiters office said a city attorney will review Water's request.

Waters performed a concert on Wednesday in Munich’s Olympic Hall. Reiter said it was not possible to prevent the hall from being rented to Waters. However, Reiter said the Olympic Hall will not be rented to Waters in the future, due to his advocacy of the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Jewish state.

Reiter said it “is important for me to make it unmistakably clear ahead of the concert that antisemitic propaganda of Roger Waters is neither welcome in Munich nor will it remain unanswered.”

The Munich city council passed a resolution that the mayor supported last year barring space in public facilities and finances for pro-BDS activity. Munich was the first German city to pass anti-BDS legislation.

Waters’s lawyer said Reiter’s allegations resemble a call to boycott him.

Waters himself has previously said he was the victim of the “Jewish lobby” that was “extraordinarily powerful.”
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UK: Former Liberal leader David Steele compares Israel to apartheid South Africa


In Europe, the Right is as keen as the Left to bash Israel.

Via Jewish News:
Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people has been compared to the old apartheid regime in South Africa by former Liberal leader David Steel.

Lord Steel of Aikwood accused Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of continuing to treat Palestinian lives “as inferior to their own”. Speaking in the House of Lords, the former president of the Anti-Apartheid Movement expressed hope that the recent “slaughter” during protests at the Gaza border would galvanise global opinion just as the Sharpeville Massacre had in South Africa.   
The shooting dead by police of 69 unarmed people protesting against apartheid laws in 1960 was seen as a turning point in the nation’s liberation struggle.

Lord Steel was also critical of the international community, including successive British governments, which he argued had allowed Israel “to defy the United Nations and trample on the rights of Palestinians”.

The Liberal Democrat peer made his hard-hitting remarks as he opened a debate in the Lords on the situation in the Palestinian territories. 
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Friday, June 15, 2018

Spain: In first, a Spanish state adopts BDS as policy


Via JTA:
Navarre became the first state in Spain to endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. 
The motion voted on last month in Navarre, in northern Spain, received the support of all the parties represented in parliament except the center-right Popular Party, the ACOM pro-Israel advocacy wrote in a statement Friday. 
The motion passed on May 21 calls on the central government to “support any initiative promoted by the international BDS campaign.” It also calls on Spain to “suspend its ties with Israel “until that country ceases its policy of criminal repression of the Palestinian population.” 
Navarre is one of 17 autonomous communities — states with their own parliaments — that together make up quasi-federal Spain.  
Catalonia’s parliament last year declared independence from Spain, though Madrid declined to recognize the declaration. Navarre has a substantial Basque population and a strong separatist movement. 
The motion went on to condemn Israel for “murdering” dozens of Palestinians in May — a reference to those killed by Israeli forces during Hamas-organized riots along the Gaza border that featured hundreds of firebombs and attempts to breach the security fence into Israel. Of 61 people killed in the riots on May 14, 50 were Hamas members, according to one senior member of that organization.
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Poland: Magazine asks “just how strong is the Jewish lobby?” on its front cover


Via Everyday Antisemitism:
Right wing Polish magazine Do Rzeczy has published an antisemitic issue which features the question “just how strong is the Jewish lobby?” on its front cover.

The weekly right wing magazine was founded in 2013 and represents Christian conservatism in the country.

The article pits the mysterious “Jewish lobby” against Poland, asking “can the Polish government handle it?”. Poland is currently governed by the far right Law and Justice Party, a party infested with antisemitism from the top all the way down to the grassroots.


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Italy: The Jewish Opera Italy Couldn’t Bear to Hear

Via Atlantic:
After the composer died in Turin in 1945, hiding in a fleabag hotel under a false name to avoid roundups, his music was forgotten. His family tried for years to get Italian opera houses interested in it, only to be met with suspicion and resistance. Producing Finzi’s music posthumously would have implied admitting and publicizing that it had once been banned because of the racial laws, a part of the past with which Italy still has not properly reckoned. So the Finzis did what European Jews sometimes do when they feel voiceless: They turned to the U.S.

(...)

Yet this is not just the story of a Jewish composer finally getting the recognition he deserves. It’s also the story of a country that still represses the memory of its racist past, a phenomenon that carries serious consequences for modern-day politics, especially at a time when the populist right wing is on the rise.

“When it comes down to the racial laws, Italy never fully reckoned with its responsibilities. Unlike what happened, for instance, in France [or Germany], no Italian head of State or government ever apologized for the persecution of Jews,” Guri Schwarz, a historian at the University of Genova, told me. Many Italians, he said, grew up with the distorted notion that the racial laws were not such a big deal, that Italy was “out of the shadow of the Shoah,” that the Holocaust was “a German thing.”

“It’s not that Italians didn’t learn about the persecution of Jews, but often they learned about it as if it where something that happened somewhere else,” said Schwarz. This lack of historic consciousness, he added, is the result of what he described as “the normalization of fascism,” a political process that began in the 1980s, when the Socialist party attempted an alliance with the post-fascist Movimento sociale, and continued with Silvio Berlusconi, who included self-described “former fascists” in his coalitions. “The message was, ‘We can include fascists [in mainstream politics], and we can do that because they weren’t really so bad.’”

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UK: Leftie lawyer hired by Labour to oversee anti-Semitism cases is ‘friends with anti-Jewish activists’


Via The Sun:
Labour bosses have been blasted for hiring a leftie lawyer who is friends with members accused of anti-Semitism to advise them.

Gordon Nardell QC was last week announced as the party’s new in-house legal counsel to help deal with the backlog of anti-Semitism cases - and will oversee the party’s disciplinary processes.

But critics claim his links to grassroots members accused of anti-Semitic comments undermines his independence, and it could be a conflict of interest if he rules on their cases. It has been revealed that the former councillor and wannabe-MP has a long history of links to the hard left and is friends on Facebook with suspended members.

Labour figures have demanded that the new General Secretary, Jennie Fornby, think again about her decision to hire him in the role. Jewish groups have demanded more progress on dealing with pockets of anti-Semitism in the party, and were left fuming after Jeremy Corbyn refused all of their demands. Labour has set an August deadline for resolving complaints relating to anti-Semitism.
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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Anti-Semitic incidents drop sharply in Poland and Hungary, watchdogs say

Via Times of Israel:
Despite widespread concerns recently of a rise in anti-Semitism in Poland and Hungary, watchdog groups in both countries said the number of incidents recorded there in 2017 dropped sharply from the previous year.

In Hungary, the Jewish community’s watchdog on anti-Semitism, TEV, said this week in its annual report for 2017 that it had recorded 37 anti-Semitic incidents compared to 48 in 2016, constituting a 23 percent decrease. Some 100,000 Jews live in Hungary.

In Poland, which is home to some 20,000 Jews, Deputy National Prosecutor Agata Gałuszka-Górska last month said that the number of anti-Semitic incidents had dropped by 30 percent, to 112 last year from 160 in 2016. Anti-Semitic hate crimes accounted for about 6 percent of all hate crimes recorded, she said.

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Anti-Semitic vandals hit shop in Italy, Holocaust monuments in France, Holland


Via Times of Israel:
A barbershop in Italy, and Holocaust monuments in the Netherlands and France were targeted in separate incidents deemed anti-Semitic.

The perpetrators of the incident involving Gianni Errichiello’s barbershop in a northern suburb of Turin in northern Italy torched a car parked in front of the establishment on Marconi Square. They splashed red paint on the shuttered blinds of the barbershop of Errichiello, who is not Jewish. And they attached a piece of printer paper on which was printed: “This shop belongs to a Jew,” Corriere de la Sera reported Tuesday.

(...)

Separately, in Paris, unidentified individuals removed a commemorative plaque that education ministry officials put up at the Ave Maria public elementary school for Jewish children who were deported from there and murdered during the Holocaust, Le Parisien last week reported.

The perpetrators did not damage any other object on the building’s façade, raising the suspicion that their action was an anti-Semitic incident. The Ave Maria school is located at the 4th District of Paris, or the Marais – the city’s historic Jewish quarter. The district’s mayor, Ariel Weil, who is Jewish, called the incident “shameful.”

On Sunday, unidentified individuals painted swastikas and other far-right symbols on a monument for Holocaust victims in the Midden-Groningen municipality, situated in the northeastern Netherlands, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the capital Amsterdam. City workers swiftly cleaned the black paint off the monument as police began investigating the incident, the RTV Noord broadcaster reported.

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Belgium: Rapper with anti-Semitic lyrics shut down during public radio appearance


Via JTA:
A Belgian public radio station kicked out of its studio a rapper who on air inveighed against Israel and “Zionists” while introducing a song whose lyrics speak of “money-loving Jews running after each cent.”

The incident occurred last month at the Antwerp studio of a department of the VRT public broadcaster during an interview with Bissy Owa, an up-and-coming performer who is Muslim, about his recently released song titled “Money till the Death,” the Joods Actueel news website reported Wednesday.

The VRT studio muted Owa’s microphone after he said during a live interview: “F**k the Zionists, revolution, Israel must go, free Palestine.”

The song, which begins with the expletive about Zionists, shows him dancing while wearing a black hat and fake side-locks and singing about Jewish greed. He also says “I can’t hang with a Jew.”

read more

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Germany’s sordid Iran policy


Via Mosaic Magazine:
As the U.S. is re-imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic and trying to curb the dangerous reach of its proxies, Germany has come to Tehran’s defense. Yigal Carmon comments:
If any country in the world could be expected to be extremely cautious about aligning with anyone calling for Israel’s annihilation, it would be Germany, regardless of any extenuating circumstances - economic, political or otherwise. The Bundesrepublik should have distanced itself from any substantial tie with the Islamic Republic of Iran, whose murderous regime is threatening to annihilate Israel.

Germany was the first country that should have told . . . Barack Obama that totalitarian regimes, like Germany’s own Nazi regime, are beyond the pale, and should be denied any legitimacy, particularly when it comes to a nuclear deal with them. Germany’s past should have enjoined it to take the moral lead, publicly, in promoting regime change when dealing with a totalitarian regime such as Iran. The reality is tragically the opposite. . . . Germany . . . has shut its eyes to the notorious human-rights violations in Iran, and to Iran’s terrorizing and murder of its own citizens. Iran, of course, is a major partner, along with Russia, in the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of the 21st century: the Assad regime’s slaughter and displacement of millions of Syrians.

The reversal of the Obama-foisted Iran policy by the Trump administration provided Germany with a golden opportunity to reclaim its professed values. But the reverse happened: Germany is legitimizing Iran, even championing it. . . .

Regardless of Germany’s motivations, this is the moment for Germany to demonstrate national leadership and responsibility that rises above petty considerations . . . and builds a policy on its moral values. If it rises to the moment, Germany could isolate the Iran issue from other issues, and serve as a true global beacon of moral policy. There are other ways to resolve its [other] problems with the U.S., and even to take an assertive stand against Donald Trump on economic matters. Unfortunately, Germany’s grand government coalition and the opposition parties are united in defense of Iran and against the U.S.
read more at JNS

Europe: It’s no fun being a Rothschild in Europe these days


Via The Jerusalem Post:
Twenty years ago, few people in Europe thought of the Rothschilds as Jews. As far as the general public was concerned, they were French bankers and philanthropists. “Rothschild was a brand name,” Baroness Ariane de Rothschild told The Jerusalem Post this week.

The baroness – who heads the Edmond de Rothschild Caesarea Foundation and is a banking and finance expert in her own right – was in Israel for the inauguration of the Crusader Wall Promenade in Caesarea.

She was also receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the Haifa Technion, in recognition of her commitment to making higher education accessible to all young Israelis, especially those from minority groups – particularly their women – who for economic reasons seldom go beyond a Master’s in academia.

The baroness said that the Internet is now crawling with conspiracy theories and statements of outright hatred in connection with the Rothschilds. 

“Antisemitism in Europe is a big worry, and can be felt very strongly,” she said. “There’s a lot of pressure, and it’s a very big problem. The extreme Right is popping up everywhere.”
read more

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Germany: Politicians want Iran-regime center ousted over antisemitism


Via Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
Politicians in the northern German city of Hamburg rekindled on Monday a call from last year to cancel the city’s contract with an Iranian-regime controlled institution because it participated in the annual al-Quds Day rally in Berlin, which calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

"The right of Israel's existence belongs to the national interest of Germany. Whoever does not recognize this and carries out anti-Israel agitation can, in the view of German historical responsibility, not be a contractual partner of our state," said André Trepoll, the head of the Christian Democratic Union party faction in Hamburg, in an interview with the Hamburger Abendblatt paper on Monday. Trepoll added that the Iranian regime-controlled Islamic Center of Hamburg "proved again with its continued participation in the al-Quds march that a state agreement cannot be made with the center."

He said the "Shura" must eject the Islamic Center from its organization. Shura is an Arabic word usually defined as "consultation" and is a way for creating organization among Islamic organizations and mosques. The Shura has previously called on the Islamic Center to not participate in the al-Quds Day march. 
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Monday, June 11, 2018

France: University of La Sorbonne in Paris Jewish students chapter office vandalized


Via European Jewish Press:
If Sacha Ghozlan had any doubts about whether there would be more anti-Semitic attacks in France following the March murder of an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, he quickly got an answer.

Ghozlan, the president of the French Jewish Students Union (UEJF), planned to attend a rally on March 28 with more than 10,000 others in response to the murder of Mireille Knoll, who was found stabbed 11 times in her Paris apartment a few days earlier.

Hours before the gathering, Jewish students at the University of La Sorbonne in Paris found that its UEJF chapter office had been vandalized, with materials tossed on the floor and stepped on and “Death to Israel” and “Zionist racist anti-goy office,” written in French on the walls, according to videos of the office.

“At that particular time, it was very difficult to organize a gathering of the non-Jewish students,” said Ghozlan. “They refused to release a public statement [condemning the vandalism]because they didn’t want to be involved in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.” (...)

After the vandalism, the UEJF wanted to get political leaders’ attention, so they commissioned a survey that measures attitudes among French people towards Israel and Jews. The study by the Institut français d’opinion publique, a market research firm, found that 54 percent of the respondents ages 18 to 24 believe that “Zionism is an international organization that seeks to influence the world and society in favor of Jews.” 
Fifty-two percent considered Zionism a racist ideology, and 57 percent had a bad image of Israel.(…)  
Jews in France and elsewhere in Europe now face not only traditional anti-Semitism from the far-right, but also from far-left parts of European society and from Muslim immigrant communities, according to Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, director of the American Jewish Committee-Europe. The focal point is a “biased view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

She would like to see European governments adopt a “zero-tolerance policy” towards anti-Semitism.

“There seems to be a discrepancy between the words and the actual actions,” she said. “You will have very strong words from the president, from the prime minister, on anti-Semitism, but then you will have small incivilities or anti-Israeli demonstrations in the streets of Paris that suddenly turn sour.”
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