Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Italy: Focus on racist and anti-Semitic chants is a 'psychosis', say Lazio


Via France24:
Lazio blasted as "a psychosis focusing on either a minority or non-existent incidents" after racist and anti-Semitic chants overshadowed the team's 4-1 Italian Cup win over Novara at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

The chanting early in the first half was heard in Lazio's North End and was aimed at the club's bitter city rivals AS Roma, with taunts of "Yellow, red and Jewish" and "This Roma that looks like Africa".

It also targeted police who had clashed with fans on Wednesday at Piazza della Liberta in the capital when celebrations to mark the club's 119th anniversary turned violent.

Eight police were injured and four supporters arrested.

"I am here to talk about the racist and anti-Semitic chants that are supposed to have happened," club spokesman Arturo Diaconale told a press conference after the game.

"I am one of the 98 percent of people in the stadium who didn't hear them.

"The club naturally condemns any racist or anti-Semitic chants, but we have to consider the dimensions of the phenomenon.

"I think it's a form of psychosis focusing on either a minority or non-existent incidents.

"I read about chants as if the entire stadium had participated. We mustn't turn this into a mass panic over nothing. I invite our colleagues in the media to give the right degree of consideration to incidents that would normally be ignored," added Diaconale.

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UK: 170,000 antisemitic Google searches made in Britain each year

Via Jewish Chronicle:
Around 170,000 Google searches with antisemitic content are made every year in the UK - around around ten percent of which involve violent language or intentions - a new report has revealed.

Using Google search data from 2004 to 2018, the report by the CST and Antisemitism Policy Trust also showed that Britain ranks third in the world for searches about “Zionism”, behind only Israel and Lebanon – 29 percent higher than in the US.

Searches for the word in the UK rose 25-fold in April 2016, after Ken Livingstone made comments about “Hitler supporting Zionism”. “Hitler Zionism” is the fourth most popular search about Zionism in Britain.

Other data, focused on different parts of the country, showed that antisemitic searches are just as high in cities that mostly vote Labour as they are in cities that mostly vote Conservative, and that antisemitic searches are higher in Wales than any other part of the UK.

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Germany: 'Drastic increase' of violent anti-Semitic attacks in Berlin, according to figures


Via The Local:
The number of anti-Semitic violent attacks in Berlin more than tripled in Berlin in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to provisional police statistics.

The German capital’s first commissioner for anti-Semitism, Claudia Vanoni, who took up her post on September 1st last year, said seven violent anti-Semitic attacks were recorded by police in 2017, compared to 24 incidents which were recorded between January and mid-December 2018.

Vanoni described it as a “drastic increase” in an interview with the Berliner Zeitung published earlier this week.

These are provisional figures  which may change if, for example, more crimes are reported.

When it comes to non-violent anti-Semitic crimes, according to Vanoni police recorded a total of 305 incidents in Berlin in 2017. Last year, 295 cases were recorded up until mid-December.

“Considering that cases are usually reported later, there will probably be a slight increase in the number of cases in 2018,” said Vanoni, regarding these figures.

The majority of these cases involve offensive language against others and damage to property, such as hate-filled graffiti.

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World Council of Churches trainees use antisemitic rhetoric, advocate BDS

Via Jerusalem Post:
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is training volunteers to promote boycotts of Israel and engage in antisemitic rhetoric, with funding from several Western governments and the EU, as well as support from the United Nations, a new report by research institute NGO Monitor has found.

The WCC flagship project – Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) – has sent 1,800 “ecumenical accompaniers” from around the world to serve as observers in the West Bank and Jerusalem over the past 15 years, and aim to have 25 to 30 of these unofficial observers on the ground at all times. This is the only program of this kind run by the WCC.

(...)

The WCC calls itself the broadest organized group of churches, and says it seeks to represent 350 member churches in 110 countries and 500 million Christians throughout the world. Its website says that the group’s goal is Christian unity.

Yet one of the ways it seems to achieve that is through anti-Israel advocacy, which at times has explicit antisemitic overtones, as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. This definition has been accepted by the EU, which along with some of its member countries, provides funding for the EAPPI.

WCC leadership and EAPPI volunteers have repeatedly made comparisons of Israeli actions to those of Nazi Germany in their advocacy sessions. For example, WCC general secretary Dr. Olav Fyske Tveit said: “I heard about the occupation of my country during the five years of World War II as the story of my parents. Now I see and hear the stories of 50 years of occupation.”

(...)

The WCC supports boycotts and divestment from settlements, but EAPPI activists have called for a boycott of all of Israel.

The EAPPI publication “Faith Under Occupation” called in 2012 for “sanctions and suspension of US aid to Israel,” to “challenge Israel in local and international courts” and “economic boycotts.”

EAPPI National Coordinator in South Africa Dudu Mahlangu-Masango signed a letter to then-president Jacob Zuma calling “on our government and civil society to instigate broad-based boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel” in 2012. She repeated this call in a 2018 television interview, calling for “total sanctions” on Israel.

The organization also seeks to combat Christian Zionism. In a 2015 WCC event, Zionism was called “heresy” under Christian theology, modern Israelis were said to have no connection to ancient Israelites, and Israeli society was noted to be “full with racism and light skin privilege.” Their leadership also compared Israel to apartheid South Africa.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

France: Paris woman’s nose broken in alleged anti-Semitic assault

Via JTA:
A French-Jewish woman told police that two teenagers hurling anti-Semitic insults robbed and hit her on a main street of Paris suburb.

The woman, aged 20, said in her complaint to police that the incident happened Monday in the heavily Jewish suburb of Sarcelles north of Paris, the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, wrote in a statement Tuesday.

Prying her cellphone out of her hands, the two assailants, whom she said were black, hit her face while saying: “Are you afraid, you Jewess?” she told police. A passerby intervened, allowing the woman to flee to her home with a broken nose and bloody face, the report said. She was on her way home from work, she also said. The two alleged assailants fled the scene. BNVCA called on police to investigate and apprehend the suspects.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Romania: Firm discriminated against Jewish employee, court rules


Via Jerusalem Post:
A judge in Romania awarded $5,700 in damages to a Jewish man who sued his employer for not giving the claimant time off on Passover and humiliating him because of his ethnicity.

Bernard Ciurariu won his workplace discrimination against NTT Data Romania last week in the city of Iasi, the news site Info Crestin reported.

The claimant was “punished because he did not go to work during the Jewish Passover, although the law affords him days off on that holiday,” the judge said, according to the report.

This and other forms of discrimination began against Ciurariu after the death of his father last year. His employers learned that he is Jewish because his father received a Jewish funeral. From then on, he was excluded from projects relevant to his work and sidelined at the workplace, he complained.

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Belgium: Kosher slaughter ends in northern Belgium, threatening supplies to Europe


Via Times of Israel:
As the year 2018 came to a close Monday, it brought with it an end to kosher slaughter in the northern Flanders region of Belgium, home to half of the country’s Jewish population and a major supplier of meat for European Jewish communities.

In June 2017, the parliament in the Flemish region, one of the five sectors that make up the country, unanimously passed a resolution banning ritual slaughter without stunning.

The decision followed a similar one approved in May 2017 by the Walloon Parliament in the south, Belgium’s largest region. Both measures take effect in 2019. 

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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Greece: Holocaust Memorial in Thessaloniki sprayed with Swastika



Via Ekathimerini:
Unknown assailants spray-painted a black Swastika on the Holocaust Memorial on the northern port city of Thessaloniki's Eleftherias Square late on Friday or in the early hours of Saturday.

The assailants are believed to have been part of a rally held earlier on Friday by protesters opposed to the name deal Greece signed over the summer with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Local website Voria published photographs of demonstrators in that rally giving the Nazi salute.
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UK: Labour suspends Mohammed Yasin, who blamed ‘all wars in the world’ on Jewish people

The man shared antisemitic posts for more than two years, and the Labour party had no idea. What does that say about their rank-and-file?

Via Times:
A senior Labour Party official shared anti-semitic material blaming Jews for “all the wars in the world”.

Labour’s West Midlands regional organiser, Mohammed Yasin, was suspended last night after The Sunday Times approached the party with a dossier of his activity on social media. Labour has launched an investigation.

For more than two years Yasin, not to be confused with the Labour MP with a similar name, shared anti-semitic posts and 9/11 conspiracy theories, praised a homophobic preacher and described his former leader Tony Blair as a “child-killer”.

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Friday, December 14, 2018

France: Jewish cemetery near Strasbourg defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti


Via Times of Israel:
Several tombstones were defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti at a Jewish cemetery near the French city of Strasbourg.

The incident was discovered Tuesday in Herrlisheim, a northern suburb, the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities said in a statement. “CRIF = ZOG” and the digits 88 were written on the tombstones. ZOG stands for “Zionist occupation government,” and the number is code for Adolf Hitler.

It’s the fourth time in two months that graffiti featuring far-right anti-Semitic rhetoric has been discovered at sites linked to Jews in the eastern Alsace region. In two incidents, Jewish mayors were the targets.
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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Italy: Outrage after plaques honoring Rome's deported Jews stolen


Via Ynet News:
Rome’s mayor, Catholic groups and politicians of every stripe joined Italy’s Jewish community this week in denouncing the theft of 20 small bronze plaques honoring a Jewish family deported during the Holocaust.

The plaques, affixed to the cobblestones in front of the Di Consiglio family home in the Monti neighborhood of downtown Rome, were taken overnight. A gaping hole in the cobblestones was all that remained Monday.

The organization responsible for laying the plaques, “Art in Memory,” reported the theft. In July, the same group reported receiving a threatening letter featuring a photo of Adolf Hitler.

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France: Tax protests often feature anti-Semitic rhetoric

Via JTA:
Protests in France over taxes are giving rise to anti-Semitic rhetoric, a prominent watchdog group said.

The head of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism, or BNVCA, Sammy Ghozlan, said Wednesday that “the ‘Yellow Jackets’ movement has an anti-Semitic base that repeats conspiracy theories about Jews and power.”

Launched last month as a protest against a proposed rise in diesel and fuel taxes, the movement has expanded into an anti-government drive featuring violent riots that have shut down the French capital several times. Some protesters have been filmed carrying signs and chanting slogans describing French President Emmanuel Macron as a “whore of the Jews” and their “puppet.”

Such language “was present from the very beginning of the protests and persists,” Ghozlan said, although he added that it exists “on the margins” of the protests. France has seen a 69 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in 2018 over the past year.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

UK: Life imitates art as play about antisemitism faces wave of abuse

Via Guardian:
A new play about rising antisemitism that opens in a London theatre this week has become the target of antisemitic abuse. One Jewish Boy by Stephen Laughton focuses on the relationship between a Jewish man and a mixed-race, non-Jewish woman, their experiences of hatred and abuse, and the impact on their marriage. “It’s about big themes on a domestic level,” Laughton said.

Since publicity for the play was launched in September, Laughton has been targeted with abuse on social media, and posters for the production have been defaced and torn down. Palestinian flags were posted online in response to mentions of the play.

Among the comments were: “Who cares about Jews? This looks shit”; “I must say I do not give a fuck. Perhaps you could write a play about Palestinian kids getting blown to pieces by Jews”; and “You’re a fucking enabler. You Jews disgust me”.

Laughton said he was saddened by the responses. “I expected something, but I didn’t anticipate they’d come for me. I’m worried there’ll be more antisemitism when the play opens, and I’m worried it could become physical.” The Community Security Trust, which protects and defends British Jews, had been consulted.

Laughton said he had wanted to write about antisemitism for some time as he had watched friends – mostly liberal Jews who are critical of the Israeli government’s policies – become more fearful about rising tensions and overt abuse.

“The play has been written from a place of tangible fear. Things that were on the fringes of the far right and the far left started creeping in to the mainstream.

“In the last few years it seems like people feel they have permission to be antisemitic,” he said. “You see it in our politics, on our social media, with our kids getting beaten up on the streets. I wanted to chart that.”

(...)

Laughton said his Jewish identity was of central importance to him. He belongs to Liberal Judaism, a small, radical denomination, and is “historically a Labour party supporter”. He described himself as a “romantic Zionist” with an attachment to the Jewish homeland but is highly critical of blockades and settlements. At the end of each performance during the play’s four-week run, collections will be taken for Medical Aid for Palestinians, a charity that delivers healthcare for those affected by the conflict, and Rabbis for Human Rights, an Israeli organisation that focuses on settlements and human rights violations.

The closing night of the show will be followed by a vigil for peace, incorporating a Havdalah service marking the end of Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath, and a recitation of Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead.

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Unprecedented EU Poll Finds 90% Of European Jews Feel Anti-Semitism Increasing

Via Jewish Week:
Nearly 90 percent of European Jews feel that anti-Semitism has increased in their home countries over the past five years, and almost 30% say they have been harassed at least once in the past year, reveals a major European Union report published on Monday.

The poll was carried out in 12 European Union member states, and was the largest ever of its kind worldwide.

Of the more than 16,000 Jews who participated in the online survey, 85% rated anti-Semitism the biggest social or political problem in the country where they live. Thirty-eight percent said they had considered emigrating because they did not feel safe as Jews.

Britain, Germany, and Sweden saw the sharpest increases in those saying anti-Semitism is a “very big” or “fairly big” problem. The highest level recorded was in France at 95%. Denmark saw the lowest level at 56%, while Jews in Hungary suggested that anti-Semitism was becoming less of a problem. 

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

What does anti-Semitism look like in Europe in 2018?

Via CNN:
It's a 17-year-old boy, too frightened to wear a kippa (a religious skullcap) on the streets of Paris. It's an Israeli restaurant owner in Berlin who is told that he will end up in the gas chambers. It's a 24-year-old Austrian who knows nothing about the Holocaust. It's the armed guards outside synagogues and Jewish schools across much of Europe. It's the online chat rooms where people peddle conspiracy theories that Jewish "globalists" run the world.
 
It can be violent or subtle. Overt or insidious. Political or personal. It can come from the right or the left. It exists in countries that have large Jewish populations, like France, and it also flourishes in places with smaller Jewish communities, like Poland.

More than a quarter of Europeans surveyed believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. One in five say they have too much influence in media and politics. In individual countries the numbers are often higher: 42% of Hungarians think Jews have too much influence in finance and business across the world.

While 44% of Europeans agree that anti-Semitism is a growing problem, a substantial minority is unsympathetic to the problem. Almost one in five (18%) agree that most anti-Semitism in their country is a response to the "everyday behavior of Jewish people." In Poland, 50% of people think that Jews use the Holocaust to advance their position; 19% of Hungarians admit to having an unfavorable impression of Jews altogether.

So why is anti-Semitism a growing phenomenon once again? Poland's Chief Rabbi, Brooklyn-born Michael Schudrich, is not sure the problem ever really went away.

"There will always be people who had anti-Semitic feelings and I don't know if the number has grown but this new situation today is they feel that it's more acceptable socially that they can express these opinions out loud...

"The feeling beforehand was, 'This is what I believe but don't tell anyone.' It was not perfect but at least there was a social taboo against anti-Semitism."


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