Thursday, May 5, 2016

UK: SNP activist claims Israel behind 9/11, ISIS

Via Scotsman:
The SNP was tonight embroiled in an antisemitism row when it emerged that a party activist has been sharing offensive anti-Israel material on Facebook.

Amjed Hussain, from Edinburgh, was pictured with Nicola Sturgeon and other leading SNP figures at the party’s manifesto launch and has been on the campaign trail with Nationalist candidates and parliamentarians.

Pro-Israel groups and opposition politicians were angered when they learned of the material being promoted by Mr Hussain, who is a Facebook friend of several government ministers.

Earlier tonight the SNP instructed its campaign teams to ensure Mr Hussain takes no further part in the election after his online activity came to light.

Last month Mr Hussain shared a photo, which bore the slogan “Israel has no history – only a criminal record”.

He also shared a video, which claimed that the 11 September, 2001 terrorist attacks were an operation carried out by Mossad, the Israel national intelligence agency. Another post shared by Mr Hussain linked Islamic State to Israel. It said: “ISIS is the only terrorist organisation that will travel 2,000 miles to attack Brussels, but can’t travel 52 miles to attack Israel – because the dog does not bite its own tail.”

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UK: Labour activist suspended after claiming Jews were reposnsible for African slave trade

She can't be antisemitic, because she's against racism. QED.

It must be a conspiracy, and there's nothing antisemitic about saying that, because she's against racism.

Via BBC:
A senior Labour activist has been suspended from the party over alleged anti-Semitic comments on Facebook.

Jackie Walker, a vice chair in the Momentum movement, wrote about "the African holocaust" and Jews as "chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade".

The Labour Party said: "Jacqueline Walker has been suspended by the Labour Party today pending an investigation."

Ms Walker said she was of Jewish descent and an active anti-racist.
'Defended minorities'

In a statement, she said: "I have been suspended from the Labour Party for alleged anti-Semitic comments. I have been an active anti-racist trainer and campaigner for years, often in all white communities and in the most vulnerable situations.

"I have been spat at and beaten by racists. I have marched against the fascists, defended minorities, am of Jewish decent as is my partner. If they can do this to me they can do it to anyone."
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Spain: Anti-Semitic Graffiti Appears After Village Changes Its Name

photo: diariodeburgos

Via New York Times:
Two years ago, a tiny Spanish village gained fame for deciding, finally, to break any possible link to the persecution of Jews during the Spanish Inquisition.

It held a referendum in which the village’s 56 registered inhabitants agreed to shed its medieval name — Castrillo Matajudíos, which roughly translates as Little Hill Fort of Jew Killers. Instead, it is now called Castrillo Mota de Judíos, or something like Little Hill Fort of Jews.

Since then, however, the village has become a victim of repeated acts of vandalism, mostly anti-Semitic graffiti, that the mayor attributes to unknown far-right extremist groups that, he believes, have no direct connection to his village.

The mayor, Lorenzo Rodríguez Pérez, filed a police complaint on Tuesday after the latest aggression, in which the village’s brand-new road signposts were sprayed over the weekend with anti-Semitic and fascist graffiti, he said.

The signposts will need replacing, the mayor said. They had been erected last October, when his village officially completed its name change after the May 2014 referendum.
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Germany: ‘You have to kill them, cut their throats, bomb them and throw them in the sea'

When an ex-Israeli checked out asylum centers and found antisemitic sentiments, he was accused by anti-Zionist site Mondoweiss of making it up.

Via Times of Israel:
Georg Potzies, a retired antiquarian from Berlin and a member of Ehrenberg’s community, is radically opposed to the government’s welcoming of refugees. The newcomers do not pose an immediate physical threat to the Jewish community, he said, but they could soon become a political liability.

“At the moment they are still busy with themselves: getting registered as asylum seekers and trying to get out of the crowded halls they’re staying in. They are focused on improving their personal situation, they don’t have time yet to attack other people,” Potzies said. “But after two or three years, once they figure out how things work here, it’s possible that they will become politically active, and it’s not hard to guess in which direction that will go.”

What about the Jewish community’s official position that hopes for the refugees to be taught respect for Western values, tolerance and democracy?

“This is the dream of leftists but it surely won’t happen,” Potzies replied. “Look at the Arabs who are already here for two or three generations. Even if you integrate them, that doesn’t mean they change their worldview. Those who were born here are just as anti-Semitic as those arriving just now.”

Potzies, who grew up secular and became religiously observant a decade ago, said he recently disguised himself as a journalist and interviewed 36 Arab refugees in Berlin. At first he asked them harmless questions to gain their trust and then inquired about their attitude toward Israel and Jews, he said. “The answers I got were exactly like those you would find in Der Sturmer: ‘You have to kill them, cut their throats, bomb them and throw them in the sea.’ There was not one exception.”
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In Europe, BDS is largely state-sponsored

The Diamondback (The University of Maryland's Independent Student Newspaper) reports on conference on anti-Semitism and its rise among Western nations:
Benjamin Weinthal, a European correspondent with Jerusalem Post, also served on the panel after holding a Q&A session with students at Maryland Hillel that afternoon.

Weinthal's 16 years reporting with the Jerusalem Times in Berlin gave him a first hand experience with one of the major themes of the panel — the difference between anti-Semitism in Europe and in the United States, he said. The two countries have different takes on the BDS ideology, a movement referring to the boycott, divestment and sanction of Israel, and these differences contrast the two regions.

"Nearly half the states in the [United States] have proposed or passed anti-BDS resolutions or laws," Weinthal said. "In Europe, BDS is largely state-sponsored … it would be the equivalent of the state of Maryland's legislature to hold a BDS panel on why it's important to boycott Israel."
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Czech Republic: Extremist politician charged with crimes against humanity

Via JTA:
The Czech Police have filed charges of crimes against humanity against Adam Bartos, the leader of the extremist far-right National Democracy political party.

Bartos is also charged with defamation, incitement to hatred, and genocide denial, the police announced on Friday. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.

Bartos, 36, was detained on Thursday morning, when police searched his home and several other sites in the Czech capital, seizing documents and other materials. He was released on Friday after questioning.

“Police investigators concluded that Mr. Bartos committed the criminal acts between May 2013 and April 2016. He was charged mainly over the content of books he published and other documents and public speeches in which he publicly and purposefully incited hatred towards people of Jewish ethnicity and faith,” the police said in a statement.

Shown in video footage of his arrest, Bartos said he considered the case “a politically motivated trial” and “another attempt to damage the only true opposition to the system.”

The Czech Republic’s Jewish community is closely following the case. “Let’s wait and see what comes out of this. He should not be allowed to assume the role of a political martyr,” Tomas Kraus, the executive director of the Federation of the Czech Jewish communities, told JTA.

“Bartos has regularly appeared in our annual reports on anti-Semitism. But he is a complicated figure: we knew him as an Israel supporter who was running about Prague waving the Israeli flag. I think he should maybe seek psychiatric assistance,” Kraus added.

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UK: Spurs fans taunted by anti-Semitic tweets

Via Express:
TOTTENHAM Hotspur fans have been subjected to a string of vile anti-Semitic messages on social media after drawing with Chelsea and handing Leicester City the Premier League title.

Spurs looked set to take the title race to the penultimate match after racing into a 2-0 lead at Stamford Bridge last night.

But goals from Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard rounded off a thrilling comeback from the hosts in a tempestuous London derby.

The result meant Leicester City are crowned champions but the jubilation has taken a dark turn as many took to Twitter to mock Tottenham fans with a host of anti-Semitic slurs.

The North London side has a rich Jewish heritage and many sick Twitter users took aim at the club’s history and made reference to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Germany: "We should get Israelis to take care of security"

Via Times of Israel:
“I would say, three-quarters [of the Jews here] are concerned to a certain extent. The other quarter are very worried,” Abraham Lehrer, a senior leader of the Cologne Jewish community and the vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told The Times of Israel last week.

In light of the municipality’s decision to house refugees directly across from the synagogue building, which also houses a community center, a kindergarten and a kosher restaurant, Lehrer and his colleagues at the helm of the Cologne community requested 24-hour police protection. The police refused. “The authorities’ security assessment has not changed due to the refugees,” Lehrer said unhappily.


“My nightmare is that someone is going to throw a molotov cocktail into the synagogue,” a regular attendant of services at the Roonstrasse shul said. “I am not really afraid to be here, but the police is only here occasionally. The truth is that they’re not really capable of doing anything. You know what their procedure is in the case of an attack? To lock themselves in their car and call for reinforcement.” Policemen ordered to protect the synagogue are not even allowed to enter the building, he added. “We should get Israelis to take care of security.”

He is not afraid to walk around walking a skullcap, the man added, saying that he was only yelled at once. However, he cautioned, there have been several anti-Semitic attacks in other German cities and Cologne could easily be next.

In Germany, securing Jewish institutions is the responsibility of the local authorities and thus varies from place to place. While the synagogue in nearby Düsseldorf, for instance, has 24-hour police protection, the Cologne police only stations a van in front of the building when there are large gatherings planned. Some communities hire Israel security companies to reinforce the local police presence, but smaller one generally cannot afford this extra cost.

While the Cologne police dismissed the local Jews’ security concerns over the refugees, the agency that operates the refugee center did agree to not to house Syrians or Iraqis in the containers. Only refugees from countries where anti-Semitic sentiments are considered less rabid are being placed there, according to various members of the Cologne Jewish community, none of whom agreed to discuss the issue on the record.

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Spain: Amid legal fight, BDS motions pass in 4 Spanish cities

Via JTA (h/t Honestly Concerned):
However, last month four municipalities with a combined population of 72,000 residents — Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Sant Adrià de Besòs, Sant Quirze del Vallès and Buñol — passed motions supporting the BDS movement, joining about a dozen other municipalities that earlier subscribed to the movement’s goals.

ACOM, whose discrimination lawsuit against the northern city of Aviles in February forced municipal officials to scrap a pro-BDS motion passed the previous month, said in a statement that it is taking legal action against the three eastern municipalities.   
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Greece: Official National Tourism Organization promotes anti-Semitic ritual

Via Against Antisemitism:
From the official page of Greek National Tourism organization:

On Easter Sunday evening, in the courtyard of Elkomenos Christ Church, you can observe the ancient-old ritual of “Judas Burning” reviving: an effigy of Judas made by wood and straw- and filled with explosives- is set on fire!


Belgium: Holocaust memorial patron is gas chamber negationist!

Drawing lifted from a Holocaust-
denial Portuguese blog

Belgian Jewish on-line magazine Regards reported an antisemitic incident which took place at a Brussels restaurant.

A diner overheard people at the table next to hers calling Jews a "filthy race" and denying the existence of gas chambers.  The lady and her husband drew a swastika on a piece of paper and pinned it above the table where the group of friends were sitting.  They were greatly amused, started laughing and explained that they had  first-hand experience of the war and contested the existence of gas chambers. 

An investigation revealed that the author of the remarks, Mr Jacques Engels, was a member of the resistance during the war and that he is a prominent member of the World War II memorial Kazerne Dossin.   He is a collector of war documents which he entrusted to the museum.  But it turns out that he denies the existence of gas chambers!

A question arises: how can someone be an active supporter of a museum/memorial dedicated to the Jews deported from Belgium and murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and at the same time deny the existence of gas chambers?

Mr Engels has since explained that his words had been taken out of context. People who know him have indicated that it is not the first time that Mr Engels, who is now in his 90s, has engaged in Holocaust-denying.

UK: Jewish supporters rally behind NUS president, saying she is victim of a witch-hunt

Via Jewish Chronicle:
Antisemitism allegations against Malia Bouattia are “false” and part of an “Islamophobic campaign”, Jewish supporters of the new NUS president have claimed.

The group of former students and NUS representatives wrote a letter to the JC in which they describe criticism of Ms Bouattia as a “witch-hunt”.

They were responding to a comment piece in the paper by Maajid Nawaz, founder of the Quilliam think tank.

The letter said: “We are therefore horrified at the Islamophobic campaign being waged against her, amidst opportunistic and false charges of antisemitism.”

“The witch-hunt against Malia is part of a wider narrative that includes, for example, the racist attacks on London mayoral candidate, Sadiq Khan. It is a narrative that as Jews we should oppose without qualification.

“Her critics should hang their heads in shame.”

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UK: BBC presenter blames Israel for antisemitism

In the April 30th edition of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme, presenter Justin Webb blamed Israel several times for current-day antisemitism.

It seems to me that the 'root cause' of the modern problem, are people like Webb, who do not even realize that this is antisemitism par excellence

Via BBC Watch:
With no attempt to conform to standards of impartiality, Webb then appears to imply that Israelis are responsible for contemporary European antisemitism:

Others suggest that the illegal settlement building on Palestinian land is the root cause of the modern problem. So how does it all look from the perspective of Israel – and the Palestinians? Our Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen is in Jerusalem and I asked him first what the generally accepted difference was between antisemitism and anti-Zionism.”


Webb then once again floats the notion that Israel is to blame for antisemitism.

So when you come to modern times and to the existence of the State of Israel and the way that Israel is…set up, is it fair to say that there are things about Israel that fuel…err…well all of those things – both anti-Zionism and antisemitism?

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Germany: Holocaust memorial stepping-stones vandalized


Holocaust memorial stepping stones in eastern Braunschweig were vandalized with swastikas.

The swastikas are apparently the work of JN, The youth group of the Nazi NPD party.  Over the past few weeks, there have been a lot of Nazi graffiti in eastern Braunschweig signed by NPD.  (see here for examples)

Netherlands: Anti-Semitic incidents drop but rise in schools

Via JTA:
A watchdog on anti-Semitism in the Netherlands recorded a 26 percent decrease in anti-Semitic incidents in 2015 over the previous year but noted a “worrisome trend” in the growing number of incidents involving schools.

The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, recorded 126 incidents last year, compared to the 171 in 2014, according to its report published Monday. The 2014 number was the peak year for incidents.

Despite the decrease, the number of incidents in 2015 is the second highest since 2010, which had 124.

Last year, 36 incidents were in the victims’ direct environment, meaning those involving neighbors or acquaintances the victims knew as opposed to anonymous threats and abuse online, read the CIDI report. Five incidents involved physical violence against people and six were cases of vandalism.

The most common category of incident was insults shouted or spoken on the street, accounting for 19 percent of the total, or 24 incidents. There were 12 cases of online anti-Semitic harassment in the form of emails and electronic messages.

One case featuring violence was reported in Amsterdam by a non-Jewish woman of Moroccan descent who is married to a Moroccan Jew. Parents of her daughter’s classmates pressured and confronted her during school activities over her relationship with the Jewish man, she said. A father of her daughter’s classmate grabbed the woman by her throat after calling her a “Jew’s whore” and threatening to shoot her at a swimming pool, the report said.

CIDI did not press charges because the victim declined to cooperate.
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