Tuesday, July 7, 2015

EU official who negotiated UN’s Gaza resolution married to UN inquiry team member

Typically, this type of information is revealed by a US Jewish organisation and not by a European Jewish organisation!

The Times of Israel reports:

European Union official involved in negotiating on behalf of the EU over the text of Friday’s UN Human Rights Council resolution that condemned Israel for last summer’s Gaza War is married to a staff member of the UNHRC commission that investigated the war.

The link between EU policy officer Jérôme Bellion-Jourdan, who was tasked with reviewing the Gaza war report and helping advise EU representatives on how to vote on it, and McGowan Davis Commission staffer Sara Hamood was known to the EU but not made public. 

David Harris, the head of the American Jewish Committee, protested what he called a “conflict of interest.” Harris told The Times of Israel on Monday that he took particular exception to the failure of the EU to disclose the marital connection between one of its key officials involved in dealing with the UNHRC report and a UNHRC staffer who worked for the commission.

Only on Tuesday, in response to a Times of Israel question, did the EU publicly acknowledge the connection for the first time. It denied there was a conflict of interest.

Judge Mary McGowan Davis, tasked by the UNHRC with investigating the 50-day Israel-Hamas conflict, presented her commission’s report to the UN body in Geneva on June 29. Shortly after her presentation, Bellion-Jourdan addressed the UNHRC plenary on behalf of the European Union, praising the work carried out by the McGowan Davis team. Neither he, nor anyone else at the EU, acknowledged that his wife worked on the McGowan Davis team, having also been a staff member of the commission under its original chair, judge William Schabas.  More.

Russia: Prosecutors investigate second Jewish educational institution

Via the Jewish Journal:
For the second time in one month, Russian prosecutors conducted a surprise inspection at a Jewish educational institution.

The latest inspection occurred earlier this month in Novgorod, a city located 335 miles northwest of Moscow, according to Russian Jewish Congress President Yuri Kanner, who spoke of the incident in an interview published last week on the Russian-language, online edition of the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

The Novgorod incident, according to the report, involved a Hebrew class given by the local office of Hesed, a charity with ties to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

According to asianews.it, the inspection occurred on June 1, four days after prosecutors raided a Jewish school in Yekaterinburg, 900 miles east of Moscow, and confiscated some textbooks following complaints that the faculty had incited against members of other faiths.

Students were forced to present identifying documents to representatives of the public prosecutor’s office, who arrived unannounced and without explaining the purpose of the inspection.

Kanner said documents were also seized during the Novgorod inspection, which he characterized as having “a significant psychological impact on the community.” Kanner said the Russian Jewish Congress has not been able to obtain clarifications from Russian authorities on either action.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Germany: History atlas to remove antisemitic passage

Via the Watch Project and Hamburger Abendblatt:

The DTV Atlas Weltgeschichte (World History Atlas) will finally change an antisemitic passage which appeared in the past 42 editions.

In explainig about Jewish assimilation in Europe, the atlas said that the Jews aquired the cultural values of the "Wirtsvölker" (the 'host' people).  This biologically-colored term was used by the Nazis to describe their view of the Jews living as parasites among them.

What shocked a European Jew on his first trip to America

Cnaan Liphshiz writes @ JTA's:

I knew America has about 6 million Jews who grew up in a pretty peaceful homeland with little experience of the secret-agent tactics forced upon Jews in Western Europe, who tend to hide their kippahs these days for fear of anti-Semites.

Although I have visited Jewish communities in more than 40 countries (including, in the past year alone, Turkey, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania and France), I was taken aback by the diversity and confidence of American Jews. In the United States — or at least in the cities where I spent most of my time there, New York and Miami — being Jewish seems as effortless as it is in Israel.  [...]

Walking into a synagogue or Jewish community center without showing my passport or undergoing an airport-style security check felt weirdly out of place. And I was surprised when a lunch date kept his kippah on while walking to the restaurant only to take it off inside the non-kosher (but vegan) eatery (to avoid giving other observant Jews the false impression that it was a kosher-certified establishment). In Europe, I remarked, we do it exactly the other way around.  [...]

Back in the American Jewish comfort zone also known as New York, I began wondering why my American interlocutors would care at all about what I had come to talk to them about: anti-Semitism in Europe, the crisis in Ukraine and, inevitably, Israel. Why should the Jews of paradise care about the plight of Fabrice Schomberg, my neighbor in The Hague, whom authorities ordered to dismantle his sukkah for fear that it would attract vandals in our heavily Muslim neighborhood?  More.

Belgium: Israel-bashing coasters used in cafés

Some coffee shops and bars in Belgium (Leuven and Brussels) are promoting Israel-hatred by using coasters developed by one of the numerous anti-Israel NGOs purporting to help the Palestinian people.  In this case it is visitpalestine.be.  The inscription reads "Visit Palestine while you can".

The following participate in the campaign:
LEUVEN: Hungaria; Kaminsky; Cafe Manger; Café Belge; Cafe de Giraf ; Metafoor; Irish Pub; Cafe 't Vervolg ; STUK cafe; De Fiere Margriet; De Blauwe Kater; De Libertad; Lapaz Cafe; Cafe Commerce: Entrepot
BRUSSELS: Via Via ; Brasserie Royal ; Walvis; Monk; Le Petit Chou ; De Bruxelles; SPRL The Christies; Café De Markten ; Beursschouwburg; Mappa Mundo; De Belmonte; Zebra; Gecko ; Delirium; London; New Ketje ; Arthur's.

We are told that some are state-funded like Café De Markten, which is the Flemish cultural center café.

It is common to use this type of gimmicks to demonize in Israel.  Two spring to mind:

The "Pearl Palestine bracelet" sold by Nordine Saidi, "an educator and people's self-determination. militant", according to journalist Baudouis Loos.  Cost: 5 euros.

The other one comes from the state-funded Association Belgo-Palestinienne Wallonie-Bruxelles, whose "president" is Pierre Galand, Belgian greatest "humanist" and Israel-bashing globe-trotter.  The organisation invites Belgians to promote the boycott of Israel while shopping.

This is how they tout their "boycott" products:

The new bags "Israel occupies Palestine, I boycott" have arrived!
They are sold for the modest sum of € 5 per item and are an essential fashion accessory for the new year! Do your shopping while raising awareness! And as a BONUS: you get the complete kit !! For the same price, you will get the following in your bag:
- Boycott campaign explanatory flyers

- Postcards to be sent to policy-makers and to the head of your supermarket purchasing department
- Postcards listing the goods to be boycotted
- Stickers "I boycott" to be applied on Israeli products [this is pure vandalism, isn't it?]

Do not wait and just buy them at 9 Quai du Commerce, 1000 Bruxelles. For large orders, delivery can be arranged. Call +32 (0) 2 223 07 56 or contact us by mail at the following address abp.eccp@skynet.be.

Italy: Israeli flag at Milan expo vandalized yet again

As CFCA and Osservatorio Antisemitismo point out, this is the fifth time the flag has been defaced.   The Israeli flag is the only national flag that is targeted over and over and over again.

Via Gazzetta del Sud:
An Israeli flag fluttering in the centre of Milan with flags of other countries taking part in the Expo universal exposition has been daubed with red paint, police said Friday. The flag already had been moved from the via Mercanti to the via Dante on the other side of the Piazza Cordusio to make it harder for vandals to damage but police said three strokes of red paint had been daubed on the flag on Tuesday.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Germany: HRC president objects when Hamas are called 'genocidal killers'

German Ambassador Joachim Rucker, President of the UN Human Rights Council, objected when Anne Bayefsky called Hamas 'genocidal killers'.  Apparently wanting to kill Jews, as specified in the Hamas charter itself, is not 'genocidal' enough.

However, the HRC president had no problem with Israel being called a barbaric state that wants to liquidate and massacre all families.


When Hamas was struck off the EU terrorist group list, the EU claimed it was just a 'procedural issue'.    Obviously.

UK: Institute founded to combat Anti-Semitism is being invaded by BDS

The Algemeiner reports:

The Reverend Dr. James Parkes, ordained as a minister of the Church of England in 1926, was a devoted and tireless campaigner against anti-Semitism – both among his fellow churchmen and in society at large. He constantly supported persecuted Jews during the dark decades when Nazi and pro-Nazi governments were in power, and helped to rescue a number of Jewish refugees during the 1930s.

Reverend Parkes showed himself to be a pioneer in more than one respect. He played a prominent role in preparing for a post-war era where, it was hoped, religious tolerance and mutual respect would prevail and bring about the marginalization of anti-Jewish bigotry within society and its established institutions.

In Britain he helped to found the Council of Christians and Jews, and used his great scholarship to analyze the centuries-old anti-Semitism rooted in Christian doctrines.  A staunch defender of Israel, he published texts like The Continuity of Jewish Life in the Middle East (London, Anglo-Israel Association), and Arabs and Jews in the Middle East: a tragedy of errors.  One of this great man’s legacies was the Parkes Institute, the activities and origins of which are summarised as follows:
The Parkes Institute is the world’s oldest and most wide-ranging centre for the study of Jewish/non-Jewish relations across the ages.
Reverend Parkes had a sound understanding of historical realities, and would not have been surprised by the gradual erosion of sympathy for Jews and Israel within his church and in society and large, and the corresponding rise in influence of anti-Israel activists that has occurred within the past four decades.

While Reverend Parkes would have been greatly saddened by the above phenomena, he would surely have felt deeply betrayed by developments within the Parkes Institute itself.  The past decade has seen a growing presence within its administrative and academic bodies not only of individuals who show themselves to be dishonestly or unfairly critical of Israel, but who also support boycotts and sanctions against Israel, like Professor Oren Ben-Dor.

Most media outlets have ignored this story. It was only a few media outlets like the Jewish Chronicle, which mentioned that Ben-Dor’s support for BDS has led to his removal from the board of the Parkes Institute.

And there are surely others against whom action should be taken.  One of the Institute’s former directors, Dr. Mark Levene, has been one of the supporters of the movement Jews for Justice for Palestinians (as well as identifying himself as one of the so-called Independent Jewish Voices, like Professor Brian Klug and Professor Tony Kushner, another former director of the Parkes Institute).

In recent years, even if most lectures and seminars have been unexceptionable from a scholarly point of view, there have been one or two really questionable ones – like the seminar given in October 2005 by John Rose, author of Myths of Zionism. It's time to make sure the Parkes Institute honors the terrific legacy of its founder.

UK: Police investigating ‘allegations of anti-Semitic comments’ at Pride march

Last year in Stockholm, Jews were also harassed during the Pride Parade.

Via Jewish News:
Police are investigating alleged ttiti-Semitic abuse aimed at marchers in London’s Pride Parade.

A group of Jewish participants in the annual march claimed they received a positive reception along the route until they reached a section of spectators holding a boycott Israel banner and chanting ‘Free Palestine’.

At that point, witnesses allege that one person pushed forward from the group to shout ‘F*** the Jews’.

With full European support, UNHRC backs Israel-bashing Gaza report

No wonder so many European citizens do not trust their politicians.

The Times of Israel reports:
EU nations lament lack of Hamas criticism but approve motion anyway; only US votes against resolution which Jerusalem calls an ‘anti-Israeli manifesto’

he UN Human Rights Council voted in favor of a resolution on Friday backing the Gaza Conflict Commission of Inquiry, which last week issued a report charging that Israel and Hamas may have committed war crimes during Operation Protective Edge last summer.

Forty-one of the 47 UNHRC council members voted in favor of the resolution, including the eight sitting European Union members: France, Germany, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Latvia and Estonia. 

Only the US, which last week slammed the report as biased, voted against. Israeli officials thanked the US for its “principled” position.

The vote in Geneva coincided with the explosion of a rocket in southern Israel.

The resolution made no mention of Hamas or of its role in the conflict, though it stressed that all those responsible for human rights violations must be held to account and effective remedies should be given to all victims, including reparations.  It also recommends the UN General Assembly take on the matter “until it is satisfied that appropriate action” is taken to implement the report’s recommendations.

The decision by the council has no binding effect, but adds to pressure for war crimes prosecutions before the International Criminal Court.  More.

Europe: New federal law fights European boycotts of Israel

Sadly, it is the United States that has to fight calls for boycotts against Israel orchestrated by the European.  European Jewish organisations are not in any way organised to fight the vicious BDS campaign.

Eugene Kontorovich writes @ The Washington Post

A Belgian obsession
On Monday, President Obama signed into law the sweeping Trade Promotion Authority, a measure with broad significance for future international trade deals with Europe. It also includes important new federal legislation, the United States-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act, opposing boycotts and other economic warfare against Israel.

The law will significantly increase the legal and economic risks for the E.U., and companies world-wide, to pass discriminatory sanctions and restrictions against Israel.

The central provision requires U.S. trade negotiators, when negotiating trade agreements, to seek to “discourag[e] politically motivated actions to boycott, divest from or sanction Israel and to seek the elimination of politically motivated non-tariff barriers on Israeli goods, services, or other commerce imposed on the State of Israel.” This measure is particularly timely as the law will apply to a major future trade negotiations with the European Union, which has long been threatening to impose economic restrictions on Israel.

The laws apply equally to “Israel” and “Israeli-controlled territories.” This is in keeping with existing U.S. policy, as articulated in several laws including the 1979 amendments to the Export Administration Act. Moreover, given the White House’s persistent refusal to recognize Israeli sovereignty inside the 1949 Armistice Lines (the Green Line), such language is necessary for Congress to ensure the laws apply even to western Jerusalem.   More.

Sweden: Rising anti-Semitism and funding NGO Islamic Relief (terror)

Yet more evidence that for Jews and Israel to get fair treatment in Europe is purely illusory.  

write @ Jewish Press
In April, the Swedish NGO and think tank Perspectives On Israel (PPI) in a Jerusalem Post op-ed brought attention to the fact that the NGO Islamic Relief (IR) was receiving funding from the Swedish government aid agency SIDA. There exists clear evidence that the IR project “Cash for Work” has benefited Hamas and its institutions in the Gaza strip. In addition to PPI’s criticism of IR, there exists international criticism against IR for its ties to terror organizations. Israel has banned IR from working in Israel, including Judea and Samaria, and declared it an illegal organization. According to news reports, the decision was made by Israel after the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and legal authorities provided incriminating information against IR. In addition to this the UAE lists IR as a terror organization. PPI is awaiting a political reaction in Sweden to our findings and the international criticism-so far, silence. Unfortunately, Sweden is a country where the majority accepts that tax money goes to an organization that aids terrorists.

In May, PPI’s spokesperson Nima Gholam Ali Pour revealed in the newspaper Samtiden that Islamic Relief’s country director in Sweden is spreading anti-Semitic myths on Facebook. Some of the anti-Semitic myths that were spread on Facebook by IR’s country director were that Jews are behind the Holocaust and that they control the World Bank. Again this was met with silence from our politicians and journalists in Sweden.

The Swedish media that is so interested in writing one after the other news articles on alleged “apartheid” in Israel was not interested in writing that the Swedish government aid agency SIDA is funding an organization which has benefited Hamas institutions and has a leading representative in Sweden that seems to have racist views. Neither the Swedish government nor SIDA has commented on this scandal.

While SIDA chooses to continue its co-operation with IR more and more Jews are fleeing from Sweden’s major cities because of growing anti-Semitism in Sweden. In a situation, where the Swedish government and major social institutions in Sweden should make a clear repudiation of anti-Semitism, they choose not to do so, by not distancing themselves from IR.  More.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

London neo-Nazi rally moved after outcry from Jewish leaders and MPs

An anti-fascist protester in London. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

A neo-Nazi “anti-Jewification” demonstration that was due to take place in Golders Green, north London, on Saturday has been moved out of the area following a robust response from the local community and weeks of pressure from Jewish leaders and MPs.

Police said the static demonstration would now be confined to one hour and would take place in central London. Organisers of Golders Green Together (GGT), formed to mobilise the community against the antisemitic protest, welcomed the decision.


There has been some strain between the mainstream Jewish organisations in GGT and other groups. Some expressed concerns that a proposed counter-demonstration would attract leftwingers who take a strong line against Israel’s occupation of Palestine. “Everyone’s against [the neo-Nazi demonstration], but they may be against it in different ways,” said one insider. “This is revealing tensions within the community.”

Arkush said some of those who were planning to protest against the neo-Nazis had “a discordant message themselves. I fear all extremists, whether from the far right or the far left. They should not be permitted to hijack the agenda and take over the streets.”

Some viewed the neo-Nazi demonstration as a distraction from more significant threats to the Jewish community. “It’s very unpleasant and upsetting, but one shouldn’t forget that the antisemitism that most concerns the majority of UK Jews today comes from Islamic fundamentalism and the [anti-Israel] left,” said Keith Kahn-Harris, co-author of Turbulent Times: the British Jewish Community Today.

“The groundswell of effort to mobilise against this demonstration is because it’s relatively straightforward to do so. It’s much more difficult with other forms of antisemitism.”

Netherlands: Rioters chant against ‘Jewish murderers’ in Muslim Dutch neighborhood

The JTA reports:

Dozens of people chanted anti-Semitic slogans during riots that broke out in a predominantly-Muslim neighborhood of The Hague over the slaying of a suspect by police.

More than 100 people chanted about “Jewish murderers” on Thursday night in the Schilderswijk, a neighborhood where a handful of Jews live in a Jewish-owned enclave surrounded by project apartments populated by low-income families, according to a report on the The Post Online.

The riots took place at a theater stormed by protesters approximately a mile away from the enclave, the De Telegraaf daily reported. More.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Belgium: Muslims in Belgium are the most anti-Semitic, with 68% harboring anti-Semitic beliefs

These figures shouldn't surprise anyone.  Israel-bashing is the norm in Belgium. As Claude Demelenne, one of the few Belgians who speaks out convincgly against antisemitism, Brussels has become the capital of antisemitisme...

Abou Jahjah, respected Belgian op-ed writer
(via Joost Niemöller)
Jewish European Press reports:

While anti-Semitic attitudes in France, Germany and Belgium have dipped dramatically so far this year, according to the latest figures available,more than half of all Muslims in Western Europe harbor anti-Semitic beliefs, a new survey published by the Anti-Defamation League showed.

“An average of 55 percent of Western European Muslims harbored anti-Semitic attitudes. Acceptance of anti-Semitic stereotypes by Muslims in these countries was substantially higher than among the national population in each country, though lower than corresponding figures of 75 percent in 2014 for Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA),” the survey said.

According to ADL this is the first survey about anti-Semitic attitudes among Western European Muslims . It reveals that Moslims in Belgium are the most anti-Semitic, with 68 percent harboring anti-Semitic beliefs. This is compared to 21 percent overall in the country. In Germany, the number was lower, but still above half, at 56 percent compared to the country’s 16 percent, which was down from 27 percent in 2014. In France, about 49% of Muslims showed antisemitic beliefs, compared to 17 percent of the overall population. Most prevalent was the belief that “Jews have too much power in international financial markets” – an anti-Jewish canard affirmed by 70 percent of Western European Muslims.  More.