Sunday, March 29, 2020

Germany: Journalist withdraws criticism of Israel as the first 'Corona Dictatorship'

So typical of  European unshakeable sense of superiority…

Via The Jerusalem Post:
The German Spiegel magazine journalist Christoph Sydow on Saturday walked back his description of Israel’s government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the first “Corona Dictatorship,” after he faced days of intense criticism that he spread antisemitism on the website of the news outlet.

Sydow tweeted that “If I wrote the text again today, I would not use the word ‘dictatorship’ again. I stick to the assessment that the damage that has been done to the democratic system and that may be further inflicted is immense and will have ramifications for the country.”

The Jerusalem Post was the first news organization to report on the allegations that Sydow stoked antisemitism in his article.
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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Germany: Jews and Israel main targets of coronavirus hate speech, antisemitism Commissioner warns

Via The Algemeiner:
Germany’s top official tasked with combating antisemitism warned on Thursday that “Jews and Israel” have become the main targets in a flurry of hate speech that is grounded in the coronavirus pandemic.

“Unfortunately, it is not surprising that Jews and Israel are the main targets,” Felix Klein - the federal commissioner appointed by the German government in 2018 amidst rising antisemitism - told the Berlin news outlet Der Taggespiegel.

“Antisemitic hate speech is spreading quickly on the internet, particularly on the popular social media platforms,” Klein said. Antisemitic offenses in Germany reached a record peak in 2019, with 1,839 hate crimes targeting Jews recorded. […]

Klein remarked that no claim was too absurd for the antisemitic trolls online.

“They are talking about a Jewish takeover of the world economy, Jews profiting from a possible coronavirus vaccine, biological weapons developed by Israel, a Jewish attempt to reduce the world’s population,” Klein said. “The crudest antisemitism is paving the way.”
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Friday, March 27, 2020

France: Former Health Minister is a target of vicious online anti-semitism

Via Simon Wiesenthal Center:

In a letter to French Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed disgust at the online attack against former Health Minister, Dr. Agnès Buzyn, accusing her – in the language of the medieval blood libel – of "poisoning water wells with the Coronavirus. She appears alongside the yellow star marked ‘Jude’ (‘Jew’), imposed on the Jewish population by the Nazis.”
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Via Conspiracy Watch:
Agnès Buzyin is poisoning a well.

Germany: Magazine stokes ‘antisemitism’ against Israel amid coronavirus

Via The Jerusalem Post:
The German news magazine Der Spiegel has been catapulted into a new alleged antisemitism scandal after falsely declaring last week that all demonstrations in Israel were outlawed.

Israeli author and expert on antisemitism, Arye Sharuz Shalicar, who was born in Germany to Jewish-Persian parents and made aliyah in 2001, tweeted: “The magazine Der Spiegel is lying! Despite the general curfew, political demonstrations are explicitly allowed in Israel. What Der Spiegel does is no longer journalism, but antisemitic agitation! When will this finally stop?”

The magazine’s article by Christoph Sydow, who has previously been accused of co-writing an antisemitic Spiegel article, claimed in his March 20 report that “demonstrations are prohibited because of the coronavirus” in Israel.

Protests on social media from Israelis and Germans prompted a correction.

Spiegel changed the headline to: “Demonstrations with more than ten participants are prohibited due to the corona crisis.”

Spiegel did not recognize its error in an editorial note at the end of the article. The magazine merely wrote “An earlier version contained a shortened sub-headline. We have made it more precise.”

There was no editorial explanation as to why Sydow reported fabricated information about the Jewish state.

Marc Neugröschel, a Germany-born Israeli, tweeted: "But why do media [outlets] like the Taz or the Spiegel need to add to the coverage of these real and serious problems with lies and half-truths to place Israel again near a dictatorship?!”
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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Italy: Catholic artist posts image of Jewish ritual murder on Facebook page

Giovanni Gasparro, a popular artist in Italy, has posted images of a painting of a Jewish ritual murder on his Facebook page. The title of the painting, which appears to have been produced by Gasparro during the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, is “The Martyrdom of Saint Simon of Trent, For Jewish Ritual Murder.” Images of this painting can be found on Gasparro’s Facebook page. The painting is apparently in a private collection. Gasparro has been commissioned by Catholic officials in Italy to adorn their basilicas and churches with his work.

The painting (which CAMERA will not show) depicts numerous hook-nosed Jews of varying ages looking on in glee as one of their fellows prepares to plunge a dagger into the baby’s chest. Another hook-nosed Jew holds a silver chalice in place, ready to catch the blood from the ritual murder. It is a truly horrific painting clearly intended to reawaken age-old hostilities toward the Jewish people.

CAMERA has contacted the artist himself via email asking why he would post such a horrific image during a time of plague. CAMERA has also contacted the Papal Nuncio in Washington, D.C. asking that he alert the proper officials in the Vatican about this outrage.
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Giovanni Gasparro writes on FB:
We are all disgusted by the horror of Auschwitz.  But what does it have to do with the Jewish ritual murders and the "Passovers of blood" performed by Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, attested by well-known scholars like Ariel Toaff, son of the former chief rabbi of Rome, who remained Jewish?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

UK: WHSmith apologises for selling Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and removes the books from sale

Via Antisemitism UK:
WHSmith has apologised for selling Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and immediately removed the books from sale.

The booksellers had been offering various editions of Adolf Hitler’s tome – apparently including the “Official Nazi Translation” and the “1939” edition – on its website, along with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious Czarist antisemitic tract.  
WHSmith now says that it has “strict guidelines on the books it sells, and it is against our policy to stock books which incite hatred. These books have been immediately removed from sale, and we are investigating how this has occurred with our wholesaler. We apologise sincerely for any offence caused.”
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Monday, March 23, 2020

Austria: Chancellor Kurz: PM Netanyahu warned me about the seriousness of the coronavirus crisis

Praise where praise is due.

Via EJP:
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a video interview with the German newspaper Bild that a phone call from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “shocked” him out his relative complacency regarding the coronavirus crisis in Europe.

“You underestimate that in Europe, wake up and do something,” Netanyahu told the Austrian leader. Even after talking to Asian heads of government, this became clear to him, Kurz said.

Last week, Austria took “very serious measures”, namely the closure of schools, restaurants and shops as well as exit restrictions. These measures would now remain in force until April 13.
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Sunday, March 22, 2020

Belgium: Anti-Israel grafitti daubed on Brussels headquarters of political party

Via Facebook:

Two anti-Israel tags were daubed on the building that hosts the headquarters of a political party - Défi.  "Israel colonises - Palestine is dying" and "Free Palestine".

Friday, March 20, 2020

Europe: Tens of millions of Europeans have demonic views of Israel

Manfred Gerstenfeld via BESA Center:
Thanks to an increasing number of quantitative studies, a picture of the vast extent of European demonization of Israel is finally beginning to emerge. One of the most detailed of such studies is a recent report commissioned by the Hungarian Action and Protection League and prepared by the Hungarian pollster company Inspira Ltd.

Inspira interviewed representative samples of the adult population between the ages of 18 and 75 by gender, age group, settlement size, and education in 16 European countries. Twenty-five percent of the interviewees disagree that Israel acts in legitimate self-defense against its enemies. Twenty-seven percent disagree that Israel is the only democratic country in the Middle East. When 25% think of Israel’s politics, they feel they understand why some people hate Jews. Twenty-four percent think Israeli policy toward the Palestinians justifies an international boycott of Israel. The same percentage think Israelis behave like Nazis towards the Palestinians.

In today’s Western societies, the phrase “behaving like Nazis” is used to convey absolute evil, because it means either wanting to or actually attempting to commit genocide. Those familiar with the history of antisemitism recognize the ancient antisemitic hate motif in the usage of this phrase to vilify Jews. It is a motif that has played a crucial role in the persecution of Jews throughout history: the idea that the Jew personifies absolute evil. […]  
In today’s world, Israel and Jews are tarred with a new mutation of the absolute evil idea: that Israel, the Jewish state, is a Nazi regime that intends to wipe out the Palestinians. The Inspira poll provided new data on this to supplement earlier studies. While the numbers vary substantially among studies, they all translate into many tens of millions of Europeans who believe Israel fits this contemporary definition of absolute evil.
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- Europe: How bad is antisemitism in Europe? Survey suggests it's rampant
- Europe: Like schnitzel, anti-Semitism has become part of the cultural fabric of Europe 
- European floats depict vermin, chimneys, poison gas, bags of money

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Germany: Government bans extremist ‘Citizens of the Reich’ organization

Via The Berlin Spectator:
In cooperation with the Senate Administration in the city state of Berlin, Germany’s Ministry of the Interior just forbade the organization ‘Unified German Peoples and Tribes’ (Geeinte deutsche Völker und Stämme’) which was run by self-proclaimed ‘Citizens of the Reich’.

Rooting out extremist right-wing organizations is something the Ministry of the Interior has done for a long time. Since the latest terror attacks in Halle and Hanau, banning those groups has a higher priority. These days, right-wing extremism and terrorism pose a bigger danger than left-wing extremists. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, a conservative, has said so.

Now he forbade the next organization of this kind, ‘Geeinte deutsche Völker und Stämme’. The ministry was mainly supported by Berlin’s Interior Senator Andreas Geisel and his administration. ‘Citizens of the Reich’ neither accept the Federal Republic of Germany they live in nor its institutions, laws or its police. They pretend they live in a state like Nazi Germany which was defeated by the Allies in 1945, when fascism and the Holocaust finally ended. […]

According to Berlin’s Senate Administration of the Interior, the group’s image of humanity was shaped by antisemitism and conspiracy theories.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Poland: Why Catholic Poles are discovering Jewish roots they don’t even have

Sarah Glazer via Air Mail News:
[...] The nation that many American Jews look upon as a Holocaust graveyard (only 10 percent of the more than three million Jews there survived) has been experiencing a highly visible, if small-scale, revival of Jewish life. But more surprisingly, young, non-Jewish Poles are becoming fascinated with Jewish culture at the same time that the country is experiencing an equally visible revival of open anti-Semitism. […]

During a recent week-long visit to Poland, the young people I met who were volunteering at Jewish community centers or considering conversion to Judaism often mentioned their disillusionment with the Catholic Church in Poland, currently the focus of a child-sex-abuse scandal, and being repulsed by anti-Semitism. But more often I heard about a nostalgia for a culture they never knew or a desire to explore a more distinctive identity than they see around them.

“There would be no Jewish revival in Poland without non-Jews,” Kaja Siczek, who coordinates Jewish teen activities at the Warsaw Jewish community center, told me. Partly this is because there just aren’t enough Jews to staff all the festivals, Jewish-holiday dinners, and Jewish community centers.  […]

“I think we’re interested in Jewish culture because Jewish people were part of Poland’s history and culture and suddenly they disappeared,” said Zuzanna Porębowicz, 34, a Montessori teacher who took a course in Hebrew in Warsaw. She said many of her contemporaries were learning Hebrew, visiting Israel, or searching for Jewish family roots. “A lot of us younger people feel that something is missing, and we are looking for that part that is missing.” […]

The fact that the history of Jews in Poland was suppressed so long under Communism has also added to its mystique. Janusz Makuch, founder of the Kraków festival, who was born in 1960 and raised under Communism, says he was shocked to learn that his hometown of Pulawy had once been one-third Jewish.

Makuch was a university student when he first met Jews in Kraków’s old Jewish quarter of Kazimierz. He began to learn Hebrew and Yiddish in an informal study group that also celebrated Jewish holidays. In an interview laced with Yiddish and Hebrew, he told me that though he comes from a “half-Catholic, half-Communist” family and never converted, “I’m one of you.” (His address to a group of American Jews visiting the festival was so conversant in Jewish humor and references that he sounded like a Borscht-belt comedian.)  
“Without Jews we [in Poland] are no one. My identity is like an empty vessel,” said Makuch, who dons a kippah (Jewish skullcap) to introduce the closing concert. The festival, he said, is “building the Polish future in Kraków”—a future for Jewish and Christian Poles together.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Belgium: Catholic coronavirus top specialist is obsessive Israel-basher (Gazacaust)

Marc Van Ranst is a Belgian virologist and epidemiologist at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) and the Rega Institute for Medical Research.

Van Ranst is very active on social media, particularly Twitter, where he addresses both professional and societal issues. In August 2014, he was the first person who used the term Gazacaust that created heavy reactions in the Jewish community in Belgium and abroad.
Articles @ Joods Actueel on Marc Van Ranst (in Flemish)

Monday, March 16, 2020

UK: Anti-racism charity reverses decision to appoint Ken Loach schools competition judge

Via The Jewish Chronicle:
An anti-racism charity has reversed a decision to appoint filmmaker Ken Loach as a judge on one of its competitions, saying "new information" had come to light.

In a statement published on its website on Monday, Show Racism the Red Card said: “Following new information, the Board of Trustees have decided not to endorse the Executive decision to appoint Ken Loach as a judge for the Show Racism the Red Card School Competition 2020.”

But the backtrack left Jewish groups who had previously called out SRtRC angry.

The Board of Deputies, which had previously highlighted how Mr Loach had dismissed allegations of antisemitism within Labour, called it a "u-turn".

It asked whether SRtRC would apologise to the Jewish community "for ignoring its serious concerns about antisemitism in the first place" and asked what information had prompted the decision.
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France: Hating Jews has become mainstream, warns writer Joann Sfar

Via Times of Israel:

ActuaLitté — Joann Sfar 
The comic artist and director tackles his fears in his latest book ‘The Last European Jew,’ a satirical novel exploring the reemergence of anti-Semitism in Europe

Watching anti-Semitism rise again across Europe, the acclaimed author Joann Sfar doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“When I was growing up in France, hating the Jews was something repugnant; now it’s almost the consensus,” said the French graphic novelist and director of the film “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life.”

“Anti-Semitism has become a way of bringing together people who have nothing else in common but can unite” under that banner, said Sfar with bitter irony.

The writer of the bestselling “The Rabbi’s Cat” books decided to tackle his fears head-on with the oldest Jewish weapon of all — humor — in his new satirical novel.

“The Last European Jew” turns on the elderly Desire Abergel, who has had enough of being a Jew and wants to become an anti-Semite like everybody else. 
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Sunday, March 15, 2020

UK: Oxfam stops selling antisemitic books

Via Algemeiner:
A screenshot of the Oxfam webpage where antisemitic books were being sold. Photo: Screenshot.
Oxfam — a confederation of 19 independent charitable organizations that focuses on the alleviation of global poverty — removed antisemitic books from sale on its website after an Israeli diplomat drew attention to the matter on Friday, The Telegraph reported [Oxfam removes antisemitic books from sale after Israel's UK ambassador tweets condemnation].

Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev tweeted a screenshot of the Oxfam website with the caption, “Why is @OxfamGB selling antisemitic literature?”

The image showed books available for sale including the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,” which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has described as “a classic in paranoid, racist literature.”
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