Tuesday, June 19, 2018

UK: Woman chasing after Jewish kids with knife arrested in London

Via Jerusalem Post:
A woman was arrested in a London neighborhood for running after Jewish children while brandishing a knife and shouting “I want to kill all you Jews.”

The incident took place on Sunday evening in Stamford Hill, which has a large haredi Orthodox population. Some 15 children aged 8 to 15 were walking home from a local synagogue following the evening prayer service.

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Germany: Rappers anti-Semitism lyrics probe dropped


Via BBC:
Two German rappers will not be prosecuted after an outcry over lyrics about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.

Critics attacked Kollegah and Farid Bang for comparing their muscular bodies with those of Auschwitz inmates, and suggesting a new Holocaust.

But prosecutors said the artistic freedom was guaranteed by the constitution.

The gangsta rap lyrics, while offensive, did not amount to Holocaust denial or inciting violence, they said.

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Netherlands: Men yell ‘f*** all Jews’ at chief rabbi’s son and family


Via JTA:
The son of a chief rabbi of the Netherlands and his family were accosted on the street by two young men who shouted at them “f*** all Jews” at them.

Rabbi Yanki Jacobs, the son of Binyomin Jacobs, made a complaint to police on Sunday about the incident from the previous evening, the AD news website reported.

On a street corner in a heavily Jewish area in southern Amsterdam, “two young men called out at the family ‘Cancer Jews’ and ‘f*** all Jews’ at our direction. They repeatedly drove in our direction in an intimidating manner,” Yanki Jacobs was quoted as saying.

On Twitter, he listed the license plate number of the vehicle in which the two were riding with a request to help identify them. Jacobs said the men appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent.

“I have had enough,” he told AD, adding that previously he had been cursed on the street. “I’ve grown accustomed to thinking about it as normal, but now thought that we as a Jewish community must no longer agree for this to happen to us.

“If I do nothing, who will? I walk around my neighborhood, a 10th-generation Amsterdam Jew, and I will not be driven out of this city.”

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Belgium: “Would you mind removing your kippa for security reasons?”, rabbi told in Brussels


Via The Jerusalem Post (Axel Benjamin):
“Would you mind removing your kippa for security reasons?” The one sentence that sums up the malaise at the heart of Europe.

“You have to hear this”, said our usually un-flappable and very level-headed chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin. So, when he said that, we all knew something significant was about to be said. But even now, as I write this, it seems so ludicrous to repeat out loud, particularly considering the source it came from.

The more I think about it about it, the more it speaks volumes and underlines how deep the malaise currently affecting European political and cultural thought goes. You will have to wait a bit longer for the punchline, first let’s put it into context: At the end of last week, we at the European Jewish Association and our partners at Europe Israel Public Affairs, the European Jewish Community Centre and European Coalition for Israel twinned European Parliamentarians, EU Institution policy heads and Jerusalem’s brightest and best high-tech entrepreneurs and venture partners for the second of our annual High Tech conferences in the European Parliament. The conference was organized by the Jerusalem Development Authority and the Israeli Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage. Oscar bit done, now the story. (…)

“Would you mind removing your kippa for security reasons?” asked the Belgian policeman to Margolin. Boom. Back to earth with a bump.

Welcome to Brussels in 2018. Where perceived security and provocation from the forces of law and order stems from the act of wearing a kippa, instead of those who find it an affront in the first place.

This logic implies that a girl could be asked to not wear a skirt because she might provoke a rapist, or that a priest should remove his collar in case someone from ISIS takes offence at the ‘infidel’. Is this really what passes as maintaining security in Brussels these days? 
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Sweden: Top politician reported for claiming Jews are 'not Swedes'


It is estimated that there are between 15-20,000 Jews living in Sweden.

Via The Local Sweden:
One of the most senior members of the populist Sweden Democrats has been reported to the police after writing on Facebook that Jewish and Sami people were “not Swedish”.

Björn Söder, who is the deputy speaker of the Swedish parliament, made his argument on the Facebook page of Sweden’s Centre Party, as part of defence against accusations from the party’s leader Annie Lööf.

“Annie Lööf adversely affects the position of Jews and Sami in Sweden when she indirectly claims that they are Swedes,” he wrote.

“These groups have minority positions in Sweden just because they are not Swedes. Shame on you Annie Lööf for your racist attitude.” (…)

Söder accused Lööf of using “low” tactics and taking his reply out of its context, which was to defend himself against accusations of racism for earlier comments made in 2014.
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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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