Monday, August 29, 2016

Germany: Anti-Israel broadcast did not include Israeli response because of "Jewish holiday"

Via Jerusalem Post (h/t Watch: Antisemitism in Europe):
A German public television broadcast that accused Israel of failing to provide adequate water to Palestinians in the West Bank is now embroiled in a row over allegations it demonized the Jewish state.

Since the show from ARD’s studio in Tel Aviv aired on August 14, the program and its journalists have faced sharp criticism from politicians, viewers and media experts.

“Why did Tagesschau broadcast a badly researched – or even not researched report – quote a questionable ‘expert’ and convey falsehoods?” asked Social Democratic Bundestag deputy Michaela Engelmeier on her Facebook page, saying she expects the supervisory board of the public station will address the report and issue a correction.

The water expert Engelmeier referenced is Clemens Messerschmid, a German national who lives in the West Bank and has contributed articles to pro-boycott Israel and anti-Semitic websites, including the German-language Muslim-Markt website, which supports Iran’s regime. Germany’s intelligence agency has monitored Muslim-Markt and said it propagates “anti-Zionist and anti-Israel propaganda.”

Avraham Nir-Feldklein, the deputy chief of Israel’s embassy in Berlin, told the Bild newspaper the ARD report contained “one-sided and false accusations against Israel and did not ask for Israel’s position.”

ARD reporters Susanne Glass and Markus Rosch wrote on the station’s website that they could not find Israeli experts because of the “Jewish holiday.” They did not specify to what “holiday” they were referring. In any case, critics said there was no time-sensitive requirement for the report and that the journalists should have waited to secure comments from Israeli hydrology experts.

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Sweden: Lapid accuses Swedish FM of anti-Semitism at Stockholm rally

Via Jerusalem Post:
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid took on Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s criticism of Israel, accusing her of anti-Semitism in a speech to a pro-Israel rally in Stockholm on Sunday.

“If the Swedish foreign minister is concerned about human rights in the Middle East, she needs to talk about the Palestinians’ use of children as terrorists and human shields,” Lapid said. “She needs to talk about the discrimination against the gay community [by the Palestinians], about the Der Strumer- like incitement spread by the Palestinian Authority, about the abuse of women in Gaza.”

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“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East,” he said. “Israel is committed to human rights, to gay rights, to international law. Israeli Arab citizens have representatives in parliament, sit in the supreme court, serve in the military and hold key roles in our economy and wider society.”

“If your attack on Jews is detached from facts and based only on bias, there is a name for it: anti-Semitism,” Lapid said.


Saskia Pantell, executive director of the Swedish Zionist Federation, opened the event by highlighting its theme, “Take Back Zionism.”

“Too long have we seen anti-Zionism be an excuse for going after Jews,” she said. “One should be able to freely, openly be able to be Jewish and Zionist in a democratic country like Sweden today. If you cannot, there is a huge problem.”
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UK: Antisemitism watchdog accused of being Israeli pawn

Via Campaign Against Antisemitism:
Campaign Against Antisemitism has responded to a claim in The Guardian for the second time claiming that we are a pawn of the Israeli government.

The claim was first made in 2015, when The Guardian printed a letter alleging that antisemitism in Britain was being exaggerated and that “the CAA was set up last summer, not to fight antisemitism but to counter rising criticism of Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza.” At the time, CAA Chairman Gideon Falter responded with a letter setting out the facts of rising antisemitism, and asking: “Why can some of your readers not accept the facts for what they are and address the very real problem of antisemitism, rather than supposing in spite of the evidence that it is a fiction, or that it does exist but would cease to if Jews supported Israel less? Jewish concerns must not be silenced by conspiracy theorists railing about Israel.”

On Tuesday, we were accused of being “pro-Israel lobbyists” in The Guardian again, this time because we have dared to condemn Jeremy Corbyn’s peerage for Shami Chakrabarti in return for her whitewash report clearing him and the party of rampant antisemitism.

Both claims were made in letters to The Guardian signed by a fringe assortment of British Jews.
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Sunday, August 28, 2016

France: Anger as French ban Israeli flags but let Palestinian flags fly

From the Jewish Chronicle:
Israeli fans were banned from bringing their flags into a French stadium while opposing fans flew the Palestinian flag, it has been claimed.

On Thursday night, Beitar Jerusalem played St Etienne in the second leg of their Europa League play-off.
One, an Israeli sports news site, reported that Beitar supporters were prevented from taking Israeli flags inside the football ground. Fans of St Etienne waved both French and Palestinian flags during the game. A pro-Palestinian rally had been held in the city on Thursday afternoon before the match.

Israel supporters reacted with anger on social media. One user wrote: “I look forward to French fans when they face a Russian team hoisting dozens of Ukranian flags in provocation while the Russians are banned from bringing in their own flags.

“Or how about when they ban Turks from hoisting Turkish fans when Fenerbahçe or Galatasaray come to visit and the French hoist Kurdish flags aloft.”
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Germany: Israelis help to launch anti-BDS group

From the Jerusalem Post:
Israelis along with Germans launched the Action Forum group, which included a protest against BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) activists targeting Jewish state products in front of a Berlin department store on Thursday.

The group’s goals are to counter “one-sided and wrong information” about Israel in the German media, as well as to combat BDS, Gaby Spronz, an Israeli engineer working in Germany and one of the founders of Action Forum, told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday The group has 1,500 members, most of whom are in Germany, Spronz said.
Action Forum jump-started its activity with 20 activists distributing flyers against BDS at Alexander Square in front of the Galeria Kaufhof department store on Thursday.

“BDS is against Israel’s right to exist and for a Jew-free Palestine from Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea,” the Action Forum flyer read.

“They are anti-Semites who are calling for a ban of Jewish products,” activist Jan Zimmermann told the Post at the demonstration.

Zimmermann was referencing a group of roughly 20 BDS supporters who circulated flyers in front of Galeria Kaufhof calling for people to boycott the Israeli carbonated drink maker SodaStream.  [...]

The Action Forum equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. BDS is widely considered to be anti-Semitic in Germany among experts on modern anti-Semitism. The prominent German political scientist Samuel Salzborn said BDS is “an influential anti-Semitic campaign against Israel.”
The student council at Leipzig University approved an anti-BDS resolution in early August. The resolution states: BDS “connects seamlessly to the anti-Semitic boycott campaigns of decades past and explicitly to the National Socialism” and to “the Nazi slogan ‘Don’t buy from Jews.”’ The student council document noted: “In light of the Hamas, Hezbollah and Iranian regime’s open and relentlessly expressed threats to destroy not only Israel, but Jews worldwide, the BDS campaign presents an existential threat to the Jews.”
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UK: Jewish cemetery vandalized in Belfast

Via Belfast Telegraph:

Thirteen Jewish graves have been damaged at Belfast City Cemetery in an attack branded "anti-community, anti-Belfast, anti social and anti Semitic".

It's thought a large crowd had gathered in the area at around 3pm on Friday with eight youths carrying out the attacks with hammers and blocks.

Headstones were knocked over and smashed in the attack. The concrete covers of some of the graves were also damaged.

Belfast Sinn Fein councillor Steven Corr described the attacks as "anti-community, anti-Belfast, anti-social and anti-Semitic".

He was one of the first on the scene and saw those responsible "stagger off".

"It was sickening," he said.

"They had actually tried -  and on several occasions had - smashed the slabs which covered the remains.

"Most of the graves were very old. One from 1897 and the most recent about the 1950s.

"What happened was just disgusting."

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Poland: Soccer Fans Set Fire to ‘Jewish’ Effigies, Unfurl Antisemitic Banner Calling for Burning of Jews

photo: Gazeta Wyborcza

Via Algemeiner:
A group of Polish soccer hooligans put on a horrifying display of antisemitism last Friday, setting fire to “Jewish” effigies and parading a banner calling for the burning of Jews, Polish news website Gazeta Wyborcza reported.

According to the report, some 50 supporters of the Widzew Łódź soccer team had gathered outside a local train station to rally against rival team ŁKS Łódź.

The ruffians unfurled an antisemitic banner, which stated, “19.08, today the Jews were named. Let them burn, motherf***ers.” The message was intended as a direct insult to the     team, which was founded in 1908 and is often derided as Jewish by fans of other soccer clubs.

Photos from the demonstration show effigies appearing to be dressed as Orthodox Jews being strung from rope and set on fire.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Belgium: How my JTA reporting about an anti-Semitic cartoon changed my views of Belgium — for the worse

Cnaan Liphshiz @ JTA:
I used to think I had a pretty good understanding of what it means to be Jewish in Belgium.  A longtime observer of that polarized binational country, whose dysfunctions and successes often reflect those of the European Union headquartered in its capital, Brussels, I have family ties there and am fluent in the local languages.

But I had to readjust my understanding of Belgian Jewry’s circumstances this month while reporting on a local Catholic school’s stated pride in and support for a teacher who had published anti-Semitic caricatures, and who recently won a cash prize at Iran’s Holocaust mockery cartoon competition.

Shielded by education officials’ wall of silence and celebrated in mainstream Belgian media as a champion of free speech, Luc Descheemaeker was able to pass off anti-Semitic imagery as legitimate criticism of Israel in a way that I had thought impossible in an established Western democracy in the heart of Europe.

As Descheemaeker’s advocates circled the wagons around him — his school praised him as working to preserve, not distort, the memory of the Holocaust — I saw firsthand how anti-Israel vitriol has mainstreamed classic anti-Semitism in a country where Jews are leaving partly because they feel their children can no longer comfortably attend the public schools.

My Belgian eye opener began with a post on The New Antisemite blog, which tracks anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe. It said the vice director of the Sint Jozef Institute high school near Antwerp had told a Belgian Jewish publication that she was “very proud” of Descheemaeker after he won $1,000 and a special mention at the Second International Holocaust Cartoon Contest in Tehran.

An Orthodox Jew waits to bludgeon
a peaceful Arab baby and his mother
with a giant Star of David
The winning entry by Descheemaeker, a plastic arts teacher who retired this year, was a drawing of the words “Arbeit Macht Frei” over Israel’s security barrier along the West Bank. The German sentence, which means “work sets you free,” was featured on a gate of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp in Poland.
Previously, I found, Descheemaeker had published at least two cartoons that used classically anti-Semitic imagery. In one,  an Orthodox Jew waits to bludgeon a peaceful Arab baby and his mother with a giant Star of David. In another, the Jew is waiting to startle a jihadist who is holding a shopping bag while wearing an explosives vest — presumably so she blows herself up. [...]

As Belgian Jews continue to grapple with the anti-Semitism problem in their country — in 2014, a suspected jihadist was arrested for the shooting deaths of four people at the Jewish museum in Brussels — a growing number are deciding to look for a new home.

Last year, 287 Jews immigrated to Israel from Belgium, which has a Jewish population of about 40,000. It was the highest figure recorded in a decade. From 2010 to 2015, an average of 234 Belgian Jews made aliyah annually — a 56 percent increase over the annual average of 133 new arrivals from Belgium in 2005-2009, according to Israeli government data.

“In Belgium, the choice for Jews is often between abuse or ghettoization,” Rubinfeld said. “It’s not surprising that a growing number of Belgian Jews are finding alternatives to both.”
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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Netherlands: PSV Eindhoven sing about winning against the 'Jews'

Via SoccerNews:

New song by PSV Eindhoven fans during the team's game against PEC Zwolle: "It was May 8th, 2016, the Jews didn't make it, we were the champions by two points..."

On May 8th PSV Eindhoven won the championship in a game against PEC Zwolle (ie, the 'Jews').

Netherlands: Town vandalized with antisemitic pro-ISIS graffiti

Via AD:

Dozens of homes and cars in Voorburg were vandalized with "IS" and "ISIS" graffit.  An elementary school was vandliazed with such slogans as "fuck Wilders", "Jews will die", "7 September 2016 attack"

The town was vandalized with similar graffiti two years ago.

Germany: War Photographer Gerda Taro’s Installation Vandalized in “Politically Motivated” Attack

Via artforum (h/t CFCA):
According to Monopol, war photographer Gerda Taro’s outdoor exhibition of images depicting scenes of conflict, including the Spanish Civil War, were vandalized on August 3 in what organizers believe was a “politically motivated” act. Someone had covered the photographs with black paint during the night. A police investigation is underway.
The works were installed for the f/stop festival, which was held in Leipzig from June 25 to July 3. 
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Norway: Nazis preaching antisemitism at Norway's largest political gathering

Via MIFF h/t SAW:

Kristoffer Vikan is an official in MIFF, the Norwegian pro-Israel organization.  Last Saturday, he was in Arendal for the large political festival there, the Arendalsuka, and there he met Nazis on the street.

The Nazis claimed that Jews have taken over world power.  That Jews control the banks, own CNN and Fox New and all other media.

Vikan responded that those are just conspiracy theories and that there's only one country in the world where Jews don't suffer from antisemitism, but the Nazis refused to accept that and repeated that Jews control everything.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Belgium: Brussels Airlines caves into BDS, set to stop serving Israeli halva

The BDS movement is very strong in Belgium and is seldom, if ever, challenged.   L'Association Belgo-Palestinienne Wallonie-Bruxelles, which promotes the boycott of Israel and the accusation that Israel is an apartheid state, get funds from the Government. It was created in 1975 - 41 one years ago.  It's very likely the oldest anti-Israel NGO in Europe.  The University of Brussels has a BDS committee fully dedicated to the vilification of Israel and is also probably the only such outfit sponsored by a university in Europe...

From Ynet News:

Belgian carrier Brussels Airlines has stopped handing out Ahva brand halva snacks on flights following a request by the Palestine Solidarity Movement.

The snack is produced in the Barkan industrial park in the West Bank on land the organization claims is "illegally occupied."

The halva snack was discovered by a Palestine Solidarity Movement activist who was travelling from Ben Gurion Interantional Airport to Brussels and saw the product as a dessert option, realized it was produced in Israel, and told fellow activists to take action. The activists complained to the airline which quickly acquiesced to the request.

The official reason given by the airline regarding the decision not to serve the product is because the product is produced on illegally occupied land in the West Bank.

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UK: Man shouts “Jews, gas them all” and “Sieg Heil” as he is sentenced

Via Everyday Antisemitism:
A judge was caught up in a colourful verbal exchange with a defendant during sentencing.

John Hennigan, 50, told Judge Patricia Lynch QC that she was a “bit of a c*nt”. Judge Lynch, angered by the comments from the man who has repeatedly been involved in racist offences, told him: “You are a bit of a c*** yourself. Being offensive to me doesn’t help”.

Mr Hennigan was jailed for 18 months for insulting a black mother.

However, as he was sentenced he repeatedly banged on the glass, performed Nazi salutes and shouted “Sieg Heil”.

He also sang “Jews, gas them all” several times before being removed.

Mr Hennigan has previously been involved in many racist incidents. He was sentenced for having told a black woman that doesn’t “agree with inter-racial relationships”. This marked the ninth time he breached an ASBO designed to warn him away from racist actions.
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Polan: Kozienice cemetery targeted for vandalism


The ancient Jewish cemetery in Kozienice has recently been targeted for vandalism by local youth.

Recently three Polish youth were arrested after they tried climbing the high fence surrounding the cemetery.  The youths had paint spray with them.