Monday, August 3, 2015

France: At Netanya, on Israel’s coast, a French ‘bubble’ rises

The Times of Israel reports:

In this photo taken Wednesday, July 29, 2015, a French immigrant to Israel receives her Israeli ID during a ceremony in the coastal city of Netanya central Israel. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
The coastal city of Netanya markets itself as the “Israeli Riviera” and walking along its main pedestrian boulevard, one would be hard-pressed to tell it apart from its twin city of Nice. Barely a word of Hebrew is spoken, and real estate ads, restaurant menus and cafe conversations are mostly in French.

An increase in anti-Semitic attacks by Muslim extremists in France, home to the world’s third-largest Jewish population, has spawned an unprecedented wave of immigration to Israel. Netanya, with its seaside chic and established French-speaking community, has become their top destination. 

Last year, for the first time, France was Israel’s top source of immigrants, according to the Jewish Agency, a nonprofit group that works closely with the government and acts as a link for Jews around the world. A record 7,200 French Jews arrived in 2014, double the number from the previous year. Of those, about 2,000 came to Netanya, a Mediterranean city whose beaches remind many new arrivals of their Moroccan, Tunisian or Algerian origins.

The surge, which marked the first time in Israeli history that more than 1 percent of a Western country’s Jewish population immigrated in a single year, came even before the shooting rampage that killed four Jews in a Paris kosher supermarket in January and devastated the community’s already shaky sense of security.

For Fanny Rhoum, a 33-year-old mother of two whose children went to school across from the Hyper Cacher, the supermarket where the attack happened, that was the tipping point. Three days after the attack, she came to Israel to start planning her move.  

“We had become paranoid … every event brought our departure closer,” she said Wednesday upon receiving her Israeli ID card in Netanya, just two days after arriving on a special flight from Paris with another 200 immigrants.

“Here we get the feeling that we can protect ourselves. There we have the impression that we are on our own and if, God forbid, something happens we will have to manage.”

Seated nearby, 63-year-old Jeanette Malka said she waited for her retirement to move to Israel and now hopes her children and grandchildren will join her. “It’s no place to raise Jewish children,” she said of France. “We like Netanya a lot. We feel at home here.”  Her husband, Chaim, was clearly relishing wearing his small black skullcap — something he said he feared to do in public in Paris.  More.
French Jewish families about to immigrate to Israel at Charles de Gaulle Airport outside Paris on July 27, 2015 (Jeremy Fournée/The Jewish Agency for Israel)

Europe: The Brussels functionaries feign innocence and ask: boycott? what boycott?

The old predispositions hardly died out. The humanistic ardor of interwar Poland vibrantly lives on in today’s Europe. So does its insidious slyness.

Sarah Honig writes @ the Jerusalem Post:

Poland made history on Monday morning, April 19, 1937. It taught the world how to implement a boycott without actually admitting that it’s doing anything of the sort.

Headliners of today’s European Union have learned the lesson well, even if few of the EU’s sanctimonious sermonizers can likely cite the source and inspiration for their very unoriginal charade.

The Polish non-boycott was no mean feat on the eve of WWII, when dark clouds of impending doom already gathered over the heads of European Jewry.  Given the bestial goings-on and the brutish anti-Jewish boycotts next-door in the Third Reich, Poland appeared positively refined by comparison – the soul of sophistication.

The Poles never sank as low as the crude and vulgar Germans. They didn’t adopt the practice of daubing storefronts with giant Jude inscriptions, smashing windows or sending out storm troopers to form scary picket lines, carry offensive signs in the formidable Teutonic tradition and warn off the super-race away from subhuman Jewish shopkeepers.

Instead, Poland’s Minister of Industry and Commence Antoni Roman issued an edict that looked impeccably non-discriminatory.  It ordered that all business signs boldly display the proprietor’s name, directly above any other incidental scrap information such as what was sold at the premises. Precise rules were stipulated regarding the size of the letters required. What could possibly be wrong with that? The measure applied to everyone throughout the republic. Surely nothing could be more equitable. No single community or grouping was targeted.

Technically this was not an anti-Judaic decree. Quite the reverse: here was an exemplary act of public service born of the public-spirited conviction that the public was entitled to know the identity of each vendor everywhere.  No way could the Polish government be blamed for the fact that Jews – estimated (depending on the location) at between one-tenth to one-eighth of the population – on the whole had surnames that instantly betrayed their ethnic extraction.  [...]

All the while, Poland – obliged pro forma by the Treaty of Versailles to treat its Jews fairly and likewise hoping not to tarnish its image in the League of Nations – could feign innocence: Boycott? What boycott? This isn’t esoteric nitpicking into an irrelevant past. The old predispositions hardly died out. The humanistic ardor of interwar Poland vibrantly lives on in today’s Europe. So does its insidious slyness.

The EU, of which Poland is a member, exudes all the insincerity (to resort to gross understatement) which permeated Poland between the two world wars. Its faceless Brussels functionaries can, with just as much guile as their Polish predecessors, feign innocence and with just as much affectation ask: Boycott? What boycott?

EU headliners react with the gruffest of righteous indignation to the very suggestion that they enable economic boycotts against the Jewish state. Their denials are vehement. How can any upstanding individual conceivably insinuate that the EU is anything but admirably civic- minded and justice seeking? Its ethical standards apply identically to all, don’t they? According to the gospel from Brussels, Israel bears the blame for the fact that the EU’s in-house red-tape entanglers must now diligently scrutinize postal codes and busy themselves with codifying detailed stringent guidelines obliging members states to clearly and prominently label all products manufactured by Jews in Judea and Samaria (including even negligible assembled components).  More.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Europe: Fighting the coming EU economic war against Israel

Legal Insurrection reports:

Prof. Eugene Kontorovich testifies before
the House to unlawful and discriminatory
European Union policies.

The Security Subcommittee of The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing on July 28, 2015, on The Impact of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement.

The Tower has a write up on the full scope of the hearing. [...]

In this post, we focus on the testimony of Northwestern Univ. Law Professor Eugene Kontorovich. [...]

The Coming Unlawful EU Economic War Against Israel

The real fight currently is not so much over BDS, which has almost no economic impact on Israel itself, but over possible EU adoption of BDS-style policies. If the EU does so, it would be engaging in unlawful and discriminatory trade practices uniquely against Israel:
In the next few months – possibly as early as September – the European Commission plans to adopt a measure requiring special labeling for Israeli goods related to “settlements,” as well as other restrictions, including the outright exclusions on some agricultural products.
These are not general measures applying to trade with what the EU considers occupied territories; rather, they are special sanctions aimed solely at Israel. Thus the statements of European officials show that these actions are another step in a systematically implemented series of increasingly serious trade restrictions against Israel. Proposed future steps include restrictions on all Israeli banks because of their operations in disputed territories.
In other words, the EU is self-consciously attempting to pioneer a new model for trade with Israel and relationship to the areas under Israeli jurisdiction that fundamentally differs from its relationships with other countries.
The proposed EU measures are unlawful trade barriers against Israeli products. They violate European duties under multilateral and bilateral trade agreements. In particular, the proposed measures raises strong claims by Israel under articles 2.1 and 2.2 of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, as well as the Articles IX, X and XIII of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, Article 2.3 and 5.6 of the Agreement on the Applications Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, among others.
Every excuse the EU raises for treating Israel differently does not hold up to scrutiny:
Nor is there any merit to the EU’s contention that its trade obligations to Israel only apply to what it regards as Israeli sovereign territory. There is no principle in trade law restricting the application of trade agreements to sovereign territory. Trade agreements often apply to areas where sovereignty is not recognized or disputed, such as Taiwan, the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), and the Palestinian Authority. Indeed, the EU itself includes occupied Western Sahara within the territorial scope of its treaties with Morocco, undermining its contentions about Israel.

Keep in mind the proposals seek to level the playing field internationally against dishonest and unlawful attempts to single Israel out using standards and sanctions not applied to any other country, much less any of of our allies. 

Europe cannot be trusted to do the right thing. As history and current events prove. More.

Germany: Berlin Wall monument smeared with anti-Semitic graffiti

Via DW

A well-known monument depicting the Star of David on a German flag has been vandalized, Berlin police said. The incident comes as thousands of Jewish athletes are competing at Maccabi Games in the German capital.
Deutschland Vaterland an der East Side Gallery Berlin

The anti-Semitic slogans were discovered at a section of the Berlin Wall belonging to the iconic East Side Gallery, officials announced Saturday.

The outdoor gallery features over 100 original murals by artists from all over the world, who painted their works on the largest surviving segment of the Wall. The unknown vandals defaced the picture called "Vaterland" by German artist Günther Schaefer, scrawling hate speech over the mural showing the Star of David on the German flag.  more

UK: Teachers' union promoting “one-sided and partisan” literature on Middle East

Via Jewish News:
Jewish leaders have expressed concern over a new educational resource being promoted by the National Union of Teachers to British schools, claiming it is “one-sided and partisan” in its portrayal of the Middle East.

A five-part series profiling Palestinian children “living under military occupation,” produced by charity Edukid, was “inspired by a union visit to Palestine in 2013,” said NUT General Secretary Christine Blower.

The union facilitated access to Palestinians in the West Bank and Nazareth, but despite protestations by Edukid that it tries to remain “neutral”, no Jewish Israeli children were profiled, although thousands having endured years of rocket fire from Gaza.

“We are concerned that the literature presents a one-sided and partisan view of the political situation,” said a Board of Deputies’ spokesman.

“We have raised this issue at a senior level with the Department for Education, who share our concerns. We have also requested a meeting with the NUT to discuss the issues raised.”

Chris Turner, chief executive of Edukid, claimed: “We tried to get the Jewish perspective, and spoke to two organisations in Israel about profiling Jewish children, but both declined to work with us when they found out we were also profiling Palestinian children.”   more

Germany: Jews assaulted in Berlin

Via Jerusalem Post:
Two youths taunted six Jewish men with anti-Semitic insults and tossed an object at the group, police in the German capital said on Friday. The attackers fled and are being sought for alleged attempted assault and hate crimes. The incident took place in the Berlin district of Neukölln, a neighborhood with a large Muslim population. Separately, police arrested “a man with an Arab background” for yelling anti-Semitic insults at two security guards at the Hotel Estrel, where 2,000 people and athletes associated with the European Maccabi Games are staying, the Die Welt paper reported on Saturday. The hotel is 900 meters from the Al-Nur Mosque, a hotbed of radical Islam.

The head of the German umbrella organization for the Maccabi, Alon Meyer, warned Jewish athletes about traveling in large groups through Neukölln and wearing visibly Jewish items such as Stars of David or kippot. According to the Maccabi Games’ rules of conduct, athletes should not make themselves recognizable as Jews in “sensitive areas of Berlin,” and it is preferable that they travel in taxis and not wear kippot.

Neo-Nazis also threated the Jewish athletes on their Web platforms.  more

UK: Man assualted outside synagogue

Via Jewish News:
A man has been arrested for assaulting an Orthodox man outside a shul, before using anti-Semitic slurs.

Volunteer neighbourhood watch group Shomrim said a male pushed an Orthodox Jewish man before 11pm on Thursday night, and used anti-Semitic slurs. The incident occurred outside a Synagogue by Clapton Common.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Austria: Blood libel still commemorated

Via Der Standard:

Every year, around July 12th, dozens of people come to the village of Rinn (Tyrol), to commemorate the 'martyr' Andreas Oxner.  Oxner's murder in the 15th century was blamed on Jews and in the 18th century he was proclaimed a saint.

Up until the 1970s, the blood libel was still taught in local schools as fact.  In the 1980s-1990s his worship was officially banned, but it still continues in private capacity.

Among the participants are traditional Christians (the antisemitic Catholics from the Society of St. Pius X always participate) and neo-Nazis.

According to the mayor, local participation is mostly older people and so hopefully will die out in the upcoming years.

Belgium: Anti-Israel petition attracts 435 signatures - no counter-petition is forthcoming

A petition in Belgium calling for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel has attracted 435 academic signatories.  It was launched by Prof. Herman De Ley of the University of Ghent who is not Jewish and is, like many Europeans, a passionate Israel-basher.  Quite a few Jews supported the petition. It is part of the BELGIAN CAMPAIGN FOR AN ACADEMIC AND CULTURAL BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL (BACBI).

This is stark contrast with the fact that not a single non-Jewish/Jewish academic has launched a petition countering the pro-boycott petition.  It is doubtful that there will be one in the future.  And if there was one it is fair to assume that not many people would be bothered to support it.  Obviously there is no campaign to support Israel.

As to antisemitism in Europe.  It is an established fact that antisemitism has become a problem and that many Jews, seeing no future for them and their children, are leaving the continent. You would be at pains to find a book on contemporary antisemitism written by a non-Jewish intellectual, with the notable exception of Pierre-André Taguieff, Douglas Murray, Denis MacEoin, Ed West, Guy Millière...  There is the occasional newspaper article condemning antisemitism, but little attention is paid.   And nothing changes.

Again, in contrast, there is in Europe what can be called an "industry" producing a large number of books, articles and studies depicting Israel as a racist, apartheid country.  The contrary, of course, does not happen.

Germany:Frankfurt Book Fair hosts publishers inciting hatred and violence against Israel.

 The Simon Wiesenthal Center has been monitoring antisemitic texts at the Frankfurt Book Fair for 12 years.  And the same happens every year.  Sadly, European Jewish organisations do not react!

The Algemeiner reports:

“The Palestinians and the Loss
of the Forbidden,” by Imad
Sayid Ahmad, was deemed an
antisemitic text by
the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized the Frankfurt Book Fair on Thursday, urging organizers of the 2015 event to blacklist publishers inciting hatred and violence against Israel.

“These stands become focal points for imams visiting with their Koranic school classes,” the organization said in a released statement. “These hateful titles can serve as a low-tech instrument for recruitment of youth to jihad.”

The Center gave authorities behind the Frankfurt Fair a list of 56 “merchants of hate” and which countries they are from. Twenty hailed from Egypt, 19 from Syria/Lebanon, nine from Jordan/Palestinian, five from Saudi Arabia, two from Kuwait, one from Morocco, and one Arab publisher was from the United Kingdom.  The numbers were based on 251 antisemitic titles that the SWC monitored at book fairs around the world – 80 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 67 in Abu Dhabi; 53 in Muscat, Oman; 35 in Doha, Qatar; and 16 in Casablanca, Morocco.

The Center said the “Worst Offender” award goes to a publisher Dar-al-Kitab al-Arabi of Egypt, which published 78 of the 251 books identified as antisemitic.

“These, tip of the iceberg findings, are a minimal indication of the problem, as their stands become focal points for local and foreign Imams who bring their Madrassa school classes with them. These hateful titles, can serve as a low-tech recruitment instrument for youth to Jihad,” said SWC Director for International Relations Dr. Shimon Samuels. “In Riyadh, some 420 titles were removed by the ‘Religious Police as contrary to Islam…’ yet the conspicuous number of volumes inciting to violence against Jews were left in place.”

“There is no doubt that many of them – and especially, Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi of Egypt – deny and trivialize the Holocaust, which is a crime under German law,” Samuels said. “This publisher has an obsession with Henry Ford’s International Jew The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Hitler’s Mein Kampf – none of which can be excused as ‘anti-Israeli rather than anti-Jewish.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has been monitoring antisemitic texts at the Frankfurt Book Fair for 12 years and last year ranked antisemitic literature that was on display at the event, listing Qatar as “Worst Offender 2014.”

The Center also monitored the 2015 book fairs in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. In March they lamented U.S. support of the Muscat International Book Fair, which SWC described as a “hothouse of antisemitic hate,” and in April slammed Morocco’s culture minister for failing to stop the display of anti-Jewish texts at the 2015 Casablanca Book Fair.

Sweden: Swedish Democrats politician shares antisemitic conspiracy theories

Via Nynäshamns-Posten:

Urban Medin, a Swedish Democrats politician in Nynäshamn, shares antisemitic conspiracy theories on his Facebook page, says Jonathan Leman of Expo Magazine. Such posts say the Jews control the banking industry and blame them for everything, including WWII.

Expo Magazine follows up on various racist organizations.  Leman says that Medin follows various White Supremacy groups and is friends with many antisemites.

Medin says he's not antisemitic, that he doesn't read or agree with everything he shares and that he doesn't think he should exclude antisemitic groups from his reading list.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Germany: Activists organise yet another Gaza flotilla

Yaakov Lappin and Benjamin Weinthal @ Twitter

Sadly, German activists organize a Gaza flotilla right now, not one European/Turkish flotilla on its way to Yemen in spite of children going hungry in Yemen.

Benjamin Weinthal a retweeté Yaakov Lappin
Sadly, German activists organize a Gaza flotilla right now, not one European/Turkish flotilla on its way to Yemen
Benjamin Weinthal added,

France: UMP politician speaks of "the Jews and the French"

Via Le Monde Juif:

Valérie Pécresse, a French politician and former minister for Sarkozy's UMP party, recently indicated that Jews (and Muslims) are not really French.  Speaking to Muslim leaders, she said that on the issue of places of worship and religious schools, Muslims should receive what the "Jews and French" receive.

Sweden: Jewish family assaulted

Via Radio Sweden:

A Jewish family from Örebro reported the municipal housing company ÖrebroBostäder to the Discrimination Ombudsman.

The family says that their neighbor assaulted them, said antisemitic statements and threatened them with a knife.  The housing company referred them to the police, but the family says that's not enough.

Germany: "Some Germans are so over antisemitism they’re over the existence of Jews"

Via Heeb Magazine:
But earlier this week it became known that local neo-nazi groups were apparently planning attacks on Jewish athletes. Of course, you might say, it’s what neo-nazis do. And yet, Silke Burmester, a columnist for the biggest leftist daily taz and previously a blogger for Spiegel Online, was struck by something: the very existence of a Jewish sports festival.

On Twitter she wondered what the hell a “Jewish sports festival” is supposed to be and whether Jews had their own Olympic games since 1936. (Answer: kinda, which sort of comes with being banned from other sports associations.) Not satisfied with that she later tweeted, after having watched a news report, what “Jewish sports” is supposed to be – swastika-throw? (Maybe we should be grateful that she didn’t go with coin-tossing.)

Other people voiced similar concerns i.e. were antisemitic and complained about the exclusionist and chauvinist and racist nature of such an endeavour. Some couched that in a general atheist critique of religion, others said that Jews just want to exclude the goyim.

In Germany, people are always very puzzled when they encounter Jewishness not as creed but as secular culture or, Gott bewahre, ethnicity because they think that kind of thinkings lead to the Nuremberg laws. And Jews expressing their Jewish identity beyond religion will often hear they should get over it and not harp on differences.
And in fact when called out Silke Burmester said she just wants to live in a world without ethnic and religious assignments.

So there you have it: some Germans are so over antisemitism they’re over the existence of Jews.