Friday, February 12, 2016

Netherlands: TV search for criminals does not mention anti-Semitic nature of violent robbery

Bad News from the Netherlands blog reports:

Victim (police photo)
 The Dutch TV program Opsporing Verzocht has called for help in finding the attackers of an elderly Dutch Jewish couple in their mid-eighties [Samuel (87) en Diana (86)].  The content of the program is determined by the state prosecutor’s office.  
The assailants beat both victims severely in the process of the robbery, calling them “dirty Jews.”  Both are now confined to wheelchairs.  
The program, however, omitted any mention of the anti-Semitic nature of the attack.  At the time, the victims had also said that the attackers appeared to be "Arabic-Moroccan."

UK: Antisemitic shirts sold outside Chelsea's ground

Jewish news

Via Evening Standard:
A crackdown was launched today into the sale of “tasteless and offensive” T-shirts being sold outside Chelsea’s home ground which feature Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane.

Rogue retailers were selling the tops outside Stamford Bridge, in Fulham Road, before and after the West London club’s clash with Manchester United on Sunday.

One T-shirt featured Kane mocked up in traditional Hasidic Jewish dress with the slogan: “He’s one of your own.” Tottenham fans, who are often subjected to anti-Semitic chants, sing “he’s one of our own” about Kane.
read more

Germany: Jewish institutions in Berlin mostly targeted with hate mail

Via RBB:

There were 25 attacks on religious institutions in Berlin in 2015 - 17 against churches, five against Jewish institutions and three against mosques.  No suspects were arrested.

In 2014 there were 21 attacks (Christians: 13, Jewish: 5, Muslim: 3) and in 2013 there were 13 attacks (Christian: 3, Jewish: 2, Muslim: 8).

Jewish institutions (which includes a Jewish grocery store) were mostly targeted with antisemitic emails and letters.  In one case a synagogue security fence and sign were vandalized.

There are approximately 50,000 Jews in Berlin and 200,000 Muslims, out of a total population of 3.5 million.

Germnay: City awards US NGO with ties to Holocaust deniers €10,000 prize

Update from the Jerusalem Post:
The mayor of the German city of Bayreuth, Brigitte Merk-Erbe, said on Thursday that she rejects awarding the city’s tolerance prize to the radical US NGO Code Pink because of its ties with alleged deniers of the Holocaust.

“I consider it correct to refrain from awarding the prize out of a sense of [historical responsibility, and out of respect for the victims of National Socialism,“said Merk-Erbe.

Merk-Erbe recommended to the city council that the award and prize money be rescinded. The city council will address the row next week.  Read more.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
The announcement has sparked outrage from Jewish human rights organizations.
The Bavarian city of Bayreuth is slated to award 10,000 euros in April to a US-based activist group - Code Pink - that supports a boycott of the Jewish state and has participated in a conference in Iran with Holocaust deniers.

The decision by Bayreuth to award the Wilhelmine von Bayreuth-Preis has sparked outrage from Jewish human rights organizations. 

"It is hard to imagine that any due diligence was undertaken by the Wilhelmine von Bayreuth Award committee before it decided to bestow its highest honor to this group,"  Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

Cooper provided three examples of Code Pink’s anti-Israel agitation. In the first example, the group's activists are seen in a video in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was equated with Adolf Hitler.  “Hitler, Yahoo, You Will See, Palestine Will Be free!" they chanted at a protest in front of an AIPAC conference in 2015.

"This genocidal chant alone should disqualify Code Pink from any 'tolerance award' in Germany," Cooper said.

In the YouTube video link provided by Cooper, Code Pink’s chanted in 2015: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Critics say this type of rhetoric seeks the dissolution of Israel.

"Then there is the matter of Code Pink‘s top leaders participating - in what in Germany would be a criminal enterprise - an anti-Semitic Holocaust Denial Conference convened by the serial human rights deniers in Tehran," he said.

Cooper added the third reason for disqualifying the group was the “desecration of Judaism‘s holiest site - Western Wall - by Code Pink to promote the anti-Semitic, extreme anti-peace, BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement."
Read more.

Spain: Cartoon shows Israeli soldiers molesting Jesus, urinating on Palestinians

Is this surprising?   "According to a poll commissioned by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 58.4% of Spaniards believe that "the Jews are powerful because they control the economy and the mass media." This number reaches 62.2% among university students and 70.5% among those who are "interested in politics." More than 60% of Spanish university students say they do not want Jewish classmates. "These numbers are as surprising as they are worrying: the most anti-Semitic people are supposedly the most educated and well-informed," the report says. The poll also shows that more than one-third (34.6%) of Spanish people have an unfavorable or completely unfavorable opinion of Jewish people." (Gatestone Institute)

The Jerusalem Post reports:

The Spanish Jewish community is threatening legal action for a “Nazi” style cartoon published by a local satirical magazine which portrayed hook nosed Israeli soldiers urinating on Palestinians and physically abusing Jesus.

In the most recent issue of the popular left wing El Jueves, a publication similar in many respects to the irreverent French weekly Charlie Hebdo, illustrator Julio Serrano harshly criticized the Jewish state, including allegations that Jerusalem’s Israel Museum keeps a Torah scroll wrapped in “the skin of my holy testicles” and that any Jew who marries an Arab is stripped of his citizenship and expelled.

“This is absolutely outrageous and obviously we are going to be seeking legal remedies,” David Hatchwell, the president of the Jewish community of Madrid, told the Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

While magazines lambasting religion and politics in an irreverent style are fine, he contended, it is “absolutely unacceptable” to engage in “every single original anti-Semitic attack and slanders against the Jewish people.”

“This [cartoon] could be taken from the Nazis’ Der Sturmer and nobody would notice the difference,” he continued, referring, among other things, to the magazine’s portrayal of Jews as having long hooked noses and seeking to dominate their gentile neighbors.

In one panel an Israeli soldier, wearing what appears to be a German style helmet, can be seen holding his genitals in his hands as he urinates on a cowering Arab and cries that “you don’t understand, Palestinian, my grandparents were in a concentration camp”

“Ok, the Holocaust was horrible and resulted in the creation of the State of Israel so that the Jews could live in peace, but that doesn’t give you the right to hassle the non-Jewish people who live there,” he writes. “Israel is like the child who watched in horror as his father beat his mother and now, as an adult, he beats his wife. Under Israeli law, Jews have preferential treatment as regards education, health, homes and work, and if you are not Jewish in the State of Israel, you are f**ked.”

Regarding politics, Serrano wrote that “:the Jews have it all tied up” and that non-Zionist parties are banned “so let’s forget about the cannabis party.”

Another illustration showed a soldier kicking an Arab woman and a hasidic man. Explaining that Israel constitutes “apartheid 2.0,” the illustrator averred that “no Israeli can marry a Palestinian [and that] such a union take place, the Israeli loses his citizenship and is obliged to emigrate.”

“The Palestinians are made to use secondary roads, which are studded with checkpoints at which Israeli soldiers exercise an iron control over the movements of those who are not Jews,” he continued, using a picture a long nosed Jew pushing a beaten Jesus next to a checkpoint.
 Read more.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Denmark/Sweden: Kim Bodnia says antisemitism made it 'very easy' to leave 'The Bridge'

Kim Bodnia was interviewed by Israeli news-site Walla and asked about antisemitism in Scandinavia and Denmark:

Bodnia: It [antisemitism] is growing. Especially in Malmo, where we shot "The Bridge", in Sweden, it's not very nice and comfortable to be there as a Jewish person.  So, of course, this also has something to do with that it's easy for me to say 'no' to work in Sweden.  You know, it's very easy.  When they didn't have the script right, I can say "well, I don't feel so safe there", you know.  It's not funny.  It's growing and we have to deal with it every day, and we have to fight against it.  But the young people who are living there now, who come from outside into Denmark, this is growing too much.  And the situation is that if people go to jail or something they have this possibility to grow the hate of us Jewish people, and it's growing inside the prison.  So when I suggested that when Martin [Martin Rhode, his character on The Bridge] is undercover in the prison, why didn't we do about that, because that's the situation-

Interviewer: about the antisemitism?

Bodnia: Yeah, of course! 

Interviewer: But is Martin Jewish?  Wee don't know this about him.

Bodnia: Yeah, but it doesn't matter if he's Jewish or not, the Danish police should take care of this also, you know.  And Martin Rohde is a guy that lives in Copenhagen, as a person, so he should take care of that too.

France: Film on Famed French Fraudster Living Free In Israel Stirs Unease

Via JTA:
An authoritative voice and phone credit was all Gilbert Chikli needed to steal millions of euros from seasoned bankers and businessmen in his native France.

One of France’s most famous criminals, the 50-year-old Chikli was sentenced in May by a Paris court to seven years in jail for defrauding dozens of telephone victims out of more than $8 million in 2005-06 while he was living in Israel.

But Chikli is living as a free man in Israel — the country has no extradition treaty with France.

Now his story is getting a fresh look because of a new and controversial French film starring President Francois Hollande’s girlfriend, Julie Gayet, based loosely on the Chikli saga. Coming at a time of rising Jewish emigration from France to Israel, the French-language feature “Thank You for Calling” (known in France as “Je Compte sur Vous,” French for “I’m counting on you”) is drawing attention in both countries to a criminal fringe of French Jews for whom aliyah, or immigration to Israel, serves as a get-out-of-jail card.


Elbe’s film has led the French media, including the TF1 and France 2 television channels, to devote extensive coverage in recent months to what they call the “Franco-Israeli mafia.”

This attention is troubling to many French Jews, including Avi Zana, director of the nonprofit Ami Israel, which helps French immigrants in Israel integrate into their new society.

Calling the coverage “disproportionate,” Zana said the apparent presence of a few dozen French criminals in Israel is a “normal result of an increase in French aliyah and diversification in the spectrum of newcomers. It does not suggest any proclivity to criminality” among French immigrants to Israel.

The crooks among the newcomers, Zana said, “are detested by the rest of us, who feel they give us and Israel a bad name.”

Elbe’s film, he said, “is regrettably blowing things out of context at a time when French Jews have already enough trouble from anti-Semitic stereotypes this film risks augmenting.”

Elbe, who is Jewish, said he anticipated the film “would be a divisive” among French Jews, but decided to make it anyway because “the subject is fascinating and anti-Semites can’t be allowed to intimidate us into self-censorship.”

read more

Denmark: Man arrested outside synagogue

Via DR:

Police arrested a man outside the Copenhagen synagogue Wednesday morning.  Police drew their weapons during the arrest.

The man was deemed suspicious because he did not respond when police approached him.

France vs. Israel: Ambassadors Tweet Off on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

A patent example of double standards by the French ambassador.

Capture d’écran 2016-02-09 à 10.43.23

The Algemeiner reports:
French Ambassador to the US Gerard Araud and Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer faced off on social media about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Araud, who was formerly an ambassador to both Israel and the United Nations, retweeted French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius’s comment about the Syrian civil war that, “There can’t be a political negotiation when one side is murdering the other.”

Dermer tweeted back to Araud, questioning “if that wisdom will one day be applied to when Jews are being murdered in Israel.”

Although Araud did not respond to Dermer directly, he later tweeted, “Israel/Palestine. So predictable that any pretext leads one side to declare that the other one is evil.” This tweet elicited a number of responses from Twitter users, which led Araud to tweet again on the subject, “A tweet on Syria. An unrelated reaction on Israel/Palestine and an outpouring of one-sided tweets without any link with the first tweet.”

“Israel/Palestine. Feeding the passion instead of analyzing the situation from both sides is a good way to escape the real issues,” tweeted Araud.

When Araud was France’s ambassador to Israel in 2004, he complained in a radio interview that Israelis are anti-French, claiming that while anti-Semitic incidents around the world are not addressed in Israel, those that occur in France immediately make headlines, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

Austria: Prosecutor justifies claim that concentration camp survivors were a criminal 'plague'

Via the Jerusalem Post:
Concentration camp survivors voiced indignation on Wednesday at an Austrian prosecutor's statement that it was justifiable for a far-right magazine to call people who were liberated from the Nazi camp at Mauthausen a criminal "plague."

An article in the July/August edition of Die Aula said that description applied to a significant number of freed inmates, saying they committed a range of crimes nearby after Nazi guards fled at the end of World War Two.

"The fact that a non-negligible portion of freed prisoners became a plague on people is deemed by the judiciary to have been proven and is only disputed today by concentration camp fetishists," Die Aula's article said.

Prosecutors in the southern city of Graz initiated criminal proceedings against the author on accusations of Holocaust denial and inciting hatred, but later dropped the case.

"It is plausible that the release of several thousand people from the Mauthausen concentration camp presented a burden for the affected areas of Austria," the prosecutors' office said in an explanation of its decision signed by one official and made public by a parliamentary procedure last month.

"It cannot be ruled out that, in the context of the liberation, criminal activities ... were engaged in by those freed," it added. "Criminals were (indisputedly) among those imprisoned."
read more

Oskar Deutsch, head of the Jewish community in Austria, says that the only politician who spoke out and acted against the article was the head of the Greens party.  It did not bother anybody else.

See previous articles about AULA here and here.

France: Country ignored pattern of antisemitic attacks on Jews for more than a decade

Via PRI:
France has been living with smaller attacks on Jewish institutions for some time. Marc Weitzmann, a journalist, says the situation started to escalate in 2000, around the beginning of the second Palestinian Intifada. He says Jews in France became a target for young radicalized Muslims, but the country was slow to recognize the pattern of anti-Semitic attacks.

“That's when the Jews really started to feel very lonely in the country and it's a sort of perverse dynamic. The more you say you're lonely the more you turn out being lonely because everybody thinks you're crazy,” Weitzmann says.

But since 2014 it’s become harder to dismiss the escalation of anti-Semitic incidents in the country. That January, right-wing protests in Paris included large groups of people chanting anti-Semitic slogans.

“That [chanting] was really a first,” Weitzmann says. “You know, ‘Jews, France doesn't belong to you.’ This was unheard [of in France] since World War II.”

read more

UK: Jewish man verbally harassed on the train

Via the Telegraph:
Messages prefaced with the words "nothing to worry about" are almost always guaranteed to have the opposite effect.

And so it was the other day, when a text from my eldest son, Sam, began with this classic prologue.

In this case, it read "nothing to worry about, but…. just been verbally abused by a stranger calling me a 'f***ing Jew' on the Tube."

I didn't even have time to appreciate his deferential asterisks before dialling his number in frantic panic.

It turns out that as Sam and his girlfriend travelled the Northern Line on a lunchtime train, a complete stranger who appeared to be Muslim, began screaming at him for being Jewish. He also called Sam and his "people" murderers for killing "my people".

(Sam, though dressed in typical student jeans and sweatshirt combo, was clearly picked out since he happened to be wearing a skullcap – something, as a proud Jew, he insists on doing.)

As the rant continued, the rest of the carriage buried their heads in their free newspapers or peered in fascination at their laps. Even though the stranger alighted at the same stop as Sam and persisted with his poisonous invective.

Fortunately my 23 year old son had the good sense to deprive his attacker of the oxygen of confrontation and walked away (although the incident has been reported to the police). 

read more

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ukraine: Gov't backtracks on Babi Yar plans amid accusations of Holocaust revisionism

A bit of history: Over two days in September 1941 the Nazis and their collaborators murdered all the Jews of Kiev, more than 33,000 Jews, in Babi Yar.  Until the end of the war, the Nazis continued to use it for massacres, murdering up to 150,000 other people.

During the Soviet occupation of Ukraine, the authorities prevented the Jews from erecting a memorial for the same reason the Ukrainian government gives now. 

During the struggle against the Soviet persecution of Jews, the Babi Yar memorial became a symbol - Jews commemorated their dead despite the government's attempts to prevent them from doing so.

Apparently, the Ukrainian government wants to go back to those days.

Via Jerusalem Post:
The Ukrainian government is facing allegations of historical revisionism after announcing plans to revamp the Babi Yar massacre site to turn it into a generic symbol of human suffering rather than a quintessential emblem of the Holocaust.

In preparation for September’s 75th anniversary of the massacre at the ravine in Kiev where more than 33,000 Jews were murdered in a two-day period in 1941, a government- backed design competition invited architectural proposals to resolve what it sees as a “problem” of a “discrepancy between the world’s view and Jewry’s exclusive view of Babi Yar as a symbol of the Holocaust.”

But the contest’s rules were revised on Monday after an outpouring of anger by Jewish groups around the world against a perceived attempt to diminish the site’s Jewish significance, including questions put by The Jerusalem Post to Ukrainian officials about the project.
read more

Belgium: "Palestine" tags on a Brussels road tunnel

As the Guardian pointed out in 2014, Brussels has the worst traffic jams in Europe.  Things have got even worse because the road tunnels that criss-cross the city are old, poorly maintained, and in such a bad condition they pose a serious risk - one has been closed.

And the situation is getting increasingly worse.  The Belgian state TV RTBF reported last night that there are also problems with the Pacheco tunnel.  What is interesting is that even when you drive in Brussels you cannot escape being bombarded with pro-Palestinian propaganda - which has become an obsessive issue also with the society at large.  The report showed a portion of the tunnel wall where at least two pro-Palestine tags feature.  The one on the left reads "Palestine represented" (no doubt a wordplay: Pacheco - Palestine - both pronounced ʃ) in black and the one on the right "Palestine" in red.

Screenshot RTBF - 16 minutes into the video.

Like it or not;  You just can't escape it...  If you are stuck in a traffic jam in the capital of Europe, you know what you can expect in terms of propaganda.

UK: Bomb threats made to Jewish schools

Via Jerusalem Post:
At least eight Jewish schools in Britain received bomb threats on Monday, the Community Security Trust reported.

The threats are the latest in a series of similar such warnings that have been issued against schools across the UK and further afield.

The bomb threats were made in the form of a recorded message, with a voice threatening that the school in question will be bombed, while Arabic or Islamic music was heard in the background.

read more