Thursday, July 27, 2017

France can acknowledge its past crimes against its Jews, but not present ones

Via Mosaic Magazine:
Children were not spared
July 16 saw the commemoration of the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup in Paris: the 1942 mass arrest, carried out by the French police on Nazi orders, of over 13,000 French Jews who were then shipped off to extermination camps. At the ceremony this year, French President Emmanuel Macron apologized for France’s actions and pledged to make France a country where the Jewish victims, among them over 4,000 children, would have wanted to live.  
But, writes Nidra Poller, the “tragic reality” is this: as shown most recently by the April murder of the sixty-five-year-old Sarah Halimi by a radicalized twenty-seven-year-old Muslim, France can’t and won’t fulfill that pledge:
If the descendants of those [murdered] children lived in France today, they might have to hide their kippot and Magen Davids, they might be harassed out of schools and neighborhoods, beaten up in the métro, accused of genocide against the Palestinians. If the descendants of those children lived in France today, the children hunted like animals by the French and exterminated by the Nazis, . . . they might be assassinated at a Jewish school in Toulouse [as in March 2012], their lives might be shattered by the savage murder of their grandmother in Paris in 2017. And who would be persecuting them? The descendants of immigrants and refugees from Arab-Muslim countries, the underprivileged victims of discrimination whom President Macron vows to protect [by means of the same] tender consideration that put a Kobili Traoré in the apartment downstairs of Sarah Halimi wthout first making sure he had integrated the values of the Republic. 
[Unlike the situation in 1942], the French police did not pound on the door and drag Sarah Halimi from her home in the middle of the night. The police stood down, waiting interminably for reinforcements, while Kobili Traoré beat, smashed, and exterminated a defenseless Jewish woman. 
The courage and lucidity to acknowledge the French crimes of the past falters in the face of French crimes of the present.
read more at Times of Israel

UK: Record number of anti-Semitic hate incidents in first half of 2017

Via European Jewish Press:
767 anti-Semitic incidents have been recorded in Britain in the first six months of 2017, a rise of 30% from the same period last year , according to the latest report published by the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that protects British Jews from anti-Semitism and related threats. 
This is the highest total CST has ever recorded for the January-June period of any year. 
 “CST has again recorded an unprecedented number of antisemitic incidents, with figures now almost twice as bad as five years ago. Some of this may be down to improved reporting, but it is sadly clear that the overall situation has deteriorated. Anti-Semitism is having an increasing impact on the lives of British Jews and the hatred and anger that lies behind it is spreading,” said CST  Chief Executive David Delew. 
A further 483 reports were received by CST in the first six months of 2017, but were not deemed to be antisemitic and are not included in this total.  
CST saw over 100 anti-Semitic incidents recorded for every month so far this year.This continues an unprecedented pattern of monthly totals higher than 100 incidents for every month since April 2016. The average monthly incident totals recorded by CST are now roughly double the level they were at five years ago,’’ the report notes. 
It is likely that the incident totals recorded by CST reflect a general, sustained rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in an average month. Jewish communal concern about anti-Semitism and consequent better reporting, in addition to increased reporting from commercial security guards, may contribute partly to the rise in recorded incidents. However, these factors alone do not explain the scale and breadth of the increase.’’ 
The most common single type of incident recorded by CST in the first half of 2017 involved verbal abuse randomly directed at visibly Jewish people in public. In at least 203 incidents, the victims were visibly Jewish.
read more

UK: Momentum distances itself from Haringey antisemitism definition protest

Via JC:
Momentum says it has not received any complaints about its members being involved in a protest against a council’s adoption of a definition of antisemitism.

The pro-Jeremy Corbyn hard-left activism group said it would be willing to investigate and take action if necessary.

Labour councillors in Haringey were shouted down by protesters as they voted to support a motion to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of Jew-hatred at a meeting on Monday evening.

The definition was recognised by the government last year and is now widely used in the public sector.

A Momentum spokesman told the JC: “Momentum opposes antisemitism in all its forms.

“This council lobby was not organised by Momentum National. The local Momentum group in Haringey supported the lobby along with other organisations and some members attended.

“While we haven’t received any complaints about Momentum members present at the meeting, if we do we’ll investigate them and take the necessary, appropriate action.”

Two senior national Momentum members, Emine Ibrahim and Joseph Ejiofor, are councillors in Haringey and supported the motion.

read more

Germany: Israel supporters are the enemy within, Social Democrat says

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
The Ministry of Economic Affairs for the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia started an investigation on Tuesday of an employee and Social Democratic Party official who said Israel supporters undermine the Federal Republic, sparking accusations of antisemitism.

Stefan Grönebaum – division head covering work and social policies, demography and integration – labeled pro-Israel members of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and other supporters of the Jewish state , an “organized, good networked ‘fifth column’ in the interests of Israel’s policies.”

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, head of Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday: “These types of comments are clearly antisemitic and should be examined by the SPD. Their expert is antisemitic and is disseminating an antisemitic view.” (...)

On Facebook, in a rambling tirade against the legitimacy of the Jewish state, Grönebaum wrote “Zionists are attached to a colonialist doctrine... They mean that the land of the others belongs to them.”

Grönebaum’s written assaults on Israel were triggered by a comment from Sercan Aydilek, an activist who campaigns against modern antisemitism in Germany and who described himself as a Zionist.

Dr. Elvira U. Groezinger, head of the German branch of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, told the Post,” It is remarkable indeed that a member of the Social Democratic Party and an employee in a ministry of a German federal state publicly dares to delegitimize Israel in a language which is directly taken over from the Nazi vocabulary and to use it in an openly antisemitic way in his polemics against the Jewish state which is a democratic one, contrary to the totalitarian regimes in the Arab countries.”

Tanya Aliza, who said she was a German-Israeli Social Democrat, thanked the people involved in the Facebook conversation for their criticism of Grönebaum.
read more

Germany: Jewish org: Merkel Government ‘reluctant’ to confront Muslim antisemitism

Some commentators will say that it might be too late to address this problem.

Via Legal Insurrection:
Jews do not feel safe in major German cities, says the head of the Central Council of Jews, Germany’s largest Jewish organisation. Mass-migrations from Islamic countries and the rising Muslim population are behind the resurfacing of antisemitism in Germany seven decades after the Holocaust. 
“The problem of Muslim antisemitism should be taken very seriously,” warned Josef Schuster, the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. Schuster also slammed the Merkel government for its “reluctance in confronting antisemitism.” 
“Jews feel threatened in major German cities,” reported the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). “The Central Council of Jews warns that in some parts of Germany one doesn’t want to be recognised as a Jew.”
The Central Council of Jews has warned against the rising antisemitism in Germany. Josef Schuster, The head of the Central Council, told the weekly Bild am Sonntagthat “in some districts of major cities, I would recommend not to identify oneself as a Jew.” The experience shows that openly wearing Kippah or a pendent with Star of David can result in verbal and physical threats. Schuster accused the federal government of reluctance in confronting antisemitism. […] 
Schuster added that “the word ‘Jew’ is used as a term of abuse in schools and on the sports field.” The Central Council has been observing this phenomena “regrettable for some years and it is so widespread that one cannot talk of islated incidents.” Antisemitic prejudices are widespread chiefly among Muslim students. “It is therefore important that school education teaches more about Judaism to combat these prejudices.” 
“The problem of Muslim antisemitism should be taken very seriously by the whole society, without casting a general suspicion on all the Muslims,” Schuster told the newspaper. He accused the Islamic organisations of lack of commitment. All Islamic organisations could and should do significantly more. They have great responsibility when it comes to antisemitism. [FAZ, July 23; translation by author]
“Now is the right time for the Jews in Germany to make Aliyah (or return) to Israel,” commented Benjamin Weinthal, a noted political commentator and fellow for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD). Weinthal, a keen observer of political developments in Germany, might be correct in his assessment when it comes to the future of Germany’s tiny Jewish community. 
Earlier this week, a study once again highlighted the issue of rising anti-Semitism in German schools. According to the study, the antisemitism “is on the rise among pupils with a Turkish or Arabic background following strict forms of Islam,” reported the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. The latest report is consitant with the findings of similar studies conducted in Germany and other European countries. 

 ‘Pro-Palestinian’ demonstrators in Berlin calling for “death of the Jews” [July, 2014]:


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Europe: Hamas remains on EU's terror list

Via European Jewish Press:
The European Court of Justice, the EU’s top court, has ruled that Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip, should remain on the EU terror list. 
European Court of Justice (ECJ) judges overruled a 2014 European lower court view that Hamas should be dropped from the list because the EU had insufficient evidence to maintain asset freezes and travel bans on Hamas. That court found that the listing was based on media and Internet reports rather than solid legal arguments. The EU subsequently appealed that decision at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
read more

UK: The disturbing double standards over Israel

Via Spiked (Naomi Firsht):

IDF picture of the Salomon home. Picture by: IDF
(...) But while Israeli newspapers like Haaretz and Times of Israel, and UK newspaper the Jewish Chronicle, published photos of the Salomon home after the attack, as well as in-depth reports, there was not much to be found in the mainstream UK press. Times of Israel’s headline said: ‘Terror at Halamish: When a family’s Shabbat celebration turned into a bloody massacre.’ The BBC went with, ‘Three Israelis stabbed to death in West Bank attack’. The details in the BBC report are perfunctory and there are no photos of the Salomons’ home. 
Other news sites have simply lumped in the Salomon family attack with the deaths of those involved in the violent riots. The Guardian headline reads, ‘Six dead as Israeli-Palestinian tensions boil over’. Again there are no pictures, and the family murder is given a couple of paragraphs in a long report on the al-Aqsa Mosque protests. The Daily Mail, the Telegraph and ITV’s website have similar accounts, again with no photos of the Salomon home. I couldn’t find any coverage at all of the incident in The Times or on the Channel 4 News website. 
There is something wrong, isn’t there, when a family is slaughtered at their dinner table and the press doesn’t deem it worthy even of a full story? 
This is not the first time the British press has been accused of double standards when it comes to Israel. The BBC, in particular, frequently gets called out for it. Just last month the BBC was forced to backtrack after publishing an article with the headline, ‘Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem’. It turned out the Palestinians were killed because they had already murdered an Israeli policewoman and were attempting further attacks when they were shot. The rewritten headline read, ‘Israeli policewoman stabbed to death in Jerusalem’. 
No doubt the British press will defend their lacking reports, but ask yourself this: if the tables had been turned, and a Palestinian family was murdered in their home by an Israeli attacker, how do you think the press over here would have covered it? I think we know the answer.
read more

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Austria: Palestinian gets life sentence for inciting killings of Jews

Via The Times of Israel:
An Austrian jury has convicted a Palestinian man on terrorism-related charges for inciting fellow radicals to kill Jews in Jerusalem. 
The 27-year old man — unnamed due to Austrian privacy laws — also was found guilty on Monday of belonging to a terrorist organization due to his affiliation with Hamas, the Palestinian terror group that has ruled Gaza since seizing it in 2007. He was sentenced to life in prison. 
The six member jury delivered its verdict after prosecutors presented evidence that the man called on others through social media to kill victims in Jerusalem. They cited his statements expressing pride in being a Hamas member, and noted that he had served a nine-year prison sentence in Israel for terror acts against the Jewish state.
read more

The Local reports that the man "was arrested at an asylum-seeker centre in Lower Austria last July".

Germany: Anti-Semitism still prominent in German schools, study finds

Via i24NEWS:
“You Jew” is still a common curse in Berlin's schools, according to a new study published Wednesday. 
The report by the German chapter of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) found a rise in anti-Semitic incidents among pupils, linked to an increase in Salafist tendencies. 
Researchers on behalf of the AJC interviewed 27 teachers from 21 schools in Berlin, between autumn 2015 and spring of 2016. Their depictions paint an alarming picture of a growing religiously-motivated hostility to Jews and to Israel, especially among students with Turkish or Arabic roots. 
The authors emphasized that the survey does not represent the situation in all schools in Berlin, but it shows an empirical trend. 
The majority of surveyed teachers reported witnessing incidents considered anti-Semitic on school grounds. Many of them reported that anti-Semitic slur words are still used on a regular basis by students against classmates, not necessarily of Jewish background.
According to the report, anti-Semitic stereotypes are also still strongly present in schools, like those associating Jews with wealth, control of the media and of the global financial system. 
Israel, as the state of the Jews, often serves as a general substitute for Judaism, the study found. 
“The first instinct always seems to be, that all things Jewish are bad because of Israel,” one teacher was quoted as saying. Some also stated that the word “Israel” is boycotted by students. In many atlases, the State of Israel is erased or blacked out, noted another teacher. 
A third of all respondents professed to knowing a student who shouted hate slogans in a demonstration against Israel. Several teachers reported hearing students express some degree of support towards terrorism targeting Israelis. “They are the reason that people attack, or that people dance when somewhere in Israel an attack happens,” a student said, according to his teacher. 
Germany's support of Israel is also often criticized. 
One teacher said: “many students say, when it comes to this issue: 'yes, yes, Germany always supports Israel, but this fuss will soon come to an end... Once we reach certain positions, we will put an end to it. Then it will be exactly the opposite. We will look in closely and will rather support Israel's opponents.'”
Any mention of Jews or Israel can cause “a small intifada in the classroom,” described one teacher, and therefore many prefer to avoid these issues and “let sleeping dogs lie.” 
Touching upon the Israel-Palestinian conflict, in particular, has become equivalent to opening Pandora's Box, said another educator, and any conveying information on that topic is “almost impossible.”
read more

Monday, July 24, 2017

France: Relative of Paris supermaket attack victim flees antisemitism, makes aliya

Via The Jerusalem Post:
A sister-in-law of a victim in the 2015 Paris supermarket terrorist attack has immigrated to Israel, fleeing a sense of insecurity living as an Orthodox Jew in France. 
Eva Saban was one of 150 French Jews who arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday evening aboard a flight sponsored by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. 
“We have been wanting to make aliya for a while, but after the terror attack at the Hyper Cacher we were left with no doubts. We are living in fear,” Saban said. 
Her brother-in-law Philippe Braham was one of four people killed after being taken hostage in the kosher supermarket, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack. 
“Our children go to an Orthodox school, and as they leave the building they remove the kippa from their head,” she said. “We no longer are sure of what we would like to do next, but we are confident that this is the right move for our children, and we pray to God it will all work out.” 
The immigrants ranged from one month to 77 years old. Among them were two families spanning three generations, and 77 of the new olim were children. (...) 
French immigration to Israel has surged since 2012, breaking records for aliya from Western countries. More than 10% of the French Jewish community has immigrated to Israel since 2000, with half of them arriving in the past five years alone.
read more

84% of French Jews consider antisemitism is a big problem
France: Family of murdered Sarah Halimi moving to Israel

Europe: The 2nd Intifada triggered a new form of European antisemitism intimately connected to anti-Zionism

Via The Jerusalem Post (editorial):
The US State Department’s post of special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism was established in 2004, during the presidency of George W. Bush. 
Now, 13 years later, US President Donald Trump is seeking to do away with the position.
We urge him to reconsider. Antisemitism is an issue that should be taken seriously by the Trump administration. Allowing the position to stay vacant sends the misleading message that this administration does not take antisemitism seriously enough.
But a warm body is not enough. Filling the position is important. But no less important is choosing the right person. The ideal candidate should clarify, not obscure, the main forces behind contemporary antisemitism. There have been good and bad envoys in the past. (...) 
We do not suspect Trump is opposed to fighting antisemitism. The decision to ax the position is part of a policy to do away with special envoy posts to save taxpayers’ dollars (...) 
The driving force behind the 2004 Global Anti-Semitism Review Act that created the position, the small staff of aides and the modest budget was the late congressman Tom Lantos, a Holocaust survivor. The push to pass the bill, which began in the early 2000s, coincided with an uptick in antisemitic incidents, particularly in Europe. 
The Second Intifada that broke out in 2000 triggered a new form of European antisemitism intimately connected to anti-Zionism. Attacks against Jews perpetrated by the far Right were outnumbered by attacks carried out by the masses of immigrants from Muslim countries and their offspring who were outraged by Israel’s efforts to defend itself against Palestinian suicide bombers and shooters. Adding fuel to the fire were elements on the progressive Left that depicted Israel as a colonialist occupier and conveniently ignored or justified the violence of Islamist terrorist groups. 
The French Human Right Commission reported six times more antisemitic incidents in 2002 in France than in the previous year. If anything, the situation has only gotten worse in Europe since. 
Lantos’s legacy must live on. But appointing a special envoy is not enough. The candidate should not shy away from identifying the sources of the newest and deadliest forms of violent antisemitism.
read more

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Belgium: Holocaust yellow badges and Nazi artifacts for sale at Ghent Festival

Via Brussels Jewish Community:

Two yellow badges marked 'Juif' and 'Jood' alongside Nazi memorabilia were available for sale at a stall at the Gentse Feesten (Ghent festival).  The police has been advised.

Via Holocaust Memorial Center:
The Jews of Europe were legally compelled to wear badges or distinguishing garmets (e.g., pointed hats) at least as far back as the 13th century. (...)
The Nazis resurrected this practice as part of their persecutions during the Holocaust. Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Main Security Office, first recommended that Jews should wear identifying badges following the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 9 and 10, 1938. Shortly after the invasion of Poland in September 1939, local German authorities began introducing mandatory wearing of badges. By the end of 1939, all Jews in the newly-acquired Polish territories were required to wear badges. Upon invading the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Germans again applied this requirement to newly-conquered lands. Throughout the rest of 1941 and 1942, Germany, its satellite states and western occupied territories adopted regulations stipulating that Jews wear identifying badges. Only in Denmark, where King Christian X is said to have threatened to wear the badge himself if it were imposed on his country’s Jewish population, were the Germans unable to impose such a regulation. 
The German government’s policy of forcing Jews to wear identifying badges was but one of many psychological tactics aimed at isolating and dehumanizing the Jews of Europe, directly marking them as being different (i.e., inferior) to everyone else. It allowed for the easier facilitation of their separation from society and subsequent ghettoization, which ultimately led to the deportation and murder of 6 million Jews. Those who failed or refused to wear the badge risked severe punishment, including death. For example, the Jewish Council (Judenrat) of the ghetto in Bialystok, Poland announced that “… the authorities have warned that severe punishment – up to and including death by shooting – is in store for Jews who do not wear the yellow badge on back and front.”
read more

Spain: Politician who said Israel massacres children honored by Jewish organisation

Via JTA:
A prominent Spanish organization that is dedicated to preserving the country’s Jewish heritage awarded a prize to a local politician who had accused Israel of “massacring” Palestinian children. 
The Centro Sefarad-Israel, which was created with government funding in 2006 and based in Madrid, awarded its Crown of Esther prize on Thursday to Maite Pagazaurtundua, a Spanish lawmaker serving at the European Parliament, Europa Press reported. She received the award for her “defense of justice and freedom,” the report said. 
In 2014, Pagazaurtundúa co-signed a letter with several other members of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats — the parliamentary bloc to which Pagazaurtundúa’s Union of Progress and Democracy belongs — condemning Israel’s actions against Hamas in Gaza. It was addressed to Martin Schulz, then the president of the European Parliament.  
“An immediate ceasefire is needed to put an end to the massacre and the suffering of the civilian population, many of them children,” the letter read. 
The letter co-signed by Pagazaurtundúa, a Basque politician who is known in Spain for denouncing the terrorist activities of the ETA Basque nationalist militia, did not mention Hamas or Palestinian terrorism.
read more

Friday, July 21, 2017

Germany: Guide at Anne Frank Center in Berlin compares Jewish suffering under Nazis to Palestinians under Israel

It is yet again painfully clear that European organisations like the Anne Frank Center in Berlin are often incapable of applying proper vetting procedures when hiring staff.

  Via JTA:
The Anne Frank Center in Berlin has distanced itself from the statement of a freelance guide who compared the suffering of Jews under the Nazis to that of Palestinians under Israeli occupation today. 
At issue was a profile of Nesreen Hajjaj, a 24-year-old Berliner of Palestinian background, in the July 19 online English version of Al Arabiya, a Saudi-owned news outlet. Hajjaj is one of 25 freelance guides who introduce visitors to the exhibition at the Anne Frank Zentrum Berlin. 
Hajjaj told the interviewer that “many things that happened to the Jews during the Nazi rule are happening to the Palestinians now. Jewish people were kicked out of their homes and denied an education. Today Palestinian lands and houses are being conquered,” she told the online publication. 
She said she had been called an “infidel and a hypocrite” on social media for taking the job with the center. 
Her answer to critics: “We must be open-minded toward different people, especially if you live within their societies.” 
Patrick Siegele, director of the Anne Frank Zentrum, told JTA that Hajjaj’s comment was “incorrect and painful … and does not reflect the official position of the Anne Frank Zentrum. Furthermore, the Anne Frank Zentrum distances itself from this position.”
read more

Thursday, July 20, 2017

UK: Is New York about to boycott Roger Waters?

It's a warning to many European BDS proponents...  
Roger Waters
Roger Waters could be prevented from playing concerts in New York State after a local Jewish lawmaker confirmed the former Pink Floyd frontman’s support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement was in violation of local law. 
Howard Kopel, who serves as a legislator for Nassau County in Long Island, pointed out that “Local Law 3-2016 bars companies from doing business with Nassau County if they participate in economic warfare against Israel. 
“The Nassau County Attorney confirms… Roger Waters' proposed upcoming tour dates at the Nassau Coliseum are indeed in violation of Local Law 3-2016”, he wrote in a social media post. 
“Allowing Waters - who actively promotes and encourages others to withdraw from commercial relations with Israel and other ‘BDS’ activities as defined by the law - to perform at a county-owned facility …  not only violates the law, and the Coliseum Lease, but offends the sense of decency of our residents.” 
Last week the city of Miami Beach, Florida, cancelled a planned performance of local children with Mr Waters after the Greater Miami Jewish Federation accused Mr Waters of spreading “vile messages of antisemitism, anti-Zionism and hatred [which] are not welcome in our community”. 
Mr Waters has attempted to persuade other performers not to play in Israel. In the past few weeks, he has been a leading voice in the unsuccessful effort to pressurise Radiohead into cancelling their concert in Israel. 
However, Israel continues to attract some of the biggest bands and performers in the world. Last Saturday night, Guns N’ Roses played the largest concert in Israel’s history in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park, with an attendance of over 62,000.

France: Another antisemitic act against the Garges-lès-Gonesse synagogue


The BNVCA has condemned a new anti-Semitic act perpetrated once again against the Jewish community of Garges-lès-Gonesse, Val d'Oise. The head of the synagogue informed BNVCA that anti-Jewish tags were discovered on 16 July 2017 on the facade of this place of worship situated at 14 Rue JB Corot.

The perpetrators painted "Dirty Jews" followed by a star with 6 branches, Maguen David, as if the authors wanted to hang a star at this place of worship on the day of the commemoration of the Rafle of the Vel d'Hiv of 16 July 1942.

The president, exasperated by an incalculable number of attacks against the people and the property of his community since the appearance of the 'new anti-Semitism', has informed BNVCA of his wish to meet urgently with the Prefect of the department. He also hopes that the relevant departments will prune the trees surrounding the synagogue which obstruct the visibility of the video surveillance cameras that could have enabled the identification of the authors of the graffiti.

Italy: Celebration of Nazism by fans of the Hellas Verona football club

Via European Jewish Press:
Jewish leaders in Italy denounced as "a true celebration of Nazism" a chorus of Nazi chants by fans of the Hellas Verona football club earlier this month. 
During a match, at the Bentegodi stadium of Verona, a member of the far-right Forza Nuova party hailed Adolf Hitler as "sponsor" of the  team. 
The Nazi chorus at the match appeared in an online video that has been on the web of many national newspapers. (...)
The Hellas Verona team also intervened directly: "We disagree with what happened during the match. We want to point out that this was a self-managed event and not of direct control and competence of the club. We are also convinced that this is an isolated behavior, which does not represent our fans. To protect and support our club, we would like to point out how our society has carried out many actions and awareness campaigns in recent years to condemn any form of discrimination and potentially harm any constitutionally guaranteed right and as in that perspective we will always act. "
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UK: Director Mike Leigh, like Ken Loach, is happy to profit from Israel while "supporting BDS"

Via Elder of Ziyon:

British Jewish film director Mike Leigh 
Artists for Palestine released this:
Film writer and director Mike Leigh has criticised Thom Yorke and Radiohead for ignoring Palestinian suffering, two days ahead of their controversial Israel gig. Last week Radiohead front-man Yorke defended the band’s decision to play in Israel and ignore the Palestinian picket-line, arguing that music was about ‘crossing borders’ and ‘shared humanity’. Today, Oscar nominated Leigh, who is in production for his forthcoming feature film ‘Peterloo’, issued the following statement via Artists for Palestine UK –
‘On Wednesday Radiohead will perform in a Tel Aviv stadium built over the ruins of the Palestinian village of Jarisha. It is a sad fact that Radiohead have failed to engage with Palestinians who have called for them not to play, and that Thom Yorke’s comments are devoid of any reference to Palestinians at all.s the lights go out in Gaza and Palestinian cancer patients die because they are denied travel permits by Israel, while a Palestinian poet in Israel lives under house arrest for a poem she wrote on Facebook, while a young circus performer from the West Bank languishes in administrative detention without charge or trial – Thom Yorke speaks loftily about ‘crossing borders’ and ‘freedom of expression’. One has to ask, freedom for whom exactly?’ 
Ah, another moral force for good and against Israel. 
Except, as Sussex Friends for Israel noted, every single one of Leigh's films created after the BDS movement was started has been released in Israel. 
Vera Drake, released in Israel on 3 February 2005. 
Happy-Go-Lucky, released in Israel 19 June 2008. 
Another Year, released in Israel 9 December 2010 under the title Od Shana. 
Mr. Turner, released in Israel 11 December 2014 under the title Mar Turner. 
This follows Ken Loach's similar hypocrisy as he scrambles to claim that his films being released in Israel over the years were all a mistake.
 read more

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Netanyahu criticizes the European Union, 'the only international organization that conditions relations with Israel, which gives it technology, on political considerations'

Via European Jewish Press:
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Budapest
with his counterparts of the Visegrad group
"The European Union is the only international organization that conditions relations with Israel, which gives it technology, on political considerations. Nobody else does that," Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly said at a closed meeting in Budapest with leaders of the countries of the Visegrad group, which comprises Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. 
Despite the fact that it was a closed meeting, Netanyahu’s statements were accidentally transmitted to journalists covering the meeting. 
Netanyahu said: "I was in China. We have special relations with China and they don't care about the political issues. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told me, 'I have to take care of India's interests, and where will I get that? In Ramallah?' Russia does not make political conditions and neither does Africa. Only the EU makes it conditional. It's crazy. It is against Europe's interests.’’ 
"Europe is undermining its own security by undermining Israel because of a crazy attempt to institute political conditions." 
"Don't undermine the only country in the region that takes care of Europe's interests. Stop attacking Israel. Support Israel. Europe is dissociating itself from the biggest center of innovation in the world. It makes no sense.’’   
"I think Europe has to decide if it wants to live and thrive or if it wants to shrivel and disappear,” he said. 
"I suggest that you deliver a message to your colleagues in Europe about how to help Europe," the Israeli premier told the East European leaders.

France: Family of murdered Sarah Halimi moving to Israel

Related:  84% of French Jews consider antisemitism is a big problem

Via The Times of Israel:
Seeking justice, brother of Sarah Halimi sees ‘warning’ for French Jews in grisly slaying. In family’s first major interview, William Attal says he can ‘no longer stay silent’ over his sister’s brutal killing by a Muslim neighbor in April, fumes at police refusal to acknowledge it was an anti-Semitic crime. 
The killing of French Jew Sarah Halimi and subsequent efforts to deny its anti-Semitic motives represent a turning point for France’s Jewish community and must seen as a “warning sign” of the country’s changing attitudes towards Jews.  That is the message William Attal, Halimi’s brother, is seeking to stress to both the French community and to Jews around the world. (...) 
 “No one can deny that situation has deteriorated for the Jews,” Attal insisted, noting increasing attacks over the past decade which he says have led him to fear for the safety of the Jewish community, and his family. 
Attal sees his sister’s case as a further escalation. “First, Jews were attacked at a Jewish school,” he said, referring to the 2011 shooting of a teacher and three children at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish day school in Toulouse. “Then they came into a Jewish supermarket,” he said of the 2015 assault on the Hyper Cacher Kosher supermarket in which four Jews were murdered by radical Islamic terrorists. “Now, with my sister, they have come into a Jewish home, a direct violation of what should be a safe space.”
That fear was at times palpable — both we arranged our interview with Attal, and during the conversation itself.
Wishing to prevent drawing attention to his own home, Attal, a stout man with a short beard and a warm smile, asked to instead meet at a nearby store, but would not agree for photos to be taken at the site for fear of turning it into a target. Minutes into the hour-long conversation, this reporter was asked to remove or cover up his skullcap. Attal, who describes himself as religious, wore a baseball cap to cover his head and said he had forbidden his children from wearing skullcaps in public. (...) 
Attal, however, said he could no longer keep quiet. “I didn’t want to talk about it for a long time, but I can no longer remain silent in the face of this lack of justice. I feel like I have no choice but to tell the full story of what happened,” he said, adding that he hoped his sister’s death would act as a “warning sign” to both the French Jewish community and Jews around the world. 
Reading from both the police report and the autopsy with his voice cracking and tears in his eyes, Attal shared some of the previously unknown details of the final moments of his sister’s life. As he began to read, two of his children, aged 16 and 20, who had accompanied him to the interview, asked to step away from the table, unable to listen to the harrowing description. (...)
The family will not give up on seeking official recognition of an anti-Semitic motive to the attack, Attal said, but they will soon have to continue their fight from nearly 3,000 miles away, in Israel. 
Next month, in a direct response to the murder, both of Halimi’s daughters will be immigrating to Israel, making aliyah with the Jewish Agency, likely as part of an International Fellowship of Christians and Jews program to bring French Jews to the country. 
Attal, along with his wife and four children, will be on an IFCJ flight a month after his nieces. (The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews arranged the interview with Attal.) 
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, IFCJ president, told the Times of Israel that his organization’s program, which provides new immigrants with financial aid on arrival, is aimed at helping French Jews “suffering from regular aggression and serious violence, from Muslim extremists that live in the suburbs where the Jews live as a besieged minority.” (...) 
Attal said he had planned to move to Israel before his sister’s death, but the incident sped up the process and “gave me the absolute certainty, and all of my family, that we need to do this now.”
According to Attal, his sister had also wanted to move to Israel. 
“She always dreamed of aliyah and wanted to live next to her son in Israel, but she stayed in France in order to help with her grandchildren,” he said. “Now her children are making aliyah without her and can only visit her grave in Jerusalem.”
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

United Kingdom: Those "... who froth hatred of Jews"

Via The Daily Mail (Peter Hitchens):
Like almost all suppressed reports about terrorism in London or Washington DC, the truth that is being kept from us is that great danger comes from Saudi Arabia, HQ of the most fanatical and intolerant Islamism on the market. 
Nobody really doubts that this report, if published, would say that. The pathetic scraps of the document which Ms Rudd allowed into the open last week hinted strongly at it, for those who knew where to look. 
Her statement said: ‘For a small number of organisations with which there are extremism concerns, overseas funding is a significant source of income.’ 
Hurriedly, she added: ‘However, for the vast majority of extremist groups in the UK, overseas funding is not a significant source.’ Why ‘however’? So what? If foreign funds are significant at all, that’s what we need to know. 
Because she also said: ‘Overseas support has allowed individuals to study at institutions that teach deeply conservative forms of Islam and provide highly socially conservative literature and preachers to the UK’s Islamic institutions. Some of these individuals have since become of extremist concern.’ 
By ‘socially conservative’ they don’t mean me. They mean those who support the forcible shrouding of women and who froth hatred of Jews. How mealy mouthed to call it ‘conservatism’. But our Government is terrified of offending the Saudis, terrified beyond reason or self-respect.
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Europe: Why economic and strategic cooperation have never been better

Via Foreign Affairs:
(...) Imports from Israel to the EU hovered steady between 2011 and 2016 at around 14.8 billion dollars—a historic high—and last year, European governments bought record levels of defense equipment from Israel. Israel’s reputation as the so-called start-up nation is much admired on the Continent, as are its energetic academic and creative exports. All of this has helped restore some of Israel’s soft power.
What’s more, for all the bluster from Israeli ministers that anti-settlement measures constitute a discriminatory boycott, the EU’s focus on settlements promises to leave most of Israel’s economy and population untouched. Less than two percent of Israel’s exports to Europe come from settlements. More important for EU members’ trade balances, Israel is an increasingly important market, with imports from the EU growing from 14 billion euros in 2006 to more than 21 billion in 2016. (...)
Even in countries where there has been a long-term decline in affections for Israel, this sentiment has not been accompanied by a broad embrace of the Palestinian cause. For many political leaders and much of the neutral public the Palestinian national movement is associated with chaos, corruption, and violent extremism, underlined by the consequences of Israel’s pullout from Gaza, which led to Hamas-rule and thousands of rockets fired at Israeli civilians. Although surveys in most European countries indicate more people are sympathetic to the Palestinians than with the Israelis, more still are either equivocal or indifferent.
Political leaders who have opposed Israeli policies have found their ideological positions tempered by material interests. Greece’s far-left party Syriza, for example, was deeply hostile to Israel while it was in opposition, but has deepened Greece’s economic and strategic cooperation with Israel since taking power. Greece needs trade and tourists, and covets a deal to pipe Israeli gas to European states that currently depend on Russian energy exports. It also values defense ties with Israel, thanks to its strained relations with Turkey. The interest in partnering with Israel’s military spans the continent. In November, Israel will host an air force exercise involving France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Poland. (...)
What was once a zero-sum game for European countries—in which warmer ties with Israel would harm relations with Arab states—is now a thing of the past. Israeli and European interests are aligned in shoring up Western-aligned Sunni Arab states and containing anti-Western extremist forces. Today, Israel is a rock of stability not only for Egypt and Jordan, but even for the Gulf states with which it has no formal ties. Terror attacks in European cites, searing images of Islamic State butchery, and waves of Syrian refugees pouring into Europe have made it harder to sustain the idea that Israel is the source of Middle East instability, or the poison in relations between Islam and the West. European states especially value Israeli intelligence on the threats posed by Sunni jihadist groups (and to a lesser extent, on such Shiite militant groups as Hezbollah.) Moreover, when jihadists target European cities, it bolsters the Israeli narrative that frames Palestinian violence as driven by ideological extremism, as opposed to grievance at the occupation.  
The jihadist threat is also one of the factors behind a recent populist right resurgence characterized by disenchantment with federalism and renewed nationalism. This creates some strange looking political alignments. For leading European right-wing populists, a pro-Israel stance is simultaneously a badge of opposition to Islam and an attempt to defray accusations of lingering anti-Semitism. Although the Israeli government keeps its distance from these parties, some Israeli right politicians have been ready to welcome them. Meanwhile, British officials have leaned toward some Trump administration positions on Israel: British officials vetoed a French initiative on the peace process opposed by Israel in December; in March, they “[put] the Human Rights Council on notice,” as UK Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Julian Braithwaite put it, for its disproportionate focus on Israel’s actions. 
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Italy: Anti-Semitism row over MP eyebrows jibe

An Italian MP on Wednesday denied any anti-Semitic intent after publishing a jibe on Facebook asking if a Jewish colleague had bushy eyebrows because he wanted to "cover the marks of the circumcision".

 "There was no anti-Semitism," said Massimo Corsaro, a member of a group of lawmakers close to former Puglia Governor Raffaele Fitto that broke away from Forza Italia, regarding the comment directed at Democratic Party (PD) MP Emanuele Fiano.

"I intended to call him a dickhead". Fiano is the author of bill that seeks to tighten up the law against apology for Fascism.

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French President: 'Anti-Zionism is a new form of anti-Semitism'

Via Israel Hayom:

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday denounced France's collaboration in the Holocaust, lashing out at those who negate or minimize the country's role in sending tens of thousands of Jews to their deaths. He also condemned anti-Zionism as a new form of anti-Semitism and vowed to fight both.

Macron and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a ceremony commemorating 75 years since the Vel' d'Hiv roundup, the mass arrest of 13,152 French Jews in July 1942 as part of the Nazi effort to eradicate the Jews of France.

Calling the period the darkest chapter of modern French history, Macron forcefully denounced Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism and accepted France's responsibility in the event.

"Time does its work. Archives open; the truth comes out. It's stark, irrevocable. It imposes itself on us all. ... It is indeed France that organized [the roundup]. Not a single German [took part]," he said. "It was indeed France. And thus 13,152 people of the Jewish faith were dragged from their homes between the 16th and 17th of July, 1942, to their deaths. Among them, 4,115 children between ages of 2 and 6, whom we are especially honoring today."

Macron dismissed arguments by French far-right leaders and others that the collaborationist Vichy regime did not represent France.

"It is convenient to see the Vichy regime as born of nothingness, returned to nothingness," he said. "Yes, it's convenient, but it is false. We cannot build pride upon a lie."

Later, in a clear reference to far-right leader Marine Le Pen, Macron denounced "politicians who are prepared to reverse the truth. ... We will never surrender to the messages of hate; we will not surrender to anti-Zionism, because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism."

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UK: Police and prosecutors accused of 'failing Jewish people' with rise of anti-semitic crime

Via Sunday Express:
Campaigners claim that they are failing to enforce the law, despite promises of a crackdown.

A report by the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) shows there were 1,078 such hate crimes in 2016, compared to 938 in 2015 and 746 in 2014.

However, there were 105 reports of anti-semitic violence, a big fall on 2015.

But prosecutions were brought in just 15 cases in 2016, according to data obtained from 49 UK police forces.

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France: Jews fume over omission of hate crime from indictment of Jewish woman’s killer

Via JTA:
Leaders of French Jewry strongly criticized the absence of a mention of hate crime in the indictment of a Paris man who killed his Jewish neighbor while shouting about Allah.

CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish community, used uncharacteristically harsh language in criticizing the indictment for murder filed by prosecutors Wednesday against Kobili Traore, who confessed to killing 66-year-old Sarah Halimi on April 4 and throwing her dying body from the third-story window of her apartment.

“CRIF is astonished that the anti-Semitic character of the murder was omitted,” read the statement of the organization, which over the past two weeks has presented on the homepage of its website a running meter with the number of days it took authorities to file an indictment. CRIF has accused authorities of covering up and silencing the slaying of Halimi along with mainstream media.

Traore, 27, who has no history of mental illness, initially was hospitalized in a psychiatric institution as per his insanity plea. He knew that Halimi, a physician and kindergarten teacher, was Jewish and had called her daughter “dirty Jew” in the elevator two years ago, the daughter told French Jewish media.

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Ireland: Palestinian flag to be flown over county and civic offices in south Dublin

Via Dublin Live:
The move follows the flying of the flag over City Hall after Dublin City councillors voted on it 
The Palestinian flag is set to be flown over the South Dublin County Council hall in Tallaght and civic offices in Clondalkin. 
It will fly for a month after councillors voted to show their solidarity with the people of Palestine. 
The motion, tabled by Sinn Fein councillor Enda Fanning, follows the flying of the flag over City Hall after Dublin City councillors voted on it. 
Many councillors showed their support for the motion, with Fine Gael councillor Emer Higgins sharing her personal experience of her visit to the area. 
She said the move is a “signal to Israel that we think they could do better as a society”.
Fianna Fail councillor Ed O’Brien said he had reservations about the precedent that the motion would set for flying other flags, while Independent councillor Guss O’Connell said he could not support the motion. 
He said: “I don’t believe we should be flying a flag for one side or the other. This is too sectarian.”
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Ireland: Israel deplores Ireland's traditional policy towards Jerusalem

Via European Jewish Press:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed his dissatisfaction over Ireland's traditional policy towards Israel, during a meeting in Jerusalem with visiting Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney. 
Netanyahu deplored that Ireland does not condemn the Palestinians for incitement and for glorifying those who commit terrorist attacks. 
He also asked the minister why his country helps NGOs that call for the destruction of Israel and noted that many European countries are overlooking the core problem of the conflict  which is the Palestinian refusal to recognize the state of the Jews. 
Ireland is generally considered as one of the most critical country towards Israel within the European Union, alongside Sweden. 
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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Denmark/Germany: Berlin Mayor rebuked over Iman's call to kill Jews and stone women

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
A Danish Imam convicted for inciting hate after he preached for the extermination of Jews in Berlin during Israel's Operation Protective Edge in 2014 appeared on Friday in the capital city at a radical mosque, catapulting the city's mayor Michael Müller's administration into a new round of criticism for failing to rope in Islamists who advocate lethal antisemitism. 
Sheikh Abu Bilal Ismail said in a fiery 2014 sermon at Berlin's Al-Nur mosque: “Oh, Allah, destroy the Zionist Jews, they are no challenge for you.” He added, “Count them and kill them to the very last one. Don’t spare a single one of them. Make them suffer terribly.” 
The Lebanese-born cleric's sermon was caught on video and triggered international criticism. Ismail was slated to speak on Friday at the African mosque, but was replaced at the eleventh hour by a Syrian imam who warned about spies within the congregation.
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Spain: Judges void 2 municipal BDS motions, calling them racist

Via JTA:
Spanish judges scrapped motions favoring a boycott of Israel that were passed last year by two city councils. 
The rulings last week by separate tribunals in two of Spain’s autonomous regions bring to 20 the number of municipalities that over the past three years have either reversed their motions of support for an Israel boycott or had them nullified by the judiciary. 
In the northern region of Galicia, an administrative court in the capital of Santiago de Compostela reversed a motion passed March 31 by the city council of Teo, a town of 18,000, following a lawsuit filed by ACOM, the pro-Israel group said in a statement Tuesday. 
The administrative court in the eastern region of Valencia scrapped a motion passed in March 2016 by the local council of Catarroja, a suburb of the city of Valencia, which is Spain’s third-largest metropolis. 
As in previous rulings on petitions filed by ACOM or its affiliates — including rulings by two high courts — the administrative tribunals determined the motions in Teo and Catarroja were unconstitutional because they were discriminatory, and that they represented a breach of jurisdiction by municipalities unqualified to make foreign policy decisions. 
Last month, the Superior Tribunal of Justice of Madrid affirmed a lower court ruling from January against a 2016 resolution endorsing the boycott by the city council of the Rivas Vaciamadrid suburb. The High Court said the council’s adherence to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel was “discriminatory.”
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Friday, July 14, 2017

Hungary: Soros and the Left's inversion of anti-semitism

By Evelyn Gordon:
Hungary: 'Government campaign against Soros on immigration has nothing to do with anti-Semitism'